Diane Ladd, born Rose Diane Lanier (Ladnier) , is a native Mississippian (I was the prettiest baby in the hospital, I was the only baby in the hospital; Rilberton didn’t have a large population, you see. There was this sign at the city limits, “Welcome to Rilberton, 300 nice folks and a few old soreheads!”) . . . Diane’s Daddy, was a Veterinarian, selling his own products for poultry and livestock throughout the five southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. Her mother, Mary Bernadette, hailing from Alabama was a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed, gracious housewife. Diane’s great-grandmother was Prudence Lanier, better known as “Aunt Prudie” – a country doctor and midwife who delivered over 3,000 babies and has been titled, “The Mother of South Mississippi!” (Once she was in a snowstorm, the horse threw her, breaking her leg…Aunt Prudie went and delivered the baby and then had her leg set!)
Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss wrote “Diane Ladd is one of the top ten actresses not only in this country, but the whole world.”
Ladd – actress, director, writer, author and producer is a 3x Emmy and 3x Oscar nominee and the winner of 27 international awards including: the British Academy Award, the Independent Spirit Award and the Eleanor Duse Award. Diane also performed as a dancer, singer, and comedian. Graduating from high school at age 16, she attended a finishing school in New Orleans, where she also sang with the French Quarter Band, “Dixie Hi De Ho Jo” on weekends. Turning down the opportunity to study law with a scholarship at L.S.U., she chose instead to embark on a show business career; having been seen by the great John Carradine (David and Keith’s daddy) in a local theatrical production at New Orleans’ Gallery Circle Theatre. Carradine hired her to join his National Company of “Tobacco Road” in the portrayal of “Pearl.” (Diane replaced an actress from New Jersey who was ironically giving up show business to marry a “Mississippi boy” and be a housewife!)
Turning 17, she became one of the famed Copa Girls in New York’s Copacabana and shortly thereafter made her New York theatrical debut in (her cousin) Tennessee Williams’ off-Broadway hit revival of Orpheus Descending, to rave reviews.
Subsequently, Diane also has performed in theatrical productions ranging from musicals to comedy to Shakespeare to drama throughout the country. She starred with actors such as Robert DeNiro in Noisy Passengers, Jane Fonda in Woman Speak, Louis Gossett Jr. and David Steinberg in Broadway’s Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights.
Her first movie role in 1966 was Roger Corman’s Wild Angels, a Venice Film Festival selection and Parisian Critic Award winner in which she starred with her first husband, Bruce Dern, along with Nancy Sinatra and Peter Fonda. Ladd has co-starred in many films including All Night Long with Barbara Streisand, Gene Hackman and Dennis Quaid – Roman Polanski’s Congressional selection, Chinatown – Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore for which Diane received her first Oscar Nomination by creating the memorable role of waitress, Flo, – she lost to the great Ingrid Bergman, (who isn’t chopped liver) but won The British Academy Award! Every Christmas she’s seen in the holiday film, Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase.
In the early 80’s, returning from starring on Broadway in LuAnn Hampton Laverty Oberlander (part of the Texas Trilogy) for which Miss Ladd received one of the three greatest sets of reviews in the history of Broadway. CBS then enticed her to join the TV series cast of “ALICE” (based on Scorsese’s movie “Alice Doesn’t”) – Not wanting to play Flo again, C.B.S. in co-operation with Diane created the role of the singing-songwriter waitress Belle hailing from Mississippi, (Diane’s choice!) for which she won the Golden Globe award, taking the audience on the first night of her appearance from their amazing 35,000,000 viewers a week to an incredible 75,000,000 weekly viewing audience! She and her father wrote many of the songs that she sang live on the show.
Ladd’s second Oscar Nomination was for the role of Marietta in David Lynch’s Wild At Heart winning France’s Cannes’ Palme d’Or Award; her third Oscar Nomination was for the Film, Rambling Rose, in which she co-starred along with Robert Duval, Lucas Haas, and her daughter, actress, Laura Dern. She and Laura made show business history as the first mother and daughter tandem ever to be nominated for the Oscar for the same motion picture in the same year! Rambling Rose was selected by the late Princess Diana as one of her favorites and given a Royal premiere in London and a party in the Actresses’ honor.
Ladd then starred in the film, Cemetery Club with Danny Aiello, Olympia Dukakis, Ellen Burstyn and Lainie Kazan. Ladd also sang in the film (pretending to be Monroe).
Diane has starred in more than 300 films and television shows including two series (Alice) and Stephen King’s fifteen hour mini-series, Kingdom Hospital. She was recently seen in: Lifetime’s (Nora Roberts) Movie of the Week, Montana Sky: and in the film, The World’s Fastest Indian co-starring with Anthony Hopkins.
Ladd made her directing and writing debut with the film, Mrs. Munck (Viacom) starring Bruce Dern, Kelly Preston, the late Shelley Winters and herself. The film received rave reviews, comparing her to a “Woody Allen” and “Hal Ashby” as a director, and it was selected by ten International Festivals, including co-opening the Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland . Mrs. Munck garnered 3 Best Director awards..
Ladd’s book, Spiraling through the School of Life, published by Louise Hay; received 15 amazing endorsements from such notables as Stephen King, Marianne Williamson, Helen Thomas, Drs.Wayne Dyer/Dean Ornish/Bernie Siegel and former Congressman Berkley Bedell, among many others. She also has completed a book of short stories A, Bad Afternoon for a Piece of Cakeand has just finished her next book a political based autobiographical novel, Interrupted Destiny which Gloria Steinem has graciously offered to endorse, projected to be in the bookstores sometime in 2012. Ladd has co-authored a Broadway Musical, Last of the Bad Girls, starring Lainie Kazan, Connie Stevens and Diane – slated for Broadway 2012.
An astute business person, her creative and fiscal success as a director is a strongpoint in her own film production company, Exxcell Entertainment Films. Their company is in pre-production for the film, Woman Inside,” about the late Martha Mitchell, and her husband Attorney General John Mitchell, during the Watergate Days; Martin Scorsese, winner of the 2007 Academy Awards’ Best Director and Best Picture is their Executive Director and Jeff Stott (Bucket List) is their producer. Also slated for its future are films, “Hot Water Biscuits,” starring Laura Dern: and the film, “Relative Truth,” starring James Earl Jones, along with (Diane’s son-in-law) Ben Harper, Bellina Logan and Diane.
Ms. Ladd’s efforts have been instrumental in helping to curtail Runaway Productions, and keep US productions in America as she persuaded key members of Congress to support the first tax legislation favorable to investors, the film industry, and its workforces; to be passed in 40 years, signed by President George W. Bush in December, 2004.
Her continuous efforts to improve the quality of culture in the US are evident in her work as well as her avocations; Member of the famed Actors Studio’s acting, directing and playwriting units; and a Screen Actors Guild National Board Member, holding a number of noteworthy positions through the years. She is the Founder and President of the Art & Culture Taskforce, ACT – a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening education and the arts in America.
Recognized as a leader in actively pursuing improvement in all facets of the creative arts, she was given the Woman of the Year Award among many others. Film festivals across our nation have honored Diane, including the recent High Falls Festival wherein she was the recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award and the Newport, Rhode Island Festival wherein the Governor declared a Diane Ladd Day!
Miss Ladd will be seen this fall, in HBO’s new series, Enlightened, in which her daughter, Laura stars as “Amy.” Diane co-stars in the role of her mother, “Helen” along with Luke Wilson who co-stars as “Levy”, Amy’s ex-husband.
Parisian Critic’s Award and Venice Film Festival selection - Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels portraying Gaysh
Golden Globe Nomination - 'Best Supporting Actress' in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore-------Academy Award Nomination - 'Best Supporting Actress' in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore-------New York Film Critics Circle Awards- Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Tor Award for 'Best Actress' - Preston Jone's Broadway play, Lu Anne Hampton Laverty Oberlander (Texas Trilogy)-------BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of 'Flo' in Scorcese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, presented by Princess Anne in London, England
UCLA ISC Motion Picture Industry Award
Actors Studio Eleonora Duse Award presented by Mr. Lee Strasberg, 'Honor these Actors, for they are the Abstracts and Brief Chronicles of Time'. - William Shakespeare
Carousel Ball Award-Fight Against Diabetes-------GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD for 'Best Supporting Actress' for 'Alice' TV series, for her performance as 'Belle'
California 'Helping Hands' Award
Palme D'or Award - Wild at Heart - Cannes International Film Festival-------Golden Globe Nomination - Best Supporting Actress - Wild at Heart, directed by David Lynch-------Academy Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actress - Wild at Heart, directed by David Lynch
Woman of the Year - The City of Hope-------Annual Award for Director’s Chair - DGA - Directors Guild of America Annual Award Dinner-------P.A.T.H Angel Award - 'Our Voice in the Community'-------Justice for Cyprus Award - PSEKA in Washington, D.C.-------TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & the KANIBO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S FILMS - Artistic Achievement Award for Acting/Writing/Directing-------Golden Globe Nomination - Best Supporting Actress - Rambling Rose-------Independent Spirit Award - Best Supporting Actress - Rambling Rose-------Academy Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actress - Rambling Rose - directed by Martha Coolidge (Ladd and Dern made show business history as the first mother and daughter in tandem to both be nominated for Oscars for the same movie at the same time. Princess Diana chose the film as one of her favorites and had a Royal Premier in London and a party in their honor!)
Emmy Award Nomination - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman-------Palm Springs Recognition Award- D.A.R.E Program
Emmy Award Nomination - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, Grace Under Fire-------Distinguished Artist Award - Music Center Club 100--------Hollywood Entertainment Museum Legacy Awards - VI - Dern/Ladd Family
Woman of Achievement Award - The Women's Group of Sheba Medical Center-------Enzian Award for Artistic Achievement for Directing - Mrs. Munck - Florida Film Festival-------The Piper Heidsieck Best Director Award - Mrs Munck - Chicago International Film Festival
Narconon Drug-Free Hero Award
Emmy Award Nomination - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Touched by an Angel-------Woman of Achievement Award - The International Woman's Day-------Woman of Achievement Award - the City of Los Angeles-------Sedony Award - Sedona International Film Festival
Arizona Women in Film Legacy Award-------Hollywood Press Club Special Recognition Award
The Producers Guild of America awards Diane Ladd 'Creative Contributor to the Landmark Motion Picture - Chinatown' as it's inducted into The PGA Hall of Fame
Founders Award of Excellence, by Congressman Bedell’s National Foundation for Alternative Medicine – Washington D.C.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Award-------Lifetime Achievement Award - Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival
Susan B. Anthony Failure is Impossible Award - High Falls Festival
City of Newport proclamation-------Claiborne Bell Lifetime Achievement Award -Newport International Film Festival
Lifetime Achievement - MNS Award-------Guest Speaker Extraordinary Award - Israel Cancer Research Fund
Woman in Film Award presented by The Sedona Film Festival-------Mississippi Senate Resolution - Commending the Artistic Contributions of Diane Ladd
Vision Award honoring Diane Ladd as an 'Artist of Vision'-------Lifetime of Achievement Award - California International Film Festival-------City of Newport Proclamation
STAR on the Hollywood 'Walk of Fame' along with ex-husband, Bruce Dern, and daughter, Laura Dern, marking the first time in Hollywood's history a mother, father and daughter have been honored in tandem-------City of Los Angeles Resolution congratulating Achievements of Diane Ladd
Golden Spirit Award - Bring Hollywood Home
Mary Pickford Award- Hollywood Chamber of Commerce--------Best Supporting Actress - Joy - Movies For Grownups - AARP
Gina Diva Award - Women in Film and Television – Palm Springs