As a young adult your path often involves becoming an apprentice in the family trade. Much like a monarchy, you would inherit the profession of your parents; a blacksmith’s family produced blacksmiths; farmers tilled the land for generations and a thatcher’s clan had been roofing forever. This reality may seem to be centered in the distant past but upon closer investigation you see that it remains true today. Most of us know people who are in the same field as their parents. Whether it be a third generation doctor, lawyer or craftsmen, many continue to emulate the professional path their parents paved. This is true with the Hollywood crowd as well, in the end, who would not want to be a star.
Becoming a movie or television star is a a very difficult task to accomplish. Millions of would be artists travel to entertainment hubs like Hollywood with little more than a confident attitude and a dream of stardom. Most of these would be thespians find themselves out of work and forced to give up their dreams and change careers. To make it you have to have talent, a certain look, confidence and usually a break. This does not mean that every actor in Hollywood is there because of a luck, but having someone on the inside can do nothing but help the process of becoming a star. As in any other type of work, if the person doing the hiring is faced with two candidates who they deem to be equally qualified, chances are they will choose the person who they know, whose parent they may have worked with in the past and in who they can, therefor, place a higher level of confidence. If your parent was a star, why not use his or her reputation to your advantage, any leg up can help.
This does not mean that all children of actors are a success, there are children from some of the most well known actors who have never attained their parents level of success. This article does not deal with them. Here is a list of the parent/ child hollywood teams that are the richest. This list is made up of recent well-known actors that have made heaps of money doing what they do.
12) Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith: $ 30 Million
Tippi Hedren is best known as the muse for horror film legend Alfred Hitchcock. She starred in the 1963 classic The Birds and has managed to work as an actress ever since. Although she never regained the fame she touched during the Hitchcock she managed to remain employed and amass a net worth of $10 million.
On August 9th, 1957 Melanie Griffith, Hedren’s daughter was born. She began her career in the mid 70’s and became one of the most prolific actors of the late 80’s and early 90’s, most notably in Working Girl and Something Wild. She was part of some of the most followed romances of period first with Don Johnson and then Antonio Banderas to whom she is still married. She has an estimated net worth of $20 million.
11) Patty Duke and Sean Astin: $45 Million
Patty Duke burst onto the movie scene as an Academy Award Winner at the age of 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She subsequently got her own television show which ran for 3 years. She has continued to work in television and film ever since. Her current net worth is $5 million. On February 25th, 1971 she gave birth to her son Sean Astin who has followed her footsteps as an actor.
Best known for his role as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Astin has been in some classic films like The Goonies and Rudy. Astin has worked steadily since his beginnings in 1985 and has managed to amass a net worth of $ 40 million.
10) Tony Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis: $95 Million
Tony Curtis is one of the best known American actors of the 20th century. His talent transcended all genres and found success in both dramatic roles like Spartacus as well as comedic roles like Some Like it Hot. He is also the only person on the list to have been immortalized as the character “Stony Curtis” in The Flintstones. Starring in well over 100 films allowed Curtis to reach a worth of $60 million, Curtis sadly passed away in 2010.
On November 22, 1958, Jamie Lee Curtis was born. Her parents being Curtis and starlet Janet Leigh her future seemed destined for the screen. She began her acting career with a string of slasher movies in the late 70’s and early 80’s the most popular being Halloween. Jamie Lee followed into more traditional roles and won praise for her work in the hysterical A Fish Called Wanda. She continues working today as well as writing children’s books and blogging for The Huffington Post. Her net worth is estimated at $35 million.
9) Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson: $98 million
Goldie Hawn began her career by utilizing the “dumb-blonde” persona to her advantage. She parlayed this into a role on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh in. Her talent came to the forefront and she quickly became a much sought after actress. Hawn won the Academy Award for best supporting actress in Cactus Flower in 1969, which led her career to even greater heights. She worked throughout the 70’s and 80’s and received critical acclaim for her work on Shampoo and Private Benjamin. She still works today and throughout the years she has padded her bank account with $60 million.
Kate Hudson was born on April 19th, 1979. Her acting career began in 1996 and, much like her mother, was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for one of her first roles as groupie Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Although she did not win the award she has had steady work since in both film and television. Through her work she has made $ 38 million.
8) Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow: $90 Million
Blythe Danner has been working steadily as an actor since 1970. She has appeared on many television shows, notably as Will’s mother in Will and Grace and as Izzy on Huff, for which she won two Emmy awards. Another familiar role is as Robert De Niro’s wife in the movie Meet the Parents and its sequels Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers. Through her years of work she has amassed a worth of $45 million.
Gwyneth Paltrow was born on September 27th, 1972. Her acting career began with a few supporting roles such as a young Wendy Darling in Hook. She eventually impressed enough people to become a leading lady in Emma in 1996 and received the ultimate award when she won the Oscar for best actress for her role in Shakespeare in Love. What has followed is a string of successful films that has allowed her to command millions per film. Paltrow has a current net worth of $45 million.
7) Donald and Kiefer Sutherland: $105 million
Donald Sutherland became a household name after appearing in two iconic war films; the action film The Dirty Dozen and the comedy M*A*S*H. What has followed is constant quality performances for the Canadian who is now known by a new generation of movie goers as President Snow in The Hunger Games series. Though rarely the lead in films he has maintained a reputation as a strong supporting actor and has rallied this talent into a $40 million dollar worth.
Kiefer Sutherland was born on December 21st, 1966. He began his career with the film Max Duggan Returns, acting alongside his father. These beginnings led to a string of popular coming of age movies like Stand By Me, Young Guns, and The Lost Boys. Whereas other members of the brat pack of the late 80”s like the Corys (Feldman and Haim) fell on hard times, Kiefer kept working and in 2001 landed the role for which he is most recognized. As Jack Bauer he led viewers through 8 years of action packed drama in 24. Through a career that is already 30 years old he has managed to earn $65 million.
6) Jerry and Ben Stiller: $ 112.5 million
Jerry Stiller began his career as half of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara with his wife Anne Meara. The popular duo appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on numerous occasions. Stiller became a household name playing the father of neurotic George Costanza on Seinfeld. He followed this success by portraying another father on The King Of Queens. He has also appeared in his son’s films. After nearly 50 years in the business he has amassed a net worth of $12.5 million.
Ben Stiller was born into a show-business family on November 30th, 1965. He began his career on Broadway in 1986 in The House of Blue Leaves, during which he made a mockumentary parody that got him a position as writer on Saturday Night Live. Although this was a short lived partnership it led to the Emmy Award wining The Ben Stiller Show, that despite its quality was cancelled after one season. After a few small roles he landed the lead in There’s Something About Mary, and his career went to greater heights and is now seen as a can’t miss comedic actor. He is currently worth $100 million.
5) Martin and Charlie Sheen: $ 175 million
Martin Sheen began his career in 1960 on the small screen and jumped to movies in 1967 with the film The Incident. He had a breakthrough performance in 1979 when he starred in Apocalypse Now. He continues to make movies and television programs to this day, most notably as President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing. He remains in demand and will likely be adding to the $50 million he already has.
Charlie Sheen was born on September 3rd, 1965 and began his career as an extra on some of his father’s films in the 70’s. He became a star on his own with Red Dawn in 1984 and became a household name with Platoon in 1986. He continued to make successful films and coupled this with the extremely popular television show Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen has an estimated net worth of $125 million.
4) Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie: $ 185 million
Jon Voight is known for delivering strong performances to the roles he has taken on. He has been nominated for 4 Academy Awards, winning once for his role in Coming Home. He first gained prominence as a would be gigolo in Midnight Cowboy which he followed a few years later with the cult classic Deliverance. Never shying from work he has delivered great performances in films like Ali and appeared in not so popular movies like Anaconda. Nonetheless he has had a successful career and has made $45 million.
Angelina Jolie was born on June 4th , 1975 and began acting early on in life when she appeared with her father in 1982 in Looking To Get Out. This early taste did not make her stick and she did not pursue the career for another decade. She returned to the screen in 1995 and made a name for herself in films like Hackers and Without Evidence. Her breakthrough came in 1999 when she won Academy Award for best supporting actress for Girl Interrupted. She rallied this success into blockbuster hits like the Lara Croft movies and Mr and Mrs Smith. The later of which marked the beginning of her relationship with Brad Pitt and the most written about couple today. Her fame has allowed her to make $140 million throughout her career.
3) Will and Jaden Smith: $223 million
Will Smith began his career as a rapper. He released some very popular and witty songs like Parents Just Don’t Understand and Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble, which led to him being cast in the sit-com The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He took his popularity and made a successful jump to the big screen and starred in the box office hits Bad Boys, Independence Day, and the Men In Black series. He has been nominated for 2 Academy Awards and has won 4 Grammy Awards, a true multi-talented artist he is worth a cool $215 million.
Jaden Smith got noticed as an actor in his own right playing opposite his father in The Pursuit of Happiness. He followed up this success with the lead in the remake of The Karate Kid. Like his father he also dabbles in singing as well a dancing. His worth is bound to grow as he masters his trades, as of right now it stands at $ 8 million.
2) Kirk and Michael Douglas: $248 million
Kirk Douglas was a heartthrob of the 50’s and 60’s often playing a tough guy. Nominated for 3 academy awards, he was given an honorary award in 1996 to celebrate 50 years in the business. He is known for his action roles in Spartacus and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. He acted well into his 90’s last appearing in a TV movie Empire State Building Murders. His years of acting excellence have given him a net worth of $ 60 million.
Michael Douglas was born on September 25th, 1944 and began his acting career in the late 60’s. After a few rather unpopular films he achieved a certain level of fame in the television series The Streets Od San Francisco. He made the jump to the big screen with films like The China Syndrome and Romancing the Stone. He has won an Academy Award as an actor for Wall Street and as a producer for One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. He is still is high demand and continues to work adding to his $188 million net worth.
1) Tom and Colin Hanks: $365 million
Tom Hanks first caught audiences attention playing a cross-dresser on the television show Bosom Buddies. Hanks’ talent was obvious and he was cast in a variety of movies soon after. What followed was a streak of successful movies like Splash, and Big coupled with colossal failures like The Money Pit and Joe Versus The Volcano. He eventually made a switch toward more dramatic roles and found unprecedented success winning two Academy Awards and having his movies gross over $ 8.5 billion world wide. For this rousing success he has managed to amass $350 million to his name.
Colin Hanks has the dubious title of being the son of the highest grossing movie star of all time. Born on November 24th, 1977, Colin began his career with his father on the film That Thing You Do. This appearance was followed with a role in the television series Roswell and as the lead in the film Orange County. Colin continues to act in both television and movies, earning him a net worth of $15 million.