Entertainment And News

Tobey Maguire Is No Nepo Baby—He's The Son Of A Convicted Bank Robber

Photo: Tinsletown, Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com
Tobey Maguire against a background showing a bank robbery

The phenomenon of Hollywood "nepo babies" seems to be on everyone's mind right now. 

Perhaps because of our ever more class-conscious times, the enormous number of celebrities who had the wheels of stardom greased for them practically from the day they were born has many feeling irked.

But actor and former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire is definitely not among them. 

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Tobey Maguire's dad is a convicted bank robber.

He may have gone from child star to the A-list and have the comic-book movie riches to show for it, but unlike many stars, Maguire isn't the son of a film producer or studio exec but rather a chef.

A chef—who's also a convicted criminal.

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Maguire's dad robbed a bank in 1993 after panicking over a health scare.

As celebrity origin stories go, 47-year-old Maguire's is among the wilder ones—if it can be believed.

Born in 1975, he grew up in humble Reseda, California in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, the son of Wendy Brown, a secretary, and Vincent Maguire, a chef who would go on to rob the bank across the street from their home.

Maguire acknowledged his father's crime in a 2003 Independent profile just before his SAG-nominated performance in "Seabiscuit," but has never given details.

A National Enquirer report in 2012 claimed to have the whole story from an unnamed source close to Maguire.

The story goes that in 1993, Maguire's father faced a financial burden and a terrifying health scare.

His sister had just died of cancer, leaving Vincent to care for her children just as he himself was diagnosed with polyps he was convinced were cancerous too.

So Vincent panicked over how he'd pay for cancer treatments and support his sister's children and hatched a plan to rob a Coast Federal Savings Bank branch.

But a series of mistakes made the crime more like something out of a slapstick comedy than a heist film.

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Unfortunately, Vincent Maguire didn't exactly pay attention to the details of his planned robbery.

He didn't choose just any bank branch—he chose one across the street from his house. 

And he chose to do so in broad daylight without masking his face in any way.

So as you might guess, he was caught fairly quickly by a neighbor who saw him running down the street toward his mother's house with a bag of money.

He attempted to evade capture by changing into different clothes, but that wasn't enough to throw the cops off the scent.

He ended up pleading guilty, but because he was unarmed and it was his first defense, he was only sentenced to two years in prison. 

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Tobey Maguire has never offered details about his dad's criminal activity because he is said to be embarrassed.

According to the Enquirer's source, Maguire's upbringing was incredibly difficult as his parents constantly struggled with poverty, even living in a homeless shelter for a time.

Maguire was also bounced around from family member to family member throughout his childhood as his parents struggled to support him, and the family moved constantly.

But he is said to have not held his father's mistake against him.

The source claimed Maguire understood his father had acted rashly because he was "pushed to the breaking point."

And in the end, his harrowing upbringing is what spurred Maguire on to succeed and escape the poverty he was raised in.

The insider claimed that it was Maguire's mother who encouraged him to pursue acting—an idea that certainly paid off.

Maguire went on to star in Oscar-nominated films like "The Cider House Rules" and "Pleasantville" before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the title role of 2002's "Spider-Man."

In a world of stars who claim to be self-made despite easily Googlable facts to the contrary, Tobey Maguire's is one of Hollywood's few true rags-to-riches stories.

It kind of makes all the privileged stars complaining about unfair "nepo baby" criticism seem downright spoiled, doesn't it?

They may have worked hard, but at least their dads didn't have to rob a bank to get them to the A-list.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.