BEST Acting By Someone Cast Through Nepotism

I’ve waited for hours for someone to turn the tables on Sampiro’s fascinating “Worst Acting By Someone Cast Through Nepotism,” and when the thread was not forthcoming, here I be.

Lilianne Mumy, daughter and lookalike of father Bill, was cast as his daughter in the 2002 Twilight Zone episode, It’s Still A Good Life, sequel to the original classic version of Jerome Bixby It’s A Good Life. She gave an excellent performance.

Any others cast for similar reasons who acquitted themselves with noncringeworthy work?

Sir Rhosis

How about Jane Fonda as Henry Fonda’s daughter in On Golden Pond?

I don’t think we should be quick to conclude that Mumy’s daughter was cast due to nepotism. It’s quite likely that the producers thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cute if his fictional daughter were played by his real-life offspring? There’s even a clear family resemblance, which is a plus.”

Well, Fonda was well established with a long history before “On Golden Pond.” And I agree that it a nice idea to have Ms Mumy play the part (and even think she had acted before).

I’m looking more for offspring who were c ast who really didn’t have a lot of experience, but who did a fine job, nontheless.

Sir Rhosis

Gena Rowlands, directed by her husband John Cassavettes in A Woman Under the Influence.

Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes in Oliver!, directed by his uncle Carol Reed.

Mia Farrow directed by Woody Allen in The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Joanne Woodward in the title role of Rachel, Rachel, directed by her husband Paul Newman.

Talia Shire in The Godfather, Part II, directed by her brother Francis Ford Coppola. (She authorized this photo on IMDb? Ugh.)

Norma Shearer in A Free Soul, made when her husband Irving Thalberg was executive in charge of production at M-G-M.

I like Nic (Coppolla) Cage a lot, but don’t know any specific roles he got through nepotism.

Brett Harrellson did a fine job in The People Vs. Larry Flynt. Or everone in The Long Riders for that matter. Exactly how many Carridines have there been?

Yes, I agree. Someone in the “Worst” thread brought up the various Carradine brothers. I find them all to be very fine competent actors, especially Keith. I only know of father John, and sons David, Keith and Robert.

Sir Rhosis

I thought about it. But I wanted it to be someone else. And that outweighed my urge to post it. That someone else is you.

The film version of “Danny the Champion of the World” contained Jerremy Irons and his real-life son, Samuel Irons. I thought Samuel acted beautifully and the film was a success.
I may be biassed though. I’ve been a roald dahl fan my entire life and a jerremy irons fan since I first saw him.

I loved Joan Cusack’s character in Grosse Pointe Blank.

I don’t think she’d count, under the assumed rules of the thread. Her first film role was in 1980, and while not all of her numerous roles between Cutting Loose (1980) and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) were GOOD, more than a couple were high-profile, big-hype stuff (Broadcast News, Working Girl, Say Anything, My Blue Heaven, Toys, Addams Family Values). She was an established actress by that time, and while she may have been cast in part because the brother/sister reality/fiction thing was too cute to pass up, it’s not like she couldn’t have gotten the part even if John weren’t the star.

Are there rules? The Cusack/Cusack/Robbins/Piven connection is pretty strong, but all four of them are at least good actors, (and arguments can be made that two of them are great actors). Piven - the least famous - denies getting his roles through nepotism, saying he auditions like everyone else and gets cast. (John Cusack also co-wrote and co-produced Grosse Pointe Blank - he probably had a little more input in casting that than in some other films)

(Can’t think of anything where they’ve been in each others films where they’ve done anything but a lovely job).

What is their connection? I know they all work together often (and I enjoy it whenever they do), but how are Tim Robbins and Jeremy Piven related to the Cusack siblings?

Jeremy Piven is the bomb.

How about Walter Huston as Howard in his son John Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre? He won Best Supporting Actor for it.

Piven’s parents ran a theatre school in Chicago that the Cusacks attended. Jeremy and John are good friends. Tim and John are apparently good friends as well, or at least enjoy working together enough to keep casting each other in their movies.

Anne Bancroft did a great comedic/sexy turn in her husband’s To Be Or Not to Be remake (even though the movie itself was hit & miss). She was also great in Elephant Man and 84 Charing Cross Road, both of which were produced by Brooks’s production company (though I don’t know how hands-on he was).

Jeannie Berlin was just fine in her mother Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid, managing to go from insensitive to true pathos without any real change in character, as though both aspects were there all along. I’m surprised she vanished after that.

Alfred Hitchcock cast his daughter, Patricia, in “Strangers on a Train,” where she was fairly effective in a small part. She also showed up in “Psycho.”

I thought that Bryce Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter) was pretty awesome in The Village.

But I guess that wasn’t nepotism, was it? Oops.

How about Clint Howard instead? No?

Frances McDormand in Fargo - she’s a fine actress, but she wouldn’t have gotten that part if she weren’t Mrs. Joel Coen.