The American Dream is composed of not only the belief that one can achieve any form of wealth or status one sets one’s mind to, but also in the belief that one can attain a better financial and social position than one’s parents. In that sense, these ten celebrities have reached the elusive American Dream – despite the fact that their parents were already affluent and renowned celebrities themselves, their children have gone on to outshine them in several facets. Some of these Hollywood stars have gained more wealth than their famous parents, some have gained a higher celebrity status, and some have achieved the best of both worlds. Whether their parents praise their children’s fame or reveal more jealous sides, it’s undeniable that these ten stars have earned more fame and fortune than their celebrity parents. Additionally, having famous parents may have helped these stars get a leg up in showbiz. Some of these celebrities’ family trees might even surprise you!
10. Kim Kardashian
Both Kim Kardashian’s biological parents and her stepfather have all achieved fame in different ways – her biological father is the high-powered attorney that defended O.J. Simpson, her stepfather is former Olympian Bruce Jenner, and her mother is TV personality and manager Kris Jenner. Despite these famous roots, however, Kim has arguably achieved more than her star-studded parents. Not only is she married to Kanye West, one of rap’s biggest stars, but Kim is the star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is heavily involved in the fashion world, and additionally has her own mobile game entitled Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. She’s managed to stay relevant and famous in the fast-paced world of Hollywood.
Rapper Nas hails from a musical background, which may be where his musical bones originated. Nas’ father is Olu Dara, a jazz musician who released his first album in 1998, after improvising with some of America’s greats for years. Although Olu Dara achieved fame within the jazz world, his celebrity status is nothing when compared to his son’s. Nas has had an extremely prolific career, including a slew of Grammy nominations, two BET Hip Hop Awards, over a dozen albums and six films, and even a notorious beef with Jay-Z. Nas has encouraged his father to accompany him on albums, and together, the two have produced beautiful harmonies.
8. Chris Pine
Chris Pine is a rising star – he acted the part of James Tiberius Kirk, in the most recent interpretations of Star Trek, a world-famous franchise. While it’s arguable about whether he’s more famous than his father, Robert Pine, Chris earns his spot on this list partly because of his net worth, and partly because it’s apparent that Chris has a long and illustrious career ahead of him. We couldn’t get enough of him as James T. Kirk, while on the other hand, Robert’s career has been steadily declining. It doesn’t hurt that Chris has those incredibly handsome looks.
7. Jeff Buckley
Rolling Stone has pronounced Jeff Buckley one of the greatest singers in music history. Whether you agree with this sweeping statement or not, it’s apparent that Jeff’s fame far surpassed that of his father’s, Tim Buckley. Tim was also a musician, and was both highly experimental and influential. Although Jeff Buckley only released a single studio album in 1994, entitled Grace, his music remains popular today, especially his beautiful and haunting rendition of the classic “Hallelujah.” Sadly, both Tim and Jeff died young: Tim was only 28 years old, while Jeff only made it to the age of 30.
6. Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz is another superstar who has celebrity in his blood. His mother is Roxie Roker, the actress who played Helen Willis on the beloved show, The Jeffersons. His father, Sy Kravitz also spent his career around television as an NBC television news producer. However, Lenny gained more star power than his iconic and powerful parents ever did. While The Jeffersons may have run for a lengthy 11 seasons, Lenny has been nominated for a slew of awards and has released ten albums. He even won the Grammy for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” four years in a row, the most consecutive wins ever achieved by a man. Additionally, he’s still active in Hollywood, even winning the part of Cinna in The Hunger Games.
5. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, is undeniably famous, but it’s apparent that Angelina’s fame has eclipsed even her father’s. Although Angelina’s first role was starring alongside her father in Lookin’ to Get Out, their relationship as Angelina has aged, has been rocky. Perhaps some of this drama can be attributed to Jon’s unconscious jealousy – Angelina’s fame has far surpassed his. At one point, she was one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and has additionally received critical acclaim throughout her career. Although she’s lying low these days in favor of raising a family, Angelina Jolie’s fame still makes her father’s look rather quaint.
4. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood. Her father, John Aniston, and her mother Nancy Dow, also act, although Jennifer has been far more successful than either of her parents. Although John played Victor Kiriakis in the adored and long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives, and Nancy appeared in several films, Jennifer’s career has been far more prolific. She played Rachel Green in the show Friends, arguably one of the most famous television series in the world, and, since her breakthrough role in Bruce Almighty, has appeared in 21 films. Jennifer is consistently voted as one of the sexiest women alive, and she remains one of our perennial favorites.
3. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel is the original beloved quirky girl – a little weird, but in a good way. This edge has helped her eclipse her parents’ fame. In fact, both of her parents are well-known in Hollywood circles. Her father is Academy Award nominated cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel, and her mother is actress Mary Jo Deschanel. However, Zooey has definitely earned more fame and fortune than her parents. She even has her own television show, New Girl, which debuted in 2011 and has been going strong ever since. Zooey is also talented in more ways than one – in addition to her acting chops, she’s an extremely talented singer. While her parents may have helped her get a leg up in Hollywood, she’s become famous in her own right.
2. Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller, who has starred in such films as Zoolander, Dodgeball and Meet the Parents, is one of America’s most popular actors and comedians. It might be because fame is in his blood – together, his father Jerry Stiller and mother Anne Meara, made up the notorious comedy duo Stiller and Meara. Although Jerry has co-starred in several films with his son Ben, Ben has clearly achieved more fame than his parents ever did. This is also reflected in their respective net worth: while Ben is worth about $120 million, Jerry is worth a measly $12.5 million in comparison. Although Ben has eclipsed his parents’ fame, it’s always refreshing to see a parent and child working together.
1. Miley Cyrus
It’s easy to see why Miley Cyrus makes the top of this list – her father, Billy Ray Cyrus may have had a hit single, “Achy-Breaky Heart,” which exploded onto the global music scene, but Miley has had numerous singles and has maintained her fame since 2006 – she’s been relevant for a total of eight years, a far longer career than Billy Ray ever sustained. In 2013, MTV even awarded her the prestigious title, “Artist of the Year.” Additionally, Miley’s net worth is around $165 million, while her father’s is $50 million. Miley has clearly achieved more fame and fortune than Billy ever even dreamed of.