|Born||Bruce MacLeish Dern
June 4, 1936
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||The Choate School
University of Pennsylvania
|Spouse(s)||Marie Dean (1957–1959; divorced)
Diane Ladd (1960–1969; divorced)
Andrea Beckett (1969–present)
Diane Elizabeth Dern
Bruce MacLeish Dern (born June 4, 1936) is an American actor. He frequently takes roles as a supporting character actor, often playing villains of unstable nature. He has appeared in over eighty films, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Coming Home (1978) and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Nebraska (2013). He won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 1982 Berlin Film Festival for That Championship Season and Best Actor at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for Nebraska. His other film roles include They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), The Cowboys (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), Family Plot (1975), Black Sunday (1977) and The Hateful Eight (2015).
Dern was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jean (née MacLeish) and John Dern, a utility chief and attorney. He grew up in Kenilworth, Illinois. His paternal grandfather, George Henry Dern, was a former Utah governor and Secretary of War (he was serving in the latter position during the time of Bruce's birth). Dern's maternal grandfather was a chairman of the Carson, Pirie and Scott stores, his maternal granduncle was poet Archibald MacLeish, and his maternal great-grandfather was Scottish-born businessman Andrew MacLeish. Dern's godfather was former Illinois governor and two-time presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson.
Early in his career, Dern starred in the Philadelphia premiere of Waiting for Godot with Lyle Kessler. He appeared in several popular 1960s television shows, including Route 66, Naked City, Thriller, Sea Hunt, Surfside 6, 77 Sunset Strip, The Outer Limits and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
Dern had an uncredited role in Elia Kazan's 1960 movie Wild River starring Lee Remick, Montgomery Clift and Jo Ann Fleet. He appeared in numerous scenes in the movie alongside villains of the film. In one scene, though, his character becomes so upset when a villain friend hit a woman, that he himself gets punched to the ground.
In 1964, he appeared in a major Alfred Hitchcock film, the psychological thriller Marnie, in a short role as the sailor seen in flashbacks about Marnie's mother. Also in 1964 he had a small but crucial film role in Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte as the lover of the young Charlotte (Bette Davis).
During the next five years, Dern continued appearing in several popular television series, with multiple appearances as different characters, including Wagon Train, The Virginian, Rawhide, 12 O'Clock High, The Fugitive, The F.B.I., The Big Valley, Gunsmoke and Bonanza, among others. During that period, he also appeared in several films, including The Wild Angels (1966), The War Wagon, The Trip (1967), Psych-Out, Will Penny (1968) and in the Clint Eastwood film, Hang 'Em High (1968) as a rustler/murderer.
Among Dern's first twenty film roles was a role in the Sydney Pollack picture They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, in 1969. That same year, he co-starred with James Garner and Walter Brennan in the classic film Support Your Local Sheriff! as gunfighter Joe Danby. In 1972, he appeared in four films: as the enemy and killer of John Wayne's character in The Cowboys notable for his character cold-bloodedly shooting Wayne in the back. Wayne warned Dern, "America will hate you for this." Dern wryly replied, "Yeah, but they'll love me in Berkeley." His best-known role is Freeman Lowell, the caretaker of Earth's last forests in the dark sci-fi film Silent Running (1972). He then starred with Jack Nicholson in The King of Marvin Gardens; and also in Thumb Tripping, after having been seen in over ninety TV episodes or films.
Other memorable roles include Tom Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, or a psychotic Goodyear Blimp pilot who launches a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl in 1977's Black Sunday, and as Captain Bob Hyde in 1978's Coming Home, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1976, he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's final film Family Plot, as the boyfriend of Blanche Tyler (Barbara Harris). Dern told an interviewer that, due to Hitchcock's failing health, the director often asked his assistance during the production. During the 1980s and 1990s,
His most recent efforts include the independent movies The Astronaut Farmer and Monster, a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, and the monster movie Swamp Devil for RHI Films New York and the Sci Fi Channel.
On November 1, 2010, he was presented the 2,419th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His daughter Laura Dern and his ex-wife Diane Ladd received stars on the same date. He was honored with a Legend Award at the inaugural Gold Coast International Film Festival on June 1, 2011.
On May 26, 2013, he won the Best Actor award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his role in Alexander Payne's Nebraska. The role, which received significant critical acclaim, subsequently earned Dern Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, along with other accolades.
Dern married Marie Dawn Pierce in 1957, but divorced less than two years later. In 1960, Dern married actress Diane Ladd, but later divorced in 1969. The marriage produced daughter Laura Dern (b. 1967) who later became an Academy Award nominated actress. Another daughter, Diane Elizabeth Dern was born November 29, 1960, but died at eighteen months, from head injuries caused by falling into a swimming pool, on May 18, 1962. Shortly after his divorce from Ladd in 1969, Dern married Andrea Beckett, and remained married.
|1960||Route 66||Albert||Episode: "The Man on the Monkey Board"|
|1961||Naked City||Hollis / Nicky||Uncredited
|1961||Sea Hunt||FBI Agent John Furillo||Episode: "Crime at Sea"|
|1961||Surfside 6||Johnny Page||Episode: "Daphne, Girl Detective"|
|1961||Thriller||Johnny Norton||Episode: "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk"|
|1961||Ben Casey||Billy Harris||Episode: "A Dark Night for Billy Harris"|
|1961||The Detectives||Jud Treadwell||Episode: "Act of God"|
|1961–62||Cain's Hundred||Eddie Light / Joe Krajac||2 episodes|
|1962–63||Stoney Burke||E.J. Stocker||17 episodes|
|1962–63||The Dick Powell Show||Deering||2 episodes|
|1963||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Maynard||Episode: "The Hunt"|
|1963||The Outer Limits||Ben||Episode: "The Zanti Misfits"|
|1963–65||Wagon Train||Wilkins / Jud Fisher / Seth Bancroft||3 episodes|
|1963–66||The Fugitive||Deputy Martin / Charley / Hutch / Hank / Cody||5 episodes|
|1964–65||The Virginian||Bert Kramer / Lee Darrow / Pell||3 episodes|
|1964||77 Sunset Strip||Ralph Wheeler||Episode: "Lovers' Lane"|
|1964||The Greatest Show on Earth||Vernon||Episode: "The Last of the Strongmen"|
|1964||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Jesse / Roy Bullock||2 episodes|
|1964–65||Twelve O'Clock High||TSgt. Frank Jones / Lieutenant Michaels / Lieutenant Danton||4 episodes (two as Michaels)|
|1965||Rawhide||Ed Rankin||Episode: "Walk into Terror"|
|1965||Laredo||Joe Durkee||Episode: "Rendezvous at Arillo"|
|1965||A Man Called Shenandoah||Bobby Ballantine||Episode: "The Verdict"|
|1965; 1968||The F.B.I.||Virgil Roy Phipps / PFC Byron Landy||2 episodes|
|1965–66; 1969||Gunsmoke||Guerin / Lou Stone / Judd Print / Doyle Phleger||4 episodes|
|1966||Branded||Les||Episode: "The Wolfers"|
|1966||The Loner||Merrick||Episode: "To Hang a Dead Man"|
|1966||Disneyland||Turk||Episode: "Gallegher Goes West: Crusading Reporter"|
|1966–67||Run for Your Life||Alex Ryder||3 episodes|
|1966–68||The Big Valley||John Weaver / Gabe Skeels / Clovis / Harry Dixon / Jack Follet||5 episodes|
|1968–69||Lancer||Tom Nevill / Lucas Thatcher||2 epsiodes|
|1968; 1970||Bonanza||Bayliss / Cully Maco||2 episodes|
|1969||Then Came Bronson||Bucky O'Neill||Episode: "Amid Splinters of the Thunderbolt"|
|1970||Land of the Giants||Thorg||Episode: "Wild Journey"|
|1970||The High Chaparral||Wade||Episode: "Only the Bad Come to Sonora"|
|1970||The Immortal||Luther Seacombe||Episode: "To the Gods Alone"|
|1986||Toughlove||Rob Charters||Television film|
|1987||Roses Are for the Rich||Douglas Osborne||Television film|
|1987||Uncle Tom's Cabin||Augustine St. Claire||Television film|
|1989||Trenchcoat in Paradise||John Hollander||Television film|
|1990||The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson||Scout Ed Higgins||Television film|
|1991||Into the Badlands||T.L. Barston||Television film|
|1991||Carolina Skeletons||Junior Stoker||Television film|
|1993||It's Nothing Personal||Billy Archer||Television film|
|1994||Dead Man's Revenge||Payton McCay||Television film|
|1994||Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight||George Putnam||Television film|
|1995||A Mother's Prayer||Grandpa||Television film|
|1999||Hard Time: The Premonition||Winston||Television film|
|2003||King of the Hill||Randy Strickland (voice)||Episode: "Boxing Luanne"|
|2003||Hard Ground||Nate Hutchinson||Television film|
|2006–07; 2009–11||Big Love||Frank Harlow||29 episodes|
|2007||CSI: NY||Vet||Episode: "Boo"|
|2013||Pete's Christmas||Grandpa||Television film|
Awards and nominations
- Bruce Dern Biography (1936-)
- John Dern, 54, Utility Chief, Attorney, Dies
- Borrelli, Christopher (November 11, 2013). "Bruce Dern's long run to 'Nebraska'". Chicago Tribune.
- "Bruce Dern shows a dangerous streak in 'Big Love'". Los Angeles Times. January 13, 2010.
- Bruce Dern was on Tavis Smiley recently and told the story of how Eleanor Roosevelt was not his godmother but a family friend whom his family visited at Hyde Park. "One year they were visiting and little Brucie got to go with them, and I was riding a bicycle in the afternoon, and ran into a tree and hit my head and had a concussion. In those days when you had a concussion they laid you down with your head on a pillow and then strapped your head across the pillow so you couldn’t move it to the side or forward or anything. When I kind of came to, I guess it was late at night, 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and as I rolled my head to the side, I saw this lady’s legs. They were kind of veiny, and had a nightgown down to about here with little kind of tacky slippers. (Laughter) I didn’t understand. As I slowly came up and started looking up to where the woman’s face was, she had a book in her lap, and she looked like this (makes face) and had that Roosevelt bite. I realized, my God, it’s the president’s wife. (Laughter) I had – it was just before he went to Yalta, so I would have been about eight, I guess. This was ’44; I think that’s when he went to Yalta. So that was in my house. Somebody took that and ran with it and assumed, well, who would babysit a guy like that unless it was his godmother?"http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/bruce-dern/
- "Berlinale: 1983 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "Cannes Film Festival: Awards 2013". Cannes. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Cannes: Lesbian Drama 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Wins Palme d'Or". The Wrap. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Bruce Dern at the Internet Movie Database
- Bruce Dern at the Internet Broadway Database
- Bruce Dern at the University of Wisconsin's Actors Studio audio collection
- Bruce Dern at AllMovie
- Cinema Retro's Evening with Bruce Dern at The Players, New York City