Academy Award® nominee Bruce Dern has made a name for himself playing sociopaths and criminals, leading him to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® nod for "Coming Home" in 1978. Close friend Jack Nicholson claimed Dern was the best of the new breed of actors born just before World War II who were coming into their own in the 1970s.
Dern received a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Supporting Actor when he starred as millionaire Tom Buchanan in the 1974 remake of "The Great Gastby" alongside Robert Redford. Other notable roles include the rustler leader who gunned down John Wayne in "The Cowboys" and as Nicholson's brother in "The King of Marvin Gardens." By the time Dern appeared as the cuckolded Marine in "Coming Home," he starred in 26 films in 11 years. Then, Dern appeared in several feature films including "Middle Age Crazy," for which he received a nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor at the 1981 Genie Awards, "Tattoo," and the film adaptation of Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "That Championship Season," garnering the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival for his role.
Early in his career, Dern appeared in the Philadelphia premiere of "Waiting for Godot" opposite Lyle Kessler and first appeared on screen for an uncredited role in the 1960 film "Wild River." He then appeared as a guest star in several popular 1960s television shows, including "Route 66," "Naked City," "Sea Hunt," "Surfside 6," "77 Sunset Strip," and "The Outer Limits." Dern had a recurring role as E.J. Stocker in the ABC adventure/drama series about the rodeo circuit, "Stoney Burke." Among Dern's first 20 film roles, he was a part of the Sydney Pollack picture "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" His best-known role may be that of Freeman Lowell, the caretaker of Earth's last forests in the dark sci-fi film "Silent Running."
In 1964, he appeared in a major Alfred Hitchcock film, the psychological thriller "Marnie" and had a small but crucial film role in "Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte" as the lover of the young Charlotte, played by Bette Davis. During the next five years, Dern continued appearing in several popular television series, with multiple appearances as different characters, including "Wagon Train," "The Virginian," "Rawhide," "12 O'Clock High," "The Fugitive," "The F.B.I.," "The Big Valley," "Gunsmoke," and "Bonanza," among others. During that period, he also appeared in several films, including "The Wild Angels," "The War Wagon," "The Trip," "Psych-Out," "Will Penny," and the early Clint Eastwood film "Hang 'Em High."
Dern's most recent efforts include the independent movies "The Astronaut Farmer" and "Monster," an Emmy®-nominated recurring role on the HBO series "Big Love," and the monster movie "Swamp Devil" for the Syfy Channel.
On November 1, 2010, he was presented the 2,419th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was honored with a Legend Award at the inaugural Gold Coast International Film Festival on June 1, 2011.