Friday, June 8, 2012

All in the Family: Five Favourite Father-Son Duos

There are, of course, few bonds in the world tighter and more important that between father and son. It's no wonder, then, that such paternal relationships have often yielded careers of great achievement in all manner of fields. Whether it's in science, sports or the arts, father-son duos have conquered. So read on, and check out our selection of five favourite father-son combos.

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William and Lawrence Bragg
You probably haven’t heard of the Braggs, but you really should have! While it might not sound particularly exciting, the Braggs’ contributions to our understanding of how X-rays work and their invention of the X-ray spectrometer have left an indelible mark on modern science. The pair was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915 for their work.

Charlie & Martin Sheen
Our second entry on this list couldn't really be further from the first. While the Braggs dazzled us with science, Charlie and Martin Sheen have had rather different impacts on our lives. Martin Sheen is most famous for conveying huge gravity on screen, with his roles in films like Wall Street and Apocalypse Now standing as landmarks not just in his own career, but across the landscape of cinema in general. Charlie Sheen, on the other hand, has most recently become dear to the public for his myriad eccentricities and public extravagance, with these even coming to overshadow his solid comedic work in the likes of Hot Shots and Two and a Half Men.

Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve
Both Gilles and Jacques took the world of F1 by storm. Arguably the most successful motor racing family ever. Villeneuve Snr was a fantastic and exciting driver who picked up six victories in his career until it tragically came to an abrupt halt as he was killed in the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. He was a national hero in his native Canada. His son Jacques was just as impressive during his time behind the whele in the 1990s. Making his debut in 1996, Jacques came second in the driver’s championship but then went on to win seven races and feuding with Michael Schumacher in the process!

Will and Jaden Smith
Another Hollywood father and son pairing here, but whereas Charlie and Martin Sheen are largely looking back on their impressive careers by now, Will and Jaden Smith are still very much looking forward to future endeavours. Will Smith in the 1990s built up an absolutely blockbusting portfolio of work, including smashes like Independence Day, Men in Black and Wild, Wild West, before moving onto more mature roles like Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness. His son is just now beginning to follow in his footsteps, starring with his father in that latter film and also carving a name for himself as the lead in 2010's Karate Kid remake. Jaden is definitely one to look out for in years to come.

George H.W. and George W. Bush
We’ll end this list with a controversial entry here. The first thing to note is that this isn’t an endorsement (or indictment) of either Bush’s politics, but rather just an expression of how fascinating the pair have been to watch. President of the USA is a notoriously hard job to land, so it’s pretty amazing to see father and son walk through those same halls in such rapid succession. It’s also been interesting to watch the younger Bush try to fill the shoes of a father who, we think, everyone regards as the lesser president.

So there you have it, five of our favourite father-son combos. Who would be on your list?

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