Picture the scene: you’re sitting down with your family for a nice meal and the conversation turns to what you’re getting up to these days. Being an actor, you talk about auditioning for several commercials, about the several callbacks you’ve received, and about how you think your luck is beginning to change.
You’re pretty pleased with your response… until your sibling, your own traitorous flesh and blood, thunks their Oscar down on the table and the chat turns to how the Vanity Fair award party was and what blockbuster they’re being courted for next. Your accomplishments look rather tame in comparison and you sit silently, grumpily spooning yourself another helping of mashed potato.
As ridiculous as this scenario is, you have to imagine that it’s pretty much the reality for many famous families. Many of us have had to deal with an overachieving sibling, but imagine if their face was plastered on billboards all over the country and, when you were asked questions and interviewed, the subject nearly always turns to them. It’d be enough to give you a complex at the very least.
With all that in mind, we decided to give a shout out to the people who may share the last name of their mega-celebrity counterparts but don’t quite have the same level of fame and admiration that their overachieving brother/sister has.
Here are the 15 Actors Who Live In The Shadow Of Their Famous Siblings.
15. Trent Olsen
Do you remember how surprised we all were when Elizabeth Olsen started rising to prominence? At that point, everyone had heard of the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, but nobody expected Lizzie.
Suddenly, people were talking about this “hidden” Olsen sibling that came out of nowhere and started being awesome in everything she was in. However, that still leaves Trent Olsen, the sisters’ older brother who has several acting credits, none of which are nearly as well known as some of the other Olsens’ filmography.
He played himself in several of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s videos, being best known as the subject of the twins’ song “Brother For Sale”, where the scheming singing twins try to offload their mean bigger brother for a competitive price.
Trent appeared as an extra in bawdy comedy Old School and well as in the show Comedy Corner, but has mostly been working as a writer for John Carpenter’s Storm King Productions, attending tons of sci-fi and comic book conventions in the process.
14. Luke Hemsworth
The genetically gifted Hemsworth family have two bone-fide superstars in their midst. Liam set teenage hearts aflutter as Gale in The Hunger Games franchise and grabbed headlines with his engagement to Miley Cyrus.
However, you don’t need us to tell you that Chris is the megastar of the family, appearing as Thor in the insanely popular Marvel movies, with his third solo movie Thor: Ragnarok currently setting box office tills ringing worldwide.
However, elder brother Luke Hemsworth is no slouch. After first appearing on Australian soap Neighbours, he continued to get TV work before starring in crime thriller movie The Reckoning. His highest profile role to date is undoubtedly as Westworld Head of Security Ashley Stubbs.
For any Marvel fans who haven’t seen Ragnarok yet, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a cheeky cameo appearance as a stage performer playing The God of Thunder. Aside from his Westworld duties, Luke can next be seen in upcoming Australian war movie The 34th Battalion.
13. Taissa Farmiga
Ukranian-American actress Vera Farmiga came onto the Hollywood scene in 2004 and has appeared in several big name movies including The Departed, Up in the Air, Source Code and The Conjuring 1 and 2.
It was her directorial debut with 2011’s Higher Ground that introduced her younger sister Taissa to the world before Taissa moved out on her own with the first American Horror Story season, Murder House.
Since then, Taissa appeared in Sofia Coppola movie The Bling Ring, as well as lower profile films like Mindscape, At Middleton, In a Valley of Violence, and Rules Don’t Apply. Taissa is also part of the DC Animated Universe, with two movies voicing Teen Titan‘s Raven.
As for future projects, Taissa seems to be returning to her horror roots with the lead role in The Nun, a spin-off from her sister’s Conjuring movies, currently slated for release some time next year. If that isn’t perfect casting, we don’t know what is.
12. Frank Stallone
Sylvester Stallone’s younger brother Frank got his first acting role in the first Rocky movie as a singer. He also appeared as a singer in Rocky II and III. Are you noticing a pattern here? Yep, Frank is mostly a musician, although he has a lengthy IMDb page to his name.
Perhaps his biggest achievement was scoring a top ten hit song in the form of “Far From Over” from his brother’s (rather inadvisable) sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive.
Frank has headlined several movies in his own right, including the schlock-tastic Terror in Beverly Hills, but he’s mostly been lurking in his brother’s shadow, with his name appearing on many of the elder Stallone’s projects.
Frank has worked fairly consistently over the years, with his most recent role as the voice of Decepticon Thunderhoof in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated show. Oh – and he’s still touring too.
11. Lisa Roberts Gillan
While Julia Roberts is inarguably the most famous of the Roberts clan, that’s not to discount brother Eric Roberts who is probably one of the hardest working actors going, with a staggering 481 acting credits to his name, many still scheduled for releases throughout the rest of 2017 and beyond.
Spare a thought then for Lisa Roberts Gillan, who has a solid number of acting credits of her own, but nowhere the profile or quantity of her brother and sister. Lisa has been in movies such as I Love Trouble, Runaway Bride, Maid in Manhattan, Mona Lisa Smile and Raising Helen. On top of that, she’s also starred in Friends, Sex and the City and Law and Order.
In a genius bit of casting, she was picked to played her sister’s reflection in the Snow White inspired Mirror Mirror. Her most recent appearance was as Assistant Betty in 2016 comedy drama Mother’s Day, but as brother Eric made 42 TV and movie appearances in 2016 alone, she’s got a way to go before she’s challenging those kinds of numbers.
10. Brain Doyle-Murray
In case you didn’t know, national treasure Bill Murray comes from a big family. The man who would be Peter Venkman was one of nine children. It’s perhaps no surprise then that Bill’s brothers were also bitten by the acting bug.
His older brother Brian Doyle-Murray was even responsible for Bill’s start in comedy, inviting him to be part of Chicago improv group The Second City before he was discovered by John Belushi.
While John and Joel are also actors, Brian is probably the most famous of the other Murray brothers, being a featured player on Saturday Night Live in the ’70s and ’80s and appearing with Bill in many of his movies, including Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters II.
Brian has an impressive acting resume, but is perhaps best known these days for his voice work. Despite featuring in Wayne’s World and As Good as it Gets, Doyle-Murray’s instantly recognizable tones are now known to an entire generation as the voice of pirate ghost The Flying Dutchman in SpongeBob SquarePants.
9. Casey Affleck
There aren’t many Oscar winning actors you could say were overshadowed by their siblings, but when your brother happens to be a multiple Oscar winner and Batman at the same time, it’s going to happen.
Like his brother, Casey started his career early. He was a child actor who appeared in several TV movies and miniseries before getting his first movie role in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For.
His career got a serious boost in 2007, with the one-two punch of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and his brother’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. He’s made regular movie appearances ever since but he got professional recognition and awards galore, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance as grieving alcoholic Lee Chandler in Manchester By The Sea.
Like brother Ben, Casey has also worked behind the camera too. Although his directorial debut Light of My Life is still without a release date, it was announced that he was helming Western drama Far Bright Star in the near future with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role.
8. Sophie Thompson
As both Emma and Sophie Thompson’s parents are also actors, it makes sense that they’d be interested in the family business. While Emma would pick up two Oscars in her lengthy career, younger sister Sophie will be familiar to British households for her extensive television work, most notably as abusive villainess Stella Crawford on popular soap opera Eastenders.
While nowhere near her sister’s crazy numbers, Sophie also has many feature film appearances to her name, including Emma, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Eat Pray Love.
As it was apparently the law that every British actor ever must appear in the Harry Potter movies, Sophie joined her sister in adding to the massive Potter series cast, with a short scene as Mafalda Hopkirk, the Ministry of Magic employee impersonated by Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Sophie has returned to television in recent years, with her latest role in well-received comedy series Detectorists.
7. Jonathan Firth
Oscar winner Colin Firth was most recently seen tearing it up as Galahad in Kingsman sequel The Golden Circle, but he isn’t the only acting Firth by a long shot. Both his brother and sister have performed on stage, but Jonathan Firth is the higher profile of the two.
Jonathan has mostly worked in television, although he has several feature films to his name, most notably Joseph Fiennes movie Luther, for which he received the CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture
If there’s a UK murder mystery series, the smart money is on Jonathan appearing in it at some point. He’s popped up in shows like Cadfael, Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Father Brown and Inspector Morse over his career and shows no signs of slowing down.
While his face is a very regular fixture on British screens, his commendable accomplishments and accolades are rather eclipsed by his brother’s global renown.
6. Mia Tyler
Rock legend Steven Tyler’s famous progeny Liv Tyler should need no introduction. You probably pass that point when you star in movies like Empire Records, The Incredible Hulk and Armageddon as well as some work in a little seen low-budget fantasy trilogy called Lord of the Rings. You may have heard of it. However, Liv isn’t the only actor in the family, as her paternal half-sister Mia also has a few acting credits to call her own.
While Mia has mostly worked as a plus-size model, she’s got a fascinating acting resume. She played lead Laura Simon in family comedy A Little Bit of Lipstick and had her highest profile turn in Rush Hour 3 as Marsha.
They’re both pretty normal sounding until you read that she is also credited as The Body Snatcher in People Are Dead and as Cheese Grater Face in The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol. Most actors can only dream of resume that intriguingly weird.
5. Neil Connery
Make no bones about it, Neil Connery owes his entire acting career to his Bond actor brother Sean. Neil Connery’s first role was as, er… Dr. Neil Connery in Italian superspy knock off O.K. Connery aka Operation Kid Brother aka Operation Double 007, made to capitalize on the global success of the James Bond movies.
The film not only had Sir Sean’s younger brother in the title role, but many of the actors from the official Bond movies too, including Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell as M and Moneypenny.
When the movie failed to gain traction, Neil ventured into infrequent television work before going back to the 007 well in Chinese film Apes Go Places 3 aka Mad Mission 3: Our Man From Bond Street, where he played Mr. Bond, rather unsurprisingly.
Neil continued with his regular job as a plasterer for many years until an accident forced him to retire. He lives a low-key life away from spoofing his sibling in Edinburgh, Scotland.
4. Chad Lowe
By any other marker, Chad Lowe could be considered famous. He’s an Emmy award winner actor who has been in multiple movies, done extensive TV work and worked regularly since the early ’80s. However, he happens to be the brother of former teen idol and comeback king Rob Lowe and that’s when the gulf between their notoriety starts to show.
That’s not to dismiss Chad Lowe’s accomplishments. He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his part in Life Goes On. Probably his biggest role to date has been as Byron Montgomery in Pretty Little Liars, which finished its seven season run this year.
Chad also had a famous wife, Hilary Swank, who notoriously forgot to thank him in her Oscar acceptance speech. Despite Pretty Little Liars ending fairly recently, Chad has already added comedy movie Walk to Vegas and an appearance in Supergirl to his resume.
3. Eric Douglas
Sadly, we have to slightly amend the title for this one to “lived in the shadows of their famous siblings,” as unfortunately Eric Douglas is no longer with us, dying of an accidental overdose in 2004.
Prior to his passing, Eric Douglas once had a promising career, but when your father and brother are Kirk and Michael Douglas, anything below absolute megastardom is going to seem like small potatoes.
He appeared in A Gunfight (the name of a movie, not an actual shootout) alongside his father and Johnny Cash before featuring in comedies Tomboy and Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child.
He also had a stint as a stand-up comedian, with much of his material deriving from his famous family, but nothing really came of it. He racked up another couple of credits in the ’90s, including a memorable episode of Tales from the Crypt in which he co-starred with his father.
However, his personal life started to encroach on his professional career as his well-documented problems with drugs and run-ins with the law soon gave him infamy. This regrettably continued up until his untimely death.
2. Daniel Baldwin
The second eldest of the Baldwin brothers, Daniel is probably the least recognisable of the Baldwin brood, but even then, he’s more famous than most of us could hope for. Daniel made his debut in television movie Too Good to Be True before subsequently appearing in Born on the Fourth of July, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Mulholland Falls.
However, Daniel is probably best known for his role in Baltimore cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street. He received critical praise as Detective Beau Felton, but decided to leave the show after two years. He also appeared in the 2010 Hawaii Five-O reboot as Paul Delano.
Outside of that, he became a regular fixture on reality TV, featuring in Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Rehab, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Wife Swap, and Celebrity Big Brother. According to IMDb, he has a laudable 128 acting credits with multiple (scripted) projects planned for a 2018 release.
1. Jim Hanks
Beloved actor and all-around awesome guy Tom Hanks is one of four children. Whereas Sandra and Larry went on to become a writer and entomologist respectively, both Tom and younger brother Jim wanted to pursue acting careers. Tom Hanks would grow to be one of the biggest names in Hollywood whereas Jim took the lower-key route.
His first “proper” role was in comedy Buford’s Beach Bunnies where he played the titular Jeeter Buford. You may not have seen the movie, but brother Tom definitely did, co-opting his brother’s mannerisms as Jeeter into the character of Forrest Gump.
Jim wasn’t cut out of the equation though, he played the body double for his brother in the movie. Since then, Jim has directed and produced his own movies and made scattered television appearances, including a meta-cameo as Dr. Turner in Scrubs, referencing his big brother’s movie Turner & Hooch.
As both Jim and Tom sound super-similar, Jim has filled in as the voice of Woody in various Toy Story video games, toys, TV show,s and even theme parks. His vocal stylings have been most recently heard in Disney animated show Milo Murphy’s Law.
Can you think of any other actors who live in the shadows of their famous siblings that we forgot? Sound off in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!