Laura Dern

Laura Dern | American Lung Association

Laura Elizabeth Dern (born February 10, 1967) is an American actress and filmmaker.  She has had a prolific career and has won multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and multiple Primetime Emmy’s.  She has over 90 acting credits to her name and Jurassic Park remains as one of her most recognized films.


Dern is considered a Hollywood Legacy actress, considering that her father is Bruce Dern and her mother is Diane Ladd.  Her parents divorced when she was two years old and she was raised primarily by her mother. This was actually how she got her start as an extra in the film White Lightning, which starred Ladd. She made her official film debut soon after and at the age of 16 she sought and was awarded emancipation, which allowed her to adopt the working hours of an adult instead of the limitations on child actors.

Soon after her career took off, with her starring in films such as Mask, Blue Velvet, Wild-At-Heart, Rambling Rose and then Jurassic Park.  Jurassic Park gave her international recognition and she was finally at a high point in her career.

In 1997, Dern guest starred on the sitcom Ellen, playing a fellow lesbian character that helps the titular character come out of the closet. Laura faced harsh criticism for her decision to play such a character and was not offered roles or parts for more than a year, as per description of the event after going on Ellen’s daytime show.

Dern’s entire family was presented with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first family in history to ever receive that kind of recognition. Her career has continued to flourish, with her making many notable appearances and taking on lead roles of all kinds between movies, television, and mini-series.

Jurassic Park Franchise

Laura Dern was cast as Dr. Ellie Sattler by Spielberg for the film. She won the role over many other talented and capable actresses, but she simply had something more than they did. Her performance was well received and even though she didn’t garner any big award buzz for her role, she was nominated for a Saturn award for best film lead actress in 1994. Despite the lack of award attention, Jurassic Park was a huge boon to a career that was mostly focused on indie projects and soon afterwards, Dern began earning more high-profile roles.

Dern reprised her role for Jurassic Park 3, but her role was little more than a cameo with some throw back to her character’s relationship with Dr. Alan Grant. Fans of the franchise were glad to have her back and see what happened to Sattler.

In December 2019, it was announced that Jurassic World Evolution was releasing a new expansion entitled “Return to Jurassic Park,” in which players have the opportunity to return to the 1993 Isla Nublar and fix the park so that it would become successful. Fans of the game and franchise got a treat as Laura Dern and Sam Neill reprised their respective roles of Dr. Sattler and Dr. Grant for the expansion, being two of the advisors for the development and unlocking of new items through reputation.

It has been confirmed that Laura Dern will join Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum in a mini Jurassic Park reunion for the next film in the franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion. Plot details are scarce and it is unknown at this time the impact they have on the story. Despite that, all three actors are very excited to be back in this universe and the fans are happy to have them back.

Selected Filmography:

Mask – 1985

Blue Velvet – 1986

Wild at Heart – 1990

Rambling Rose – 1991

Jurassic Park – 1993

Citizen Ruth – 1996

October Sky – 1999

Happy Endings – 2005

The Fault in Our Stars – 2014

Wild – 2014

Marriage Story – 2019

Little Women – 2019