Last week we discussed children who had BOTH parents who were stars and those who have entered show business and those who haven’t.
Liza Minnelli’s mother and father (Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli) were undoubtedly two of the most talented and successful movie personalities of the mid twentieth century. She as a star, he as a director.
We began wondering who else was born in the 1940s who had TWO successful and well known parents. And we came up with a couple of surprises.
Hello Everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, back again. (Rest assured that our parents were NOT famous.)
Two famous show biz couples in the 1940s were Betty Grable and Harry James and Alice Faye and Phil Harris. James and Harris were bandleaders and musicians, not actors, but you must remember that back then Big Bands, and Bandleaders, were Stars.
Grable and James had two daughters, neither of whom have gone into show business. Faye and Harris had two daughters, and neither of them decided to follow in their parents footsteps either.
Some of you out there might recall that on their radio program Alice and Phil had two daughters who were part of the “act.” But they were portrayed by professional radios actresses, not the Harris offspring. On the radio series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the parts of the Nelson’s two sons were also originally played by professional actors. But the Nelsons, unlike the Harrises, decided to allow their children to join the “act.”
So the Harris girls and the James girls entered and stayed in private life.
But David and Ricky Nelson (below) were, like many, just entering the family business. Harriet Hilliard Nelson’s parents had been headliners in Vaudeville. She was a band singer and actress in films. Rick Nelson went on the great success as a rock star and his children continue the family legacy. His daughter, Tracy Nelson, is and actress and his twin sons are rockers. Of course those three have show business on both sides of their family. Their maternal grandparents were Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox (Mark Harmon’s parents.)
Who, of the current crop of “stars” has the most famous lineage? That would have to be Drew Barrymore (pictured at top.) Drew is descended from several famous show business clans. Her grandparents were John Barrymore and Delores Costello. Delores and her sister Helene were famous silent stars and the daughters of Maurice and Mae Costello of theatre fame.
(Don’t miss Delores in one of her last films as Tim Holt’s mother in Orson Welles’ magnificent production of The Magnificent Ambersons.)
Of course many books can, and have been written about the famous families of the theatre, the Drews and the Barrymores.
Some succeed admirable going into the “family business.” Others fail. Others choose another line of work.