By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 30, 2013 at 3:58PM
Bruce Dern's tremendous career is made up of playing both modern-day heroes and legendary villains. Through decades of critically acclaimed performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation.
A celebrated stage actor, Dern was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at The Actor's Studio and made his film debut in Kazan's WILD RIVER (1960). In the 1960s, Dern also found success as a distinguished television actor. He appeared regularly in contemporary Western TV-series as well as THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR. Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern that he cast him in both MARNIE and FAMILY PLOT (Hitchcock's final film). During the 1960s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade-defining films, including THE WILD ANGELS. He received critical success for films such as THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? and DRIVE, HE SAID and went down in history for his role as Long Hair in THE COWBOYS, in which he became the first man ever to kill John Wayne.
Dern went on to star in such classic films as THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn, as well as playing Tom Buchanan in THE GREAT GATSBY. It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby's COMING HOME that earned him an Academy Award® nomination. Other credits include AFTER DARK MY SWEET, BLACK SUNDAY, DJANGO UNCHAINED, THE DRIVER, HARRY TRACY, THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN, MONSTER, ON THE EDGE, POSSE and SILENT RUNNING.