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20 Instances In Which Real-Life Age Differentials Would've Made Parent/Child Characters Practically Impossible

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 30, 2013 | Comments ()


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Mean Girls -- Amy Poehler, who played the mother of Rachel McAdams' character, is only 7 years older.

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Six Feet Under -- Peter Krause is only 12 years younger than Francis Conroy, who played his mother.

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North by Northwest -- Jessie Royce Landis, who played Cary Grant's mother, was actually 10 months younger than Grant in real life.

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The Graduate -- Katherine Russell was only 9 years younger than Anne Bancroft, who played her mother (and Dustin Hoffman was only six years younger than his girlfriend's mother).

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Alexander -- Colin Farrell is only one year younger than Angelina Jolie, who played his mother in the movie.

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The Manchurian Candidate -- Angela Lansbury was only two years older than Laurence Harvery who played her son.

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade -- Sean Connery is only 12 years older than Harrison Ford.

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The Passion of Christ -- In The Passion of the Christ, Maia Morgenstern -- who played Mary -- is only six years older than Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus.

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Star Trek -- Winona Ryder, who played Spock's mother, is only five years older than Zachary Quinto.

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Boyz n the Hood -- Laurence Fishburne, who plays the father of Cuba Gooding Jrs.' character, is only 7 years older.

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American Pie -- Stifler's Mom, Jennifer Coolidge, is only 13 years older than Stifler, Seann William Scott.

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Blow -- Rachel Griffiths, who played the mother of Johnny Depp's character, is actually five years younger than Depp.

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Cosby Show -- Sabrina Le Beauf, who played the eldest daughter, Sondra, is only ten years younger than Phylicia Rashad.

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Lost -- Swoozie Kurtz played John Locke's mother on "Lost," even though she's only six years older than Terry O'Quinn.

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Supernatural -- Jeffrey Dean Morgan is only 12 years older than Jensen Ackles, who plays his son.

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X-Files -- Rebecca Toolan played Mulder's mom, even though she's only one year older than David Duchovny.

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Fighter -- Mark Wahlberg is only 11 years younger than the woman who played his mother, Melissa Leo.

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Watchmen -- Malin Akerman is only 7 years younger than the woman who played her mother, Carla Gugino.

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Lord of the Rings -- Sean Bean is only 11 years younger than John Noble, who played his father, Denethor.

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Peggy Sue Got Married -- In Peggy Sue Got Married, Nic Cage played the father of Helen Hunt's character. Hunt is actually two months older than Cage.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • LibraryChick

    I had a college friend who fathered a child when he was only 14. On the other hand, my sister is 46 with a 4-year-old. I am starting to question how we're supposed to figure out how many years are an "average" generation gap. If I can't figure it out, how is Hollywood supposed to?

  • DammitJim

    Another good one, although not applicable here, is Alexandra Daddario's character in Texas Chainsaw 3D. If the movie is a true follow up to the original, she would have to be 38 years old.

  • Haystacks

    God Hollywood is just Brutal to women, either you are a fuckable ingenue or on the shelf.

  • Steph

    Prometheus, obviously.

  • ,

    Time for this again. It never gets old:

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/im-...

  • BlackRabbit

    When we went to adopt a puppy, the nice Mennonite couple thought that my mother and I were a couple. She's thirty years older.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Jan Hooks is eleven years older than Jane Krakowski.

    Meredith Baxter is twelve years older than Michael J. Fox and I believe the case is the same for Greer Garson and Richard Ney and they were married in real life...for a while.

  • "X-Files — Rebecca Toolan played Mulder’s mom, even though she’s only one year older than David Duchovny."

    Well I'm sure that can't be right....holy shit, it is. Weird.

  • This reminds me I need to watch 'North By Northwest' again, as well as catch up on 'Supernatural'. I fell off that wagon 'round about the beginning of Season 5 because life. Can anyone tell me if it's worth picking back up again?

  • Half of these had me thinking, "Well, kids are having kids these days, so .."

  • John G.

    What about all these people from In Time?

    http://imgur.com/cOwvM4p

  • sean

    I don't think anyone remembers that movie. At all. Despite being on cable every 5 minutes.

  • DominaNefret

    One of my best friends lost his virginity to an 18 year old when he was 13. She apparently just wanted babies, and got pregnant and didn't tell him for years. He now, at 33, has twin twenty year olds that he has never met.

  • soapyme

    You forgot Tom Hanks and Sally Field!

  • katenonymous

    Some of these are not biologically plausible, and others tell very sad backstories.

  • Malechai

    Not to be a thunderous geek, but don't Vulcans age differently from humans, eg. much longer lifespan? Therefore it's entirely possible for them to have mothers/fathers who look similarly aged? I guess if I were truly a card-carrying geek I would know the answer to this definitively.

  • DarthBrookes

    To be an even more thunderous geek, isn't Ryder playing a human mother and Spock is half Vulcan? Therefore, she should actually be aging much more rapidly and seem much older than her full grown son. Right?

  • Morgan_LaFai

    Yes, you are correct. That was my only issue with this whole list. Vulcans have a considerably longer life average life expectancy than humans. And even though Spock is only half Vulcan, his original timeline including both shows (Star Trek and Star Trek Next Generation) and the reboot have him aging even slower than most other Vulcans. In conclusion, yes it makes perfect sense that his mother would look his age or possibly even younger.

    And I think with that answer I have proven myself to be the geekiest.

  • sedvictoria

    To this list I would add the TV show Good Times on which John Amos played Jimmie Walker's father despite being only 8 years older in actuality.

  • alwaysanswerb

    Given Hollywood's tendency to take its older actresses out back with a shotgun, I'm not surprised that most of these are too-young mothers.

  • AsdffAnon

    The Boyz n the Hood one makes sense because that's how they roll in the hood. babies having babies

  • Slash

    It's almost like they cast actors based on what they look like, as opposed to their actual age ... plus, makeup.

  • dizzylucy

    I'm the only one who finds the Sean Connery one possible? Probable?

    It sure would suck to be cast in a movie with the slightly older than you Cary Grant, only to find out you were to play his mother. Ouch.

  • randomhookup

    Lots of Hollywood stories about actresses rebelling when cast as a mother of someone they thought "too old" for their image.

  • Kballs

    I guess a severe up-swoop of the hair for the ladies and heavy scruff for the fellas is enough to make you look ten years older. Noted, Hollywood assholes.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    The Graduate is the one that surprises me the most. Probably because I can't wrap my mind around being the same age Bancroft was when she played Mrs. Robinson.

  • Liz

    I call bullshit on Watchmen and Lost. Both of those were done in flashbacks.

  • Kballs

    Same for Peggy Sue Got Married.

  • Bert_McGurt

    A few years ago when I was working summers at the ol' fur trade fort we had an old dude come into the blacksmith's shop where my best friend and I were working (he at the anvil, me sitting on the workbench carving). He proceeded to ask my buddy if he was teaching his son the trade - we both looked rather perplexed until he motioned over to me. I spent the next few moments in laughter-induced teary convulsions as my buddy tried to explain that not only are we not related, he's actually two months younger than I am.

    Of course my buddy is 6'5" and looks like The Dude if he was Walter's size while I'm about five inches shorter and a good bit smaller, so maybe if the old guy's glasses were due for an upgrade it might make some sense... but I'll still never let him forget it. Especially now that he has an actual son.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Um, road trip to the ol' fur trade fort, please. Sounds like fun times.

  • Bert_McGurt

    It was actually one of the best summer jobs anyone could possibly have, despite the grossly useless and incompetent Parks Canada bureaucrats that ran the place. One day I even met Susan Sarandon in the same blacksmith's shop.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Speaking of old people and bad vision, a co-worker told me about a cruise they went on where a maintenance guy with a natural tan was working on something at the bottom of the drained pool and his mother-in-law yelled "HEY LOOK, THERE'S A SEAL!!!" Funny yet cringe-inducing.

  • BWeaves

    Unfortunately, I went to school with a lot of 12 year old pregnant girls, so that age difference isn't all that strange unless it's the daughter who is the older one.

    Also, The Golden Girls. Estelle Getty was only 1 year older than her "daughter" Bea Arthur.

    " Jessie Royce Landis, who played Cary Grant’s mother, was actually 10 months younger than Grant in real life. " And she looks it. Who were they trying to kid?

  • F'mal DeHyde

    There was a 13 year old in my 7th grade class that disappeared after getting pregnant. She probably ended up in a Catholic school. God, pregnant at 12 - 13.

  • Finn

    Um. Not to be a jerk, but pretty sure it's Katherine ROSS, not Russell. Jesus, Rowles.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Yeah, I kept looking at that thinking "that's not right... what the hell IS her name."

  • Finn

    My mistake: KATHARINE Ross.

  • Sirilicious

    ouch

  • randomhookup

    If you dabble in TV issues, the Golden Girls Estelle/Bea lack of age difference is a huge one. Even the gaps on Ben & Kate -- 22 yr. old Dakota Johnson has a 7 year girl playing her 5 year old daughter, whom she bore when she was 21-- confuse the hell out of me.

  • Kate at June

    When I was 23 or 24, I played the mother of a girl who was about 9. The guy playing my husband was 20. TV is weird.

  • ,

    The soaps have this kind of thing down to a science. Not at all unusual for a 10-year-old kid on a soap to disappear for six months (usually a kidnapping) and come back as a 20-year-old, and nobody on the shows thinks there's anything weird about it.*

    Stephen King called this The Kid Trick and wrote that it was so brazen and ridiculous even he wouldn't dare use it as a plot point.

    You'd think cancelled soaps would find new homes on SyFy or someplace.

    *--Example: Michael Corinthos, "General Hospital"

  • oilybohunk7

    I've heard it referred to as "Rapid Soap Opera Aging Syndrome"

  • Arran

    I'd say instances where they intentionally cast a younger actor for flashback/time travel scenes (Peggy Sue, Watchmen) and then put them in old-age makeup shouldn't count. I mean, Nic Cage mostly plays a teenager in that film. Michael J Fox, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover are all about the same age, but no one thinks it weird that Thompson and Glover play Fox's parents in Back to the Future.

  • oilybohunk7

    Has Swoozie Kurtz ever looked young?

  • BWeaves

    No.

  • Grendel

    Stifler's mom was 13 when she had him is all I heard.

  • Scully

    Oh yeah, I need to refill my wrinkle cream. Thanks for the reminder, Dustin.

  • e jerry powell

    And I need to put Preparation H on the bags under my eyes.

  • Maguita NYC

    I am so-so-so sorry for this, but I really cannot resist...
    I always knew you were a buttface.

  • e jerry powell

    har har har

  • BobbFrapples

    So Hollywood is trying to tell us that older actors need not apply?

  • randomhookup

    Or maybe younger ones...?

  • John W

    Amy Poehler, 7 years older, and ten times hotter. POW!

  • sean

    That is assuming you believe that McAdams is telling the truth about her age. I think Proehler is hotter as well.

  • Derreck

    I do love Poehler, but let's not sleep on Rachel McAdams.

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