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Age Gaps In Actors Playing Relatives Of Each Other

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Age Gaps In Actors Playing Relatives Of Each Other

Postby pikeprof » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:16 pm

From another thread in which gsplit pointed out that Anson Williams and Henry Winkler were quite a bit older than Ron Howard-when they were supposed to be peers (with Fonzie maybe being a year or two older than Potsie, Richie, and Ralph).

Sometimes actors and actresses who play roles in which the characters are related have somewhat ..... improbable age gaps.

On one of my favorite series, Numbers, it's been well established in show continuity that Charlie and Don are about four years apart in age-the actors portraying them are 16 years apart.

William Frawley and Vivian Vance were over 20 years apart in age when they portrayed spouses on I Love Lucy (okay it's not THAT improbable for spouses to have a significant age gap-I guess on the set these two could not stand being around each other and Vance frequently put down Frawley off camera because of his age).

My favorite actors-role age discontinuity is probably the fact that Clair Huxtable would have to have been 10 when she gave birth to her daughter Sondra (again a slight spousal discontinuity as the actors who portrayed Cliff and Clair are 11 years apart in age-which again is not too significant given some spousal age pairings-but Cliff would have had to have been a late bloomer as show continuity, I think, established that they met in college).

Anyhoo..can we think of any other interesting, improbably age discontinuities?
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Postby billiej » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:12 pm

The first one that pops to mind is Angelina Jolie playing Colin Farrell's mother in Alexander (she's a year older).
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Postby TheConfessor » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:27 pm

This article contains many examples. Apparently Cary Grant's mother in North By Northwest was younger than he was.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... =printable
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Postby Bill » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:40 pm

I can beat them all!

In the 1948 version of Hamlet, Lawrence Oliver played Hamlet and Eileen Herlie played his mother Gertrude.

Herlie was almost 13 years younger than Olivier.
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Postby Neel Mehta » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:01 pm

Bill wrote:I can beat them all!


That's pretty good, but if we include past lives, Shirley MacLaine is centuries older than any of her co-stars.
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Postby bebe » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:05 pm

William Frawley and Vivian Vance were over 20 years apart in age when they portrayed spouses on I Love Lucy (okay it's not THAT improbable for spouses to have a significant age gap-I guess on the set these two could not stand being around each other and Vance frequently put down Frawley off camera because of his age).


It wouldn't be an absurd age difference in real life, but on the show I think the Mertzes were supposed to be the "older couple" to the Ricardos, while Lucille Ball was actually the oldest after William Frawley.

I remember when Freaks and Geeks was new, I saw an article somewhere about the age difference of the high school characters. Linda Cardellini (b. 1975) and John Francis Daley (b. 1985) played sister and brother who were junior and freshman at the same high school. All the other high school characters were pretty well-scattered throughout that range except the kid who played Gordon (the smelly kid), who was born in 1986. For some reason I'd thought the ages were even more disparate than that, but still.

High school shows are especially rife, but that's not family connections. (I slid by with F&G because they're sibs). (But I will say that the original "class" on 90210 had a 12-year spread).

Then there's the classic love interest/mom switch. Tom Hanks and Sally Field (ten years difference).
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Lest we forget

Postby tOdd » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:08 pm

I'm sure most of you are familiar with this one: on the Carol Burnett Show, Vicki Lawrence had a regular running skit as Carol's mother. Ms. Lawrence is almost 16 years younger than Ms. Burnett.

---Todd
If ignorance isn't bliss, I don't know what is!
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Postby TheConfessor » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:31 pm

Jonathan Winters (Mearth) is 26 years older than his mother, Pam Dawber (Mindy).
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Postby Bill » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:55 pm

Well, if we're playing by those rules...

James Earl Jones has 50 years on Natalie Portman.

She played his older wife in Revenge of the Sith.

Beat that!
Last edited by Bill on Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bill » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:00 pm

Bill wrote:Well, if we're playing by those rules...

James Earl Jones has 50 years on Natalie Portman.

She played his wife in Revenge of the Sith.

Beat that!



For what it's worth, she's also 30 years younger than Mark Hamill, but I don't know if that counts.

Robert DeNiro played Al Pacino's father in Godfather, Part II. Pacino is three years older.
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Postby rockgolf » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:10 pm

The "older woman" Anne Bancroft was a staggering 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.

And just what was the age difference between Tom Hanks & Sally Field, who played his mother in Forest Gump? Just less than 10 years.
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Postby RingoOSU » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:27 pm

This always reminds me of Sophia on the Golden Girls being a year younger than Dorothy.
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Postby gsplit » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:53 pm

Several years ago, when Jed Allan stepped into the role of Edward Quartermaine on General Hospital, he was a year younger than Stuart Damon, who played his son, Alan. John Ingle has since returned to the role, and he's about eight years older than Damon (though it's a moot point now, since Alan was killed off within the last year or two).
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Postby Sequin » Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:39 am

In Grease Olivia Newton John and John Travolta were supposed to be teenagers - ONJ was actually 30 at the time and Travolta was 24
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Postby PhygLeGuy » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:34 am

Robert Powell (b. 6/1/1944) and Ann-Margret (b. 4/28/1941) played the parents of Roger Daltrey (b. 3/1/1944) in Tommy, although Powell and Daltrey had no scenes together.
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Postby pikeprof » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:36 am

on the subject of "old teens" on TV-Mila Kunis was the only actual teenager in the regular cast of That 70s show when the show debuted, and that was because she lied about her age and told the producers she was older than she was.

A little over 20 years ago-my brother-in-law was pushing 30 when he went out to Hollywood to seek his fame and fortune as an actor and he was told he could play teen roles (no dark tale of despair after not becoming an actor here, folks-after striking out as an actor both my sister and he found gainful employment in "the biz" in production companies-a friend of mine who did the same produces for GSN-the lesson? If you're going out to Hollywood to be an actor-have a back-up plan).
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Postby coverdude » Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:06 pm

re: rockgolf

And just what was the age difference between Tom Hanks & Sally Field, who played his mother in Forest Gump? Just less than 10 years.


Well, they played comics in love in Punchline only five years earlier.
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Postby DreadPirateSpacy » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:44 pm

Sean Connery is 11 years and some odd months older than Harrison Ford...which was always a little strange to me, watching The Last Crusade.
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Postby justKim » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:42 pm

DreadPirateSpacy wrote:Sean Connery is 11 years and some odd months older than Harrison Ford...which was always a little strange to me, watching The Last Crusade.


Sean Connery is 7 years older than his son Dustin Hoffman in the movie Family Business.

One of my favorites is Angela Landsbury in The Manchurian Candidate. She was 2 years older than the actor playing her son, Laurence Harvey.
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Postby mavman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:17 am

And just what was the age difference between Tom Hanks & Sally Field, who played his mother in Forest Gump? Just less than 10 years.


This one is often cited on discussions like this. But the Gump case isn't really fair. Field played Gump's mother when he was a child, played by Michael Conner Humphreys who is 39 years younger than Field. Later in the film, they used Field with heavy make-up to make her look old enough to be realistic as Hanks' mother. That worked better than using an entirely different actress would have.
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Postby braggtastic » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:12 am

I just saw the straight-to-DVD I Could Never Be Your Woman, which was made in 2005.
It starred Michelle Pfieffer as a 40 year old TV writer, Paul Rudd as a 29 year old actor playing a teenager on Pfieffer's show, and best of all Stacey Dash as the ageless actress playing the teenage star of the show.

In real life in 2005 the actors mentioned above were 47, 36 & 39. I can't help think that the age disparities is one of the reasons it didn't get a theatrical release.
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Postby rockgolf » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:40 am

pikeprof wrote:on the subject of "old teens" on TV-Mila Kunis was the only actual teenager in the regular cast of That 70s show when the show debuted, and that was because she lied about her age and told the producers she was older than she was.


She didn't as much lie as not tell the whole truth. They asked how old she was and she said "I'm going to be eighteen." She just didn't indicate that it would be in three years' time.
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Postby j » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:40 pm

Vinnie was 6 years older than Doogie on "Doogie Howser, MD," even though they were both supposed to be the same age.
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Re: Age Gaps In Actors Playing Relatives Of Each Other

Postby Dobie » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:27 pm

pikeprof wrote:From another thread in which gsplit pointed out that Anson Williams and Henry Winkler were quite a bit older than Ron Howard-when they were supposed to be peers (with Fonzie maybe being a year or two older than Potsie, Richie, and Ralph).

Sometimes actors and actresses who play roles in which the characters are related have somewhat ..... improbable age gaps.

On one of my favorite series, Numbers, it's been well established in show continuity that Charlie and Don are about four years apart in age-the actors portraying them are 16 years apart.

William Frawley and Vivian Vance were over 20 years apart in age when they portrayed spouses on I Love Lucy (okay it's not THAT improbable for spouses to have a significant age gap-I guess on the set these two could not stand being around each other and Vance frequently put down Frawley off camera because of his age).

My favorite actors-role age discontinuity is probably the fact that Clair Huxtable would have to have been 10 when she gave birth to her daughter Sondra (again a slight spousal discontinuity as the actors who portrayed Cliff and Clair are 11 years apart in age-which again is not too significant given some spousal age pairings-but Cliff would have had to have been a late bloomer as show continuity, I think, established that they met in college).

Anyhoo..can we think of any other interesting, improbably age discontinuities?


Fred and Ethel Mertz were supposed to be approximately the same age.

Cliff and Clair knew each other as children. In one episode it was claimed that Cliff was 4 years older than Clair, but Cliff turned 50 in the third season and Clair had her 46th birthday in season 5.
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Re: Age Gaps In Actors Playing Relatives Of Each Other

Postby Bill » Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:31 am

WARNING: Spoiler for a movie currently in theaters.

The movie is…

Spoiler: show
Interstellar


And the detail relevant to this thread is that...

Spoiler: show
Ellen Burstyn (currently aged 81) plays the daughter of Matthew McConaughey (currently aged 45) in a scene they have together.
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