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Bruce Dern

Bruce Dern

Bruce MacLeish Dern is the scion of a distinguished family of politicians and men of letters that includes his uncle, the distinguished poet/playwright Archibald MacLeish. After a prestigious education at New Trier High and Choate Preparatory, Dern enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, only to drop out abruptly in favor of Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio. With his phlegmatic voice and schoolyard-bully countenance, he was not considered a likely candidate for stardom, and was often treated derisively by his fellow students. In 1958, he made his first Broadway appearance in A Touch of the Poet. Two years later, he was hired by director Elia Kazan to play a bit role in the 20th Century Fox production Wild River. He was a bit more prominent on TV, appearing regularly as E.J. Stocker in the contemporary Western series Stoney Burke. A favorite of Alfred Hitchcock, Dern was prominently cast in a handful of the director's TV-anthology episodes, and as the unfortunate sailor in the flashback sequences of the feature film Marnie (1964). During this period, Dern played as many victims as victimizers; he was just as memorable being hacked to death by Victor Buono in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965) as he was while attempting to rape Linda Evans on TV's The Big Valley. Through the auspices of his close friend Jack Nicholson, Dern showed up in several Roger Corman productions of the mid-'60s, reaching a high point as Peter Fonda's "guide" through LSD-land in The Trip (1967). The actor's ever-increasing fan following amongst disenfranchised younger filmgoers shot up dramatically when he gunned down Establishment icon John Wayne in The Cowboys (1971). After scoring a critical hit with his supporting part in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), Dern began attaining leading roles in such films as Silent Running (1971), The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), and Smile (1975). In 1976, he returned to the Hitchcock fold, this time with top billing, in Family Plot. Previously honored with a National Society of Film Critics award for his work in the Jack Nicholson-directed Drive, He Said (1970), Dern received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of an unhinged Vietnam veteran in Coming Home (1978), in which he co-starred with one-time Actors' Studio colleague (and former classroom tormentor) Jane Fonda. He followed this triumph with a return to Broadway in the 1979 production Strangers. In 1982, Dern won the Berlin Film Festival Best Actor prize for That Championship Season. He then devoted several years to stage and TV work, returning to features in the strenuous role of a middle-aged long distance runner in On the Edge (1986). After a humorous turn in the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy The 'Burbs, Dern dropped beneath the radar with appearances in a number of lackluster efforts in the early to mid-'90s. Rising again into the public eye with roles in widely released but sometimes critically blasted films such as Mulholland Falls and the Walter Hill Yojimbo re-make Last Man Standing (both 1996), Dern lent his voice to Small Soldiers in 1998 before appearing in The Haunting (1999) and All the Pretty Horses (2000). Formerly married to actress Diane Ladd, Bruce Dern is the father of actress Laura Dern. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


Filmography of Bruce Dern:

Bruce Dern Trivia

When was Bruce Dern born?
Bruce Dern date of birth: June 4, 1936

What role did Bruce Dern play in Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood?
Bruce Dern played Grayson Potchuck in Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood

Who did Bruce Dern play in Smile?
Bruce Dern was "Big Bob" Freelander in Smile

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Silent Running?
Bruce Dern was Lowell in Silent Running

Who did Bruce Dern portray in On the Edge?
Bruce Dern was Wes Holman in On the Edge

Who did Bruce Dern play in Harry Tracy?
Bruce Dern was Harry Tracy in Harry Tracy

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Believe in Me?
Bruce Dern was Ellis Brawley in Believe in Me

What role did Bruce Dern play in Posse?
Bruce Dern played Jack Strawhorn in Posse

Who did Bruce Dern play in The Laughing Policeman?
Bruce Dern was Leo Larsen in The Laughing Policeman

Who did Bruce Dern play in The King of Marvin Gardens?
Bruce Dern was Jason Staebler in The King of Marvin Gardens

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Family Plot?
Bruce Dern played Lumley in Family Plot

What role did Bruce Dern portray in The Driver?
Bruce Dern played The Detective in The Driver

What role did Bruce Dern play in The 'Burbs?
Bruce Dern played Mark Rumsfield in The 'Burbs

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Black Sunday?
Bruce Dern played Lander in Black Sunday

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Monster?
Bruce Dern was Thomas in Monster

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Last Man Standing?
Bruce Dern played Sheriff Ed Galt in Last Man Standing

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Down Periscope?
Bruce Dern was Adm. Yancy Graham in Down Periscope

Who did Bruce Dern portray in The Great Gatsby?
Bruce Dern was Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby

Who did Bruce Dern play in Diggstown?
Bruce Dern was John Gillon in Diggstown

Who did Bruce Dern play in The Cowboys?
Bruce Dern was Asa Watts ("Long Hair") in The Cowboys

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Coming Home?
Bruce Dern was Captain Bob Hyde in Coming Home

Who did Bruce Dern play in After Dark, My Sweet?
Bruce Dern was Uncle Bud in After Dark, My Sweet

What role did Bruce Dern portray in 1969?
Bruce Dern played Cliff in 1969

Who did Bruce Dern play in Milwaukee, Minnesota?
Bruce Dern was Sean McNally in Milwaukee, Minnesota

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Madison?
Bruce Dern played Harry Volpi in Madison

What role did Bruce Dern portray in The Glass House?
Bruce Dern played Begleiter in The Glass House

What role did Bruce Dern play in The Big Town?
Bruce Dern played Mr. Edwards in The Big Town

Who did Bruce Dern play in The Haunting?
Bruce Dern was Mr. Dudley in The Haunting

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Will Penny?
Bruce Dern was Rafe Quint in Will Penny

Who did Bruce Dern play in The Astronaut Farmer?
Bruce Dern was Hal in The Astronaut Farmer

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Down in the Valley?
Bruce Dern was Charlie in Down in the Valley

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Waterhole #3?
Bruce Dern was Deputy in Waterhole #3

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Support Your Local Sheriff?
Bruce Dern was Joe Danby in Support Your Local Sheriff

Who did Bruce Dern play in Marnie?
Bruce Dern was Sailor in Marnie

Who did Bruce Dern portray in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Bruce Dern was James in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Who did Bruce Dern play in All the Pretty Horses?
Bruce Dern was Judge in All the Pretty Horses

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Castle Keep?
Bruce Dern played Lt. Billy Byron Bix in Castle Keep

Who did Bruce Dern play in The War Wagon?
Bruce Dern was Hammond in The War Wagon

What role did Bruce Dern portray in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre?
Bruce Dern played John May in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte?
Bruce Dern was John Mayhew in Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Who did Bruce Dern portray in Small Soldiers?
Bruce Dern was Link Static in Small Soldiers

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Big Love: Season 01?
Bruce Dern played Frank Harlow in Big Love: Season 01

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Hard Ground?
Bruce Dern played Marshal Hutchinson in Hard Ground

What role did Bruce Dern play in Wild Bill?
Bruce Dern played Will Plummer in Wild Bill

What role did Bruce Dern portray in Mulholland Falls?
Bruce Dern played The Chief in Mulholland Falls

What role did Bruce Dern play in That Championship Season?
Bruce Dern played George Sitkowski in That Championship Season

Who did Bruce Dern play in Rebel Rousers?
Bruce Dern was "J.J." in Rebel Rousers

Who did Bruce Dern play in Hang 'em High?
Bruce Dern was Miller in Hang 'em High


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Portions of Content Provided by All Movie Guide ®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.© 2008 All Media Guide, LLC.