Oscar Actors: Occupational Inheritance and Mobility Patterns in Acting Profession

Occupational Inheritance in Acting Profession

Occupational inheritance refers to the phenomenon where sons and daughters follow in the career paths of their parents.

This trend has been documented in the professions of engineering, medicine, military, and education.

This essay examines the extent of occupational inheritance in the acting profession.

Over the past 92 years of the Academy Awards (first given in 1929), 83 men have won the Best Actor Oscar (some more than once).

 

BEST ACTOR WINNERS: 83 (Last Name, A to Z)

 

Abraham, Murray F.: working class; father auto mechanic; mother housewife

 

Affleck, Casey: working-middle class; mother teacher; father janitor; child actor; brother, Ben Affleck

 

Arliss, George: (UK) middle class; worked in publishing office of his father, but left at age 18 to go on the stage.

 

Barrymore, Lionel: occup. inheritance; siblings actors

 

Baxter, Warner: working class, father owner of cigar stand, Columbus, Ohio

 

Beery, Wallace: middle class, father police officer; brother actor; son actor

 

Benigni, Robert: Italian; working class; mother fabric maker, father bricklayer, carpenter, and farmer

 

Bogart, Humphrey: upper middle; father surgeon; mother commercial illustrator

 

Borgnine, Ernest: working class, son of Italian immigrants; factory work

 

Brando, Marlon: occup. inheritance; mother actress and theater administrator; father pesticide and chemical feed manufacturer; sister actress

 

Bridges, Jeff: occup. inheritance; father actor, brother actor

 

Brody, Adrien: upper-middle; mother photographer, father, retired history professor and painter

 

Brynner, Yul: father mining engineer and inventor

 

Cage, Nicolas: upper-middle; father prof. of literature (uncle Coppola)

 

Cagney, James: working class; father bartender and amateur boxer

 

Carney, Art: middle class; father newspaper man and publicist

 

Colman, Ronald: (UK) middle class; father, silk merchant

 

Cooper, Gary: upper middle; father prominent lawyer, rancher, Montana Supreme Court justice

 

Crawford, Broderick:

 

Crowe, Russell:

 

Crosby, Bing:

 

Day-Lewis, Daniel: UK; father poet laureate

 

De Niro, Robert: father painter

 

DiCaprio, Leonardo:

 

Donat, Robert: UK

 

Douglas, Michael: occup. inheritance; father actor

 

Dreyfuss, Richard:

 

Dujardin, Jean: (French)

 

Duvall, Robert

 

Ferrer, Jose:

Finch, Peter

Firth, Colin (UK)

Fonda, Henry

Foxx, Jamie

Gable, Clark

Guinness, Alec (UK)

Hackman, Gene

Hanks, Tom

Harrison, Rex (UK)

40. Heston, Charlton

Hoffman, Dustin

Hoffman, Philip Seymour

Holden, William

Hopkins, Anthony (UK)

Hurt, William

Irons, Jeremy (UK)

Jannings, Emil

Kingsley, Ben (UK)

Lancaster, Burt

50. Laughton, Charles (UK)

Lemmon, Jack

Lukas, Paul

McCaunoghey, Matthew

McLaglen, Victor

Malek, Rami

March, Fredric

Marvin, Lee

Milland, Ray

Muni, Paul

60. Newman, Paul

Nicholson, Jack

Niven, David (UK)

Oldman, Gary (UK)

Olivier, Laurence (UK)

Pacino, Al

Peck, Gregory

Penn, Sean: occup. inheritance; father actor

Phoenix, Joaquin

Poitier, Sidney

70.Redmayne, Eddie (UK)

Robertson, Cliff

Rush, Geoffrey

Schell, Maximillian

Scofield, Paul (UK)

Scott, George C.

Spacey, Kevin

Steiger, Rod

Stewart, Jimmy

Tracy, Spencer

80. Voight, Jon

Washington, Denzel

Wayne, John

Whitaker, Forest

 

Best Actors (UK): 16 of the 83 (about 20 percent)

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