Studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City, and made his film debut in Elia Kazan's Wild River (1960).
Among his many unsavory character roles, known as the guy "who killed John Wayne" in The Cowboys (1972), which brought him death threats from some of the Duke's fans.
Is an avid long-distance runner since childhood who has, by his own estimate, logged more than 100,000 miles.
Took on the supporting role of Jane Fonda's marine captain husband suffering from post traumatic stress disorder in Coming Home (1978) after Jon Voight switched from that part into the lead, playing the paraplegic.
In 2007, wrote about his life and career in Things I've Said, But Probably Shouldn't Have: An Unrepentant Memoir.
1981, Genie Awards — Best Performance by a Foreign Actor: Nominee
2014, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actor: Nominee
1983, Berlin Film Festival — Silver Bear for Best Actor: Winner
2013, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actor: Winner
2013, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
2014, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
1978, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
2011, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
2014, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Nominee
1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2014, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
1979, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
1983, Genie Awards — Best Performance by a Foreign Actor: Nominee
Laura Dern — Daughter
Diane Ladd — Ex-wife
Andrea Beckett — Wife
George Dern — Grandfather
Jean Dern — Mother
Adlai Stevenson III — Godparent
John Dern — Father
Archibald MacLeish — Uncle
Diane Elizabeth Dern — Daughter
Attended University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States