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I'm always impressed by families who find fame in multiple generations. Not when they're famous for the same thing, like former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and current NFL Quarterbacks Peyton & Eli. And not when the offspring is only famous because of the parent, like Ron Reagan or Nicole Richie.

The kind of lush family tree I'm talking about is demonstrated by Denzel Washington and his son, John David Washington. The Academy Award winner's young running back offspring was just named to the practice squad of the St. Louis Rams.

Not impressed by the practice squad? How about Anaheim Angels top draft pick Trevor Bell, whose grandfather was Bozo the Clown?

Here are a few more examples of families who fit the criteria:

"¢ Single mother Bette Nesmith Graham invented liquid paper (White Out) while raising her son, future Monkee Michael Nesmith.

"¢ The father was the commissioner of Major League Baseball (A. Bartlett Giamatti). The son is an acclaimed actor who starred in Sideways (Paul Giamatti).

"¢ On a much smaller scale, Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith's son Nikko was a Top 12 finalist on American Idol in 2005.

"¢ Beck's mom was a member of Andy Warhol's inner circle.

"¢ Ken Norton was a heavyweight champion boxer (who was initially slated to play Apollo Creed in Rocky). Ken Norton, Jr., was a linebacker who won three Super Bowl rings in the 1990s with Dallas and San Francisco.

"¢ And of course there's former NFL coach George Allen, whose 1990 death may have been caused by icy Gatorade dumped on him by his players (he was coaching at Long Beach State at the time.) His son, also George Allen, is the Republican Senator forever linked to the obscure slur macaca.

Let's put our heads together and expand this list. Which multi-talented families am I missing?

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September 6, 2006 - 11:16am
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