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Biography #2 (for Happy Endings)

Laura Dern has emerged as one of the great actresses of her generation proving that she is capable of great depth and range, touching audiences and critics alike with her moving and heartfelt performances.

Dern currently stars as the complex and conflicted Terry Linden opposite Mark Ruffalo in the feature film We Don't Live Here Anymore for Warner Bros. Independent. Warner Bros. Independent acquired the rights to the film after it received critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by John Curran and based on two short stories by Andre Dubus II (In the Bedroom), this drama examines the consequences of infidelity which befall two marriages.

Dern appeared in a diverse selection of roles in three very different feature films in 2001. She starred alongside Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer in New Line Cinema's critically acclaimed I Am Sam, as Steve Martin's suspicious dental hygienist girlfriend in Artisan Entertainment's dark comedy, Novocaine, and opposite William H. Macy in Focus for first time director Neil Slavin. Focus was screened in competition at the Toronto Film Festival. Dern also had a cameo appearance that year in Universal Pictures' Jurassic Park III, which re-teamed her with director Joe Johnston and actor Sam Neill.

On television in 2001, Dern delivered a captivating performance in Showtime's Damaged Care in which she portrayed the real-life 'Dr. Linda Peeno,' an advocate and whistleblower against HMO's managed care practices. Dern also served as a producer on this project. Earlier that year, Dern appeared in Lifetime Television's Within These Walls, opposite Ellen Burstyn. Dern also starred in Showtime Television's quirky romantic comedy, Daddy and Them, a film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.

In January of 1999 the Sundance Institute presented Dern with the Piper Heidseick Award for Independent Vision (recently re-named the Sundance Institute to Independent Vision Award), following in the footsteps of previous honorees such as Nicolas Cage, Tim Robbins, Kevin Spacey, Benecio Del Toro and Julianne Moore. Each year, this award is bestowed by the Sundance Film Festival in recognition of the original voice and vision of an actor whose work reveals commitment to independent spirit and artistic merit.

In 1996, Dern starred in Miramax Films' critically acclaimed black comedy Citizen Ruth, directed by then-newcomer Alexander Payne (who has since earned an Academy Award for his film, Election). Dern portrayed a young, glue-sniffing homeless woman whose pregnancy becomes a lightning rod for both Pro-Life and Abortion Rights groups. She received rave reviews by critics such as David Denby of New York magazine who commented, "Laura Dern's performance is startlingly vivid and detailed.sheer exuberant comedy. She has the gift of transparency and The Hollywood Reporter which stated, Dern distinguishes herself as the frazzled, self-destructive Ruth. Dern's gangly exuberance and trashy thrashings are perfect. Citizen Ruth" was screened at the Montreal Film Festival where Dern was awarded Best Actress for her role.

In 1993, she starred opposite Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum in Steven Spielberg's worldwide phenomenon and record-breaking box office success, Jurassic Park, the first of the trilogy about cloned dinosaurs. Later that year, she starred opposite Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner in the Warner Brother's film A Perfect World, which Eastwood also directed.

In one of the most critically applauded performances of the year, Laura Dern received both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination in 1992 for her performance as 'Rose' in the acclaimed film Rambling Rose, directed by Martha Coolidge and co-starring her mother, Diane Ladd. Janet Maslin of The New York Times boldly stated that Dern is weirdly lovable in a "sidesplitting performance proving herself as a terrific physical comedian." This film upholds its place in history as the first time that a mother/daughter team has earned Academy Award nominations for the same project.

In 1985, Dern won the Los Angeles Film Critics' New Generation Award for her performance in the coming-of-age story Smooth Talk and Mask. She has starred in two films for director David Lynch: Blue Velvet in 1986 and Wild at Heart, winner of the Palme d' Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, which co-starred Nicolas Cage. Dern's other film credits include Robert Altman's Dr. T and the Women, October Sky, Fat Man and Little Boy, Haunted Summer, Teachers, Foxes and Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains.

Dern made her directorial debut with a short film called The Gift, which aired as part of Showtime's Directed By series in October 1994. The cast included Mary Steenburgen, Bonnie Bedelia, Isabella Rossellini, Mary Kay Place, Peter Horton and her mother, Diane Ladd.

In 1997 Dern was nominated for an Emmy Award and won an American Comedy Award for her guest-starring role in the controversial Puppy Episode of the ABC comedy, Ellen. She received a 1998 Golden Globe nomination for her role in Jane Anderson's The Baby Dance, produced by Jodie Foster's Egg Productions for Showtime. The Baby Dance was also awarded with two 1998 Peabody Awards.

Dern received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, as well as Emmy and Cable ACE nominations for her starring role in the 1992 telefilm Afterburn. Her other work on television includes Showtime's critically acclaimed film noir series, Fallen Angels, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and Showtime's original film, Down Came a Blackbird, which she also produced, opposite Vanessa Redgrave and Raul Julia.

Out of appreciation and respect for the extraordinary gift the Dern family has brought to the big and small screen, The Hollywood Entertainment Museum honored Bruce, Diane and Laura with the Hollywood Legacy Award.

Dern resides in Los Angeles with Ben Harper and their two-year-old son.

Bio courtesy Lionsgate Films for "Happy Endings" (28-Aug-2005)


Biography #3

This past summer, the versatile Dern was seen in Jurassic Park III while last fall she starred in the critically-praised Robert Altman film Dr. T and the Women opposite Richard Gere. Most recently she co-starred with Steve Martin in Novocaine and with William H. Macy in Focus, based on Arthur Miller's novel.

Dern has been the recipient of numerous film awards including Best Actress at the 1996 Montreal Film Festival for her performance in Alexander Payne's dark comedy Citizen Ruth. Last year, the Sundance Institute honored Dern with the prestigious Piper Heidseick Award for Independent Vision at the Sundance Film Festival.

Dern made her screen debut at the age of seven in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. At the age of 11, she co-starred in Foxes with Jodie Foster. Dern won the Los Angeles Film Critics New Generation Award for her performance in the coming-of-age story Smooth Talk. She went on to star in Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, which won the Palme d'Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Her other film credits include October Sky, Jurassic Park, A Perfect World, Mask, Fat Man and Little Boy, Haunted Summer, Teachers and Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.

Dern made her directorial debut with the short film The Gift, which aired as part of Showtime's Directed By series. She also starred in Showtime's original film Down Came A Blackbird.

Dern's television accomplishments have been acknowledged with a Golden Globe nomination for her role in The Baby Dance for Showtime and an Emmy Award nomination for her guest-starring role in the controversial Puppy Episode of the comedy series Ellen. She also starred in Showtime's critically-acclaimed film noir series Fallen Angel, for which she received an Emmy nomination.

Bio courtesy New Line Cinema (14-May-2002)


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