There are some families in Hollywood that have been able to remain relevant and work together all at the same time. We get to know each of the stars individually and their relations to each other is made obvious. Often times, these stars go to the shows together, talk about each other and advertise their relations loudly. We’ve seen huge celebrity families like the Baldwins, the Sheens and the Smiths all have success around the same time as each other. We’ve also seen smaller families like Jon Voigt and Angelina Jolie, the Hemsworths and Arquettes.
There are famous families, however, whose relations are a bit more stretched out, actors who are famous today that have famous grandparents or relatives, family members they may not talk about a whole lot. Maybe they don’t share the same last name, or the name is so common that we just take it for granted. Some of the stars on this list are young and trying to make a name for themselves, so the world hasn’t become familiar with who they are and where they come from yet. Whatever the reasons, there are celebrity families out there that we didn’t even know are related. That’s why we’re here.
Let’s go through the families that are not as well known. Some of the relations on the list you’ll know, but you’re so smart it’s hard to get anything past you. We will try to add in an element or a generation that maybe you weren’t aware of in those cases. These are the elite families in Hollywood. The names that have lasted in the competitive world of Tinseltown for a long, long time. When only one family member is famous, people might be able to forget your name or neglect to write it down in the annals of Hollywood, but not these names. These are the families that refuse to go quietly into the night. Here is a list called Iconic Bloodlines: 15 Stars You Never Knew Came from Hollywood Royalty.
15. Bridget Fonda
Since they all kept the name Fonda, this family is pretty easy to keep track of. Fonda is up near the top of this list because her lineage is better known to the average fan, but people may not know exactly how rich this family’s history is. Bridget’s grandfather is Henry Fonda (left), the legendary actor from The Grapes of Wrath, 12 Angry Men, Once Upon a Time in the West and On Golden Pond. Henry had himself two famous children, Jane (Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home and The China Syndrome) and Peter (Easy Rider). Peter’s daughter, Bridget, has some work to do to catch up to her family’s fame, but The Godfather III and Single White Female were some pretty great films to add to the Fonda legacy. Now that Bridget is married to Danny Elfman, maybe their son will continue in his family’s footsteps and make it four generations of Hollywood stars.
14. Ethan Peck
Ethan Peck is still trying to carve out his own name in the industry. He’s recently been in The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, but he is best known for being in the television show, 10 Things I Hate About You. His last name is already famous, though, super famous. Gregory Peck (right), the iconic star from films like To Kill a Mockingbird and Roman Holiday is Ethan’s grandfather. Gregory also had a daughter who has done well in the industry, Cecilia Peck (Ethan’s aunt). Cecilia has done some acting but she is most famous for her directing and producing, specifically Shut Up & Sing, the documentary about the Dixie Chicks and that whole George W. Bush fiasco. It’s probably not a surprise that Ethan has struggled a little to get out from under that gigantic shadow that his grandfather cast.
13. Jason Schwartzman
It’s becoming somewhat common knowledge that Nicolas Cage is linked to Francis Ford Coppola, but Jason Schwartzman is part of that family too and he might have a more intriguing family tree. Schwartzman’s mom is Talia Shire (Adrian from Rocky). His uncle is Francis Ford Coppola, which makes directors Sophia Coppola and Roman Coppola, producer Gian-Carlo and actor Nicolas Cage his cousins. You would think that with the family connections running so deep in the industry that Schwartzman would lean on his relatives more often, but he really hasn’t done much with them except for the films Q and Marie Antoinette. Maybe he’s felt the need to break out on his own, something he’s proved very capable of doing over the course of his career. There’s a good chance that by the end of his career, Schwartzman will have one of the best resumes out of the group.
12. Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty
Technically Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine don’t “come from” Hollywood royalty, but they’ve turned themselves into royalty through their own illustrious careers. This brother and sister duo have both won Oscars, and both have been nominated countless other times. It was Shirley who started the path to Hollywood and Beatty followed, like little brothers do so well. In 1992, Beatty married Annette Bening and the family increased its status by adding another great actor to the mix. The parents of these two siblings were not actors, but MacLaine and Beatty deserve to be on the list because not many people even know that they’re related.
11. Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn may not be the most famous actor, but if you watched Zoey 101, then you’ll recognize him as Chase Matthews. That being said, Sean Flynn has a very famous last name; named after his uncle, Sean Flynn, who was the son of legendary actor Errol Flynn. Errol’s son, Sean, who we will call Sean Sr., was also an actor. He famously disappeared while doing some photojournalism in Cambodia. He and a colleague were kidnapped by some troops there and the men were never heard from again. Sean Flynn Sr.’s mother and Errol’s wife, Nora Eddington, also did some acting, but she was most famous for being Errol’s wife. More specifically, Errol met Nora while he was on trial for statutory r*pe charges. The then-33-year-old actor was being charged with sexually advancing on two young teenagers when he met a 19-year-old Nora Eddington at the courthouse. She was working there at the time. Now that’s a story to tell the family.
10. Alia Shawkat
Alia Shawkat has done a lot in her relatively short time in Hollywood. Perhaps she is most recognizable as Maeby from Arrested Development, but she’s also worked on Whip It, The Runaways and Final Girls. Her parents were not in the industry, but her maternal grandparents were. Her grandfather, Paul Burke, was an actor best known for his television work on Naked City and Twelve O’Clock High. In film, Burke played the lawyer in Valley of the Dolls and the police officer in The Thomas Crown Affair. After separating from Shawkat’s maternal grandmother, he married actress Lyn Peters, who worked on television’s Get Smart, Hogan’s Heroes and Batman. Not bad genes there.
9. Dakota Johnson
Most people know now that Dakota Johnson, the actress of 50 Shades of Grey fame, is the daughter of actress Melanie Griffith and actor Don Johnson. Melanie is best known for her work in Working Girl and Something Wild, while Don Johnson became a huge star on television’s Miami Vice and Nash Bridges. Yet, probably because she has such famous parentage, most people overlook Dakota’s grandmother, Tippie Hedren (left). Hedren is the actress who rose to stardom with her performance in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Most recently, Hedren was in I Heart Huckabees. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If Dakota can do something of more value than showing off skin in 50 Shades, she might be able to make it three generations of acting powerhouses.
8. Tony Goldwyn
Many film fans will remember Tony Goldwyn as the bastard Carl Bruner from Ghost, but nowadays, he’s most recognizable as Fitzgerald Grant III, President of the United States on Scandal. If you’re thinking that his last name makes him sound rich, you’re on the right track. The name Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is where you’ll notice the name from, though Samuel Goldwyn (Tony’s grandfather) was only part of Goldwyn Pictures before they sold their company to Metro Pictures Corporation. The logo, however, Leo the Lion, was something that Goldwyn pictures used first and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer purchased and continued to use after the takeover. After the sale of Goldwyn Pictures, Samuel started another production company, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, and continued producing films. Samuel married actress Frances Howard and had a son, Samuel John Goldwyn Jr., who would become a film producer like his father. Goldwyn Jr. would marry actress Jennifer Howard and they would have Tony Goldwyn. Now you know their family history.
7. Chris Pine
It feels like just yesterday that Chris Pine was a small time actor slowly making a name for himself when, whammo! He’s a superstar. Perhaps playing James T. Kirk in Star Trek will do that for you, but Pine has had a great career, really from the very beginning. If we knew that he came from such a strong family and had such a Hollywood pedigree, maybe we would have expected it. Pine’s mother, Gloria Gwynne Gilford, is a retired actress, having been in several decent films like Masters of the Universe (1987). His father is Robert Pine, a much more successful actor who was famous for playing Sgt. Joseph Getraer on the TV series CHiPs. But the most legendary of the bunch is Pine’s grandmother, Anne Gwynne, one of the first ever “scream queens” in Hollywood horror films, acting in films like Black Friday, The Black Cat and The House of Frankenstein.
6. Drew Barrymore
Most people already know that Drew Barrymore’s family is famous, but do you know exactly how famous? Her grand-aunt, Ethel Barrymore was called the “First Lady of the American Theater.” She also won an Academy Award in 1944 and Winston Churchill wanted to marry her. Beat that. Barrymore’s grandfather, John Barrymore, was considered one of the greatest actors of his day. In fact, almost everyone in Barrymore’s family was an actor, including all four great-grandparents, her two paternal grandparents, two grand-aunts, one grand-uncle, one aunt and many more. Barrymore is also the goddaughter of Steven Spielberg and actress Sophia Loren. She’s pretty well connected to say the least.
5. Katie Cassidy
Katie is becoming more and more familiar to film and TV fans. She’s probably best known for playing Laurel Lance on TV’s Arrow, but she’s also been in TV’s Supernatural and Gossip Girl and the films Taken and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Katie is the daughter of David Cassidy, best known for playing Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family. Katie’s grandparents are Jack Cassidy, who was a television actor and singer appearing on shows like The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Get Smart and Bewitched, and Evelyn Ward, who was best known for her role on TV’s Man from U.N.C.L.E. Jack Cassidy was also married to Shirley Jones (who played Shirley Partridge on The Partridge Family) and she became Jack’s stepmother and therefore Kate’s step-grandmother. Confused yet? Good. Kate’s uncle is also Shaun Cassidy from The Hardy Boys Mysteries. So you can see that acting runs deep in her veins.
4. Riley Keough
Though her name might not be instantly recognizable, Riley Keough has had a nice start to her career. She debuted with The Runaways and went on to act in Magic Mike and Mad Max: Fury Road, but while her own last name is not so famous, her mother’s last name is. Riley’s mom is Lisa-Marie Presley, which makes her the granddaughter of the one and only Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, Elvis was long gone by the time Riley was born, but she must have inherited some of his talent. Her mom, Lisa-Marie is no slouch either. Lisa-Marie has done quite well in her own musical career making her own name at least stand somewhat separately from the king. Through Lisa-Marie’s multiple marriages, Riley, at different points in her life, may have called Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage stepdad… which is a bit weird for some reason.
3. Mariska Hartigay
Playing Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for the last two decades, Mariska Hartigay is every bit her own woman and her own star, but it surprises a lot of people to learn who she is and where she comes from. On June 29th, 1967, actress and 1950s sex symbol Jayne Mansfield (right) was killed in a car accident which became front page news everywhere. In the backseat of the car were Mansfield’s three children. The youngest child in the car was Mariska Hartigay, who was injured in the crash but obviously survived. Mariska’s father was Mansfield’s ex-husband, Mickey Hargitay, who was also Mr. Universe. Mariska was three-years old when her mother died, so she was raised by her father and has often shirked comparisons to the late Mansfield.
2. Oona Chaplin
The last name gives it away, but if you didn’t know the last name, who could have ever guessed that Oona, Robb Stark’s wife in Game of Thrones, was the great Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter. Oona’s named after her grandmother, Oona O’Neill Sr., who was most famous for marrying Charlie Chaplin when she had just turned 18 and Charlie was 36-years older, which means he was 54. Oona O’Neill Sr. was the daughter of famed playwright Eugene O’Neill, so she had great bloodlines herself. Oona Sr. and Charlie had eight children, six of whom got into the film industry. The most prominent of these was Geraldine Chaplin, the oldest of Charlie and Oona Sr.’s children. Geraldine is Oona Chaplin Jr.’s mother and she is best known for her roles in Doctor Zhivago and The Wolfman (2010).
1. Jack Huston
Even though it’s not doing well at the box office or with the critics, the new Ben-Hur movie has a rich lineage, and so does its main star, Jack Huston. Jack is part of a very famous family. Jack’s father is the brother of Danny Huston (American Horror Story) and Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston. Their father, who is Jack’s grandfather, is John Huston, one of the most famed Hollywood directors there has been, directing films such as The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen. Huston has directed both his daughter, Anjelica, and his own father, Walter Huston, to Academy Award wins. Walter, John’s father and Jack Huston’s great-grandfather, began acting in the 1920s and won the Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
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