The Other Brother: less successful siblings of superstars

Sharing a last name with a famous movie star can be a curse or a blessing. Here are some of Hollywood's lesser-known siblings...

Apollo 13

Making babies isn’t an exact science, so while one of your kids might grow up to be a top movie star or a major Hollywood director, your others might, er, not. Of course, that shouldn’t stop them having a crack at it anyway, even if there’s a certain amount of coat-tail riding to be done. Here’s a selection of our favourite lesser siblings (boys only, this time round):

Eric Roberts While his younger sister, Julia, was infecting cinema screens in the 1990 uber-shit chick-flick hit Pretty Woman, Eric was busy with such classics as, er… The Ambulance.

Clearly, his sibling has enjoyed far more success, despite getting into showbiz later, and thus having a less extensive CV. While Julia is an immense figure in Hollywood, Eric has struggled to be noticed in the gloom of her not inconsiderable shadow. And it’s not like he hasn’t been trying. Once you’re aware of him, you’ll notice he pops up everywhere, and generally, he does a pretty good job.

Much of the time, he’s appearing in straight-to-DVD B-movie material, like the ridiculous DOA: Dead Or Alive. Other times, he’s doing a turn in TV dramas, such as Heroes, in which he played the cold-hearted Thompson. He’s even had a go at comedy, with the vaguely amusing sitcom Less Than Perfect.

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However, many of us will remember him most for his role in the 1989 martial arts movie Best Of The Best, in which he hammed it up to perfection, not forgetting to add extra cheese. If the world were a fair place, he’d be a huge Hollywood star, and his sister would be relegated to presenting a late-night shopping channel.

Daniel Baldwin When it comes to the Baldwin boys, it’s not just Daniel that has to play second fiddle to brother Alec. William and Stephen too, have failed to get the kind of recognition that their more successful sibling has received. Stephen came close with a decent performance in The Usual Suspects, but never really did much else of note. William’s best attempt was probably the mediocre Backdraft (1991).

However, Daniel gets the nod, by managing to rack up no hits at all. It’s not like he hasn’t been busy though. In fact, he’s managed to appear in loads of shit movies over the years, including the woeful John Carpenter’s Vampires.

If there’s one thing he can hold on to, it’s the fact that he’s the only one of the four brothers who hasn’t been nominated for a Razzie. Unfortunately, it’s because he’s so insignificant, even his failed movies (i.e. all of them) aren’t worth the effort of ridiculing.

Donnie Wahlberg Back in the day, Donnie was the one with all the fame, forming part of the inexplicably popular boyband New Kids On The Block. However, his little brother, ‘Marky’ Mark, had left the band before they gained any real success, and went on to build himself a reasonably successful solo career.

When the NKOTB days came to their inevitable end, Mark was on his way to becoming a Hollywood actor, and soon carved himself a career as a credible leading man. Donnie, meanwhile, took a few more years to get into the acting biz, and unsurprisingly found himself in the shadow of his brother.

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Fortunately, it turned out he could act, and he since been getting favourable reviews for his performances. For example, he turned up in The Sixth Sense, portraying soggy, unhinged loony to an unnerving tee. Since then, he’s gone on to take the lead role in the last three Saw films. Yes, they’re fairly awful movies, but he puts in a decent performance.

Is he better than his brother? I would have said ‘no’, but then I’ve seen Planet Of The Apes, so I’ll just say it’s inconclusive.

Clint Howard Despite being the busier brother in recent years, in terms of acting, it’s quite likely that many of us aren’t even aware of Clint’s existence. While his big bro is famous for his role as Ritchie Cunningham in Happy Days, and then for directing big budget movies like The Da Vinci Code, Clint has been steadily adding to his varied, and really quite impressive CV.

Although you might not know his name or realise his relation to Ron, once you’ve seen his face, you’re almost certain to recognise him from something. Not only does he make appearances in most of his brother’s movies, his somewhat odd-looking face means he’s never short of work, whether it be as a Ferengi in Star Trek, or as the aptly-named Creepy Rodney in My Name Is Earl.

While his brother might get all the plaudits and all the awards, at least Clint can be happy in the knowledge he didn’t direct Apollo 13.

Jim Hanks Probably the lowest profile of all the siblings mentioned here, Jim gets a mention anyway, by virtue of the fact that he looks so much like Tom, and also because on more than one occasion, he’s filled roles most usually associated with his brother.

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In two videogames and one straight-to-DVD movie, he’s provided the voice of Woody from Toy Story. He did the same for the Polar Express videogame, voicing the characters that Tom played in the movie. In addition to this, he’s credited on Forest Gump as his brother’s ‘running double’.

Other than that, his list of credits is fairly light, which is probably down to his uncanny resemblance to his most famous family member. On the plus side, at least he wasn’t in Apollo 13.

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