Charlie Murphy emerged over the past decade as a household name, stepping away from his status as ‘Eddie Murphy’s brother.’ And although he has secured his place as a standalone star, there are some celebrities who’ve failed to distance themselves from the shadow cast by their more-famous siblings. This Thursday’s Top Three will honor my favorite shadowed siblings because they should know that someone out there still cares.
Probably the most recognizable shadowed sibling of all, the Cusack spotlight is usually held on her younger brother, John. Of the fifty-five movies and TV shows she’s been in, her most memorable roles were as ‘Alsatia Zevo’ in “Toys” and ‘Liz’ in “High Fidelity” and ‘Rosalie Mullins’ in “The School of Rock.” But no performance was more enjoyable than her work as ‘Geek Girl #1’ in “Sixteen Candles,” where she turned an inconsequential, non-speaking role into a display of excellent character comedy.
Confession: I’ve only seen two things that Chad Lowe was in…and he’s been appeared in sixty movies and television shows. But considering how many movies and television shows I’ve seen (thousands), this disparity most likely implies that the quality of his projects has never been commonly viewed as high. With the exception of his role as ‘Jesse McKenna’ on ABC’s “Life Goes On,” I don’t know anyone who’d be able to tell me anything about him other than he was married to Hilary Swank…but I can. I first saw Chad Lowe in “Nobody’s Perfect.” In this gender-bending romp, Chad plays ‘Stephen,’ a college tennis player who helps a friend repay gambling debts by becoming ‘Stephanie’ to play on the women’s tennis team. Then again, I suppose it can’t be considered that much of a stretch for him; he and his older brother, Rob, were pretty young man.
Before MTV honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, Clint Howard’s name may as well have been “That Guy Who’s In Everything.” And with nearly two hundred movies and television show appearances to his credit, Clint Howard earned the moniker honestly. While his older brother, Ron, stepped behind the camera and continued his career as a director, Clint’s work as a character actor spans six decades. For my favorite Clint Howard performances, check out “The Wraith,” “Night Shift” and “Rock and Roll High School.” Clint Howard has proven that funny-looking dudes can make a pretty good living in the world’s most superficial profession, even without the help of a more recognized older brother.