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Diane Ladd says her marriage to actor Bruce Dern broke up over the death of their first child.

The actress told Parade magazine grief over the drowning of their 18-month-old daughter eventually tore the couple apart."We suffered the tragedy of our daughter's death together and thought another child would help us, but we were so bruised," she said. Ladd says she had to struggle not to become overprotective of their second daughter, Laura Dern, who followed her parents' footsteps into acting.

"I was terrified, being on my own with Laura. I had to force myself not to be overly protective because I had lost one child. The result was that it worked the other way. I allowed her to be a free thinker, and that helped her become her own person."

Ladd and Laura made Hollywood history last year when they became the first mother and daughter to be nominated for Oscars.

Now Ladd has a movie project with her ex-husband. They will be co-starring in the film version of the novel "Mrs. Munck."