Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Family Celebrity DNA



20 couples related in some fashion.  Here's my .2 cents on who got the talent.


On the left is Blyth Danner and her daughter on the right is Gwyneth Paltrow Danner never got the opportunities that her daughter received but she is the better of the two actresses. 


The Cassidy brothers (Sean on the left and David on the Right) were the teen Idols of the 70s bar none.  David was and still is very talented.  He was also a hard working entertainer who paved the way for future teen Idols.  It’s unfair to label David as a teen Idol because unlike his brother, he was a good actor and could play a mean guitar.


The first set of cousins on the list are Rip Torn, a great actor from the 60s and his cousin Sissy Spacek.  Spacek I believe won an Oscar for portrayal of Loretta Lynn in the “Coal Miner’s daughter”.  Rip Torn is best known for his performance in the Men in Black Movies.  Both are  equally talented.


Dick Van Dyke (L) and his brother Jerry (R) were staple actors of the 60s.  Dick had his own show and Jerry was a member of the “Love Boat” crowd.  Although I never thought Dick was the great comedian others see him as, there are comedians like Robin Williams that worship him.  Advantage Dick.


Bridget (L) is the daughter of Peter Fonda.  Jane  on the right is known as Hanoi Jane.  I’ve enjoyed Bridgett’s work especially in “Single White Female”.  Jane, I can’t watch.  As much as I like “On Golden’s Pond” I still have the Image above burned into my memory.  This is one instance where I can’t separate politics from the profession.


Sean and Chris Penn are brothers.  Both have made enjoyable movies.  This is an instance where Sean Penn’s politics is outweighed by his acting talent.  I think had he taken his acting seriously and quit trying to play secretary of state, he could have been the next Robert DeNiro.  I have no Idea what happened to Chris Penn.  The last time I saw Chris was in a B Karate movie with Eric Roberts.


Speaking of Eric Roberts; this one is a toss up.  Julia is the star.  She’s made many successful box office hits.  That doesn’t translate to great acting though.  Eric I’m afraid got type casted in when he played the scum bag in the Dorothy Stratton story.  He’s not a great actor but neither is his sister.  This one is a toss up. (In spite of Julia’s success)


The Baldwin brothers.  Steven on the left is the actor. Alec on the right is in need of serious therapy.


The Duvall siblings.  Robert has more than proven his acting abilities when he did the Godfather.  He’s one of the finest pure actors on the silver screen.  Shelly, well, she’s Olive Oil.  What more can I say.  Even in the Shining, it was Jack that saved the movie.  There’s no contest here.


Henry and Peter. Dad and Son.  Actor and wannabe.  Peter’s only accomplishment was Bridgette.  Henry is one of the greatest actors of all time.


Now We Get Serious

We have cousins Henry Winkler and Richard Belzer.  Winkler is not that great an actor, but his contributions to the movie industry go deeper than you might think.  He discovered Sylvester Stallone.  He was smart enough to take his “Fonzy” money and invest in a production company.  On the right is the liberal stand up comedian turned dramatic actor Richard Belzer.  Belzer did a very convincing scene on Law and Order SVU where he had to cry.  He was very convincing.  Belzer also holds the world record for playing the same character (John Munch) in the most T.V. series.  Starting with “Homicide, Life on the streets” and then every Dick Wolf Law and Order Spin Off after that.  Belzer is by far the better actor of the two.


Kirk and his son Michael Douglas are both fine actors.  I have more respect for Kirk because he had to do real acting back in the 50s.  Michael proved himself in the Jewel movies with Kathleen Turner which he had great chemistry.  This one is even with a slight edge going to the father.


Again, we have a situation where one actor is type casted.  Goldie never got past her “Laugh in” image.  She also never got to do serious acting.  Overboard is one of my favorite Goldie movies but her acting is sophomoric.  Her daughter Kate Hudson has been wowing audiences since “Almost Famous”.  The girl knows how to act.  I have to give the edge to the daughter.  Sorry Goldie.


Tony Curtiss and Jamie Lee Curtiss are Hollywood Icons.  Jamie broke into show business doing the Halloween horror series.  Her father Tony was an actor from the 50s.  Oddly enough he will be remembered for a line he never said: “Yonda lies da Castle of my fada”.  But he looked so cute in his  bowl cut page boy hair do.  Tony went on to do dozens of block busters while Jamie Lee retired and did Yogurt commercials after her success in the huge Eddie Murphy/Dan Akroyd hit “Trading Places”.  Jamie is a fine B actress while her dad is a legend.


Jim Belushi is a fine comedy actor.  He’s had some wonderful movies like “Taking Care Of Business” and “Mr. Destiny” both B movies but both resonated with me.  He showed his skills as a serious actor in both of those as well as the lovable “K-9” movie.  John was a meteor.  A self-indulgent powerhouse.  You could tell John was putting 100% into every thing he did from Animal house to the Blues Brothers.  He even showed a serious side when he did continental divide.  This is like comparing Ted Williams to Mickey Mantle.  I like them both.  I have to give the edge to Jim because we don’t know what John would have done with his promising career.  Sometimes we tend to over rate actors that die before their time out of sympathy.


Vic Morrow and his daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh were two of the best “Method” actors Hollywood has ever seen.  That means they took their role no matter how small or large and studied the role to get the nuances correct.  They never played themselves.  Vic will always be remembered as Sgt. Saunders of the 60s TV Hit series Combat and his daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh has struggled by being type casted as the dark character.  She plays a psychotic Killer in “Single White Female” opposite Bridgette Fonda.  She was estranged from her father all or most of her life.  Just when she started to open up to Vic, he was killed in the filming of the Twilight zone.


With all of the legends on this list,  I found it really hard to put the Wahlberg brother in the top five.  But both possess so much talent.  Donnie was the New Kid On the Block before brother Mark hit the scene.  But Mark has proven himself to be a sure bet in almost any role you put him in.  The above right is Mark as “Izzy” from the Movie “Rock Star”.   He’s shown the ability to be one of the new legends.  Amongst all the younger actors like Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Rob Lowe and the other pretty faces, Mark can actually act.   As they say in the business: “He’s Money”.


I want to see a blood test.  We have Dennis Quaid on the left and cousin Eddy or Randy Quaid, his brother on the right.  Dennis is a fine talented actor.  I enjoyed his acting in “The Rookie” and he did a great Jerry Lee Lewis in the movie “Great Balls of Fire”.  And then you have Randy who did the Box office smash hit “ID4” but will forever be known as crazy cousin Eddy from the National Lampoon “Vacation” movies.  Randy’s personal issues aside, he’s been entertaining in the roles he’s played.  But unlike Dennis, I believe Randy is really cousin Eddy in real life. He has been type casted as the white trash drunk that is charming and lovable.  Dennis on the other hand has the acting skills to play a scientist (Inner space) a Major league pitcher (The Rookie) and a maniac Rock Star (Great Balls of Fire).  The latter being the closest to the real Dennis Quaid.  Dennis is truly the better talent.


Number two is the father son duo of Donald and Keifer Sutherland.  It’s hard to decide the better actor.  Donald never got the roles his son got.  But Kiefer took the role of Jack Bauer and turned it into an American James Bond.  He’ll always be Jack Bauer and that may work to his detriment.  Look how long it took Sean Connery to shake the Bond image.  Even when he starred in “The Rock” he was playing an older version of James Bond.  I think Kiefer is good at playing Jack Bauer.  He really hasn’t had the chance to prove himself as a true actor.  When people see Kiefer, they want to see Bauer.  Unlike William Shatner who was Captain Kirk forever, Kiefer has much better acting skills than Shatner.  Donald never had the fan base that his son has acquired.  I have to give the edge to Kiefer.


Here it is:

Rob/Meathead and his Dad Carl Reiner.  Both have nothing further to prove.  Both are wonderful actors AND directors.  Rob was magnificent when acting and directing “When Harry Met Sally” as well as the Cult Mega Hit “This is Spinal Tap”. He directed “A Few Good Men, The Bucket List and the new release “The Wolf of Wall street”.  Carl Reiner has a resume and filmography a mile long.  I particularly enjoyed “The Jerk”.  Earlier we saw Dick Van Dyke from a show that Carl wrote 158 episodes for.  Carl also won a Grammy for an album he did with Mel Brooks.  The Reiners top the list of related show biz Celebs.