I’m going to be bouncing around now with post topics to satisfy my writing ADD. So stay tuned for more iconic role/upcoming TV pilot posts. In the meantime enjoy my latest post topic—Celebrity Siblings with Huge Disparities in Success!
1. Dennis Quaid and Randy Quaid- Randy’s film career started off very strong, appearing in Peter Bogdonovich’s The Last Picture Show, and moving on to even getting an Oscar nod for his work in 1973’s The Last Detail. He segued successfully into comedy appearing on SNL (1985-6), the Vacation series, Kingpin and Independence Day. But in the last few years a series of incidents have lead the public to believe that Randy Quaid is certifiably insane. In 2008, while rehearsing for a Seattle production of a Western-themed version of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor called Lone-Star Love, the Actor’s Equity Association (a union which represents stage actors) banned Quaid for life and fined him more than $81,000 for “physically and verbally abusing his fellow performers.” Quaid responded to this charge stating, “I am guilty of only one thing: giving a performance that elicited a response so deeply felt by the actors and producers with little experience of my creative process that they actually think I am Falstaff.” In 2009, Quaid and his wife were arrested for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper, burglary, and conspiracy and they kept missing their court appearances leading to arrest warrants, fines and probation. A year later they faced burglary charges again, reportedly living in a guest house without permission, to which they claim that the house was actually theirs, but had wrongfully transferred to a third party by the use of the forged signature of a fake dead woman named Ronda Quaid. In October 2010, Randy and his wife hauled ass to Canada to seek protection under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Act but were arrested at the border. They claimed that their lives were in danger as they, along with numerous actors, were being followed by “Hollywood star whackers.” Needless to say, Randy isn’t viewed as a Hollywood success story.
His brother Dennis on the other hand has continued to work steadily since the mid-90s, appearing in family friendly fare such as The Parent Trap, The Rookie, and most recently, Soul Surfer, action films such as The Day After Tomorrow and G.I. Joe, and dramas such as the HBO Film, The Special Relationship. While he’s had some tabloid worthy stories in the past (a cocaine addiction in the early 90s, being cheated on by Meg Ryan), he’s considered a fine, bankable, likeable actor and can be seen in the upcoming Footloose remake.
2. Rob Lowe and Chad Lowe- Rob Lowe has managed to work and stay relevant since 1983. He first appeared with Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze and Ralph Maccio in The Outsiders and cemented his position as a Hollywood hottie/bad boy in 1985’s St. Elmo’s Fire. In 1988, he was involved in a sex scandal when a videotape surfaced of him having sex with two women, one of whom was sixteen. He of course asserted that he didn’t know she was underage at the time. Another part of that same sex tape featured him having sex with a model in Paris and became one of the first commercially available celebrity sex tapes. After its release Lowe entered rehab for sex and drug addiction. But since then he has been clean, married, and well-liked appearing in comedies such as Wayne’s World and Austin Powers 2, and critically acclaimed television dramas such as The West Wing and Brothers and Sisters. He is in marvelous shape and currently he can be seen pointing at people and saying their name (“Ann Perkins!”) as the hilarious Chris Traeger.
Chad Lowe is most famous for being left out of wife at the time Hilary Swank’s Oscar acceptance speech for Boys Don’t Cry in 2000. He is an actor though, mostly on televison, whose biggest role was as Deputy Chief of Staff on the sixth season of 24.
3. Sean Penn and Chris Penn- Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner (for Mystic River and Milk) who is considered by many to be one of the greatest actors of his generation. He is an actor, screenwriter and director, as well as an outspoken social/political activist. In his personal life, Spicoli has always been a center of attention as he was at one point was married to Madonna and later, actress Robin Wright (Better known as Forrest Gump’s Jenny or The Princess Bride. Which one moreso?!) They recently got divorced and Penn can be currently be seen in Us Weekly in pictures where he is canoodling with Scarlett Johanssen.
Chris Penn on the other hand, while mostly well-liked, seemed to only play lugs, low-lives, villains or bit comic parts and never quite achieved his brother’s success. He’s best known for his appearances in Resevoir Dogs, True Romance, and for me, Rush Hour. Unfortunately Chris died in 2006, at the age of 40 from heart disease, probably caused by his weight and prescription drug usage.
4. Ron Howard and Clint Howard- Clint Howard also happened to be a child actor, but never quite reached the fame of his older brother. His most famous parts as a child were as a weird looking baby in an episode of Star Trek, the voice of the little elephant Hathi Jr. in Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) and as the voice of Roo in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966). Later, Clint became a mostly one-scene cameo actor, appearing in all 17 of his brother’s films as well as in non-Ron Howard related work such as Austin Powers, Night at the Museum 2 and That Thing You Do. His biggest professional achievement was being the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1998 MTV Movie Awards, an award whose previous recipients were Chewbacca, Godzilla and The Three Stooges.
Ron, as I wrote about previously, is perhaps one of the most successful child stars of all-time, finding success as a child, a teenager and an adult. Despite living his entire life in the business, he never had any notable run-ins with the law, seems to be well-adjusted, has well-adjusted kids, and is a big-time (though not necessarily fantastic) Oscar-winning director. He also is responsible for producing and narrating the funniest television series of all-time, Arrested Development.
5. Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff- Hilary Duff was at one point the biggest, hottest young star in the Disney universe. She starred in the number-one show for kids (Lizzie McGuire), recorded three platinum albums (Metamorphosis, Hilary Duff, Most Wanted and apparently she even has a “Best of” Album!) which are filled with some quality hit pop songs (So Yesterday, Come Clean, The Math(!)). Billboard even ranked her the 69th artist of the 2000s! She had a clothing line (the cleverly titled Stuff by Hilary Duff), perfume collection, and she even wrote a young adult “novel.” She was also in the news for a while for dating the tattooed Good Charlotte “badboy” Joel Madden (though how “bad” can you be when you write lyrics like “Girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money/Boys will laugh at girls when they’re not funny.”) While she isn’t so hot right now, she is still producing and acting, appearing on Gossip Girl and Community. She is also slated to appear in a remake of Bonnie and Clyde and can still hold her own starring in direct to DVD movies. She’s rich, she’s famous, she can still get on the cover of magazines…she’s doing just fine.
Haylie Duff? She’s the one that Hilary’s mom makes her include in everything she does. “Hilary, let your older sister sing on your album! Let her design something for your collection! Let her have sex with someone who you didn’t want to have sex with, but you feel sorry for.” Somehow Haylie actually finagled her way into a producer’s credit on A Cinderella Story! Her biggest non-Hilary related role was in Napoleon Dynamite. Since then she’s hosted the reality show Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods (a musical she only appeared in as part of the chorus) and appeared in straight to DVD movies. Definitely the lesser Duff.