Diane Ladd
Diane Ladd, 1975.jpg
Diane Ladd in 1975
Rose Diane Ladner

(1935-11-29) November 29, 1935 (age 87)
  • Actress
  • director
  • producer
  • author
Years active1957–present
Known forAlice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Wild at Heart
Rambling Rose
  • (m. 1960; div. 1969)
  • William A. Shea, Jr.
    (m. 1969; div. 1976)
  • Robert Charles Hunter
    (m. 1999)
Children2, including Laura Dern
WebsiteOfficial website

Diane Ladd (born November 29, 1935)[1] is an American actress. She has appeared in over 120 film and television roles. For the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television for Alice (1980–81), and to receive Academy Award nominations for Wild at Heart (1990) and Rambling Rose (1991). Her other film appearances include Chinatown (1974), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), Primary Colors (1998), 28 Days (2000), American Cowslip (2008) and Joy (2015). Ladd is the mother of actress Laura Dern, with her ex-husband, actor Bruce Dern.

Personal life

Ladd was born Rose Diane Ladner, the only child of Mary Bernadette Ladner, née Anderson, a housewife and actress, and Preston Paul Ladner, a veterinarian who sold products for poultry and livestock.[2][3][4][5] She was born in Laurel, Mississippi, while the family were visiting relatives for Thanksgiving, though they lived in Meridian, Mississippi.[2] Ladd is related to playwright Tennessee Williams[6] and poet Sidney Lanier.[7] Ladd was raised in her mother's Catholic faith.[8][9]

Ladd was married to actor and one-time co-star Bruce Dern from 1960 to 1969, and had two daughters; Diane Elizabeth Dern, who died at 18 months,[10] and Laura Dern, who became an actress. Ladd and Laura Dern co-starred in the films Wild at Heart, Rambling Rose, Citizen Ruth, and Inland Empire and in the HBO series Enlightened. The two also appeared together in White Lightning and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, although the very young Laura Dern was uncredited in both.

As of 1999, Ladd is married to Robert Charles Hunter.[citation needed]

In 2018, Ladd was misdiagnosed with pneumonia and given 6 months to a year to live after she inhaled “poison spray” from the farms neighbouring her home, constricting her esophagus.[11] Her daughter, Laura, transferred her to another hospital where she made a full recovery.[12]


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 television series Alice, in which Flo was portrayed by Polly Holliday. When Holliday left the TV series, Ladd succeeded her as waitress Isabelle "Belle" Dupree.

Diane Ladd in 2013 at the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor actress Olympia Dukakis
Diane Ladd in 2013 at the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor actress Olympia Dukakis

She appeared in the independent screwball comedy Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me in 1992, where she played a flirty, aging Southern belle alongside her real mother, actress Mary Lanier.[13]

Ladd as Lucille in Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.[13]
Ladd as Lucille in Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.[13]

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, 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 Awards history that such an event had occurred. They were also nominated for dual Golden Globe Awards in the same year.

Ladd has also worked in theatre. She made her Broadway debut in Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights in 1968. In 1976, she starred in A Texas Trilogy: Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination.[14]

On November 1, 2010, Ladd, Laura Dern, and Bruce Dern received adjoining stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; this is the first time family members have been given such consideration on the Walk. Ladd's star is the 2,421st.

She starred in the Hallmark Channel series Chesapeake Shores.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1960 Murder, Inc. Showgirl Uncredited
1961 Something Wild Bit Part Uncredited
1962 40 Pounds of Trouble Young Bride on Honeymoon Uncredited
1966 The Wild Angels Gaysh
1969 The Reivers Phoebe
1970 The Rebel Rousers Karen Shot in 1967
1970 Macho Callahan Girl
1970 WUSA Barmaid at Railroad Station Uncredited
1971 The Steagle Mrs. Forbes
1973 White Lightning Maggie
1974 Chinatown Ida Sessions
1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Flo
1976 Embryo Martha Douglas
1981 All Night Long Helen Dupler
1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes Mrs. Nightshade
1983 Sweetwater Lucy
1987 Black Widow Etta
1987 Plain Clothes Jane Melway
1989 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Nora Griswold
1990 Wild at Heart Marietta Fortune
1991 A Kiss Before Dying Mrs. Corliss
1991 Rambling Rose Mother
1992 Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me Lucille
1992 Forever Mabel Normand
1992 Spies Inc. Alice
1993 The Cemetery Club Lucille Rubin
1993 Carnosaur Dr. Jane Tiptree
1993 Father Hood Rita
1995 Mother Olivia Hendrix Also co-producer
1995 Mrs. Munck Mrs. Munck Also writer and director
1995 Raging Angels Sister Kate
1996 Citizen Ruth Ruth's Mother Uncredited
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Grandma Caroline Moore
1997 James Dean: Race with Destiny Mama Pierangeli
1998 Primary Colors Mamma Stanton
1998 Route 66
1999 Can't Be Heaven Nona Gina
2000 28 Days Bobbie Jean
2000 The Law of Enclosures Bea
2001 Daddy and Them Jewel
2001 Rain Audrey Turnquick
2002 Redemption of the Ghost Aunt Helen
2002 More than Puppy Love Aunt Edna
2002 The Virgin
2003 Charlie's War Jobie
2005 The World's Fastest Indian Ada
2006 Come Early Morning Nana
2006 When I Find the Ocean Edna
2006 Inland Empire Marilyn Levens
2008 Jake's Corner Fran
2008 American Cowslip Roe
2013 Grave Secrets Emily Barnes
2014 Just Before I Go Mamma Uncredited
2015 I Dream Too Much Vera
2015 Joy Mimi
2016 Sophie and the Rising Sun Ruth Jeffers
2016 Amerigeddon Betty
2016 Boonville Redemption Grandma Mary
2019 The Last Full Measure Alice Pitsenbarger
2020 Charlie's Christmas Wish Nana
2021 Charming the Hearts of Men[16] Alice Paul Uncredited
2022 Gigi & Nate Mama Blanche


Year Title Role Notes
1957 Decoy Selma Richmond Episode: "Two Days to Kill"
1958 The Big Story Vera Episode: "The Small of Death"
1958 The Walter Winchell File Lois Episode: "A Thing of Beauty: File #29"
1958–1959 Naked City Kathie Mills / Yankee Cretias 2 episodes
1959 Deadline Judy Episode: "Victor Reisel"
1961 The Detectives Gloria Tyler Episode: "Act of God"
1963 Wide Country Alma Prewitt Episode: "Step Over the Sky"
1963 Armstrong Circle Theatre Charlotte Cable Episode: "The Counterfeit League"
1963 77 Sunset Strip Helen Saunders Episode: "The Left Field Caper"
1963 Perry Mason Miss Frances Episode: "The Case of the Shifty Shoebox"
1963 Mr. Novak Mrs. Otis Episode: "I Don't Even Live Here"
1963 Hazel Sharlene Episode: "George's 32nd Cousin"
1964 The Fugitive Stella Episode: "Come Watch Me Die"
1964 The Great Adventure Annie Thompson Episode: "Rodger Young"
1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Cissy Episode: "The Game with Glass Pieces"
1964–1967 Gunsmoke Bonnie Mae Haley / Lulu / Elena Kerlin 3 episodes
1966 Daniel Boone Ronda Cameron Episode: "Seminole Territory"
1966 Shane Amy Sloate Episode: "The Distant Bell"
1967 The Big Valley Muriel Akely Episode: "Boy into Man"
1968 Ironside Peggy Barnard Episode: "Robert Phillips vs. the Man"
1969 Then Came Bronson Valerie Faber Episode: "Old Tigers Never Die--They Just Run Away"
1971–1972 The Secret Storm Kitty Styles #2 Unknown episodes
1973 The Devil's Daughter Alice Shaw TV movie
1975 Movin' On Amy Episode: "General Delivery"
1976 City of Angels Laura Episode: "The November Plan: Part 1"
1976 Addie and the King of Hearts Irene Davis TV movie
1977 The November Plan Laura Taylor TV movie
1978 Black Beauty Amelia Gordon Miniseries
1978 Thaddeus Rose and Eddie Carlotta TV movie
1979 Willa Mae TV movie
1980 Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones Lynette Jones TV movie
1980–1981 Alice Belle Dupree 22 episodes
1980–1985 The Love Boat Christa Johanson / Bernice Bronson / Ruby Gibson 3 episodes
1982 Desperate Lives Carol Cameron TV movie
1983 Grace Kelly Margaret Kelly TV movie
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Mother Episode: "Little Red Riding Hood"
1984 I Married a Centerfold Jeanette Bryan TV movie
1985 Crime of Innocence Rose Hayward TV movie
1987 Celebration Family Mrs. Heflin TV movie
1988 Bluegrass Verna Howland TV movie
1989 Father Dowling Mysteries Arlene Episode: "The Face in the Mirror Mystery"
1989 Heartland Marjorie Episode: "B.L. Moves Out"
1990 Rock Hudson Kay TV movie
1990 In the Heat of the Night Maybelle Cheseboro Episode: "Home Is Where the Heart Is"
1990 The Lookalike Mary Helen Needam TV movie
1991 Shadow of a Doubt Emma TV movie
1992 Middle Ages Bebe Cooper Episode: "Forever Young"
1993 L.A. Law Celeste Bauman Episode: "Cold Shower"
1993 Harts of the West Alison's Mom Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Chow?"
1993 Sisters Belle Adderly Episode: "The Best Intentions"
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Charlotte Cooper 2 episodes
1994–1997 Grace Under Fire Louise Burdette 2 episodes
1994 Hush Little Baby Edie TV movie
1994 The Gift Evie TV short
1996 The Siege at Ruby Ridge Irma Coulter TV movie
1996 Cold Lazarus Martina Masdon Miniseries; 3 episodes
1997 Breach of Faith: A Family of Cops 2 Aunt Shelly Fein TV movie
1997 Touched by an Angel Carolyn Sellers Episode: "An Angel by Any Other Name"
1997 Get a Clue Berthe Erica Crow TV movie
1998 The Staircase Sister Margaret TV movie
2000 Best Actress Herself TV movie
2000 Sharing the Secret Nina's Mother TV movie
2000 Strong Medicine Annabelle Lee Stowe 2 episodes
2000 Christy: Return to Cutter Gap Alice Henderson TV movie
2001 Christy, Choices of the Heart Alice Henderson 2 episodes
2002 Living with the Dead Regina Van Praagh TV movie
2002 Damaged Care Mary "Rhodie" Rhodes TV movie
2003 Aftermath Mother TV movie
2004 Gracie's Choice Louela Lawson TV movie
2004 Kingdom Hospital Sally Druse 13 episodes
2005 Cold Case Zelda Amatuzzi (2005) Episode: "Committed"
2006 ER Mrs. Pooler Episode: "No Place to Hide"
2007 Montana Sky Bess TV movie
2008 Menace Roszko's Mother TV movie
2011–2013 Enlightened Helen Jellicoe 16 episodes
2012 Deadtime Stories Barnsey Episode: "Grave Secrets"
2016 Ray Donovan Motel Lady Episode: "Federal Boobie Inspector"
2016–2022 Chesapeake Shores Nell O'Brien 43 episodes
2018 Christmas Lost and Found Grandma Frances TV movie
2021 Young Sheldon Hortense Episode: "The Geezer Bus and a New Model for Education"

Awards and nominations

Year Work Award Result
1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1976 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Won
1980 Alice Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Won
1990 Wild at Heart Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1991 Rambling Rose Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Won
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
1994 Grace Under Fire Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
1997 Touched by an Angel Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated


  1. ^ 21 actors whose Southern accents are real
  2. ^ a b Davis Davidson, June; Putnam, Richelle (2013). Legendary Locals of Meridian. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4671-0079-3. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  3. ^ "Diane Ladd". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007.
  4. ^ "Obituaries for the week ending May 31, 2002: Mary Bernadette Ladner Garey". Ojai Valley News. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "Spiral Through Life With Diane Ladd". Life After 50. September 4, 2012. Archived from the original on May 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Diane Ladd: Southern Eccentric With Steel Beneath The Stories". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. February 19, 1993. p. 5G. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  7. ^ "Riding The Crest Of Two Widely Praised Perform". Press-Telegram. Long Beach, CA. September 20, 1991. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Thomas Hubbard: Profile". Tavis Smiley. PBS. July 10, 2006. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Hoge, Warren (September 23, 1976). "Diane Ladd Savors 'Top of World'" Archived November 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  10. ^ "Diane Ladd". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  11. ^ Staff, Closer (May 10, 2020). "Diane Ladd, 84, Reveals Why She 'Will Never Retire'". Closer Weekly. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  12. ^ Watch Access Hollywood Interview: How Laura Dern Saved Her Mother Diane Ladd's Life: 'I'm Lucky to Be Here' - NBC.com, July 27, 2019, retrieved August 27, 2022
  13. ^ a b Thomas, Kevin (July 30, 1993). "Romantic 'Hold Me, Thrill Me' a Breezy Minor Diversion". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  14. ^ Internet Broadway Database profile Archived March 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Ibdb.com; retrieved July 31, 2011.
  15. ^ "Interview - Diane Ladd - Nell O'Brien - Chesapeake Shores". Hallmark Channel. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 21, 2021). "'Charming The Hearts Of Men', Starring Kelsey Grammer & Anna Friel, Gets U.S. Release Date In Gravitas Ventures Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2021.