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THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE OHIO

LAURA DERN (Dortha) most recently starred in the independent features "Happy Endings,” and "We Don't Live Here Anymore,” which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She next has starring roles in three very different independent films: "Inland Empire,” marking her third collaboration with director David Lynch; the true-life crime drama "Lonely Hearts”; and the horror film "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon,” directed by George A. Romero, based on the book by Stephen King.

In 1992, Dern was honored with Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominations for her performance in the title role of Martha Coolidge's "Rambling Rose.” Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, was also Oscar®-nominated for her work in the film, making it the first time that a mother and daughter have received Oscar® nominations in the same film. Dern had previously won the 1985 Los Angeles Film Critics' New Generation Award for her work in Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask” and "Smooth Talk,” for which she also earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

Dern received another Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet,” and reunited with Lynch in "Wild at Heart,” winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. In 1993, she starred in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster "Jurassic Park,” which remains one of the top-grossing films of all time. She more recently reprised her role in the sequel "Jurassic Park III,” and includes among her other film credits "I Am Sam,” with Sean Penn; "October Sky”; Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World,” with Kevin Costner; and "Fat Man and Little Boy,” with Paul Newman.

In addition, Dern has starred in a wide range of independent features, including "Novocaine,” with Steve Martin; "Focus,” which screened at the Toronto Film Festival; Robert Altman's "Dr. T and the Women”; and Alexander Payne's "Citizen Ruth,” for which she was named Best Actress at the Montreal Film Festival. In 1999, the Sundance Institute presented Dern with the Piper Heidsick Award for Independent Vision.

Dern previously worked with director Jane Anderson in Showtime's "The Baby Dance,” for which Dern received a Golden Globe nomination. She had earlier won a Golden Globe and earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in the HBO movie "Afterburn.” Dern has also been Emmy-nominated for her appearance on the Showtime series "Fallen Angels,” and for her unforgettable guest role on "The Puppy Episode” of "Ellen.” Her additional television credits include the longform projects "Damaged Care,” which she also co-produced; "Within These Walls”; "Daddy and Them,” written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton; "The Siege at Ruby Ridge”; and "Down Came a Blackbird,” which she also executive produced.

Dern made her directorial debut with a short film called "The Gift,” which aired as part of Showtime's "Directed By” series in October 1994. 

Out of appreciation for the contributions of the entire Dern family to the film and television industry, The Hollywood Entertainment Museum honored them with the Hollywood Legacy Award.

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