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Worst Nepotism in Hollywood


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Anyone have good nepotism stories on classic hollywood? There is a ton of it happening today as we know.

 

Let's use this definition of nepotism-

 

the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving acting jobs to relatives.

 

 

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Anyone have good nepotism stories on classic hollywood? There is a ton of it happening today as we know.

 

Let's use this definition of nepotism-

 

the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving acting jobs to relatives.

 

What are you asking for? Good stories about nepotism, or examples of nepotism?

 

William Wyler got his start through being a distant relation of the Laemmle family. Is that a good or bad example?

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I don't know about familial nepotism as much as romantic nepotism. William Randolph Hearst originally wanted to produce Marie Antoinette as a vehicle for Marion Davies, but in the early '30s it fell through, then Norma Shearer wanted to do it at MGM and Irving Thalberg commissioned it before his passing, only to have her continue with production and wear her costume to a party at the Hearst and Davies' mansion that caused quite a stir. That is the only nepotism I could think of. 

 

post-29241-0-29587400-1400298334_thumb.jpg

 

 

Familial is complicated because when you are related to a classic movie star, you have more of a drive to go out on your own. Although, if it must be said, I kinda see something that it took Walter Huston to work with his son, John, to get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1948, and then close to 40 years later, before his death, John directed his own daughter Angelica to get a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Prizzi's Honor. 

post-29241-0-29587400-1400298334_thumb.jpg

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What are you asking for? Good stories about nepotism, or examples of nepotism?

 

William Wyler got his start through being a distant relation of the Laemmle family. Is that a good or bad example?

Right. Richard Zanuck. That was blatant nepotism, but he turned out OK.

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I don't know about familial nepotism as much as romantic nepotism. William Randolph Hearst originally wanted to produce Marie Antoinette as a vehicle for Marion Davies, but in the early '30s it fell through, then Norma Shearer wanted to do it at MGM and Irving Thalberg commissioned it before his passing, only to have her continue with production and wear her costume to a party at the Hearst and Davies' mansion that caused quite a stir. That is the only nepotism I could think of. 

 

attachicon.gifMarie_Antoinette_1938.jpg

 

 

Familial is complicated because when you are related to a classic movie star, you have more of a drive to go out on your own. Although, if it must be said, I kinda see something that it took Walter Huston to work with his son, John, to get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1948, and then close to 40 years later, before his death, John directed his own daughter Angelica to get a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Prizzi's Honor. 

How about Katherine Houghton (Kate's niece) in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. She wasn't very good.

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They aren't examples of bad nepotism but are nepotism:

 

Carl Laemmle: Uncle Carl was well-known for giving jobs to his relatives.

The Westmores were a family of make-up artists who helped one another up the ladder of success.

Various cameramen helped their sons break in to the business including Sol Polito, Haskell Wexler and Conrad Hall.

Producer Grant Tinker helped his son Mark break into the business, actor Jack Lemmon helped his son Chris break into the business as did Walter Matthau with his son Charlie.

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Jack Lemmon helped his son Chris break into the business as did Walter Matthau with his son Charlie.

 

Walter Matthau helped his son: David Matthau also. He had walk-ons and bit parts on television and in movies. The pinnacle of his success was as a suit in the wonderful comedy: Hopscotch (1980). It is unkind to say but my first reaction to him as an actor was to wonder whom he had blackmailed or had slept with to gain a part in a motion picture and to not be replaced after the first take. It was later that I learned that he was the star's son.

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I always thought nepotism was business as usual in Hollywood anyway.  Rance Howard's son Ronny getting a gig on The Andy Griffith Show, brother Clint getting some gigs on the same show.  Although Rance had nothing to do with the show, as far as I know, his friendships might have helped little Ronny.  Then there's the Carradines, Considines, Quaids and the like.  Probably a real long list for this one.

 

Sepiatone

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How about Katherine Houghton (Kate's niece) in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. She wasn't very good.

 

I don't know the details of that casting, outside of Houghton making it on her own in television and on the stage before and working with her aunt on that film being more of an idea by Stanley Kramer than Katharine Hepburn pitching the idea to him. 

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I always thought nepotism was business as usual in Hollywood anyway.  Rance Howard's son Ronny getting a gig on The Andy Griffith Show, brother Clint getting some gigs on the same show.  Although Rance had nothing to do with the show, as far as I know, his friendships might have helped little Ronny.  Then there's the Carradines, Considines, Quaids and the like.  Probably a real long list for this one.

 

Sepiatone[/quote

 

Of course, Ron and Clint Howard, both child stars in the 60s, had different career trajectories later. Ron became an acclaimed director, and it seems like the only acting jobs Cljnt got were bits in Ron's movies.

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One of the worst cases of nepotism was when Sophia Coppola was cast in her father's film The Godfather Part III. She was very wooden.

Sofia Was.even worse in the earlier Coppola film,.PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED,.playing Kathleen Turner's younger sister. However, her role was not crucial, like it was in GODFATHER 3. Its a shame that Winona Ryder couldnt do it due to illness; she would have been perfect imo. But PSGM did feature in a crucial role her cousin, Nicolas Cage, trying on an ill fitting voice.

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George Clooney! Where would he be if his aunt Rosemary could not have sang?  :lol:

He might have become a local news anchor. His dad Nick Clooney was a news anchor in Cincinnati (and elsewhere) for years. I remember my parents watching him on WLWT and WRKC. He had a small role in George's film The Monuments Men...

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I don't know the details of that casting, outside of Houghton making it on her own in television and on the stage before and working with her aunt on that film being more of an idea by Stanley Kramer than Katharine Hepburn pitching the idea to him. 

 They also have the added bonus of their familial resemblance:

katekate_zps96623daa.png

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 Nick Clooney was a news anchor in Cincinnati (and elsewhere) for years. I remember my parents watching him on WLWT and WRKC. He had a small role in George's film The Monuments Men...

 

Nick was also an on air host for AMC for several years back in the '90s. IIRC he ran for congress a few years ago, but lost.

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In his introductory remarks tonight for THE CAREY TREATMENT, Ben mentioned that director Blake Edwards cast his daughter Jennifer in a small role.  He also cast Mel Torme's daughter.  Plus in a supporting part as a nurse, we have Skye Aubrey-- daughter of actress Phyllis Thaxter and Jim Aubrey, who at the time was the head of MGM.  

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In his introductory remarks tonight for THE CAREY TREATMENT, Ben mentioned that director Blake Edwards cast his daughter Jennifer in a small role.  He also cast Mel Torme's daughter.  Plus in a supporting part as a nurse, we have Skye Aubrey-- daughter of actress Phyllis Thaxter and Jim Aubrey, who at the time was the head of MGM.  

..and Skye Aubrey played a very unseemly role, given her parentage.

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I doubt if Kramer would have had the idea of using Houghton, were Hepburn not in the film. By the way, no photo should highlight Hepburn's feet, like this one does. Arrrrrgh.

 

I think Hepburn did it out of generosity, not out of nepotism. Remember in that film Tracy's health was on the decline, and I can understand wanting family around. Hepburn was very generous regarding her friends and family. Houghton's career needed the boost, but Houghton was already doing stage and television work at the time. I don't see Hepburn falling into the typical Hollywood nepotism category at all just for boosting her niece with an opportunity to work with her. If you want a standard case of nepotism, look at Meryl Streep and how her children have been in her films and even THEY have to take minor supporting roles just to match her ego. 

As for Hepburn's feet, who cares? 

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I think Hepburn did it out of generosity, not out of nepotism. Remember in that film Tracy's health was on the decline, and I can understand wanting family around. Hepburn was very generous regarding her friends and family. Houghton's career needed the boost, but Houghton was already doing stage and television work at the time. I don't see Hepburn falling into the typical Hollywood nepotism category at all just for boosting her niece with an opportunity to work with her. If you want a standard case of nepotism, look at Meryl Streep and how her children have been in her films and even THEY have to take minor supporting roles just to match her ego. 

As for Hepburn's feet, who cares? 

I care. They're ugly.

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As much as I like John Wayne, everytime I see one of his sons with a speaking role in any of his films - it is difficult to watch.  I'm not even sure of their names, or how many sons he let appear in his films of the late '50s and early '60s,  All I know is that it distracts from the movie - even The Searchers.

 

 

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