Born at 7:48am-PST
Daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.
Once engaged to Billy Bob Thornton.
Once engaged to Jeff Goldblum for two years (1995-1997).
Had an elder sister, born in 1961, who drowned at the age of 18 months, years before Laura was born.
Granddaughter of Mary Lanier
When she was cast in Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982) at age 13, her mother Diane Ladd refused to let her go, feeling she was too young to leave home for a movie shoot. Laura sued for emancipation and won, but the movie was not a hit.
She said that her idols are Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Lucille Ball.
Hers and her mother's (Diane Ladd) Oscar nominations for Rambling Rose (1991) mark the first time a mother and daughter ever received Oscar nominations for the same movie.
Has played daughter to real-life mother Diane Ladd in four movies: White Lightning (1973), Wild at Heart (1990), Citizen Ruth (1996) and Daddy and Them (2001).
Both she and her mother, Diane Ladd, starred in two dinosaur-themed movies in 1993. Dern starred as Ellie Sattler in the box office smash Jurassic Park (1993), while Ladd starred in the failed indie film Carnosaur (1993).
Has starred in two films titled "Happy Endings", one a television film, Happy Endings (1983), and the other an independent film, Happy Endings (2005).
Goddaughter of the late Shelley Winters.
Her paternal great-grandfather, George Henry Dern, was Governor of Utah and Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Secretary of War. Her maternal cousin was playwright Tennessee Williams.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6270 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 1, 2010.
Gave birth to her first child at age 34, a son Ellery Walker Harper on August 21, 2001. Child's father is her boyfriend (now ex-husband), Ben Harper.
Gave birth to her second child at age 37, a daughter Jaya Harper on November 28, 2004. Child's father is her fiancé (now ex-husband), Ben Harper.
Seventeen years after she starred in Alexander Payne's first major film Citizen Ruth (1996), her father Bruce Dern starred in Payne's Nebraska (2013) -- probably one of the few, if only, times in movie history that a father-daughter duo similarly starred in the same director's films, especially with the actress/daughter's performance preceding her actor/father's.
Her Daddy and Them (2001) co-star Jim Varney passed away on her 33rd birthday February 10, 2000, from lung cancer at age 50.
She beat out Helen Hunt and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others, for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park (1993). This was revealed to Dern herself, when she visited 'The Today Show' to promote the 3D re-release of the film in 2013. The audition tapes of the other actresses were shown to Dern, to which she responded "Well, I'm a lucky girl".
She knew she wanted to be an actress at age 11, but her parents hated the idea. However, she decided to contact an agent for possible acting jobs, without the blessing of her unaware parents.
Martin Scorsese was one of the first to encourage her to pursue acting. Scorsese directed Laura in an uncredited performance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), in which she ate an ice cream cone. The scene required to be taken 19 times and therefore she had to eat 19 cones in a row. When she managed through them all, without feeling sick and without any scene of resistance, director Scorsese said to her mother, Diane Ladd, "She has to be an actress".
Had to give up her passion for horses and riding, when she decided to pursue her passion for acting, since her mother wished for her to focus on only one of her passions.
Good friends with Courteney Cox and Molly Ringwald.
Has worked with some of the most prominent directors in the movie business; Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, Alexander Payne, Robert Altman, Clint Eastwood, Alfonso Cuarón and Jonathan Demme.
Has English, German, Norwegian, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and more distant Dutch, French and Swiss, ancestry.
She turned down the role of Daryl Hannah's character, Andy Huben, in At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991) after learning that she would have to swim in a parasite-filled river as part of the role.
Has earned two career Academy Award nominations in films alongside her film's co-star who also picked up an Oscar nomination in which they play mother/daughter roles. Her first was Rambling Rose (1991) in which she played the daughter to mother (onscreen and off) Diane Ladd. Her second nomination followed in 2015, for her role in Wild (2014) in which she now plays the mother to a daughter, played by fellow nominee Reese Witherspoon.
Her character, Dr. Ellie Sattler, did not originally feature in the script for Jurassic Park III (2001). The character finally came aboard when her friend and former director Alexander Payne did the final rewrite of the script.
Was attached to a potential "Jurassic Park 4". In 2007, this was announced that Dern would reprise her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler for a third sequel to Jurassic Park (1993). She was the only person to be cast and was attached for several years, until the plans were scrapped and Jurassic World (2015) went into development instead.
David Lynch unsuccessfully pursued for her to receive an Oscar nomination for Inland Empire (2006), by managing an Oscar campaign, in which he solely stood on Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, accompanied by a cow and FYC banner featuring a shot of Dern from the movie. However, Dern, who did not campaign herself, did not receive a nomination.
Her favorite movie is the romance comedy film The Lady Eve (1941).
Is just 9 years older than Reese Witherspoon, who played her daughter in Wild (2014).
Dropped out of Benny and Joon after Woody Harrelson had dropped out.
Originally cast in a supporting role in Rebel in the Rye (2017), however she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and Hope Davis replaced her.
Was blacklisted by Hollywood for several years, following her guest spot on the "coming out" episodes of Ellen (1994), due to the embracing gay themes, that were controversial at the time. Oprah Winfrey also appeared in the episodes and revealed she got more hate mail about that minor appearance than she had ever gotten during her entire previous career as a talk-show host and actress.
Delivered both her children naturally at home.
Was delivered via Caesarean section.
Stars along Shailene Woodley in Big Little Lies (2017), where they play two parents with tense conflicts; while in The Fault in Our Stars(2014), they actually portrayed mother and daughter.
Stars along Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies (2017), where they play parents with tense conflicts against each other; while in The Fault in Our Stars(2014) and Wild(2014), Laura actually portrayed their mother, respectively.
Wears a size 9 1/2 shoe.
As of 2018, has never appeared in a Best Picture Oscar nominated film.
Starred in the theatrical play "If All the Sky Were Paper" narrated by Garrett Schweighauser alongside Annette Bening, Gary Cole, Jim Beaver, Christopher Sweeney, and Michael Conner Humphreys.