Ridley Scott’s new movie “All the Money in the World” follows the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the then-16-year-old grandson of billionaire oil magnate John Paul Getty.
While the elder Getty (played by Christopher Plummer, replacing Kevin Spacey) is seen in the film making plans for the Getty Villa on the Malibu coast to house his extensive art collection, the film does not reference the family’s more recent Hollywood connection.
Actor Balthazar Getty, best known for playing winery scion Tommy Walker on ABC’s mid-2000s drama “Brothers & Sisters,” is the son of John Paul Getty III. He also appeared in last summer’s Showtime revival of “Twin Peaks.”
Balthazar was born in January 1975, a little more than a year after his father was freed by members of the Calabrian Mafia, who held him captive in Italy for five months and even cut off his ear as they sought a multimillion-dollar ransom.
John Paul Getty III, who was just 18 when Balthazar was born, had married a German photographer named Gisela Martine Zacher, who was six years his senior. When his billionaire grandfather died in 1976, he left $500 to his son and nothing to his grandson, known as Paul — after disapproving of his marrying so young.
Paul did not have an easy time of it after surviving the kidnapping — and surgeries to restore his ear. In 1981, he suffered a drug-induced stroke that left him a quadriplegic and nearly blind, according to the L.A. Times. By that time, he was also addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Upon his father’s death in 2011 at age 54, Balthazar Getty said, “He taught us how to live our lives and overcome obstacles and extreme adversity, and we shall miss him dearly.”
Balthazar Getty got his start in acting at age 14, cast in the lead in a 1990 film adaptation of “The Lord of the Flies.” His film and TV credits also include “Natural Born Killers,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Lost Highway” and a season of “Alias.”
In more recent years, he has attempted to reinvent himself as a DJ.
In an interview last year, Balthazar Getty told London’s Evening Standard, “I’ve gotten more comfortable with who I am. Where I come from, being ‘a Getty.’ I don’t see it any more as something I have to run from, or prove to people that I’m not who they might perceive me to be. I’ve been able to own that and feel good about it.”