Gerald Hughes, elder brother of Ted, has just published his memoirs. In Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir, the 92-year-old former gamekeeper recalls a childhood spent roaming the Yorkshire moors with the future poet laureate. Orlando Bird looks at four others who’ve shared the public eye with their more famous siblings.
1. Paul Wittgenstein
Besides a certain analytic gift, Ludwig Wittgenstein had perfect pitch. But the really musical one in the family was his brother Paul, who, after losing his right arm in the first world war, rose to prominence as a one-handed concert pianist. Paul commissioned more than 40 pieces for one-handed pianists from some of the great 20th-century composers, including Britten and Ravel.
2. Jocelyn Brando
Jocelyn made her acting debut while her younger brother Marlon was still a wayward dropout. Despite falling foul of the McCarthy witch hunts, she enjoyed considerable success including a leading part in Fritz Lang’s 1953 film The Big Heat. She went on to appear in two films with her brother, albeit in less prominent roles – The Ugly American (1963) and The Chase (1966).
3. Hugh Greene
While the novelist Graham Greene is known for his preoccupation with moral life, the opposite was sometimes said of his younger brother, Hugh. During his time as director-general of the BBC (1960-69) the corporation began to shed its ethos of high seriousness with comedies such as Steptoe and Son. Supporters saw him as a moderniser, while opponents included the eldest Greene brother, Herbert, who led a protest against Hugh’s reforms.
4. Erran Baron Cohen
He has provided backing beats for Ali G’s fatuous freestyling and scored serenades for Admiral General Aladeen. But just a year after his brother Sacha’s film Borat had sparked uproar across Kazakhstan, Erran Baron Cohen was asked to compose for the country’s Turan Alem Philharmonic Orchestra. “Zere” has since been performed in both London and Kazakhstan.