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Former Child Actreses Laura Dern in HBO's 'Enlightened'

October 04, 2011

Many child actors who grow up in showbiz wind up on the shoals of anonymity at 20. But Laura Dern is one shining exception. Born into a show business family, Laura was performing professionally by the time she was 13. But her mother, actress Diane Ladd, imposed strict rules for her daughter.

"Luckily for me I had both - with my grandmother and my mother particularly - both my parents, but I was living with my mom most of the time. (They had) a real longing to make sure I was very involved in school," she says, seated on a vinyl chair in a quiet conference room of a hotel here.

"So I was lucky in that for me it worked that I was never home-schooled. I was always in school, had to be involved in two activities or I couldn't do a job. It was like swim team and president of whatever club or something like that, and classes and play dates and over-nights," she says.

"I was also lucky, frankly, to start young but my mom really balanced it. Where there were a few things that meant a lot to me that she let me audition for, but didn't push me to go out there. And she asked my agent not to send me on everything. So I just didn't work that much. I wasn't doing a series for five years as a teenager. I didn't have to deal with severe high-visibility celebrity, which is a whole other level that I feel fortunate to not have had to walk through."  Read More