Two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern’s tremendous career is made up of playing both modern-day heroes and legendary villains. Through decades of lauded performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation.
Dern had a busy 2019, most notably appearing as real-life rancher George Spahn in Quentin Tarantino’s 10-time Academy Award-nominated Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019). The film has also won the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards for Best Picture, among others. Dern also co-starred in the #1 independent film of the year, The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019), and he earned rave reviews for Focus Features’ The Mustang (2019). He has several highly anticipated independent film projects completed, including Remember Me (2019), The Artist’s Wife (2019), Badland (2019), Emperor (2020), Crabs in a Bucket (2020) and the upcoming films Death in Texas and The Gateway.
Dern has starred in two high profile independent films: as Joe Kennedy in Chappaquiddick (2017) and opposite Matthew McConaughey in Sony’s White Boy Rick (2018). In 2017, he appeared with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in the Netflix film Our Souls at Night.
On the television side in 2019, he memorably guested on Showtime’s comedy Black Monday and was seen in the Stephen King series Mr. Mercedes for the AT&T AUDIENCE Network.
In 2015, Dern reteamed with his Django Unchained (2012) director Quentin Tarantino in the ambitious & critically-acclaimed The Hateful Eight. In 2013, Dern earned his second Academy Award nomination for his heralded role in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. That role also garnered him a Best Actor Award from the Cannes Film Festival and the National Board of Review. He was also nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.
Dern was also nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for his portrayal of polygamist patriarch Frank Harlow in HBO’s hit drama Big Love.
A celebrated stage actor, Dern was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at the legendary The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s Wild River in 1960. In the 1960s, Dern also found success as a distinguished television actor. He appeared regularly in contemporary Western TV series, as well as on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Mr. Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern’s that he cast him in Marnie (1964) and Family Plot (1976; Hitchcock’s final film).
Also, during the ‘60s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade-defining films, including The Wild Angels (1966). He also received critical success during that time for films such as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) and Drive, He Said (1971). Dern goes down in history for his role as Long Hair in The Cowboys (1972), in which he became the only man ever to kill John Wayne on screen.
Dern went on to star in such classic films like The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn, as well as playing Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (1974; for which he received a Golden Globe nomination). It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby’s COMING HOME (1978) that earned him both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination.
Dern has starred in over 100 films in his career, including: The Cake Eaters (2007), Astronaut Farmer (2006), Down in the Valley (2005), Monster (2003), Masked and Anonymous (2003), Madison (2001), All the Pretty Horses (2000), The Haunting (1999), Last Man Standing (1996), Diggstown (1992), After Dark, My Sweet (1990), The ‘Burbs (1989), That Championship Season (1982), Tattoo (1981), Middle Age Crazy (1980), Black Sunday (1977), The Twist (1976), Smile (1975), Silent Running (1972) and Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964).
Dern has received several Lifetime Achievement Awards from various film festivals. In 2010, Dern received the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame star along with his ex-wife Diane Ladd and daughter Laura Dern, the only family in history to receive their stars in one ceremony.