Chris Pine’s acting talent can mostly be credited to his extensive study of his craft. As a young person, he became a member of the UC Berkeley Theater Department, completed a Williamstown Theatre Festival residency and even studied at the American Conservatory Theater. However, it probably helps that he is a third-generation actor: the son of Robert Pine, of CHiPs fame, and Gwynne Gilford, who starred in numerous sitcoms throughout the 1970s and 80s. Even his maternal grandmother, Anne Gwynne, is credited as being one of the first-ever scream queens and one of the most popular pin-ups in 1940s America. What a legacy!
Timothée Chalamet is another contemporary superstar with an incredibly talented family. Not only is his father, Marc Chalamet, a former editor for UNICEF and New York correspondent for Le Parisien, but his aunt and uncle are Rodman Flender and Amy Lippman, a husband and wife duo of established filmmakers and producers. However, Timothée Chalamet actually has an entertainment connection even closer to home, as his mother Nicole Flender worked as a dancer on Broadway before becoming a high-powered real estate broker. Clearly, the Chalamet family can do anything they set their mind to!
In Friends, Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green is obsessed with the show Days of Our Lives, so much so that in an alternate universe episode she initiates an affair with Matt LeBlanc’s Joey Tribbiani just because he is on the show. What makes this funny on a meta-level is the fact that Jennifer Aniston’s father John Aniston is best known for his own time on the show, as he spent 37 non-consecutive years playing Victor Kiriakis. That’s not the only connection between father and daughter either, as both are lucky enough to have been awarded an Emmy over the course of their careers!
It’s fairly common for a kid to become a doctor because their parent and their parent’s parent were doctors, and a similar thing can be seen playing out in the entertainment world too. Joss Whedon learned that he wanted to write hit TV shows and films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Cabin in the Woods by watching his father, Tom Whedon, work on shows like The Golden Girls. Not only that, but his father was in turn inspired by watching Joss’ grandad John Whedon work on The Donna Reed Show and the Dick Van Dyke Show. In addition, Joss’ brothers Zack Whedon and Jed Whedon are also written on shows including Fringe and Spartacus: Blood and Sand. They’re practically a TV writer dynasty!
Anyone under the age of 40 may have not realised that Jake Gyllenhaal actually started out as a child star, spending the 90s appearing in movies like City Slickers, A Dangerous Woman and Homegrown. However, what’s even easier to forget is that two out of three of those movies were actually directed by his father, Stephen Gyllenhaal. In addition to having a Golden Globe and Emmy nominated director for a father, Jake Gyllenhaal is also lucky enough to have an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter for a mother: Naomi Foner. Plus let’s not forget Jake’s similarly successful sibling, Maggie Gyllenhaal.
There is no shortage of children who set out to follow in their parent’s footsteps, but many others will end up in adjacent professions instead, which is exactly what happened with Lily Collins. The star of Love, Rosie, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has been a successful actress for a decade now, but her father really needs no introduction. Lily Collins is the daughter of Phil Collins, legendary singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and frontman of Genesis, known for such hits as In the Air Tonight.
Though many people might only know her as the woman responsible for bringing Anastasia Steele to the big screen in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Dakota Johnson is among the most talented and versatile actresses of her generation. This isn’t too surprising given that she is the daughter of two very successful actors, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths, with Griffiths in turn being the daughter of legendary Hitchcock actress Tippi Hedren. Twice married and divorced, Don and Melanie wed for the first time when the former was 25 and the latter was 17, but daughter Dakota was the product of their second marriage (from 1989 to 1996).
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is perhaps the most iconic final girl in horror movie history thanks to her portrayal of Michael Myers foil Laurie Strode in the Halloween series. Some say this was her birthright, as she is the child of one of the most iconic ‘scream queens,’ Janet Leigh of Hitchcock’s Psycho. Not only that, but Jamie’s father Tony Curtis was also a major star, known for such classics as Some Like it Hot, Spartacus and The Defiant Ones. Jamie and her mother worked together twice, on The Fog and Halloween H20, but she never worked with her father.
Just because two actors share the same last name, doesn’t mean they’re automatically related, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing that Emma Roberts is actually the niece of Julia Roberts! Though Julia Roberts’ career has been somewhat less horror-focused than Emma’s, both actresses have racked up lots of accolades over the course of their careers. But Emma Roberts has some catching up to do if she wants to compete with her aunt’s four Academy Award nominations. She also has a long way to go to make as many movies as her father, the infamously prolific B-movie star Eric Roberts.
Nicolas Cage’s real name – Nicolas Coppola – gives a clue to the Hollywood dynasty that the actor belongs to. Cage’s father, August Coppola, was a successful author, filmmaker, and academic, and his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, is the legendary director of The Godfather films. Cage got his start in Hollywood appearing in his uncle’s films, but he was concerned that his career would be dogged by accusations of nepotism, prompting him to adopt a new surname. Cage is also the cousin of writer-director Sofia Coppola, actor Jason Schwartzman and filmmaker Robert Coppola Schwartzman.
Ben Stiller has been a titan of the comedy scene for so many years that it’s kind of a weird thinking about him as a nepo baby, but both of his parents were stars during their lifetimes. Jerry Stiller, Ben Stiller’s father, was a famous comedian best known in his later years for his role on Seinfeld, whilst Stiller’s mother, Anne Meara Stiller, was an actress and playwright who was nominated for an Emmy four times. Stiller and his father appeared together in a number of films including Zoolander, The Heartbreak Kid, and Heavyweights.
Kaia Gerber definitely hit the genetic jackpot. Her mom is Cindy Crawford, one of the most famous supermodels of all time, whilst her father Rande Gerber is a successful businessman. Gerber has put her inherited looks to good use, becoming the first model born in the 2000s to achieve ‘The Big Four’ of Vogue covers and winning the title of Model of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards. Crawford has certainly had a hand in her daughter’s career, with both models working together on campaigns for luxury watch brand Omega.
Having one celebrity parent is an advantage, but having two is the ultimate leg up. Maya Hawke is the daughter of Uma Thurman, iconic star of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, and the similarly accomplished actor Ethan Hawke. Maya Hawke has followed in her parents’ footsteps, becoming a household name with her role in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. She also followed in her mother’s footsteps by appearing in Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. On top of this, Maya has enjoyed musical success, releasing two acclaimed albums as singer-songwriter.
Allison Williams has publicly discussed how hard she’s worked to be known as more than just the daughter of news anchor Brian Williams. Her efforts have paid off. The actress has turned in a number of well received performances, first achieving prominence HBO’s hit series Girls, and since enjoying big screen success in the hit horror movies Get Out and M3GAN. Williams has done such a good job of establishing herself in her own right that she says people are now often surprised when they find out who her dad is.
Zoey Deutch made her acting debut at the age of 15 with a role in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life on Deck, marking the start of an acting career that has gone from strength to strength. After receiving a Teen Choice award for her performance in 2014’s Vampire Academy, Deutch appeared in the Netflix film Set it Up and comedy horror sequel Zombieland: Double Tap. Whilst Deutch’s achievements are certainly impressive, she was born into Hollywood links; her mother is Lea Thompson, of Back to the Future fame, and her father is Howard Deutch, director of Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful.
Having famous parents is an undeniable advantage when it comes to grabbing your own share of the spotlight, and celeb couples don’t come much more famous than Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. A quintessential nepo baby, Willow Smith (sister of the similarly famous Jaden Smith) made her screen debut alongside her dad in I Am Legend. However, since then she has gone on to forge a career completely independent of her father, breaking into the world of music as well as pursuing an acting career that has seen her pick up a slew of awards.
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most famous musicians in history, with The Beatles almost unanimously considered the most important rock band of all time. The musician’s daughter, Stella McCartney, chose to go a different route than her dad and began designing clothes at the tender age of 13. After a spell as the creative director of Chloé, McCartney set up her own clothing line, named after herself, in a joint venture with Gucci. Although she chose to conquer a different creative realm than her father, it’s hard to imagine that being the daughter of a Beatle didn’t open at least a few doors.
If talent is genetic, then Zoë Kravitz was always destined for greatness. The daughter of actress Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz, Zoë Kravitz earned critical acclaim with her performance on the HBO series Big Little Lies, and has subsequently gone on to star in a string of independent films including Dope, Gemini, and Kimi. The actress also starred as Catwoman in 2022’s The Batman. As if having two famous parents isn’t enough, Kravitz’ stepdad is Aquaman star Jason Mamoa, although his relationship with Lisa Bonet ended in divorce in 2022.
It turns out that Zoë isn’t the only Kravitz to qualify as a nepo baby, as her father comes from famous stock himself. Lenny Kravitz’ mother, Roxie Roker, was a sitcom star best known for her portrayal of Helen Willis on The Jeffersons, although she also earned a Tony nomination for her performance in stage play The River Niger. In addition, his father Sy Kravitz was a successful TV producer. Rather than pursuing TV work, Lenny forged his own successful music career, although he eventually followed in his mother’s footsteps with a side career in acting, including The Hunger Games movies.
Jessica Capshaw has appeared in a number of TV shows and films since her acting debut in 1997, and is best known for her portrayal of paediatric surgeon Dr Arizona Robbins in the hit ABC series Grey’s Anatomy. Capshaw gets her acting talent from her mother, Kate Capshaw, whose most notable role was Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. However, it’s actually Jessica Capshaw’s stepdad – acclaimed director Steven Spielberg – who is most likely to have greased the wheels of her acting career.
Lily Rose-Depp is the daughter of Hollywood titan Johnny Depp and singer, actress, and model Vanessa Paradis. After her parents split in 2014, Rose-Depp began splitting her time between Paris and Los Angeles, two places with a rich tradition of producing stars. Rose-Depp’s acting debut took the form of a cameo in 2014’s Tusk, which her father starred in. Since then the actress has appeared in a number of films, most notably A Faithful Man, which earned her a nomination for a César Award for Most Promising Actress. As well as a blossoming acting career, Rose-Depp is also a successful model, having been personally chosen by Karl Lagerfeld as the brand ambassador for Chanel at the age of 15.
Alexander Skarsgård’s father Stellan Skarsgård is an esteemed actor who frequently collaborates with Lars von Trier, although he has also turned in some lighter performances, most notably for Mamma Mia and its sequel. Alexander Skarsgård first became a household name with his portrayal of vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, and he has gone on to star in a number of Hollywood hits including Melancholia, which his father also starred in. The actor has also continued to work with HBO, taking on roles in Little Big Lies and Succession. He also has three actor brothers, the most famous being Bill Skarsgård of It.
Ireland Baldwin is one of the few nepo babies to actively discuss the phenomenon, and she has graciously acknowledged the advantages that come with having Hollywood superstars Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger as parents. After briefly embarking on a career as a model, Ireland decided that it wasn’t for her and moved to Oregon to pursue a career as a screenwriter. It’s probably safe to assume that her surname will fast-track her scripts to the top of piles on producers’ desks.
After a series of small roles in such films as Magic Mike and Mad Max: Fury Road, actress Riley Keough really broke through with her role in 2016 TV series The Girlfriend Experience. While she has made a name for herself as an actress, Keough’s family heritage is strongest in music: she is the daughter of musicians Lisa Marie Presley (who sadly passed away in January 2023) and Danny Keough, making her the granddaughter of the great Elvis Presley. As if being connected to one legendary musician isn’t enough, Keough is also the stepdaughter of Michael Jackson.
It’s easy to begrudge nepo babies for the undeniable advantages that come with their inherited fame, but it definitely has its downside too. One of the main struggles that nepo babies face is trying to step out from under their parents’ shadow, as Colin Hanks – son of Tom Hanks – has discovered firsthand. Although he has now established himself as a talented actor in his own right (with roles in TV’s Life in Pieces and the Jumanji films), Colin Hanks has publicly discussed how difficult he found it trying to become known as anything other than ‘Tom Hanks’ son.’
Even if you don’t follow in their career footsteps, having a famous parent can still prove to be a potent leg up, as Nicole Richie has proved. The adopted daughter of legendary crooner Lionel Richie, Nicole decided to pursue a career in reality TV instead of going down the music route. She shot to fame after appearing on A Simple Life alongside childhood friend Paris Hilton, and has gone on to appear in a number of other reality shows. Richie has also dabbled in other mediums, starring in the unscripted comedy show Candidly Nicole, which ran for two seasons.
Although she was raised in Montana, far away from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Margaret Qualley eventually developed an interesting in acting, which might have been inevitable considering her mother is Andie MacDowell of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day. Qualley got her acting debut with a small part in 2013’s Palo Alto before taking on a more substantial part in the HBO series The Leftovers. The actress has continued to display the depths of her acting talent across TV and film, earning nominations for both Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.
After rising to prominence with stellar performances on Parks and Recreation and The Office, Rashida Jones proved that she’s equally talented behind the camera, working as a writer, producer, and director on a number of TV shows and films. Jones is the daughter of Quincy Jones, one of the most iconic figures in the music industry, and actress Peggy Lipton (best known for TV’s The Mod Squad). In 2018, Rashida Jones cowrote and co-directed the Netflix documentary Quincy, which examined the life and career of her father.
Angelina Jolie is one of the highest paid female stars working in Hollywood, which makes it easy to forget about her nepo baby status. The daughter of Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight, Jolie made her acting debut opposite her dad in 1982’s Lookin’ to Get Out. The actress’ career since then has been nothing short of illustrious: she has won three Golden Globes and an Oscar, and has over 60 credits to her name as an actress, plus seven as director, to say nothing of her extensive humanitarian work.
O’Shea Jackson Jr
Being the son of one of the most iconic rappers of all time probably helps when it comes to breaking into the music industry, and O’Shea Jackson Jr certainly seems to have benefitted from the legacy of his father, NWA cofounder Ice Cube. However, O’Shea Jackson Jr has proved that he can do more than rap. In 2015, the musician made his acting debut, playing his father in the biopic Straight Outta Compton, which he followed with several more film and TV credits.
The daughter of director Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow has been appearing in her parents’ films since an early age, playing the daughter of her mother’s characters in Knocked Up, Funny People and This Is 40. Apatow has been vocal about the role her parents have played in her career, stating that “my dad knows my true potential and capabilities as an actor better than anyone else.” However, the actress has also been involved in plenty of projects away from her parents, including Assassination Nation and The House of Tomorrow. She has also co-directed a short film, Don’t Mind Alice.
Hannah Einbinder, the Emmy nominated star of comedy show Hacks, seems to have inherited her mother Laraine Newman’s gift for comedy. Newman was one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, creating a number of memorable characters including Connie Conehead and Christie Christina. After departing the sketch show, Newman went on to appear in films such as Stardust Memories and The Flintstones, as well as providing voices for Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Up, and Inside Out.
Sam Levinson established himself as one of the most talented screenwriters in the industry with his hit HBO series Euphoria. He has also worked on a number of other successful projects, both behind the camera and in the writing room, and looks set to have a bright career in Hollywood. While his talent is without question, it probably doesn’t hurt that he is the son of Barry Levinson, the Oscar-winning director of such acclaimed movies as Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Sleepers.
Bella and Gigi Hadid
After a successful modelling career that spanned 15 years, Yolanda Hadid became a household name when she joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills. She followed this with another reality show in 2018 called Making a Model; a title, considering she had by that point already made two. Hadid’s daughters, Bella and Gigi, have become two of the biggest names in modelling, and their mother is reported to have been heavily involved in their careers.
Although all of the Kardashian/Jenner kids could safely be categorised as nepo babies, Kendall Jenner deserves to be singled out for how deftly she has leveraged her inherited fame. Jenner has become a bona fide supermodel and stands at the helm of a vast social media empire that generates millions. Almost as impressively, Jenner has, for the most part, managed to steer clear of the controversies that have surrounded her parents, Kris and Caitlyn Jenner.
John David Washington
One of the problems that comes with being a nepo baby is the fear of forever being compared to your parents. John David Washington seems to be handling it just fine. Whilst being the son of two-time Oscar winning icon Denzel Washington inevitably comes with some gargantuan expectations, John David Washington has already proved that he is more than capable of meeting them. After a role on the HBO series Ballers, the actor gave his first lead performance in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman (earning a Golden Globe nomination in the process), before playing The Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
Gwyneth Paltrow has used her Hollywood fame as a springboard to launch her wellness brand, Goop, which peddles a range of alternative treatments and health products. Her acting career might have had its own springboard: Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, was a successful actress, starring in series like Will & Grace and earning multiple Emmy nominations, whilst her father Bruce Paltrow was a director and producer. In addition, Gwyneth is the goddaughter of Steven Spielberg, who gave her one of her first roles in Hook.
What’s better than having one Grammy Award winning singer in the family? Having two! Julio Inglesias has had an incredibly successful music career from the late 60s onwards, and he passed his talent on to his son. Enrique Inglesias was the best selling Spanish-language artist of the 90s, and enjoyed international success with his 2001 hit single Hero. Enrique’s family heritage is made that bit more impressive by the fact that he is the nephew, by marriage, of film legend Steve McQueen.
Billie Lourd is rapidly establishing herself as one of the brightest stars in horror, turning in critically praised performances in Scream Queens and American Horror Story. Acting talent is clearly in Lourd’s blood: she is the daughter of Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher, and granddaughter of esteemed screen star Debbie Reynolds. In 2015, Lourd followed in her mother’s intergalactic footsteps when she played Lieutenant Connix in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Acting ability clearly runs in the Sutherland Family. Donald Sutherland has been a big name in acting since the 60s, famed for such films as The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H* and Don’t Look Now. His son Kiefer followed him into the business, first appearing in such 80s hits as Stand By Me and The Lost Boys, and later becoming a TV star with 24. Both men have won Emmy Awards, and both have been awarded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Whilst he might not share his hulking physique, Patrick Schwarzenegger definitely shares his father Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood ambitions. Being the son of Arnie is bound to open a few doors for an actor, and may have helped Patrick land roles in such movies as Midnight Sun and Daniel Isn’t Real. Whether or not the younger Schwarzenegger decides to follow his father into politics remains to be seen.
It’s almost surprising that Mamie Gummer chose to go into acting, considering the inevitable lifelong comparisons to her mother, who happens to be Meryl Streep, one of the most celebrated actresses of all time. Fortunately, Gummer has proved to be a gifted performer in her own right, earning praise for her roles in True Detective and The Good Wife. It’s probably safe to say that her mom has given her a few pointers along the way, and the young actress has a bright career ahead of her.
If living in the shadow of your famous parent is hard enough, imagine living in the shadow of your famous parent and a famous older sibling. This is the position that Grace Gummer – daughter of Meryl Streep, and sister of Mamie Gummer – has found herself in, but she seems to be handling it ably. Gummer has established herself as a successful TV actress, landing roles in American Horror Story, Mr. Robot, Dr. Death, and more. It seems more or less inevitable that Gummer will eventually cross over into Hollywood, following the path cleared by her mother and older sister.
The adoptive daughter of comedian and TV presenter Steve Harvey, Lori Harvey’s modelling career has seen her walking the runway for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, Burberry, and Michael Kors, and she is currently signed to IMG Models, the same agency as Kate Moss. Harvey has also leveraged her fame to launch a skincare company, SKN by LH.
Whilst Sally Dynevor – the mother of Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor – might not be a global star like her daughter, her portrayal of Sally Metcalfe in the British soap opera Coronation Street has made her a notable celebrity in the UK. Although she has already eclipsed her mother in terms of fame, Phoebe Dynevor has cited her mother’s choice of career as a major influence in the direction her life has taken.
Tracee Ellis Ross
The daughter of Diana Ross and music executive Bob Ellis, Tracee Ellis Ross has embraced the tradition of nepo babies using their inherited fame to launch a product line, in this case Pattern Beauty, a range of hair care products. Ross has also established herself as an actress of considerable talent, starring in the ABC series Black-ish. In interviews, Ross has gushed about her mother’s parenting skills, stating “my mom holds her family and a career and nourishes both things.”
After rising to stardom with the acclaimed Blue Velvet and the legendary blockbuster Jurassic Park, Laura Dern went on to win an Academy Award with her performance in the Netflix film Marriage Story. Dern comes from a family of actors; her mother Diane Ladd won a BAFTA for her role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and her father Bruce Dern has earned multiple accolades for his unhinged, villainous characters.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce Dallas Howard has appeared in a number of Hollywood blockbusters including Spider-Man, Jurassic World and the Twilight movies. The actress is the daughter of Ron Howard, an actor, writer and director who first found fame on sitcom Happy Days before directing such hit films as A Beautiful Mind, The DaVinci Code and Apollo 13. Bryce has cited her father as an important influence in her choice of career.
It’s not all that surprising that Norah Jones embarked on a highly successful music career. After all, she is the daughter of Ravi Shankar. The sitar maestro and composer racked up a number of Grammy wins during his lifetime, and it’s safe to say that Jones inherited his aptitude for music as a singer, songwriter and pianist. She currently has nine Grammies of her own, a number which is only likely to grow, and has been labelled one of the most influential contemporary musicians in jazz.
To say that Daisy Ridley’s family tree is studded with high fliers would be an understatement. Though not all of her forebears went into entertainment, she can count amongst her relatives the head of international communications at a major bank and the chief of the Engineering Secretariat at the BBC, with some literal landed gentry thrown in for good measure. Most famously though, when Daisy Ridley’s paternal great-uncle Arnold Ridley was done fighting for his country during both World War I and World War II, he returned to a career as a playwright and actor, and is best known for portraying Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army.