The daughter of actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, the 53-year-old has gone through divorce herself, and she doesn't see it in negative terms.
After a divorce, most people are bitter about the entire experience. Splitting up might mean coming face to face with a lot of lingering resentment from the relationship. Very few people are blessed with polite and amicable divorces. But, at the end of the tunnel, there might be light and while it might need time to get there, there is hope. And, actress Laura Dern seems to have turned her life after going through a divorce from her husband of five years.
Jurassic Park actress Laura Dern, 52, was born to Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, both veteran actors, in February 1967. The couple divorced just two years after the Big Little Lies actress was born. She was raised by her mother and grandmother but her father visited them regularly. She grew up in Hollywood and started working as a teenager.
"In my mom’s house it was always a gaggle of amazing women," she told Another magazine. And, that defined her life on many levels.
One of her first roles as Connie in Smooth Talk in 1986 got her a ton of critical acclaim. ''At Connie's age I was hanging out with adults - my mother and father and people like Shelley Winters, who's my godmother,'' Dern told NYTimes. ''I always wondered what it would be like to have a normal childhood. But what I didn't find out until recently was that a normal childhood is divorce in the 80's.''
Like her character, she was a daydreamer, but the conflict the mother and daughter had were quite atypical. "All kids are selfish. I wanted to do homework and do my thing and call my agent. My mother's needs weren't in my mind at that moment," she said. She added that she had a lot of quirkiness and insecurity around men as a child... "because I didn't have a man around the house all the time.''
Between 1986 and 2020, her career has been a storied one but not a lot is known about her personal life. The Enlightened actress is a mother-of-two and was once married to three-time Grammy winner Ben Harper. After five years of marriage, the couple filed for divorce in 2010 citing irreconcilable differences.
The couple briefly reconciled in 2012 but Laura decided to go forward with the divorce eventually and it was finalized in 2013, according to CountryLiving. They have two children, a son, Ellery, born August 21, 2001, and a daughter, Jaya, born on November 28, 2004, together.
While she rarely talks about her divorce, Dern recently spoke about the subject at the 2020 Golden Globes. "As [director Noah Baumbach] first said about the story [Marriage Story] when we first talked about it, he said, 'I want to tell a love story where endings are not failures.' And that really moved me and struck me deeply," she said, referring to her separation and that of her parents.
"So to my amazing divorced parents, and my amazing step-parents, and my amazing children—who came from love despite an ending in a marriage—we’re so privileged to redefine what family looks like," she added.
She won the Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2020 and for the event, she was accompanied by her mother. Even though her parents had separated they have remained close to her throughout her adulthood. Her Oscars acceptance speech was an homage to her parents.
"Some say never meet your heroes but I say that if you're really blessed you get them as your parents. I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you," she said in her speech.
The love she holds in her heart for her parents is proof that being strong parents doesn't always have to mean being the strongest couple. Parents who can make co-parenting for each other easy can also raise successful and independent children. Families can build each other up and give support no matter what.