Attaining celebrity status not only puts a specific person in the spotlight but frequently elevates significant others, wives, husbands, children and sometimes even pets to star status. However, achievements of brothers and sisters of famous people are often overlooked, especially if the sibling has a different surname or their success is not in the field of entertainment. Conversely, just as some families turn out a stream of doctors or lawyers, certain lineages produce brothers and sisters who all end up in the entertainment business, some names you read about everyday and others you may have never heard of.
Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth
These three Australian brothers are all actors, albeit in totally different genres. Luke first gained notoriety in an Aussie soap called Neighbours and has built his career appearing in a variety of TV shows in supporting roles. Middle brother Chris also debuted on Australian TV and made his big worldwide splash as the title character in the movie Thor in 2011, a role he reprised in The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. Baby brother Liam, who appeared in the same soap opera as Luke, gained star status in the hit movie The Hunger Games. Although the brothers are relatively close in age, there’s no career animosity among them. As Liam told the Herald Sun in 2010, “We are brothers and we are always competitive, but it is a good thing, it pushes us and we are always happy whenever someone books something.”
Casey and Ben Affleck
While big brother Ben stole the spotlight for years after his breakthrough hit Good Will Hunting with pal Matt Damon, in which Casey had a small role, Casey quietly watched from the wings, winning parts here and there in movies and TV. He played a young Robert Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, a TV mini-series but his big break was in 2007 when he received an Oscar nomination for his role supporting Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Just three years apart in age, these siblings have enjoyed success in a number of diverse projects. Jake got his first big break at 11-years-old playing Billy Crystal‘s character’s son in the 1991 comedy movie City Slickers. The very next year, Maggie was cast in her first role in Waterland followed by A Dangerous Woman the following year. Jake gained international acclaim for his co-starring role with Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain. Between the two, Jake and Maggie have racked up over 70 acting credits so far, with neither showing any signs of slowing down.
Owen, Andrew and Luke Wilson
More people have heard of Owen and Luke Wilson than Andrew Wilson, their older brother, even though he’s appeared in 27 movies since 1995. Owen’s first role was in 1994 and he has over 50 roles to his credit, as does youngest brother Luke. Luke and Andrew had their first movie roles in the same movie, Bottle Rocket, in 1996 and teamed up again in 2005 for The Wendell Baker Story. Bottle Rocket director Wes Anderson has made three movies with all three brothers in them. Sibling rivalry is apparently no problem in the Wilson family.
Elle and Dakota Fanning
These towhead sisters are only 4 years apart in age and Elle, the younger of the pair, towers in height over her big sister Dakota. Dakota stole the show and soared to stardom after co-starring with Sean Penn in the critically acclaimed I Am Sam in 2001 after appearing in 10 TV shows. Her resume includes over 50 film and television roles. Little sis Elle has played younger versions of her sister’s roles in two movies, I Am Sam and the TV miniseries Taken and has 38 additional roles to her credit in both TV and movies. Not bad for someone who just turned sweet 16.
Elizabeth, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen
The Olsen twins, Ashley and Mary-Kate spent their first 8 years as one of the stars of the hit sitcom Full House where, starting at 6 months old, they took turns playing the role of Michelle Tanner. Elizabeth was born 3 years after her sisters began their acting career. Her first starring role in Martha Marcy May Marlene garnered rave reviews in 2011 and after 9 forgettable roles in the years that followed, Elizabeth shared the starring roles in the recently released Godzilla with Brian Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Now that Ashley and Mary-Kate are devoted to fashion careers, it may be time for sister number three to take center stage.
Brad, Doug and Julie Pitt
It can’t be easy following in the steps of an older brother as famous as Brad Pitt but his brother Doug and sister Julie seem quite comfortable in their roles. Doug has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Republic of Tanzania since 2010, founded of Care To Learn, an American-based domestic charity that sponsors emergent health, hunger and hygiene needs for children, and launched ServiceWorld Computer Center. Sister Julie, now Julie Pitt Neal, also has philanthropic projects in Africa and recently adopted two Ethiopian children. Seems like Brad had those strong charitable genes long before he met Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie and James Haven
Two years older than his sister Angelina Jolie, James Haven‘s acting career in began 1998 with minor roles in two films starring his sister, Gia and Hell’s Kitchen, with Gia garnering Jolie an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. Haven appeared in more movies with Jolie such as Original Sin. He shares his sister’s humanitarian concerns, which were instrumental in him founding Artivist, a Los Angeles festival that draws attention to environmental issues as well as human rights and animal rights. Haven is still involved in film production, direction and acting, with his last role being in 2013’s short film Easy Silence.
James, Dave and Tom Franco
The oldest of the Franco children, James first gathered fans as one of the characters on the short-lived but eventual cult TV show Freaks & Geeks in 1999. Since then he’s portrayed James Dean and starred in such memorable films as Pineapple Express, Milk and 127 Hours, as well as three Spider-Man films. Dave Franco, the youngest brother, has appeared in more than 20 films and TV shows and has received rave reviews for his role in 21 Jump Street and the recently released movie 22 Jump Street. Tom Franco, the middle brother, appeared in Basket Case 2 in 1990 and in two short films in 2005 and 2007.
Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
Two of the most well-known celebrity siblings, these two powerhouse actors have acting credits miles long as well as Oscars to honor their accomplishments. Beatty won the coveted statue as director for “Reds” in 1981 and MacLaine took the trophy for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the heart-wrenching 1983 movie “Terms of Endearment.” They both pursued acting careers as young adults, although MacClaine broke into the industry as a dancer. With MacClaine only three years older than her brother, they’ve been close throughout their lives, with MacClaine a high school cheerleader and Beatty a high school football player. They reportedly engaged in a lot of pranks in their youth, much to the dismay of their father, a middle school principal.
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