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Keeping it in the Family: 5 Great acting dads

With the recent release of After Earth it’s clear that Will Smith is ready to do what he can to give his son a leg up onto the Hollywood ladder, and who can blame either of them? An aspiring actor would be insane not to make the most of having a household name and all round A-lister for a father, and Jaden is far from the first to cash in on his dad’s fame.


You can read a full review of After Earth here, but with Father’s Day on the horizon we thought we’d give a shout out to some other dads who have undoubtedly helped to boost their son’s careers over the years. Plus, they didn’t even seem bitter if (in some cases) their kids have ended up becoming just a little more well-known than they ever were…


1. Martin Sheen

Father to: Charlie Sheen (Platoon, Two and a Half Men) and Emilio Estevez (The Mighty Ducks, The Breakfast Club)

From Left to Right: Emilio, Charlie, Martin

Ohio born Martin Sheen has spent his entire career showing the world that he can turn his hand to just about anything. His acclaimed roles are almost too many to list, but they include appearances with some of the biggest names in Hollywood on both big and small screens. But he’s not above helping out his kids and appeared alongside Charlie in Wall Street and under Emilio’s direction in Bobby.
2. Kirk Douglas

Father to: Michael Douglas (Basic Instinct, Wall Street)

Left: Michael Right: Kirk

Growing up in the Amsterdam ghetto in New York, Kirk Douglas couldn’t rely on the contacts in his father’s little black book, but he did get a break through one of his classmates when he was granted a screen test for The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. From there on his rise to fame was helped along by chiselled good looks and a remarkable on-screen chemistry with Burt Lancaster, who he appeared with seven times.


3. James Brolin

Father to: Josh Brolin (W., No Country for Old Men)

Left: James Right: Josh

Perhaps best known for his appearances in soap operas and TV shows such as Marcus Welby MD and The West Wing, James Brolin has also made silver screen appearances in high profile movies such as Catch Me If You Can and Traffic. Along with forays into producing and directing, James has shown that he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and must have been able to offer plenty of advice when his son landed a breakthrough role at the tender age of 17.

4. Robert Pine

Father to: Chris Pine (Star Trek, This Means War)

Left: Robert Right: Chris

Robert Pine found lasting fame through his role in the motorbike cop show CHiPs where he played the fondly disapproving commanding officer Sgt Joseph Gertraer. His later appearance in sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day was a fitting pre-cursor to the role that would catapult his son firmly into the limelight in 2009 when he took on the role of James T Kirk in the first of the new Star Trek franchise.


5. Donald Sutherland

Father to: Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys, 24)

Left: Donald Right: Kiefer

Canadian born Donald Sutherland is one of those actors who quietly enhances any production that he’s involved in without ever seeming to demand a great deal of praise and attention. He’s the type of guy that you recognise the instant you see him, but try to think of examples of what he’s starred in and many people struggle; despite his impressive filmography of over 150 films and TV shows. This kind of unassuming gravitas is not to be underestimated, and must surely have been a great influence on a young Kiefer.



This post was written by movie-lover Nicky Hand, who wishes her dad had a few more exciting contacts for her to exploit! If you’re a movie fan looking for a whole new way to experience film in your own home, then check out



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