If you were going to put on a play in your neighbourhood, then you would only have a limited pool of actors to draw from. Depending on how many people you know, you may be forced to look to friends and family members to take on a part. Hollywood has no such excuse for restricting the scope of people within a production. Despite this, we still see family members acting together on the big screen. On a few, thankfully rare occasions, these relatives have portrayed lovers.
We are here today to look at the times when a performer has played a romantic role with a member of their family. From the seductive twins of ancient Britain to the stage act of the King of Shock Rock himself…
Here are 14 Real Life Relatives Who Played Romantic Couples!
14. Jason & Justine Bateman In Arrested Development
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakingly referred to actor Jason Bateman as Justin Bateman, an error that has since been corrected.
This is one example where using relatives actually made sense. Arrested Development was a show that had numerous plots and references to incest. Actually using a brother & sister duo to portray potential lovers is taking the joke to the next level.
In the episode “Family Ties”, Michael Bluth (played by Jason Bateman) believes that he has another sister named Nellie (as he finds information concerning an “N.Bluth”). After going through the Bluth Company’s old computer files, Michael manages to find a number for a girl named Nellie. He believes this girl to be his long lost sister, but she is actually a prostitute that works for his father.
Michael hires Nellie for the Bluth Company, while unaware of her true profession. Nellie leads Michael to a hotel, where she admits that she is attracted to him (although this is a set-up for the reveal that Michael’s brother, Gob, was Nellie’s pimp).
Nellie was played by Justine Bateman, the older sister of Jason, the actor who plays Michael. Throughout the episode, she had to go on dinner dates with him, admit she was attracted to him and have Michael ask her to marry him at the end.
13. Seth & Rachael McFarlane In Family Guy & American Dad
One of the perks of having a high-ranking job is that you can find employment for your friends and family members. This certainly helped the voice acting career of Rachael McFarlane, who managed to get many roles on shows that her brother worked on (although, that’s not to say she isn’t talented in her own right). Along with Family Guy and American Dad!, Rachael McFarlane has also done voices on shows like Johnny Bravo, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and The Batman.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses in the world of nepotism, however, as Rachael and Seth McFarlane have voiced lovers at several points over the years.
In Family Guy, Rachael McFarlane voiced Olivia Fuller, who is a rival of Stewie’s before becoming his girlfriend. This led to them recording such romantic numbers as “You Do“. The Stewie & Olivia romance was pretty innocent, as both of the characters were still babies. There have been instances where Rachael voiced one of Quagmire’s romantic conquests (like a flight attendant he seduces on a plane).
There have been several instances in American Dad! where Hayley (voiced by Rachael) dated men who looked like her father (voiced by Seth). One of these episodes was “Pulling Double Booty”, where Haley dates her father’s body double.
Seth and Rachael have discussed the fact that they have voiced love interests before and they laugh about it (while looking slightly disturbed by the revelation).
12. Sophie Lovell Anderson & Eloise Lovell Anderson In The Bastard Executioner
With the success of Game of Thrones (and The Tudors before it), several networks have attempted to create shows that add violence and sex to medieval-style political dramas. One of the most recent examples of these was The Bastard Executioner, which ran on Fox in 2015. The show was set in Wales during the 14th century and followed a knight who was seeking revenge on the Baron that betrayed him many years earlier. The Bastard Executioner failed to find an audience and was cancelled after only one season.
One of the only memorable things about The Bastard Executioner was a scene in the episode “Effigy/Delw”. Two of the characters in the show were twin sisters, named Clara and Ramona. They are prostitutes that have their own agenda amongst all of the other plotting and treachery that takes place on the show. At one point, they seduce a man by having a threesome with him. This involves the two twins kissing passionately.
Clara and Ramona were played by Sophie Lovell Anderson and her twin sister, Eloise Lovell Anderson. One only wonders how much needs to be tagged on to a paycheck (or two) to make twin sisters make out on a prime time TV show.
11. Pepi & Ruth Hermine In Putney Swope
There is a good chance that you are familiar with Robert Downey Jr. He is best known for playing Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of the older readers out there might know him better for his highly public issues with drugs and the law (or maybe from his time on Ally McBeal).
What you might be unaware of is the fact that Robert Downey Jr. has a famous father, who directed many underground films over a career that spanned nearly sixty years. Robert Downey Sr.’s best-known film is Putney Swope, a 1969 film about a black man who takes over a company and fires nearly all of the white employees. After he stops taking business from cigarette and alcohol companies, he becomes a target of the government.
In Putney Swope, the president of the United States of America was played by Pepi Hermine, who was a little person actor. The first lady was played by his sister, Ruth Hermine. At one point during the movie, both the president and the first lady get into bed kiss passionately.
10. Chyler Leigh & Christopher Khayman Lee In Kickboxing Academy
Chyler Leigh will likely be familiar to fans of the Supergirl TV show. She plays Alex Danvers, the adoptive sister of Supergirl. Chyler Leigh also had a major role on Grey’s Anatomy, where she played the role of Lexie Grey. These are big TV roles that she is held alongside many other smaller parts in films and shows over the years.
It doesn’t matter what roles she gets in the future, however, as they will be overshadowed by the part she played in the 1997 film, Kickboxing Academy. It doesn’t matter if she gets hired to play Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, or Vito Corleone in a Godfather reboot, as Chyler Leigh will forever be known as the person who made out with her own brother on film.
Kickboxing Academy is essentially Karate Kid except with a larger focus on romance. The love interests, in this case, were played by Chyler Leigh and her brother, Christopher Khayman Lee. So how far does this romance go? Both Chyler and Christopher make out at several points during the film.
9. Garry & Penny Marshall In Hocus Pocus
When Hocus Pocus was released in 1993, it failed to achieve any significant success at the box office. It wasn’t until it started being repeated on TV that the film became a cult classic. The story of three witches that are brought into the modern day found an audience on the Disney Channel. The film has grown in popularity and fans have been clamouring for a sequel for years now.
At one point in Hocus Pocus, the three witches encounter a man in a devil costume, whom they believe to be the real thing. The man has a nagging wife, whom the sisters believe to be Medusa, on account of the curlers in her hair resembling snakes. This couple is actually played by the brother/sister duo of Garry and Penny Marshall. Both of them went uncredited and seemingly only did the movie for the fun of it. Garry and Penny Marshall are actually very successful Hollywood actors and producers, with projects like Happy Days, Cinderella Man and The Princess Diaries to their names.
8. Dick & Joyce Van Patten In Diagnosis Murder
In the Diagnosis: Murder episode, “Murder at the Telethon”, the emergency room needs one hundred thousand dollars in order to stay open. A telethon is held in order to try and raise the money that they need. A washed up old TV comedian named Buddy Blake (played by Dom Deluise) is called in to host the telethon. He brings in some of his old colleagues, including a writing duo named Monty and Sarah Emerson to help the show. Monty and Sarah are played by the real-life brother and sister duo of Dick Van Patten and Joyce Van Patten. Buddy Blake is murdered on live TV and it is up to the cast to solve the mystery of his death.
Dr. Mark Sloan (played by Dick Van Dyke) starts questioning everyone involved in order to establish an alibi. He goes to Monty and Sarah, who are singing romantic songs on a piano to one another. It is established that they used to be married but got divorced after Sarah had an affair with Buddy. When asked for an alibi, they both shout out in unison that they were “MAKING WHOOPIE” when Buddy Blake was killed.
7. Peter & Jane Fonda In Spirits Of The Dead
The works of Edgar Allen Poe have been adapted to the stage and screen on many occasions. One of the most famous of these is Spirits of the Dead, which was an anthology film made up of three of Poe’s stories. The first of these was called “Metzengerstein” and it starred Jane Fonda as a lusty Countess, who lives a life of partying. While out riding, she gets her leg caught in a bear trap. The Countess is saved by her cousin, who is played by Peter Fonda (Jane’s brother). The two had never met before (due to a family rivalry) and the Countess begins to romantically lust for her cousin.
The “Metzengerstein” segment of the movie involves a lot of longing romantic gazes between Jane Fonda and her brother. At one point, he wraps her in his cloak to protect her from the cold, whilst he is still wearing it. Luckily for the audience, the Countess has her cousin murdered before things got a bit too House Lannister.
6. Harry & Daisy Earles In Freaks
Freaks is a disturbing movie for a lot of reasons. The incest overtones are probably the most normal thing about it.
The story of Freaks involves a beautiful woman named Cleopatra, who marries a carnival freak named Hans after learning of a massive inheritance that he has coming to him. At the end of the film, Cleopatra is badly wounded and is transformed into the “human duck”. The original final scene of the movie was of an audience looking at the clucking Cleopatra.
Due to MGM not liking this dark ending to the film, they commissioned a new ending that was happier. On current releases of the film, the darker ending is considered the true finale, while the happier one is more of an alternate climax to the story. In this new ending, Hans is now a millionaire. He is reunited with Frieda, the woman he was engaged to before meeting Cleopatra. The two of them tearfully reconcile at the end of the film, as Frieda claims to truly love Hans for who he is and not for his wealth.
Hans and Frieda were played by the brother/sister duo of Harry and Daisy Earles. The two of them were actually popular circus performers throughout Germany and worked as a group called The Doll Family, with their sisters Gracie and Tiny.
5. Michael & La Toya Jackson In Say Say Say
Michael Jackson never needed help when it came to being a bit weird. Even at the height of his popularity, he was known for some strange behaviour (like sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber).
One of the earliest examples of a bizarre Michael Jackson act occurred in the music video for “Say Say Say“, a song he performed with Paul McCartney. In the video, both Jackson and McCartney play a couple of roguish con artists, who pull various scams to make money. Paul McCartney’s love interest in the video was played by his wife, Linda McCartney. Michael Jackson’s love interest was also played by a woman who shared his surname, but not for the same reasons…
At the end of the “Say Say Say” video, Michael Jackson is seen lusting after a girl in the bar. She is played by La Toya Jackson, his older sister. The line “Cos I love you” is sung directly to La Toya by Michael. He leaves her with a bunch of flowers as the video ends.
4. Danny & Lucy DeVito In It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
In the second season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the acclaimed comedy actor Danny DeVito joined the main cast of characters. He plays the role of Frank Reynolds, a crazed man in the throes of a mid-life crisis that has gone on for way too long.
Danny DeVito’s daughter, Lucy DeVito has had several small roles on the show throughout the run of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the episode “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom”, the two finally got to interact on screen.
Frank arranges to go on a date with an old friend from high school. While the two of them are awaiting service in a restaurant, an attractive waitress catches Frank’s eye. While his date drones on about her life, Frank keeps checking out the waitress, as the camera pans down over her rear and legs. The waitress was the role that Lucy DeVito was given for the episode, so Danny DeVito was checking out his own daughter.
3. Gregory Snegoff & Alexandra Kenworthy In My Neighbour Totoro
My Neighbour Totoro is one of the most acclaimed and beloved movies created by Studio Ghibli (which is an amazing feat, considering the other films produced by that company). The film is even loved by people within the movie industry, as a plush toy of Totoro appeared in Toy Story 3. It took a long time for the films produced by Studio Ghibli to receive mainstream attention in the West. It really took the international success of Spirited Away to give Studio Ghibli the praise that they deserve.
Chances are, if you have seen the English dub of My Neighbour Totoro, then it was the one produced by Disney in 2005. There was an earlier dub of My Neighbour Totoro that was released in 1993, by Fox Video. In this version of the film, the roles of the mother and the father were played by a mother and son voice acting duo. The mother was voiced by Alexandra Kenworthy and her husband was played by Greg Snegoff, the real life son of Mrs Kenworthy.
2. Ben & Meret Becker In Comedian Harmonists
One of the most successful German musical acts before the second World War was the Comedian Harmonists. The life of this group was turned into a film of the same name that was released in 1997. Comedian Harmonists (also known as The Harmonists) followed the lives of the group, as they became international stars. They would eventually butt heads with the Nazis, as three members of the band were Jewish.
Comedian Harmonists starred Ben Becker as Robert Biberti, who runs into issues with one of his fellow bandmates when they both fall in love with the same woman. This woman is Erna, who was played by Meret Becker, Ben’s real-life sister. The two of them end up together and even share a few passionate kisses on-screen.
At the very least, both siblings won awards for their performance in Comedian Harmonists. Meret Becker won Best Supporting Actress at the 1998 German Film Awards. Ben Becker was given a special prize for his role at the 1998 Bavarian Film Awards.
1. Alice & Calico Cooper Live & On Stage
Alice Cooper has been performing live since the mid-’60s and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. The man has seen and done it all. He has retained his title as the King of Shock Rock and still entertains audiences around the world to this day.
Alice Cooper has integrated his daughter, Calico Cooper, into his stage act. Calico is a dancer and usually dresses up as characters from her father’s songs. Due to the sometimes sexual nature of Alice Cooper’s music, this has led to some rather bizarre performances between the two.
One of Alice Cooper’s songs is called “Only Women Bleed”. It is about a woman who is in an abusive marriage. Alice Cooper has performed this on stage, while Calico plays the role of his beaten wife. She cavorts around the stage in a flimsy dress, while her father pretends to beat her.
Alice Coopers’ wife/Calico’s mother also likes to get in on the act. Sheryl Goddard married Cooper in 1976 and the two have been together ever since. The three of them have performed sexually charged stage shows as recently as 2016.
When you consider how long the family has been touring together, their shared experience on the stage is probably just another family activity to them. It is still entertaining as hell, so who are we to judge?