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Who Is Balthazar Getty Whose Father John Paul Getty III Was Kidnapped for a $17 Million Ransom

Oyin Balogun
Mar 16, 2021
09:55 A.M.

Actor and musician Balthazar Getty is a member of the famously wealthy Getty Family. His family has been through some unbelievable ordeals in the past, and so has he. Learn all about the actor and his family.


Actor Balthazar Getty is a member of the Getty family, a family known for many things, including its success in business. Being an actor and producer, Balthazar's journey to success in the film industry started decades ago when he was barely a teenager.

Today, Balthazar has succeeded in carrying on the legacy that runs through generations in his family. Here is all you need to know about the actor, his family, and his father's infamous kidnapping.

Balthazar Getty attends the World Premiere Of Showtime's "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

Balthazar Getty attends the World Premiere Of Showtime's "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images



Born on January 22, 1975, Balthazar came into the world as the son of John Paul Getty III and his wife Gisela, a German-born filmmaker and photographer.

He is also the great-grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, a man who was once the richest man in the world. Balthazar started his acting career at the age of 12.

The young Getty was first spotted by a casting director in his school's art class and soon auditioned for the lead role in the movie "Lord of The Flies."


He landed a role in the movie as Ralph and even scored a nomination for the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture.

From then on, his career brought on many fruitful projects, including films like "Young Guns II," "Natural Born Killers," Judge Dredd, and "Mr. Holland's Opus."

Balthazar also starred in "Deuces Wild," "Lost Highway," "Big City Blues," "The Center of the World." In 2002, he appeared in the TV series "Charmed." Balthazar Getty's "Charmed" journey did not last long as he only starred in 6 episodes between 2003 and 2004.



Growing up as a Getty, Balthazar grew up with a slightly more different upbringing than nearly everyone else. The Getty family is indeed the namesake of the famed Los Angeles Getty Center.

In 2016, Balthazar revealed that he and his family had put the past behind them.

And his great-grandfather, who founded Getty Oil Company, left behind a $6 billion fortune following his death in 1976. Sadly, while growing up in a family as prestigious as this can be wonderful, it can also be horrible when the wrong people take advantage of it.


On July 10, 1973, Balthazar's father, John Paul Getty III, was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese. He was only 16 years old. The horrid crime was carried out by the Italian crime syndicate, the 'Ndrangheta.

After they whisked him away, the group promptly sent his mother a ransom note, demanding $17 million. After much back and forth and doubts that the kidnapping was real, Balthazar's great-grandfather finally agreed to pay a much-reduced ransom — $3 million.


When the actor's father returned, missing one ear and his spirit, he was barely a shadow of his former self and never recovered. At 18, he married his wife, Gisele, when she was already pregnant with Balthazar.

John Paul III battled severe alcohol and prescription drug addiction until he eventually consumed a deadly cocktail of valium, methadone, and alcohol.


He thankfully did not die but suffered a stroke that left him quadriplegic, partially blind, and unable to speak. At the age of 54, when Balthazar was already in his 30s, John Paul Getty III passed away in 2011.

According to his official obituary in L.A. Times, the scion of the wealthy family battled a long illness before he eventually passed on. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Balthazar spoke about his relationship with his father and said:

"My dad in the early days was kind of in and out of my life....But I visited my father one summer, and I ended up staying with him."


The Getty kidnapping was chronicled in the FX series "Trust." Balthazar shared that he had a great relationship with his father despite the difficult life he had. He added that he missed him dearly.


In July 2000, Balthazar Getty's wife, fashion designer Rosetta Millington, gave birth to the first of Balthazar Getty's kids, a baby boy named Cassius. Their three daughters, Grace, Violet, and Catherine, soon followed.



Although he had a happy family with his wife and their four incredible children, Balthazar soon fell into the all-too-familiar Hollywood scandal pit. In 2008, photos of the actor passionately locking lips with a topless English actress Sienna Miller surfaced.

It quickly became the biggest scandal of the year, leaving Miller notoriously branded as a homewrecker. After keeping silent for a while, Balthazar finally owned up to it and publicly addressed the scandal.


In a statement, he admitted his wrongdoings and the effects they had on his marriage and children. He wrote that he had caused them all a great embarrassment and revealed that he and Millington parted ways.


Despite how explosive the Balthazar Getty-Sienna Miller affair scandal was, Balthazar's wife, Millington, still took him back. The husband and wife reunited eventually and have remained married since then.


In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, the fashion designer opened up about her decision to reconcile with her husband. She explained:

"I'm going to have to explain this to my daughters one day. I chose not to act from ego because I just felt like it would be too crushing for my children."

In 2016, Balthazar revealed that he and his family had put the past behind them. No longer dwelling on past tragedies and past mistakes, they are all now looking forward to their future. This is one formidable clan!

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