Happy 86th Birthday Diane Ladd

Today is the 86th Birthday of the amazing actress Diane Ladd. She has has a long career full of amazing work, but if you only see one film, see Wild at Heart.  You will want to see everything she has ever done. The world is a better place because she is in it.


NAME: Diane Ladd
OCCUPATION: Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: November 29, 1935/1942
EDUCATION: Louisiana State University
PLACE OF BIRTH: Laurel, Mississippi
ORIGINALLY: Rose Diane Ladnier
GOLDEN GLOBE 1981 for Alice (television)
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 6270 Hollywood Blvd. (2010)

BEST KNOWN FOR: Diane Lane is a Golden Globe–winning actress of films and TV and the mother of actress Laura Dern.

Diane Ladd  is an American actress, film director, producer and published author. She has appeared in over 120 roles, on television, and in miniseries and feature films, including Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), Wild at Heart (1990), Rambling Rose (1991), Ghosts of Mississippi, Primary Colors, 28 Days (2000), and American Cowslip (2008). Twice divorced and currently married, Ladd is the mother of actress Laura Dern by ex-husband actor Bruce Dern.

Ladd was born Rose Diane Ladner in Meridian, Mississippi in 1932, the only child of Mary Bernadette, a housewife and actress, and Preston Paul Ladner, a poulterer. Ladd is a second cousin of playwright Tennessee Williams and is also related to poet Sidney Lanier.  Ladd was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of her mother.

Ladd was formerly married to actor and one-time co-star Bruce Dern from 1960–1969; the couple had two children, Diane Elizabeth Dern and actress Laura Elizabeth Dern. Diane died at 18 months from head injuries caused by falling into a swimming pool.  Ladd and Laura Dern co-starred in the films Wild at Heart and Rambling Rose.  They also appeared together in Inland Empire, another film by David Lynch.  They most recently have co-starred on the HBO series Enlightened. Ladd is now married to Robert Charles Hunter.

In 1971, Ladd joined the cast of the CBS soap opera, The Secret Storm.  She was the second actress to play the role of Kitty Styles on the long-running daytime serial.  She later had a supporting role in Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Flo in the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  That film inspired the TV series Alice, in which Flo was portrayed by Polly Holliday.  When Holliday left the TV series, Ladd succeeded her as waitress Isabelle “Belle” Dupree.  In 1993, Ladd appeared in the episode “Guess Who’s Coming to Chow?” of the CBS comedy/western series Harts of the West in the role of the mother of co-star Harley Jane Kozak. The 15-episode program, set on a dude ranch in Nevada starred Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges.

In 2004, Ladd played psychic Mrs. Druse in the television miniseries of Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. In April 2006, Ladd released her first book entitled: Spiraling Through The School Of Life: A Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Discovery. In 2007, she co-starred in the Lifetime Television film Montana Sky.

In addition to her Academy Award nomination for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, she was also nominated (again in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category) for both Wild at Heart and Rambling Rose, both of which she starred alongside her daughter Laura Dern.  Dern received a nomination for Best Actress for Rambling Rose. The dual mother and daughter nominations for Ladd and Dern in Rambling Rose marked the first time in Academy Award history that such an event had occurred.  They were also nominated for dual Golden Globe Awards in the same year.

Ladd has worked in the theatre as well. She made her Broadway debut in the play Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights in 1968. In 1976 she starred in the play, A Texas Trilogy: Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination.


1960Murder, Inc.ShowgirlUncredited
1961Something WildBit PartUncredited
196240 Pounds of TroubleYoung Bride on HoneymoonUncredited
1966The Wild AngelsGaysh
1969The ReiversPhoebe
1970The Rebel RousersKarenShot in 1967
1970Macho CallahanGirl
1970WUSABarmaid at Railroad StationUncredited
1971The SteagleMrs. Forbes
1973White LightningMaggie
1974ChinatownIda Sessions
1974Alice Doesn’t Live Here AnymoreFlo
1976EmbryoMartha Douglas
1981All Night LongHelen Dupler
1983Something Wicked This Way ComesMrs. Nightshade
1987Black WidowEtta
1987Plain ClothesJane Melway
1989National Lampoon’s Christmas VacationNora Griswold
1990Wild at HeartMarietta Fortune
1991A Kiss Before DyingMrs. Corliss
1991Rambling RoseMother
1992Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss MeLucille
1992ForeverMabel Normand
1992Spies Inc.Alice
1993The Cemetery ClubLucille Rubin
1993CarnosaurDr. Jane Tiptree
1993Father HoodRita
1995MotherOlivia HendrixAlso co-producer
1995Mrs. MunckMrs. MunckAlso writer and director
1995Raging AngelsSister Kate
1996Citizen RuthRuth’s MotherUncredited
1996Ghosts of MississippiGrandma Caroline Moore
1997James Dean: Race with DestinyMama Pierangeli
1998Primary ColorsMamma Stanton
1998Route 66
1999Can’t Be HeavenNona Gina
200028 DaysBobbie Jean
2000The Law of EnclosuresBea
2001Daddy and ThemJewel
2001RainAudrey Turnquick
2002Redemption of the GhostAunt Helen
2002More than Puppy LoveAunt Edna
2002The Virgin
2003Charlie’s WarJobie
2005The World’s Fastest IndianAda
2006Come Early MorningNana
2006When I Find the OceanEdna
2006Inland EmpireMarilyn Levens
2008Jake’s CornerFran
2008American CowslipRoe
2013Grave SecretsEmily Barnes
2014Just Before I GoMammaUncredited
2015I Dream Too MuchVera
2016Sophie and the Rising SunRuth Jeffers
2016Boonville RedemptionGrandma Mary
2019The Last Full MeasureAlice Pitsenbarger


1957DecoySelma RichmondEpisode: “Two Days to Kill”
1958The Big StoryVeraEpisode: “The Small of Death”
1958The Walter Winchell FileLoisEpisode: “A Thing of Beauty: File #29”
1958–1959Naked CityKathie Mills / Yankee Cretias2 episodes
1959DeadlineJudyEpisode: “Victor Reisel”
1961The DetectivesGloria TylerEpisode: “Act of God”
1963Wide CountryAlma PrewittEpisode: “Step Over the Sky”
1963Armstrong Circle TheatreCharlotte CableEpisode: “The Counterfeit League”
196377 Sunset StripHelen SaundersEpisode: “The Left Field Caper”
1963Perry MasonMiss FrancesEpisode: “The Case of the Shifty Shoebox”
1963Mr. NovakMrs. OtisEpisode: “I Don’t Even Live Here”
1963HazelSharleneEpisode: “George’s 32nd Cousin”
1964The FugitiveStellaEpisode: “Come Watch Me Die”
1964The Great AdventureAnnie ThompsonEpisode: “Rodger Young”
1964Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreCissyEpisode: “The Game with Glass Pieces”
1964–1967GunsmokeBonnie Mae Haley / Lulu / Elena Kerlin3 episodes
1966Daniel BooneRonda CameronEpisode: “Seminole Territory”
1966ShaneAmy SloateEpisode: “The Distant Bell”
1967The Big ValleyMuriel AkelyEpisode: “Boy into Man”
1968IronsidePeggy BarnardEpisode: “Robert Phillips vs. the Man”
1969Then Came BronsonValerie FaberEpisode: “Old Tigers Never Die–They Just Run Away”
1971–1972The Secret StormKitty Styles #2Unknown episodes
1973The Devil’s DaughterAlice ShawTV movie
1975Movin’ OnAmyEpisode: “General Delivery”
1976City of AngelsLauraEpisode: “The November Plan: Part 1”
1976Addie and the King of HeartsIrene DavisTV movie
1977The November PlanLaura TaylorTV movie
1978Black BeautyAmelia GordonMiniseries
1978Thaddeus Rose and EddieCarlottaTV movie
1979WillaMaeTV movie
1980Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim JonesLynette JonesTV movie
1980–1981AliceBelle Dupree22 episodes
1980–1985The Love BoatChrista Johanson / Bernice Bronson / Ruby Gibson3 episodes
1982Desperate LivesCarol CameronTV movie
1983Grace KellyMargaret KellyTV movie
1983Faerie Tale TheatreMotherEpisode: “Little Red Riding Hood”
1984I Married a CenterfoldJeanette BryanTV movie
1985Crime of InnocenceRose HaywardTV movie
1987Celebration FamilyMrs. HeflinTV movie
1988BluegrassVerna HowlandTV movie
1989Father Dowling MysteriesArleneEpisode: “The Face in the Mirror Mystery”
1989HeartlandMarjorieEpisode: “B.L. Moves Out”
1990Rock HudsonKayTV movie
1990In the Heat of the NightMaybelle CheseboroEpisode: “Home Is Where the Heart Is”
1990The LookalikeMary Helen NeedamTV movie
1991Shadow of a DoubtEmmaTV movie
1992Middle AgesBebe CooperEpisode: “Forever Young”
1993L.A. LawCeleste BaumanEpisode: “Cold Shower”
1993Harts of the WestAlison’s MomEpisode: “Guess Who’s Coming to Chow?”
1993SistersBelle AdderlyEpisode: “The Best Intentions”
1993Dr. Quinn, Medicine WomanCharlotte Cooper2 episodes
1994Hush Little BabyEdieTV movie
1994The GiftEvieTV short
1996The Siege at Ruby RidgeIrma CoulterTV movie
1996Cold LazarusMartina MasdonMiniseries; 3 episodes
1997Breach of Faith: A Family of Cops 2Aunt Shelly FeinTV movie
1997Touched by an AngelCarolyn SellersEpisode: “An Angel by Any Other Name”
1997Get a ClueBerthe Erica CrowTV movie
1998The StaircaseSister MargaretTV movie
2000Best ActressHerselfTV movie
2000Sharing the SecretNina’s MotherTV movie
2000Strong MedicineAnnabelle Lee Stowe2 episodes
2000Christy: Return to Cutter GapAlice HendersonTV movie
2001Christy, Choices of the HeartAlice Henderson2 episodes
2002Living with the DeadRegina Van PraaghTV movie
2002Damaged CareMary “Rhodie” RhodesTV movie
2003AftermathMotherTV movie
2004Gracie’s ChoiceLouela LawsonTV movie
2004Kingdom HospitalSally Druse13 episodes
2005Cold CaseZelda Amatuzzi (2005)Episode: “Committed”
2006ERMrs. PoolerEpisode: “No Place to Hide”
2007Montana SkyBessTV movie
2008MenaceRoszko’s MotherTV movie
2011–2013EnlightenedHelen Jellicoe16 episodes
2012Deadtime StoriesBarnseyEpisode: “Grave Secrets”
2016Ray DonovanMotel LadyEpisode: “Federal Boobie Inspector”
2016–presentChesapeake ShoresNell O’Brien29 episodes

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