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COVER STORY : Hollywood's Family Ways : Things haven't changed since the days of Selznick: It helps to have an uncle--or a father, brother or aunt--in the business. Do Hollywood's clannish ways affect the movies we see?

January 31, 1993|TERRY PRISTIN | Terry Pristin is a Times staff writer

Obviously, whatever their complaints, most people potentially able to benefit from nepotism would scarcely want to change places with those who aren't. Nicolas Cage, Francis Coppola's nephew, changed his name at age 17 to avoid the distractions of constant queries about his famous relative; but his second film role (shortly after his debut in "Valley Girl") was in his uncle's 1983 movie "Rumble Fish."

Both Mike Ovitz and Francis Coppola are among the numerous Hollywood figures who made it without family connections, but clearly, nepotism works to the disadvantage of those from the outside. And some say that has consequences for moviegoers, as well as moviemakers.

"The movies pay a price for having a relatively limited view of American society," said author Neal Gabler, noting the scarcity of blacks, women and other minorities in the studios' higher echelons. "That's clearly to the detriment of American movies."

And, perhaps, to people's general sense of what is fair. But is fairness an appropriate standard?

Not to producer Steve Tisch. "I never use the word fair in terms of describing the television and movie business," he said. "It's not fair. It's a town built on relationships, on quid pro quo. You've got to know that."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday February 7, 1993 Home Edition Calendar Page 87 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
In a chart accompanying the article "Hollywood's Family Ties" (Jan. 31), Arnold Rifkin's title was incorrectly stated. He is head of the William Morris Agency's motion picture department.

How It Works

In an industry built on relationships, here are a handful of the ties that bind: FATHERS AND SONS

* Sidney J. Sheinberg, President of MCA

Jonathan Sheinberg, agent

Bill Sheinberg, senior vice president of programming, MTM TV

*

* Irwin Winkler, producer ("Rocky")

Charles Winkler, direstor ("Die Watching")

*

* Norman Brokaw, chairman, William Morris Agency

David, Sandy and Joel Brokaw, run a public relations and personal management agency

*

* Charlton Heston, actor

Fraser Heston, director ("Needful Things")

*

* Walter Matthau, actor

Charles Matthau, director ("Doin' Time on Planet Earth")

David Matthau, former actor; reporter, television news

*

* Dick Berg, television producer

Jeff Berg, chairman, International Creative Management

A. Scott Berg, writer

Rick Berg, agent MOTHERS AND SONS

* Judith Krantz, novelist ("Scruples")

Tony Krantz, agent

Nick Krantz, television producer

*

* Judy Polone, television producer

Gavin Polone, agent COUPLES

* Richard Zanuck / Lili Fini Zanuck, producers ("Driving Miss Daisy")

*

* Rick Nicita, co-head of motion picture department, Creative Artists Agency

Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise's partner in CW Productions

*

* Tom Lassally, Warner Bros. vice president of production

Stacey Lassally, TriStar president of production

*

* Mark Canton, chairman, Columbia Pictures

Wendy Finerman, producer based at TriStar

*

* John Landis, director

Deborah Nadoolman, costume designer

*

* Paul Schrader, director

Mary Beth Hurt, actress

*

* Richard Donner, director-producer

Lauren Shuler Donner, producer (they are co-producers of "Radio Flyer")

*

* Jerry Isenberg, chief executive, Hearst Entertainment

Carole Isenberg, producer ("This Is My Life")

*

* Robert Cort / Rosalie Swedlin, producers, (co-producing "The Air Up There")

*

* Peter Benedek, partner, United Talent Agency

Barbara Benedek, screenwriter

*

* Charles Roven, producer "Heart Like a Wheel"

Dawn Steel, producer "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid" DADS AND DAUGHTERS

* Sidney Lumet, director

Jenny Lumet, actress

*

* Sydney Pollack, director

Becky Pollack, vice president of production, MGM

*

* Sid Ganis, president for marketing and distribution, Columbia Pictures

Julia Ganis, assistant to producer Laura Ziskin

Laura Ganis, former production assistant; now an assistant editor at MTV

*

* Mace Neufeld, producer ("Patriot Games")

Nancy Neufeld, screenwriter and former development executive at Fox

*

* Frank Rosenfelt, former chairman of United Artists

Karen Rosenfelt, seniro vice president of production, Paramount Pictures

*

* Bo Goldman, screenwriter ("Scent of a Woman"

Diana Rathburn, vice president of production, Warner Bros.

*

* Aaron Spelling, chairman, Spelling Productions

Tori Spelling, actress ("Beverly Hills, 90210")

*

* Marvin Josephson, founder, International Creative Management

Nancy Josephson, head of ICM TV literary department

*

* Guy McElwaine, ICM agent

Dawn McElwaine, vice president, publicity, Warner Bros.

Alex McElwaine, student and part-time employee at Rogers & Cowan MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS

* Hannah Weinstein, late producer ("Robin Hood" television series)

Paula Weinstein, producer ("The Fabulous Baker Boys")

Lisa Weinstein, producer ("Ghost")

*

* Joan Rivers, comedian

Melissa Rivers, MTV gossip columnist

*

* Raquel Welch, actress

Tahnee Welch, actress

*

* Rita Gam, actress

Kate Guinzberg, Pfeiffer/Guinzberg Productions

*

* Joan Micklin Silver, director ("Hester Street")

Marissa Silver, director ("He Said, She Said")

*

* Lee Grant, actress-director

Dinah Manoff, actress

*

* Elaine May, director

Jeannie Berlin, actress BROTHERS AND SISTERS

* David Mamet, writer and director

Lynn Mamet Weisberg, screenwriter

*

* Brian Henson, chairman, Jim Henson Productions

Lisa Henson, Henson executive vice president for theatrical productions

*

* David Picker, producer and former studio chief

Jean Firstenberg, director, American Film Institute

*

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