Laura Dern wins best supporting actress Oscar for 'Marriage Story'

LOS ANGELES,(Reuters) - Laura Dern, whose Hollywood career has spanned more than four decades, won her first Oscar on Sunday for her portrayal of a ruthless divorce lawyer in domestic drama “Marriage Story.”

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“This is the best birthday present ever,” Dern, who turns 53 on Monday, said during her acceptance speech.

The daughter of acclaimed actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd thanked her parents while accepting her award.

“Some say ‘Never meet your heroes,’ but I say if you are really blessed, you get them as your parents,” Dern said while looking at her 84-year-old mother, who accompanied her to the ceremony. “I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game.”

Dern had widely been considered a front-runner in the category after winning both a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award last month for her performance.

Raised in Hollywood, Dern’s first experiences on screen were in 1970s films starring her famous mother. She later rose to fame for roles in the David Lynch films “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart.”

Dern received her first Oscar nod in 1992 for best actress in “Rambling Rose” and was also nominated in 2015 for best supporting actress in “Wild.”

In “Marriage Story,” Dern’s character, attorney Nora Fanshaw, fights on behalf of co-star Scarlett Johansson for custody of her son in her divorce from her husband, played by Adam Driver.

Dern received particular acclaim for her delivery of a monologue in which she tells Johansson’s character that mothers are always held to a higher standard than fathers, in divorce proceedings and society as a whole.

In recent years Dern has been in high demand in both films and on television. She starred as a wealthy, career-minded mother in the HBO hit series “Big Little Lies,” for which she won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe, and as a senior military officer in 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

This year, she appeared in two best picture-nominated movies: “Marriage Story” and “Little Women,” in which she played Marmee March, the mother of the four March sisters.

Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis