Dern, Bruce 1936–

views updated May 18 2018

Dern, Bruce 1936–


Full name, Bruce MacLeish Dern; born June 4, 1936, in Chicago (some sources say Winnetka), IL; son of John and Jean (MacLeish) Dern; grandson of George Dern (a former governor of Utah and Federal Secretary of War); nephew of Archibald Macleish (a poet); married Marie Dean (divorced); married Diane Ladd (an actress), 1960 (divorced, 1969); married Andrea Beckett, October 20, 1969; children: (second marriage) Laura Elizabeth (an actress), Diane E. (deceased). Education: Attended the University of Pennsylvania, 1954–57; studied for the theatre with Gordon Phillips and at the American Foundation of Dramatic Art; studied acting at the Actors Studio.

Addresses: Agent—Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Actor. Actors Studio, member, 1959–.

Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, Santa Monica Track Club.

Awards, Honors: National Society of Film Critics Award, best supporting actor, 1972, for Drive, He Said; Pacific Archives Award, Berkeley, CA, actor of the year, 1972; Bronze Wrangler (with others), theatrical motion picture, Western Heritage Awards, 1972, for The Cowboys; Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actor, 1974, for The Great Gatsby; Academy Award nomination, best supporting actor, Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actor, 1979, both for Coming Home; Genie Award nomination, best performance by a foreign actor, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1980, for Middle Age Crazy; Silver Bear Award, best actor, Berlin International Film Festival, 1983, for That Championship Season; Genie Award nomination, best performance by a foreign actor, 1983, for Middle Age Crazy; Golden Boot Award, Motion Picture and Television Fund, 2002.


Film Appearances:

Jack Roper, Wild River, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1960.

Joe Krajac, The Crimebusters, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1961.

Bedtime Story, Universal, 1963.

John Mayhew, Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (also known as Cross of Iron and What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1964.

Sailor, Marnie, Universal, 1964.

Joey Kerns and a loser, The Wild Angels, American International Pictures, 1966.

John, The Trip, American International Pictures, 1967.

Hammond, The War Wagon, Universal, 1967.

Deputy Samuel P. Tippen, Waterhole No. 3 (also known as Waterhole #3 and Waterhole 3), Paramount, 1967.

John May, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1967.

Steve Davis, Psych-Out (also known as Love Children), American International Pictures, 1968.

Miller, Cooper Hanging Party, Hang 'em High, United Artists, 1968.

Rafe Quint, Will Penny, Paramount, 1968.

Richie Fowler, Number One, United Artists, 1969.

Joe Danby, Support Your Local Sheriff, United Artists, 1969.

Billy Bix, Castle Keep, Columbia, 1969.

Keeg, The Cycle Savages, American International Pictures, 1969.

(Uncredited) Himself (actor), The Moviemakers (documentary short), Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1969.

Kevin Dirkman, Bloody Mama, American International Pictures, 1970.

James, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Cinerama, 1970.

J. J. Weston, Rebel Rousers (also known as Limbo), Four Star, 1970.

Coach Bullian, Drive, He Said, Columbia, 1971.

Dr. Roger Girard, The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (also known as The Incredible Transplant), American International Pictures, 1971.

Asa "Long Hair" Watts, "Long Hair," The Cowboys, Warner Bros., 1972.

Lowell Freeman, Silent Running (also known as Running Silent), Universal, 1972.

Himself, The Making of Silent Running (documentary), Universal, 1972.

Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, Columbia, 1972.

Smitty, Thumb Tripping, Avco-Embassy, 1972.

Leo Larsen, The Laughing Policeman (also known as An Investigation of Murder), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1973.

Tom Buchanan, The Great Gatsby, Paramount, 1974.

"Big Bob" Freelander, Smile, United Artists, 1975.

Jack Strawhorn, Posse, Paramount, 1975.

George Lumley, Family Plot, Universal, 1976.

Grayson Potchuck, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (also known as Won Ton Ton), Paramount, 1976.

William Brandels, Folies bourgeoises (also known as The Twist, Pazzi borghesi, Die verruckten reichen), UGC/Parafrance, 1976.

Michael Lander, Black Sunday, Paramount, 1977.

Captain Bob Hyde, Coming Home (also known as Hemkomsten), United Artists, 1978.

Detective, The Driver, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1978.

Bobby Lee, Middle Age Crazy (also known as Heartfarm), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980.

Karl Kinsky, Tattoo, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1981.

George Sitkowski, That Championship Season, Cannon, 1982.

Harry Tracy, Harry Tracy—Desperado (also known as Harry Tracy and Harry Tracy: Dead or Alive), Quartet, 1982.

Wes Holman, On the Edge, New Front Films, 1986.

Mr. Edwards, The Big Town (also known as The Arm), Columbia, 1987.

Retour, 1987.

Ethan, World Gone Wild, Lorimar, 1988.

Cliff, 1969, Atlantic, 1988.

Mark Rumsfield, The 'Burbs, Universal, 1989.

Garrett "Uncle Bud" Stoker, After Dark, My Sweet, Avenue Entertainment, 1990.

John Gillon, Diggstown (also known as Midnight Sting), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1992.

Will Plummer, Wild Bill (also known as Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickok), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1995.

Patrick Leary, Mrs. Munck, 1995.

Rear Admiral Yancy Graham, Down Periscope, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1996.

Sheriff Ed Galt, Last Man Standing (also known as The Bodyguard, Gundown, and Welcome to Jericho, Gangster!), New Line Cinema, 1996.

(Uncredited) The chief, Mulholland Falls, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1996.

Voice of Link Static, Small Soldiers, DreamWorks, 1998.

Mr. Dudley, The Haunting (also known as La Maldicion), DreamWorks, 1999.

Harry Volpi, Madison, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2000.

Judge, All the Pretty Horses, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2000.

Begleiter, The Glass House, Columbia, 2001.

Himself, Plotting "Family Plot" (documentary), Universal Studios Home Video, 2001.

Editor, Masked and Anonymous, Sony Pictures Classics, 2003.

Sean McNally, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Tartan USA, 2003.

Thomas, Monster, Newmarket Films, 2003.

Himself, Tune In Trip Out (documentary short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists Home Entertainment, 2003.

Himself, A Decade Under the Influence (documentary), IFC Films, 2003.

Himself, Love & Haight (documentary short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment, 2003.

Gene, The Hard Easy, Lightening Entertainment, 2005.

Walker, 2005.

Charlie, Down in the Valley, ThinkFilm, 2005.

Ellis Brawley, Believe In Me, 2005.

The Astronaut Farmer, Warner Bros., 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

E. J. Stocker, Stoney Burke, ABC, 1962–63.

Host, Lost Drive-In, Speedvision, 1996.

Franklin, Big Love, HBO, 2006.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Stanley Mott, Space (also known as James Michener's "Space"), CBS, 1985.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Deputy Doyle Pickett, Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster? (also known as Sam Hill: Who Killed Mr. Foster?), ABC, 1971.

Rob Charles, Toughlove (also known as Tough Love), ABC, 1985.

Augustine St. Clare, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Showtime, 1987.

Douglas Osborne, Roses Are for the Rich, CBS, 1987.

John Hollander, Trenchcoat in Paradise, CBS, 1989.

Scout Ed Higgins, The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson, TNT, 1990.

T. L. Barston, Into the Badlands, USA Network, 1991.

Junior Stoker, Carolina Skeletons, NBC, 1991.

Billy Archer, It's Nothing Personal, NBC, 1993.

Payton McCay, Dead Man's Revenge (also known as You Only Die Once), USA Network, 1994.

George Putnam, Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight, TNT, 1994.

John Walker, A Mother's Prayer, USA Network, 1995.

Patrick Leary, Mrs. Munck, Showtime, 1996.

Captain Swaggert, Perfect Prey (also known as When the Bough Breaks II), Showtime, 1998.

McGurdy, If … Dog … Rabbit … (also known as One Last Score), Cinemax, 1999.

Ray Earl Winston, Hard Time: The Premonition (also known as The Premonition), TNT, 1999.

Nate Hutchinson, Hard Ground, Hallmark Channel, 2003.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Himself, Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (documentary), TNT, 1997.

Voice of Mojave Max, Mojave Adventure (animated), TBS and syndicated, 1997.

(Uncredited) Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory, 1998.

Mia Farrow: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Intimate Portrait: Laura Dern, 1999.

Jane Fonda: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

Rona Barrett: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

It Conquered Hollywood! The Story of American International Pictures (documentary), AMC, 2001.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Comfort, Texas (also known as The Untitled Brian Benben Project), 1997.

Frank Henderson, Big Love, HBO, 2006.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"The Man on the Monkey Board," Route 66, CBS, 1960.

"Crime at Sea," Sea Hunt, syndicated, 1961.

"Bullets Cost Too Much," Naked City, ABC, 1961.

"The Fault in Our Stars," Naked City, ABC, 1961.

Johnny Page, "Daphne, Girl Detective," Surfside 6, ABC, 1961.

Billy Harris, "A Dark Night for Bill Harris," Ben Casey, ABC, 1961.

Johnny Norton, "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk," Thriller (also known as Boris Karloff's "Thriller"), NBC, 1961.

"Crime and Punishment: Part 1," Cain's Hundred, 1961.

Jud Treadwell, "Act of God," The Detectives (also known as Robert Taylor's "Detectives," The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor, and The Detectives, Starring Robert Taylor), ABC, 1961.

"Poor Eddie's Dad," The Law and Mr. Jones, ABC, 1962.

"Old Man and the City," The Dick Powell Show (also known as The Dick Powell Theatre), NBC, 1962.

Martin, "The Other Side of the Mountain," The Fugitive, ABC, 1963.

Seth Bancroft, "The Eli Bancroft Story," Wagon Train, ABC, 1963.

Maynard, "The Hunt," Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC, 1963.

Ben Garth, "The Zanti Misfits," The Outer Limits, ABC, 1963.

Deering, "Squadron," The Dick Powell Show (also known as The Dick Powell Theatre), NBC, 1963.

Ralph Wheeler, "Lover's Lane," 77 Sunset Strip, ABC, 1964.

Charley, "Come Watch Me Die," The Fugitive, ABC, 1964.

"Beyond the Sea of Death," Alfred Hitchcock Hour, CBS, 1964.

Pell, "First to Thine Own Self," The Virginian (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), NBC, 1964.

Vernon, "The Last of the Strongmen," The Greatest Show on Earth, ABC, 1964.

Jud Fisher, "Those Who Stay Behind," Wagon Train, ABC, 1964.

Jesse, "Lonely Place," Alfred Hitchcock Hour, NBC, 1964.

Lee Darrow, "The Payment," The Virginian (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), NBC, 1964.

Lieutenant Michaels, "The Mission," Twelve O'Clock High, ABC, 1964.

Lieutenant Danton, "The Lorelei," Twelve O'Clock High, ABC, 1965.

Cody, "Corner of Hell," The Fugitive, ABC, 1965.

Lieutenant Michaels, "The Mission," Twelve O'Clock High, ABC, 1965.

Wilkins, "The Indian Girl Story," Wagon Train, ABC, 1965.

Ed Rankin, "Walk into Terror," Rawhide, CBS, 1965.

Durkee, "Rendezvous at Amarillo," Laredo, CBS, 1965.

Doyle Phleger, "Ten Little Indians," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshall Dillon), CBS, 1965.

Bobby Ballantin, "The Verdict," A Man Called Shenandoah, ABC, 1965.

Judd Print, "South Wind," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshall Dillon), CBS, 1965.

Sergeant Jones, "The Jones Boys," Twelve O'Clock High, ABC, 1965.

Hank, "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys," The Fugitive, ABC, 1965.

Private First Class Byron Landy, "Pound of Flesh," The F.B.I., ABC, 1965.

Gallagher, 1965.

Bert Kramer, "A Little Learning," The Virginian (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), NBC, 1965.

Les, "The Wolfers," Branded, NBC, 1966.

Jack, "Under a Dark Star," The Big Valley, ABC, 1966.

Merrick, "To Hang a Dead Man," The Loner, CBS, 1966.

Dixon, "By Force of Violence," The Big Valley, ABC, 1966.

Collis, "The Lost Treasure," The Big Valley, ABC, 1966.

Lou Stone, "The Jailer," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshall Dillon), CBS, 1966.

Turk, "Gallagher Goes West," The World of Disney (also known as Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color," Walt Disney, The Wonderful World of Disney, The Magical World of Disney, The Disney Sunday Movie, and Disney's "Wonderful World"), NBC, 1966.

Alex Ryder, "The Treasure Seekers," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1966.

Hutch, "The Devil's Disciples," The Fugitive, ABC, 1966.

Turk, gunslinger, "The Crusading Reporter," Gallagher Goes West, 1966.

Alex Ryder, "Trip to the Far Side," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1967.

Alex Ryder, "At the End of the Rainbow There's Another Rainbow," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1967.

Gabe Skeels, "Four Days to Furnace Hill," The Big Valley, ABC, 1967.

Cully Maco, "The Trackers," Bonanza (also known as Ponderosa), NBC, 1968.

Thorg, "Wild Journey," Land of the Giants, ABC, 1968.

Lucas, "Julie," Lancer, CBS, 1968.

Virgil Roy Phipps, "The Nightmare," The F.B.I., ABC, 1968.

John Weaver, "The Prize," The Big Valley, ABC, 1968.

Guerin, "The Long Night," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshall Dillon), CBS, 1969.

Bucky O'Neill, "Amid Splinters of the Thunderbolt," Then Came Bronson, NBC, 1969.

Tom Nevill, "A Person Unknown," Lancer, CBS, 1969.

Thorg, "Wild Journey," Land of the Giants, ABC, 1970.

"The Gold Mine," Bonanza (also known as Ponderosa), NBC, 1970.

Wade, "Only the Bad Come to Sonora," High Chaparral, NBC, 1970.

Luther Seacombe, "To the Gods Alone," The Immortal, ABC, 1970.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1972, 1973.

Guest host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 1982, 1983.

Voice of Randy Strickland, "Boxing Luanne," King of the Hill (animated), Fox, 2003.

Also appeared in Fallen Angels, Showtime; as himself, "The Films of Roger Corman," The Directors, Encore.

Stage Appearances:

Maguire, The Shadow of a Gunman, New York City, 1958–59.

Stuff, Sweet Bird of Youth, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1959–60.

Sinclair "Hal" Lewis, Strangers, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1979.

Chicken, Lillian Theater, Hollywood, CA, 2005.

Also appeared in Orpheus Descending.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th ed., St. James Press, 2000.


Films in Review, October, 1980.

People Weekly, March, 1994, p. 210.

Take One (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), July, 1973.

Dern, Bruce

views updated May 29 2018

DERN, Bruce

Nationality: American. Born: Bruce MacLeish Dern in Winnetka, Illinois, 4 June 1936. Education: Attended Choate Preparatory School, Connecticut, and New Trier Township High School, Winnetka; University of Pennsylvania; studied acting at the American Foundation of Dramatic Art, Philadelphia, and Actors Studio, New York. Family: Married 1) actress Diane Ladd (divorced), daughter: actress Laura Elizabeth; 2) Andrea Beckett, 1969. Career: 1958—bit part in stage play Shadow of a Gunman; 1959—in Kazan's production of Sweet Bird of Youth; 1960—film debut in Kazan's Wild River; 1962–63—regular on TV series Stoney Burke. Awards: Best Supporting Actor Award, U.S. National Society of Film Critics, for Drive, He Said, 1971; Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actor, Berlin International Film Festival, 1983. Address: c/o K. J. Sparkman, P.O. Box 327, Troy, MT 59935, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:


Wild River (Kazan) (as Jack Roper)


The Crimebusters (Sagal—for TV)


Bedtime Story (Levy)


Marnie (Hitchcock) (as sailor); Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Aldrich) (as John Mayhew)


The Wild Angels (Corman) (as Loser/Joey Kerns)


The War Wagon (Kennedy) (as Hammond); The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Corman) (as John May); Waterhole Number Three (Graham) (as deputy); Will Penny (Gries) (as Rafe Quint); The Trip (Corman) (as John); Hang 'em High (Post) (as Miller)


Support Your Local Sheriff (Kennedy) (as Joe Danby); Psych-Out (Rush) (as Steve Davis)


Rebel Rousers (Cohen) (as "J. J."); Castle Keep (Pollack) (as Lt. Billy Byron Bix); Number One (Gries) (as Richie Fowler); They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (Pollack) (as James)


Bloody Mama (Corman) (as Kevin Kirkman); Drive, He Said (Nicholson) (as Coach Bullion); The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (Lanza) (as Roger); Cycle Savages (Brame) (as Keeg)


The Cowboys (Rydell) (as Long Hair); Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster? (Cook—for TV); Silent Running (Trumbull) (as Freeman Lowell)


Thumb Tripping (Masters) (as Smitty); The King of Marvin Gardens (Rafelson) (as Jason Staebler)


The Laughing Policeman (An Investigation of Murder) (Rosenberg) (as Leo Larsen); The Great Gatsby (Clayton) (as Tom Buchanan); Smile (Ritchie) (as "Big Bob" Freelander)


Posse (Kirk Douglas) (as Jack Strawhorn)


Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (Winner) (as Grayson Potchuck); Family Plot (Hitchcock) (as Lumley); Folies Bourgeoises (The Twist) (Chabrol) (as writer)


Black Sunday (Frankenheimer) (as Lander)


Coming Home (Ashby) (as Capt. Bob Hyde); The Driver (Walter Hill) (as detective)


Middle Age Crazy (Trent) (as Bobby Lee)


Tattoo (Bob Brooks) (as Karl)


That Championship Season (Jason Miller) (as George Sitkowski); Harry Tracy (Graham) (title role)


Toughlove (Glenn Jordan—for TV) (as Rob Charters); On the Edge (Nilsson) (as Wes Holman)


Big Town (Bolt) (as Mr. Edwards); Roses Are for the Rich (Michael Miller—for TV); Uncle Tom's Cabin (Lathan)


1969 (Thompson) (as Cliff); World Gone Wild (Katzin) (as Ethan); The 'Burbs (Dante) (as Mark Rumsfield)


Trenchcoat in Paradise (Coolidge—for TV) (as John Hollander)


After Dark, My Sweet (Foley) (as Uncle Bud); The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (Peerce—for TV) (as Scout Ed Higgins)


Into the Badlands (for TV) (as T. L. Barston); Carolina Skeletons (for TV) (as Junior Stoker)


Diggstown (Midnight Sting) (Ritchie) (as John Gillon)


It's Nothing Personal (Bradford May—for TV) (as Billy Archer)


Dead Man's Revenge (for TV) (as Payton McCay); Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight (Simoneau—for TV) (as George Putnam)


A Mother's Prayer (for TV) (as John Walker)


Down Periscope (David S. Ward) (as Admiral Yancy Graham); Mulholland Falls (Tamahori) (as The Chief); Last Man Standing (Hill) (as Sheriff Ed Galt)


Comfort, Texas (Ritchie—for TV); Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (Morris for TV) (interviewee)


Perfect Prey (McCain—for TV) (as Capt. Swaggert); Small Soldiers (Dante) (voice of Link Static)


If . . . Dog . . . Rabbit (Matthew Modine) (as McGurdy); Hard Time: The Premonition (Cass, Sr.—for TV) (as Ray Earl Winston); The Haunting (de Bont) (as Mr. Dudley)


All the Pretty Horses (Thornton) (as Judge); The Glass House (Sackheim); Madison (Bindley) (as Harry Volpi)


By DERN: article—

"Bruce Dern," interview by J. Delson, in Take One (Montreal), July 1973.

"Bruce Dern: On-set Interview," interview with N.M. Stoop, in Films in Review, October 1980.

"Dern's Lost Drive-in," interview with Terry L. Dufoe, in Outré, vol. 9, 1997.

On DERN: articles—

Actors on Acting, edited by Joanmarie Kalter, 1979.

"Bruce Dern: On-Set Interview," by N. M. Stoop in Films in Review (New York), October 1980.

Crane, W., "Creative Conflict: Bruce Dern and the Making of Coming Home," in Post Script (Jacksonville, Florida), Winter 1982.

Singer, M., "That Dern Cat," in Movieline, July 1992.

Diamond, Jamie, "Bruce Dern's Career of Con Men and Killers," in New York Times, 23 August 1992.

* * *

Bruce Dern seems to have been around forever, but it is impossible to come up with a single film by which to center a portrait of a distinguished career. There were plenty of good roles in the career of this Roger Corman-school-trained actor, with the best still being the lead in Alfred Hitchcock's final tongue-in-cheek thriller, Family Plot. But with a brief moment in the Oscar sun (for a nomination for Coming Home), Dern's time as a leading actor passed, although he continued to be steadily employed as a character actor.

Still Dern's career is dotted with memorable moments. He made his debut in Elia Kazan's Wild River, singled out for his portrait of a country hoodlum. His roles for Roger Corman in The Wild Angels, and for Alfred Hitchcock in Marnie will long be remembered by those lucky enough to have seen those films during their original theatrical screenings. But sadly these two films seemed to set a trend; Dern has never been able to harness himself out of the image of an unbalanced, frighteningly disturbed man. This is due in part to his high, midwestern twang (he hails from an upper-class suburb of Chicago), narrow, almost gaunt face, and wild, unruly curly hair.

But at one point in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s Dern seemed to become a public favorite as "Mr. Demented." He played a deranged dancer in Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, and a wild-eyed basketball coach in Drive, He Said, directed by Jack Nicholson. This led to his finest roles in Bob Rafelson's The King of Marvin Gardens, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, and Michael Ritchie's Smile. In the latter, Dern proved his ability at comedy in the underrated send-up of American-style beauty pageants.

Through the 1980s Dern worked regularly, but in small parts, too often for secondary studios. In 1988, for instance, he appeared as a father in 1969, a low-budget affair for Atlantic Films in which college classmates go through the times Dern was so much a part of—the late 1960s: dodging the draft, dropping out of school and society alike, splitting apart families. That year he took the lead in World Gone Wild, a low-budget film about a hippie survivor of the apocalypse who brings peace and love to those in a desert community that was blessed with the only water supply left in the world. Dern played the establishment figure who turns violent to repel the evildoers, led by a character played by teen idol Adam Ant. By the end of the twentieth century, roles were fewer and fewer and so sadly, younger fans only knew Bruce Dern as the father of actress Laura Dern.

—Douglas Gomery