Laura Dern thanks her kids and 'hero' parents in emotional Oscars speech

"I would like to say a special thank you to the gifts of the love stories in my life," Dern said of her children and stepchildren.
Image: US-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-OSCARS-SHOW
Laura Dern won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in "Marriage Story."MARK RALSTON / AFP - Getty Images

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alexander Kacala

Laura Dern won the award for best supporting actress Sunday night at the 2020 Oscars. During her emotional acceptance speech, the "Marriage Story" star thanked her entire family.

"I would like to say a special thank you to the gifts of the love stories in my life: my stepchildren C.J. and Harris, my heart and inspiration Ellery and Jaya," the 52-year-old actress said.

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Ellery Harper, 18, and Jaya Harper, 15, are Dern's biological children with ex-husband Ben Harper. Both were in attendance at the Academy Awards on Sunday, joining their mom on the red carpet.

Her marriage to Harper also brought his children from a previous marriage into her life: son Charles (C.J.) and daughter Harris.

Dern also thanked her famous parents, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.

“Some say never meet your heroes,” she said. “I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents. I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you.”

Laura Dern, her mother Diane Ladd and children Ellery and Jaya Harper pose on the red carpet.ERIC GAILLARD / Reuters

Ladd has appeared in over 120 film and television roles. She won the BAFTA Award for best actress in a supporting role and was nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actress for the 1974 film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." She was nominated for an Oscar two more times for best supporting actress, for the films "Wild at Heart" in 1991 and "Rambling Rose" in 1992.

Bruce Dern was nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actor for the 1978 film "Coming Home" and the Academy Award for best actor for 2013's "Nebraska."

Even though they were actors themselves, both Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd didn't want their daughter to follow in their footsteps.

"They didn't want me to (become an actor)," the younger Dern told Sterling K. Brown in a November interview for Variety. "My mom discouraged, even. I mean, I think because as a woman in the film industry, she was worried for me, especially as a child. ... She was terrified for me and protective and a lioness, which was great to be raised by. And my dad, I think, assumed I'd find something else interesting."

Dern was born Feb. 10, 1967, which means she turns 53 on Monday.

The "Big Little Lies" star ended her speech by pointing out the timing of her big win.

“Thank you all for this gift," she said. "This is the best birthday present ever."