Laura Dern

06/07/2018 – Laura Dern – American Film Institute’s 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute To George Clooney – Arrivals – The Dolby Theatre – Hollywood, CA, USA – Keywords: Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 – False – Photo Credit: David Gabber /

Birth Name: Laura Elizabeth Dern

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: February 10, 1967

Ethnicity: German, Norwegian, English, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, distant Dutch, Swiss-German, French, and Welsh

Laura Dern is an American actress, director, and producer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story (2019). Her roles also include the films Mask (1985), Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Rambling Rose, Jurassic Park, and several of its sequels; A Perfect World, Citizen Ruth, October Sky, Dr. T & the Women, Focus (2001), We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Inland Empire, Recount, The Fault in Our Stars, Wild, 99 Homes, Wilson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Tale, and Little Women (2019), and the series Enlightened, Big Little Lies, and Twin Peaks: The Return.

Her parents are actors Bruce Dern (Bruce MacLeish Dern) and Diane Ladd (born Rose Diane Ladner). Laura has two children with her former husband, musician Ben Harper.

Laura’s ancestry includes deep Colonial American roots, tracing to Massachusetts in the 1600s.

Laura’s paternal grandfather was John Dern (the son of George Henry Dern and Charlotte “Lottie” Brown). John was born in Utah. George was born in Nebraska, and was a Democratic politician, who was the 6th Governor of Utah, from January 5, 1925 to January 2, 1933, and the 52nd U.S. Secretary of War, from March 4, 1933 to August 27, 1936. George was the son of Johannes/John Dern and Elisabeth/Elizabeth Margarita Dern, German emigrants, who were both born with the same surname. Johannes was from Hausen, Pohlheim, Gießen, Hessen. Laura’s great-grandmother Charlotte was the daughter of William Steele Brown and Ida Belle Martin.

Laura’s paternal grandmother was Jean MacLeish (the daughter of Bruce MacLeish and Elizabeth Jane Moore). Jean was born in Illinois. Laura’s great-grandfather Bruce was chairman of the Carson, Pirie, and Scott stores. He was the son of Andrew MacLeish, a Scottish emigrant, from Glasgow, Lanarkshire, who was a prominent businessperson, and who had founded Carson, Pirie, and Scott’s retail department store; and of Martha Hillard, who was born in Hadlyme, East Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut. Laura’s great-grandfather Bruce MacLeish’s brother, Laura’s great-great-uncle Archibald MacLeish, was a noted poet, who was Librarian of Congress, from 1939 to 1944, and the 1st Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, from 1944 to 1945; and of WWI Naval aviator, Kenneth MacLeish. Laura’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of Jesse G. Moore and Elizabeth.

Laura’s maternal grandfather was Preston Paul Ladner (the son of Jeremiah Joseph “J. J.” Ladner and Hattie Emma Tyner). Preston was born in Mississippi. Jeremiah was the son of Paris/Parish A. Ladner and Laura Prudence “Prudie” Smith. Hattie was the daughter of James Everett Tyner and Mary Jane Bullock.

Laura’s maternal grandmother was Mary Bernadette Anderson (the daughter of James A. Anderson and Rosa J. Schmitt). Mary Bernadette was born in Alabama. James was a Norwegian immigrant, and was the son of Andrew Anderson. Rosa was born in Alabama, to German parents, August Schmitt, who was born in Gabsheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Magdalena/Madeline/Magdenlena Honard, who was born in Munich, Bavaria.

Sources: Genealogies of Laura Dern –

Genealogy of Laura’s paternal great-grandfather, George Henry Dern –

Laura’s paternal grandmother, Jean MacLeish, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Jean MacLeish on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Laura’s paternal great-grandfather, Bruce MacLeish (through Bruce’s brother) –

Laura’s maternal grandfather, Preston Paul Ladner, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Laura’s maternal great-grandparents, Jeremiah Joseph “J. J.” Ladner and Hattie Emma Tyner, on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Jeremiah Joseph “J. J.” Ladner and Hattie Emma Tyner on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Laura’s maternal great-grandparents, James A. Anderson and Rosa J. Schmitt, on the 1900 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Laura Dern and William Macy are fifth cousins, once removed

    Laura’s maternal 5th great-grandparents, Jean Baptiste Ladner and Francois Carco, were also William Macy maternal 4th great-grandparents.

    Being also Brett Favre’s maternal 5th great-grandparents, this makes Laura and Brett sixth cousins

    Swiss -> Swiss-German

  2. andrew says:

    “München, Bayern” is “Munich, Bavaria” in English

  3. Whitson says:

    Her dad Bruce Dern is German-Scottish (Dern is a German surname).

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