On Father’s Day we remember the times dad taught us to drive, checked our oil and watched “Calamity Jane” with us. I would also like to remember Hollywood fathers that had children who also went on to have film careers. Here are a few of my favorite Hollywood families.
Like father, like son:
John and Patrick Wayne in “The Searchers” (1956)
John Wayne and Patrick Wayne-
Can you think of a more attractive father and son? Patrick Wayne had big cowboy boots to fill but had a modest career as an actor. Patrick was born in 1939, when his father made one of his most successful films “Stagecoach.” Patrick was 11 when he made his first film, “Rio Grande” with his father. John and his son were in the ten films together including:
“Rio Grande” (1950),”The Quiet Man” (1952), “The Searchers” (1956), “The Conqueror” (1956), “The Alamo” (1960), “The Comancheros” (1960), “Donovan’s Reef” (1963), “McLintock” (1963), “The Green Berets” (1968) and “Big Jake” (1971).
Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr. in 1936 on the set of “Jump for Glory”
Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.-
Another attractive, father and son duo: Douglas Fairbank Sr. and Jr. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was born into Hollywood royalty. Daddy Fairbanks was one of the silent screen’s biggest idols and Junior became a heart-throb (at least mine, he is my desktop background).
“I never tried to emulate my father. Anyone trying to do that would be a second-rate carbon copy,” Fairbanks Jr. said. However, both men were known for their swashbuckling roles.
Jr. had a successful career, best known for his role with Cary Grant and Victor McLaglen in “Gunga Din” (1939) and “Sinbad the Sailor” (1947).
Both men were married to some of Hollywood’s top actresses. Senior to Mary Pickford-their estate was known as “Pickfair”- and Junior to Joan Crawford.
Ed and Keenan Wynn in 1948 at a hospital charity event.
Ed Wynn and Keenan Wynn-
Not as handsome, but definitely funny. Keenan helped his father Ed get a Hollywood career, according to IMDB. Keenan always played the pal, heel or funny man in the movies while Ed was the bumbling clown. The father and son team were in the Disney movies “The Absent Minded Professor” and “Son of Flubber” together in the 1960s.
Daddy’s little girl:
John and Hayley Mills-
“Acting is just a natural thing in my family. Other boys and girls go into the family business. So do we,” Hayley said.
John Mills had a successful career in England starring in films like “This Happy Breed” and”Hobson’s Choice.”
Hayley’s made success in Disney movies such “Pollyanna” and “Parent Trap.” Dad cashed in at Disney in the movie “Swiss Family Robinson’s” playing the father.
The two were in the 1959 thriller “Tiger Bay” and the 1966 comedy/drama “The Family Way.”
Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery
Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery-
Robert Montgomery started in movies when talkies shook Hollywood. He shocked audiences with Norma Shearer in the sex comedy/drama “The Divorcee” (1930). He showed war wasn’t all patrotism and glamour in “They Were Expendable” (1945) and let audiences see how he solved a murder through his eyes literally (we only saw his face in the movie a few times) in “Lady in the Lake” (1947).
In contrast, his daughter Elizabeth, starred in the wholesome 1960s television series, “Bewitched.” Elizabeth got her start after appearing on several episodes of her father’s series, “Robert Montgomery Presents,” according to IMDB. “I guess you could say I’m a TV baby,” Elizabeth said.
Alfred and Patricia Hitchcock-
The master of suspense had one daughter. Patricia didn’t have a huge film career, but she did act in three films that her father directed. Her largest role was as Barbara, Ruth Roman’s little sister, in “Strangers in a Train” (1951). She also had a bit role in “Stage Fright” (1950), was a secretary in “Psycho” (1961) and appeared in several episodes of “Alfred Hitchcok Presents.”
Some actors are less than complementary about Hitch, but he and Patricia had a good relationship. The book “Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism” analyzes “Stage Fright,” comparing Patricia’s and Jane Wyman’s similar appearances. The joking but loving father-daughter relationship between Wyman and her father in the film characterized Patricia and Hitchcock’s relationship, according to the book. Other film fathers:-Edgar Bergen: puppet, Charlie McCarthy and daughter, Candice-Lloyd Bridges: sons Beau and Jeff-Lon Chaney: son Lon Chaney, Jr. of “Of Mice and Men” (1939) fame-Tony Curtis: daughter Jamie Lee-Kirk Douglas: son, Michael-Henry Fonda: son Peter, daughter Jane-Rance Howard: songs Clint and Ron-Walter Huston: director son, John-Robert Keith: son, Brian of “Family Affair” and “Parent Trap” fame-Gordon MacRea: daughter, Meredith of “Petticoat Junction” fame-Joel McCrea: son, Jody of beach movie fame-Vincent Minnelli: daughter, Liza-Lyle Talbot: son Stephen (Gilbert from “Leave it to Beaver”)
Happy Father’s day to the star of our household, my dad, who has to put up with three daughters and their shopping, complaining and movie musicals. Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page for the latest updates.