Bruce Dern

In 2010 at the age of 73 Bruce Dern was presented with the well deserved 2,419th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, after a long career playing what he described as "psychotics, freaks and dopers".

His ex-wife Diane Ladd and their daughter Laura Dern also received stars the same day.

While their stars were in the ascendance, he endured a quiet spell after his Oscar nomination for a supporting role in 1976Coming Home, a Vietnam drama.

It was not until 2013's Nebraska that Bruce, never the conventional leading man, got the role of a lifetime and a second tilt at the Academy Awards - this time for best actor. This trajectory was predicted by none other than Marilyn Monroe back in 1958 at the New York Actors Studio:

She told him that their mentor Elia Kazan had said he "had something that they hadn't seen before, but no one will realize it in the business until you are in your sixties".

Bruce was enraged that his teacher had messed up his chance to impress the pin up. It turns out he was right.

Bruce Dern was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1936 to a powerful patrician family, where he grew up with mother Jean MacLeish and father John Dern, a utility chief and attorney.

He first appeared on screen for an uncredited role for the 1960's film Wild River. Since then the actor has appeared in more than 80 feature films and become close friends with Jack Nicholson.

His ice blue eyes, wolfish grin and polite manner can be made to disguise malevolence, hence countless roles as unstable villains.

In 1977 thriller Black Sunday he tried to blow up the Super Bowl and in 1972 The Cowboys he shot John Wayne in the back. One of the few people to manage that feat on screen, for a while he received hate mail.

His role as Woody Grant in the black-and-white road-trip drama Nebraska is much less threatening. He portrays a father who is convinced he has won a million dollars and sets out to collect the prize much to his family's fury and exasperation.

Only his younger son believes him and they set out across country together.
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