Best Hollywood Nepotists (aka the "Miracles Do Sometimes Happen" list)

Nepotism is a crippling disease that lowers the quality of movies, and dominates Hollywood ever-increasingly like almost no other arena.

However, out of thousands of movie nepotists, laws of statistics say that some have to be good or even great. Here's the list of that small number of exceptions.

And don't look for Daniel Day-Lewis here. He is on my other nepotists list, "Nepotism: Offspring Of Elitism" list.
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1.
Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant)...
 
2.
Jason Robards
Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School...
 
3.
Elizabeth Montgomery
Elizabeth Montgomery was born into show business. Her parents were screen actor Robert Montgomery and Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen. Elizabeth graduated from the Spence School in New York City and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After three years intensive training, she made her...
 
4.
John Lithgow
If "born to the theater" has meaning in determining a person's life path, then John Lithgow is a prime example of this truth. He was born in Rochester, New York, to Sarah Jane (Price), an actress, and Arthur Washington Lithgow III, who was both a theatrical producer and director. John's father was born in Puerto Plata...
 
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6.
Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell was born Kurt Vogel Russell in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Louise Julia (Crone), a dancer, and actor Bing Russell (Neil Oliver Russell). He is of English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters...
 
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8.
Paul Giamatti
Actor, Sideways
Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor, Sideways, and Barney's Version (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, and San Andreas...
 
9.
Kate Beckinsale
Actress, Underworld
Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale...
 
10.
Sissy Spacek
Actress, Carrie
As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin. Sissy attended Quitman High School and was homecoming queen...
 
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12.
Brian Keith
Son of character actor Robert Keith and stage actress Helena Shipman. He grew up on the road with his parents while they toured in plays. First appeared at age 3 in film Pied Piper Malone with his father. Began acting in radio programs and on stage before World War II. Joined the Marines and served as a machine gunner...
 
13.
Sean Astin
Sean Astin is well known for his film debut portraying Mikey in Steven Spielberg's The Goonies, for playing the title role in the critically acclaimed Rudy, and for his role as the beloved Sam Gamgee in the Academy Award winning trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King...
 
14.
Roger Livesey
The son of Joseph Livesey and Mary Catherine (nee Edwards), Roger was educated at Westminster City School, London. His first stage appearance was the office boy in Loyalties at St. James' theatre in 1917. Subsequently, he played in everything from Shakespeare to modern comedies. He played various roles in the West End from 1920 to 1926...
 
16.
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, credited as the inventor of "Spaghetti Western" genre. Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include the sword and sandal action films The Last Days of Pompeii and The Colossus of Rhodes...
 
17.
Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell was the most successful German-speaking actor in English-language films since Emil Jannings, the winner of the first Best Actor Academy Award. Like Jannings, Schell won the Oscar, but unlike him, he was a dedicated anti-Nazi. Indeed, with the exception of Maurice Chevalier and Marcello Mastroianni...
 
18.
Richard Dreyfuss
Actor, Jaws
Richard Dreyfuss is an American leading man, who has played his fair share of irritating pests and brash, ambitious hustlers. He was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, to Geraldine (Robbins), an activist, and Norman Dreyfus, a restaurateur and attorney. His paternal grandparents were Austro-Hungarian Jewish immigrants, and his mother's family was Russian Jewish...
 
19.
Willa Holland
Actress, Arrow
Thanks to Steven Spielberg, who encouraged Darnell Gregorio-De Palma to put her daughter in front of the camera. Willa Holland signed with Ford Modeling Agency at age seven. Since then, she has booked numerous national commercials, and has even launched a career in both the big screen and the small screen. Though Holland made her on-screen debut in 2001 in the film Ordinary Madness...
 
20.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business. Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford)...
 
21.
Griffin Dunne
Griffin Dunne was born on June 8, 1955 in New York City, the oldest child of Dominick Dunne, a producer, actor, and writer, and Ellen Beatriz (Griffin) Dunne, an activist. His sister was actress Dominique Dunne. He grew up mainly in Los Angeles, California and attended school in Colorado before moving back to New York in the late 1970s...
 
22.
Michael Douglas
Actor, The Game
An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns...
 
23.
Nicholas Turturro
Actor, NYPD Blue
The whole Turturro clan and their extended family seem to have gotten into the show biz act at one time or another. The youngest of three boys, including famous older brother (by five years) John Turturro, Nicholas Turturro was born on January 29, 1962, in Queens, New York, and grew up in its Rosedale section...
 
25.
Blake Edwards
Writer, The Party
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point and wrote a number of others, beginning with Panhandle and including six for director Richard Quine...
 
26.
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...