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When Classic Movies are a Family Affair

18John Cusack’s new film Martian Child features a guest appearance by his big sister Joan. It’s the tenth time they’ve shared a credit, and while they haven’t always had scenes together in each one of those films, it’s always a treat to see them together, two variations on the same quirkily attractive gene pattern. And of course siblings bring an implied history that enriches their on-screen relationship, especially when, as in this movie, their characters are also brother and sister. (For the record, their other films together are Class, Broadcast News, Grandview, U.S.A., Say Anything…, Sixteen Candles, Grosse Pointe Blank, Cradle Will Rock, High Fidelity, and War, Inc.)

I got to thinking during the movie (which frankly wasn’t holding my attention anyway) of other pairs of celebrity siblings. There are lots of brother-brother and sister-sister celeb sibs, but for some reason brother/sister duos in the movies are rarer. Of course there are any number of actors or actresses whose siblings try to ride their coattails into the movies but never get beyond a few B flicks. But can you think of any examples of brothers and sisters who are both moderately successful actors (i.e., you know of each without having to refer to the other)? I came up with eight pairs, and they’re listed after the jump.

Here are the eight sets I came up with – did I miss any?
• Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal
• Patricia and David and Rosanna Arquette
• Jane and Peter Fonda
• John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore
• Anjelica and Danny Huston
• Michael and Virginia Madsen
• Tyne and Tim Daly (I’m stretching a bit here for these primarily television actors)
• Penny and Garry Marshall (another stretch: Garry is primarily a producer/director, but he’s also appeared in supporting or cameo roles in nearly 40 films.)

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