Hollywood! The land of dreams, opportunity, and talentless saps who crave their 15 minutes of fame. One lesser-known Hollywood tradition is for celebrities’ less fortunate siblings to mooch off their success. Here are five examples of piggybacking at its…heaviest.
1- Leon Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is a name that is synonymous with classic rock. But turns out Jimi isn’t the only Hendrix who had aspirations of rock n’ roll fame. Welcome to the stage, Leon Hendrix! (*record skips*)
Leon sells paintings of his brother, and records Jimi-esque music. Over 30 years after Jimi’s departure, The Leon Hendrix Band has released two albums, one in 2002 and another in 2006. Despite Leon’s raspier voice, he sounds strangely similar to his rock legend brother, and even dresses the same. I don’t know what’s creepier, the fact that he dresses up like his brother, or that he can’t stop painting him?
2- Jim Hanks
Jim Hanks is passionate about acting, even if it means getting Tom’s sloppy seconds. Although Jim, Tom’s younger half-brother, has booked roles on his own, including the lead in Buford’s Beach Bunnies (1993), today he pretty much survives off of playing his brother. Jim has voiced Woody from Toy Story in all of his non-movie appearances, including video games and the Woody doll. I wonder if the same thing happens when Rita gets tired of Tom’s woody. Yowza!
Jim was also offered the opportunity to play Tom’s character in a TV remake of Splash and a spin-off of Big, both of which he kindly turned down. Later in the 90’s, Jim got hired to play Tom’s “running double” in Forrest Gump. Jim could stand on Hollywood Blvd and give Batman and Elmo a run for their money.In case being Tom Hanks’ brother wasn’t awesome enough already, Jim also get to be the voice of the Woody doll.
3 & 4- Frankie Jonas & Noah Cyrus
Frankie and Noah are the younger siblings of two of the biggest names in Disney teenybopper history: Jonas and Cyrus. I wonder if the families have a timeshare in Fantasyland?
Frankie Jonas is the 12 year-old younger brother to the Grammy nom’d Jonas Brothers. His parents have coined him the “Bonus Jonas,” a nickname that never fails to remind him he was probably the product of a torn condom.
Noah Cyrus is hit singer Miley Cyrus’ 12-year-old little sister. In 2009, she and “Bonus Jonas” began their careers together by co-performing the theme song for the animated film, Ponyo. Noah has also been featured on Hannah Montana, and Frankie on his bros’ show, Jonas. If their older siblings haven’t completely tarnished their last name in a few years, these two might just have a shot at a successful piggybacking career.
5- La Toya Jackson
Not to be confused with her sister Janet, La Toya Jackson never quite reached musical stardom like her siblings. While brother Michael was becoming the King of Pop throughout the 80s, La Toya was still living at home with her overprotective parents, Joe and Katherine. Hey Bravo, I’ve got a new series for you, it’s called the “Reject Daughters of Encino.” La Toya achieved marginal success with five albums including a top 100 hit, “Heart Don’t Lie” in ’84, the same year Michael released the best album of all time, Thriller.
In‘89, to stand up against her parents and prove her independence, La Toya did what any self-respecting, honorable woman would do – she opened up to Playboy. The issue ended up selling over 8 million copies and became Playboy’s #1 selling issue to date. 2 years later, in order to promote a best-selling autobiography, she posed again. The book discloses scandalous details about the Jackson family since the days of The Jackson 5. Looks like investigative journalism was her true calling.
Her family would soon after disown La Toya for releasing her memoir, claiming it revealed false information about the family. But don’t feel too bad for her – she ended up releasing another best-selling book in 2011 titled “Starting Over” where she made even more money off of her family’s name. Although she never became a pop icon like her older brother, La Toya did get her own drink at Millions of Milkshakes, so there’s that.