–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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the Nepotistic Winners Are...

A number of nepotistic stars graced the red carpet for the 2009 Academy Awards, but only a select few were able to take home a prestigious gold prize:

Winner of the "Best Actor" Oscar, Sean Penn (Milk) gave a rousing, politically-infused acceptance speech, but failed to mention his family members. Sean's parents Leo Penn and Eileen Ryan, as well as his brother Chris Penn, are all actors.

Penelope Cruz, sister of look-a-like Spanish actress Monica Cruz, won her very first Academy Award ("Best Supporting Actress") for her role in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

In one of the most moving moments of the night, The Reader's Kate Winslet was announced as the "Best Actress" winner, graciously thanking her family and friends. Winslet was born into a family of prestigious British thespians. Click here for more on Kate's connections.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Will "Iron Man" Win a Little Gold Man?

The son of actor/writer/director Robert Downey, Sr. (left), Robert Downey, Jr. (right) has had his fair share of personal and career ups and downs in Hollywood. However, his star is currently on the upswing thanks to his starring role in the 2008 smash hit Iron Man (nominated for "Best Sound Editing" and "Best Visual Effects"), and for his role in the Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder, for which he has been nominated for "Best Supporting Actor." This marks the younger Robert's second Academy Award nomination, the first being a "Best Actor" nod for 1003's Chaplin. For more on the Downeys, click here.

Josh Brolin "Milk"s It

Actor Josh Brolin (left), the son of actor James Brolin (right), is in the running for "Best Supporting Actor" for his role in 2008 "Best Picture" contender Milk. This comes on the heels of his critically-acclaimed role in 2007's No Country for Old Men. This is Josh's first Oscar nomination, a feat even his father, a two-time Golden Globe winner, has yet to accomplish. Will James's wife and Josh's stepmother Barbra Streisand be in the audience showing support? To see our posting on the Brolin boys, click here.

No "Doubt" About Meryl

Considered by many to be the greatest living film actress, Meryl Streep (left) is up for "Best Actress" once again for her performance in the critically-acclaimed drama Doubt. This year's honor marks Meryl's 15th nomination, and would be her third win. Meryl's daughter is actress Mamie Gummer (right), who appeared with her mother for the third time in 2007's Evening. To see our posting on Meryl and Mamie, click here.

Cruzin' for an Oscar

Stunning Spanish movie actress Penelope Cruz (left), sister of stunning Spanish TV star Monica Cruz (right), has been nominated a second time for an Academy Award. Following a 206 nomination for Volver, her role in 2008's Vicky Cristina Barcelona has earned her a nod in the "Best Supporting Actress" category. The lovely lookalike ladies are also in the midst of promoting their fashion line, dubbed "Mango." To see our posting on the Cruz women, click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John Wilkes Booth: Actor/Assassin

As we celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, many people are unaware of the role that nepotism played in his death. Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington because it was a regular performance venue of the prestigious Booth theatrical family, which included John Wilkes Booth, his father, his two brothers, and a sister-in-law. Booth’s parents instilled in their children a strong anti-authoritarian streak, naming John after distant relative and radical British politician John Wilkes. There’s also a family connection to more recent British politics. For more on the Booth family, including a rare photo of the three Booth brothers on stage together, click here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Governor's Son Withdraws His Name

Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the son of former New Hampshire Governor Hugh Gregg, was recently picked by President Barack Obama to be the new Commerce Secretary. A few weeks later, however, Gregg withdrew his name, citing "ideological differences" as his reasoning. Click here for more on the Gregg guys.

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