Actor Bruce Dern is urging Hollywood stars to consider their vulnerability - insisting an actor is only as good as his last role.

The MONSTER star insists even legendary screen icons such as John Wayne and Bette Davis became victims of the volatile film industry.

He recalls his career beginnings, "We're not bigger than life like John Wayne and the other with the studio system behind them. They lived and died by the success of their films.

"I remember doing a guest role on GUNSMOKE (US TV series) and the said, 'Just wait till you see who's playing your mother.' Well, it turned out to be Bette Davis. I got tears in my eyes on the set. She said, 'Darling, I have to pay for my cigarettes!'"