–noun patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics. In the entertainment industry, this is known as Hollywood NepotismTM. Talent not required.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Times Sure Go By Fast

Hard to believe it's been 26 years since the hit teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgement High launched the careers of nepotistic actors like Sean Penn, son of director Leo Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, daughter of actor Vic Morrow, Phoebe Cates, daughter of producer Joseph Cates, and Robert Romanus, brother of veteran character actor Richard Romanus. Smaller roles were played by Nicolas Cage, nephew of famed director Frances Ford Coppola and Pamela Springsteen, sister of Bruce Springsteen. Pamela went on to star in the straight-to-video teen slasher films Sleepaway Camp II & III along with Renee Estevez, daughter of Martin Sheen and sister of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Fast Times is also notable for several big screen debuts. It was the first feature film written by Cameron Crowe, best known for Almost Famous (2000), which starred Goldie Hawn's daughter Kate Hudson. It was the big screen acting debut of Forest Whitaker, who didn't benefit from nepotism himself, but whose two younger brothers, Kenn and Damon, used his fame to gain a smattering of small roles in various projects. And while it has nothing to do with nepotism, Fast Times was also the big screen acting debut of Lana Clarkson, the b-movie actress who was shot dead in Phil Spector's home on February 3, 2003. Spector's first trial for her murder ended in a hung jury--his retrial is now in progress.

The special edition DVD of Fast Times at Ridgemont High is now available on

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