Bruce Dern always plays the bad guy in movies. Is it because he likes to or because he's good at it?
—Hazel R., Idaho
Bruce Dern, 69, says, "Early in my career, I always played the second or third cowboy from the right, the one who got shot by Matt Dillon. The first great villain I played was in The Cowboys; I killed John Wayne. In Silent Running, I wasn't a villain, but I was strange. I'm an actor and don't turn down roles. I'm in my late 60s, and I'll keep acting till they stop casting me." Dern is in two movies scheduled for release this year: Believe in Me, about a girls' basketball team in Oklahoma, and Walker, a dark tale about dog fighting. Dern also stars in Big Low, a new HBO series that looks at a modern-day polygamous Mormon family. He has been married three times, and his current wife is Andrea Beckett. Laura Dern, his daughter with actress Diane Ladd, also is an actor, and they are the only family in which father, mother and daughter are all Academy Award nominees.