Many talented, well-known artists and celebrities give a leg up to their ambitious infants and, very often, those kids end up becoming more famous than their famous parents. In some cases, the proud mom or pop becomes better known for their offspring than they do for their own artistic endeavors or flagging careers.
As Hollywood, in particular, is notoriously ‘cliquey’, it’s no surprise that some of our favourite stars today had useful contacts in their successful parents. Indeed, it’s easy to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for most of the people on this list; we might even forget about the tree when the apple gleams like these ten celebrities, who have come to be both richer and more famous than their celebrity parents.
10. Gwyneth Paltrow ($45m) – Blythe Danner ($40m) – $5 million difference
Besides being the mother of famed beauty Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner is also a very successful actress in her own right. She gained national attention at the age of 25 for her Tony Award-winning performance in 1969‘s Broadway play Butterflies Are Free. She worked on minor movies and TV projects that helped earn her critical appraise. Danner scored her biggest movie hit with Meet the Parents and its sequels, as well as in the TV series Will & Grace.
Gwyneth Paltrow is, of course, the Academy Award-winning actress, starring in a wide array of movies, such as Shakespeare in Love, Se7en, Shallow Hal, Royal Tenenbaums, Emma, and as Pepper in the hugely popular Iron Man franchise. She also owns a lifestyle website, Goop.com, with over 150,000 subscribers.
9. Chris Pine ($15m) – Robert Pine ($2.5m) – $12.5 million difference
Robert Pine was born in New York in 1941. He is a prolific actor with over 200 acting credits to his name. The role he is best known for is that of Walker Coleman on the soap opera Days of our Lives, and as Sgt. Joseph Getraer on the TV series CHiPs. He made his film debut in 1966, starring in the movie Gunpoint. More recently he has starred in shows and films such as Parks and Recreation, The Office, Independence Day, Confidence, and much more.
Chris Pine, Robert’s son, has surpassed his father in terms of wealth in a relatively short time. Chris often spent time on Hollywood sets growing up, and he began the family tradition of acting at a young age. He made several TV appearances early on before starring alongside Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Since then, he has taken on his defining role as Captain James Kirk in the movie reboots of the Star Trek franchise.
8. Kiefer Sutherland ($65m) – Donald Sutherland ($40m) – $25 million difference
The Canadian-born actor, Donald Sutherland, has enjoyed 50 years of success as an actor. He has appeared in countless movies, and earned his breakout role in the war movies MASH and Kelly’s Heroes. An interesting fact about Sutherland: When he appeared in the comedy Animal House, he was offered $40,000 or 2.5% of the film’s profits. Convinced that the movie would be a flop, he took the $40,000, only to see that the movie became a cult classic – that 2.5% would have been worth $18 million.
Despite appearing in over 70 high-profile movies, Kiefer Sutherland (Donald’s son), is most well-known for his iconic role as Jack Bauer on the popular TV show 24. He earned a massive $40 million for just three seasons of the show, and his role earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2006. Kiefer was also once roommates with actor Robert Downey Jr.
7. Kim Kardashian ($65m) – Kris Jenner ($30m) – $30 million difference
Although a successful media and reality TV personality, Kris Jenner is probably most famous as the matriarch of the Kardashian clan – mothering Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe with former husband, the late Robert Kardashian. She manages all of her daughters’ careers, is executive producer of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and has appeared on all of the spin-off reality shows involving the family.
Kim Kardashian became the stand out star in The Kardashians and is one of the most popular reality TV stars today. While stepfather Bruce Jenner is worth more than Kim and her mother combined ($100 million), the eldest Kardashian sister has amassed a fortune through endorsements (she made $18 million from the TV rights to her first very short-lived wedding), a cosmetics line, personal appearance fees, and her television salary.
6. Jake Gyllenhaal ($65m) – Stephen Gyllenhaal ($10m) – $55 million difference
Stephen Gyllenhaal is a director and poet who began working in the late 70s. His first major directorial project was 1979 movie Exit 10. He directed a few more films in the 80s, but it was his 1991 tele-film, Paris Trout, that earned him widespread notice. The special received five Emmy nominations, and Gyllenhaal won the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Director’s Guild of America.
Stephen’s two children, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, are both worth more than he is. While Maggie is worth $15 million, it’s son Jake who’s the biggest breadwinner in the family. Jake’s first lead role was in 1999’s October Sky, but it was the cult classic Donnie Darko that really set him up for success (his sister Maggie starred alongside him as his on-screen sister). Since then he has become a box-office superstar, starring in films such as The Day After Tomorrow, Jarhead, and Brokeback Mountain.
5. Charlie Sheen ($125m) – Martin Sheen ($50m) – $75 million difference
Martin Sheen is an award-winning actor who’s perhaps best known for his BAFTA-nominated turn in Apocalypse Now and for his role as President of the United States in the TV drama The West Wing, for which he won two Screen Actor’s Guild and a Golden Globe Award. He has also starred in movies such as Badlands, The Final Countdown, The Departed and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Charlie Sheen is Martin’s son, and he’s garnered even more time in the media spotlight than his father, especially since being fired from his hit role in Two and a Half Men. During his 2003 to 2011 stint on the sitcom, he was the highest paid actor in television, earning $1.25 million per episode. His big break came way earlier, in 1984, with the release of Red Dawn, which was the first film to ever be released with a PG-13 rating. This was soon followed with a leading role in the hugely popular movie Platoon, and from there, he never lost momentum, starring in films such as Young Guns, The Three Musketeers, and many more. In recent years, though, he’s become better known for his tempestuous personal relationships, divorces and drug abuse scandals.
4. Angelina Jolie ($145m) – Jon Voight ($45m) – $100 million difference
Jon Voight started acting as a teenager. His portrayal of handsome hustler Joe Buck in the ground-breaking drama, Midnight Cowboy in 1969 earned him an Oscar nomination and catapulted him onto Hollywood’s A-List. He followed up this success with many more movies, and won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a quadriplegic Vietnam vet in the drama-romance Coming Home (1978). After a lull in his career, he starred opposite Robert De Niro in the 1995 blockbuster Heat and regained some of his superstar status.
The beautiful and hugely successful actress Angelina Jolie is Voight’s daughter. The two have experienced a difficult relationship over the years. Jolie’s supporting role in Girl, Interrupted earned Jolie her first Academy Award, her second Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and her third Golden Globe. Since then, she has featured in many hugely financially successful films, such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (in which she starred alongside her father), Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and more. She’s also very involved with humanitarian efforts.
4. Miley Cyrus ($150m) – Billy Ray Cyrus ($50m) – $100 million difference
Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus is probably more well-known nowadays for the front-cover antics of his daughter Miley. Before Miley went from acting as the adorable Disney character Hannah Montana to a twerking try-hard rebel, Miley’s father Billy Ray was famous for his first album “Some Gave All” from 1992. It was the first debut album to enter #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and has been certified 9x Multi-Platinum in the US. He has released 12 studio albums in all. Miley’s crazy publicity stunts, her successful albums, and her years as child star Hannah Montana have made her a celebrity powerhouse even wealthier than her very successful father.
2. Ben Stiller ($120m) – Jerry Stiller ($12.5m) – $107.5 million difference
Jerry Stiller earned his celeb status and wealth as part of a comedy team with his wife, Meara Stiller, acting in high profile TV comedies like Seinfeld and King of Queens, and for voice acting in animated films, such as The Lion King and Fish Hooks.
His son, Ben, is remarkably successful as an actor, comedian, director, writer, and producer. He has often said that he was “born for a career in show business,” and his body of work is vast. Ben Stiller has written, starred in, directed, or produced over 50 films. There are very few failures within his portfolio, with his films grossing an average of $76 million (and $2.1 billion overall).
1. Jennifer Aniston ($150m) – John Aniston ($10m) – $140 million difference
John Aniston is a Greek-American actor, best known for being the father of superstar actress Jennifer Aniston. His most famous role is that of Victor Kiriakis on the NBC soap opera Days of our Lives, which he has continually played since 1985.
His daughter is, of course, one of Hollywood’s most successful comedic actresses. Probably most famous for playing Rachel Green in the sitcom Friends – and, less impressively, as one half of the infamously failed Aniston-Pitt relationship – Jen has forged a very respectable career since then. During the 2003 and 2004 seasons of Friends, Aniston and her female co-stars each earned $1 million per episode, making them the highest-paid TV actresses at the time. She has appeared in several big-screen blockbusters including Bruce Almighty, Along Came Polly, The Break-Up, and more.