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Laura Dern’s 2 Children: All About Ellery Walker and Jaya

Laura Dern's son and daughter have taught her important lessons

<p>Aurelien Meunier/Getty</p> Laura Dern, Jaya Harper and Ellery Walker Harper attend the Raf Simons Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 19, 2019 in Paris, France.

Aurelien Meunier/Getty

Laura Dern, Jaya Harper and Ellery Walker Harper attend the Raf Simons Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 19, 2019 in Paris, France.

Laura Dern feels honored to be the mom of her two children: Ellery Walker and Jaya.

The Big Little Lies star and her ex, Grammy-winning musician Ben Harper, welcomed their first child together, Ellery Walker, in 2001. Three years later, they celebrated the arrival of their daughter, Jaya. The couple went on to wed in 2005 before ultimately calling it quits in 2013.

In 2020, Dern won a Golden Globe for her role in Marriage Story, in which she plays a divorce lawyer and afterward, she told reporters how her own divorce helped shape her performance.

“My amazing children, who came from love despite an ending in a marriage ... we’re so privileged to redefine what family looks like," the actress said.

Over the years, Dern has opened up about the struggles of being a single mom and how motherhood has given her more confidence as a person and professional.

“The more I learn about my mistakes as a mother, the deeper I enjoy how fully I love my children,” she said in an interview with InStyle. “This is the first time in my life that I am being ambitious because I am a single parent. Raising kids gave me enough street cred to feel like I deserved the right to make money."

<p>Laura Dern Instagram</p> Laura Dern and her children: Ellery Walker and Jaya.

Laura Dern Instagram

Laura Dern and her children: Ellery Walker and Jaya.

Dern might be an open book, but when it comes to her kids, she prefers to maintain some privacy. “I will always protect my children by keeping some mystery around the things that the three of us hold dear,” the Palm Royale star told InStyle.

Still, her Instagram regularly features throwback photos of her family and loving messages, like the sweet post she shared on Mother’s Day in 2022. “Thank you both for the gift of loving you,” she wrote alongside a childhood picture of her kids.

Here’s everything to know about Laura Dern’s children: Ellery Walker and Jaya.

Ellery Walker Harper, 22

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p> Laura Dern and Ellery Walker Harper attend the Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2018 in New York City.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Laura Dern and Ellery Walker Harper attend the Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2018 in New York City.

Dern met Harper in 2000 at one of the musicians’ concerts, and a year later, the couple welcomed their first child together, Ellery Walker Harper, on Aug. 21, 2001.

Shortly after his birth, Ellery needed to have surgery and although Dern didn't share details at the time, she recalled the moment in an interview with Refinery29 in 2017.

“My son had a surgery at birth and it was life-threatening,” she told the outlet. “We were in terror. I was sitting in rooms with families who didn’t have as much ease knowing if they could get health care or not.”

Since then, Ellery has slowly ventured into the spotlight as a model and musician. He made his runway debut at New York Fashion Week in 2018 at Raf Simon’s Calvin Klein show, and he is now following in his dad’s footsteps with music.

<p>Valerie Macon/Getty</p> Laura Dern and son Ellery Walker Harper attend the screening of "Nebraska" during AFI FEST on November 11, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

Valerie Macon/Getty

Laura Dern and son Ellery Walker Harper attend the screening of "Nebraska" during AFI FEST on November 11, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

In 2021, Ellery released his first EP, Lost at Sea, under the alias Crazy Mike and followed it with his 2022 single, “Ace Hotel.”

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2022, Dern spoke about his talent, telling host Ellen DeGeneres, “He graduated, he’s doing amazing and making incredible music now.”

The Jurassic Park star also shared how she had a special birthday present for Ellery when he turned 20 — jumping into the North Sea in England for him. She told DeGeneres it was the “coldest experience [she] ever had,” but she wanted to do something special for her son.

“I threw myself in because he loves the ocean, and he wanted to be there, and he loves to surf,” Dern explained. “This was going to be my act of bravery for him because he always makes fun of me.”

When he takes a break from being creative, Ellery joins his mom at various red carpet events, including Paris Fashion Week, the Academy Awards and movie premieres.

Jaya Harper, 19

<p>Gregg DeGuire/Variety/Getty</p> Laura Dern and her daughter Jaya Harper at the "Common Ground" Los Angeles special screening on January 11, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Gregg DeGuire/Variety/Getty

Laura Dern and her daughter Jaya Harper at the "Common Ground" Los Angeles special screening on January 11, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Dern and Harper welcomed their second child together, daughter Jaya Harper, on Nov. 28, 2004.

Like her older brother, Jaya is interested in the entertainment industry, particularly when it comes to acting. Her aspirations would make her a third-generation actor, following her mom and grandparents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.

"There is something very moving about it," Dern said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, adding, "And maybe if she does, we'll end up having the privilege of working together.”

Related: All About Laura Dern’s Famous Parents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd

However, she admitted she was "basically making her wait," saying she wanted her daughter, then 17, to focus on school.

In addition to acting, Jaya is also an activist, following in her mother’s footsteps, who has been involved with several causes. When Jaya was 12, Dern spoke with Refinery29 about how much she’s learned from her daughter’s activism. The mother-daughter pair worked together to promote Global Moms Relay, a social media movement that donated proceeds to uplift women worldwide.

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty</p> Laura Dern and her daughter Jaya Harper attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Laura Dern and her daughter Jaya Harper attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

“She’s teaching me in a really profound way, by modeling: ‘You don’t wait for the country to change; you start the revolution right here,’ ” Dern explained in 2017.

The actress continued, “[Around the election,] it was amazing to watch [her] generation, particularly girls, want to become involved. It is oddly a very exciting time, as a mother, to watch a generation of girls feel empowered in a way that we weren’t even.”

When Jaya turned 18 in 2022, Dern celebrated with a heartfelt Instagram post. “You teach me every day about what it means to be an honest and profound empath, artist, and activist. I love you with everything," she wrote alongside a photo carousel featuring pictures of Jaya over the years.

The following month, Dern and Jaya celebrated Christmas by getting matching tattoos of the words "go long," followed by a paper plane shooting off in the air. They were accompanied by Ellery as well as longtime friends Courtney Cox and her daughter, Coco.

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