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.
In September 2021, Dern joined the cast of the critically acclaimed Amazon series Goliath, opposite Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and J.K. Simmons. Dern had a busy 2019, appearing as real-life rancher George Spahn in Quentin Tarantino’s 10-time Academy Award-nominated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film also won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for Best Picture, among others. He also costarred in the #1 independent film of the year, The Peanut Butter Falcon, and earned rave reviews for Focus Features’ The Mustang. He has also completed several independent films, including Remember Me (2019), The Artist’s Wife (2019), Emperor (2020), Badland (2019), Death in Texas (2020), Last Call (2021), and The Gateway (2021), as well as the highly anticipated project Reminisce. In 2018, he starred in two high profile independent films, as Joe Kennedy in Chappaquiddick and opposite Matthew McConaughey in Sony’s White Boy Rick. 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 director Quentin Tarantino in the ambitious and critically acclaimed The Hateful Eight. In 2014, Dern earned his second Academy Award nomination for his heralded role in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (2013). That role also garnered him Best Actor awards from the Cannes Film Festival and the National Board of Review. He was also nominated for the 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 Actors Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s Wild River in 1960. In the ‘60s, 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 that he cast him in Marnie (1964) and his final film, Family Plot (1976).
In the ‘60s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade-defining films, including 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 Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Dern has starred in over 100 films in his career, including Monster (2003), Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), Silent Running (1972), Smile (1975), Middle Age Crazy (1980), That Championship Season (1982), Tattoo (1981), The ‘Burbs (1989), The Haunting (1999), All the Pretty Horses (2000), Masked and Anonymous (2003), Down in the Valley (2005), The Astronaut Farmer (2006), The Cake Eaters (2007), Black Sunday (1977), After Dark, My Sweet (1990), Madison (2001), Diggstown (1992), Twixt (2011), and Last Man Standing (1996).
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.