15 Celebs You Didn’t Know Have Famous Parents

Now, plenty of celebrities have worked hard to become famous, found their craft, stuck with it, worked at it, and have consequently risen to the top of their respective industries. There are a lot of celebs out there who are the first in their families to rise up and be propelled into the limelight. But there are many, in fact there are tons out there, that grew up already having tasted some level of fame, mainly due to the exploits of their parents. Yes, there are plenty of celebs that grew up being the sons or daughters of one or two famous parents. Growing up in those kinds of households, one can imagine, that from a young age, these celebs wanted to emulate their parents, wanted to taste the fame and success themselves. And plenty have done just that, with some even surpassing their parents’ level of stardom.

It must make for an interesting family dynamic, with parent and child both being famous. We’ve seen it, how things unfold, when multiple members of the same family, including a parent and child, have achieved fame and are living their lives in the limelight. Just look at the Kardashians for example; they’re all famous, living the high life, and are constantly around each other, we know thanks to their reality TV show, which makes for some compelling television. Kris, Bruce (now Caitlyn), and all their kids – that’s one celebrity family, parents and children, that are all super famous and that you’re sure to know about, but continue reading for some more famous parent-child pairings that you probably didn’t know about.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Dakota Johnson


Dakota Johnson is the super cute – but not so innocent! – woman everyone knows and loves from the erotic bondage movie series Fifty Shades of Grey. People across the globe fell in love with her during her role as the submissive Anastasia Steele; she became a superstar seemingly overnight, and started getting plenty more opportunities in Hollywood, but it’s her upcoming movie, Fifty Shades Freed, after the disappointment of Fifty Shades Darker, that everyone’s waiting for.

She may have only risen to stardom in 2015, but Dakota’s actually been on the acting scene since 1999, when she was a child actress. It was pretty much inevitable that Dakota was going to go down the acting route, having Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson as parents. Both started out acting in 1969 and are still going strong – with their careers that is, they’re no longer together. Incidentally, Dakota’s also had some famous stepparents; Steven Bauer and most recently Antonio Banderas have played the role of the doting step-daddy, so she’s had more than a couple famous parental figures.

14 Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay has been around since 1983, and has enjoyed a number of notable successes over this period, however by far and away the most impressive thing on her resume is that she’s been a part of the award-winning Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series since 1999. First of all, it’s remarkable the series has been running that long – certainly not because it’s bad viewing or anything like that – and secondly, it’s truly amazing that Mariska’s been a part of it pretty much since its inception. In today’s day and age, it’s extremely rare for an actor to play a role for such a long period of time. Shows are constantly chopping and changing characters, but Mariska’s character, Olivia Benson, has been a permanent fixture of the series from the start.

Mariska’s parents achieved their fame for very different reasons. Her mom, Jayne Mansfield, was a sex symbol in the 1950s, achieving fame for her racy roles, various publicity stunts, and for being one of the first Playboy Playmates. Her dad, Mickey Hargitay, was a decent actor, but achieved fame for his body, for being crowned Mr. Universe, and for being a prominent name in the world of bodybuilding.

13 Liza Minnelli


Liza Minnelli can be considered the queen of the entertainment industry. It wouldn’t be doing her justice to label her a star and give her legendary status in one specific part of the industry, because what she’s accomplished over the course of a remarkable six decades spans the entire world of entertainment.

Liza’s so famous and has achieved her fame for doing so many different things, and because she’s now in her 70s, most people don’t really think about who her parents were and if they were famous too. Of course, Liza’s eclipsed them in terms of levels of fame, but back in the day, they were two pretty well-known names in the acting industry. Liza’s parents, Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland, famous for directing and acting and singing respectively, were a big deal in the 1950s and 60s. And of course, Judy Garland starred in the classic film The Wizard of Oz, among others. Growing up watching her parents do their thing must have sparked that interest and led Liza to pursue a career in entertainment, which she’s done in a way no one else has done before her.

12 Kate Hudson


Kate Hudson comes from a pretty prominent film family. She’s got plenty of relatives who are in the biz, a couple of whom are her parents, Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson.

Goldie’s another one who’s been around forever. Since making her onscreen debut back in 1967, she has wowed and stunned audiences and has gone on to achieve numerous other successes in a long a prosperous career that’s still ongoing. Bill is someone who’s got many strings to his bow. An actor, comedian, and musician, he’s done it all, although something he hasn’t done is be a doting father to Kate. That’s something that Kurt Russell did – another actor with a massive list of accomplishments to his name. Kate and her brother, fellow actor Oliver Hudson, have spoken about how they don’t have a relationship with Bill, and consider Kurt to be their father; he’s been in a long-term relationship with Goldie that’s spanned over three decades. Although they’re not married, he’s been the father figure that Kate wanted and needed.

11 Rashida Jones


I don’t really know how to describe Rashida Jones. The stunningly beautiful Rashida is probably most well known for her skills as an actress, appearing on The Office and Parks and Recreation, although she’s got a ton of other occupations too – this is one woman who likes to keep busy. She’s an actress, writes comic books, she’s a producer, a screenwriter, and you can add a bit of singing into the mix too. Rashida’s probably drawing upon her experiences as a kid, being in a household where her parents were famous and were involved in all sorts of things in the world of entertainment. Seeing them do their thing, she wanted to emulate them, follow in their footsteps, and she’s done exactly that – in fact, her parents would probably agree that she’s gone one better.

Rashida’s famous parents are actress and model Peggy Lipton, and a guy you might have heard of who’s involved in pretty much every aspect of the music industry Quincy Jones. It’s little wonder Rashida’s gone on to achieve what she has, with the two famous figures of Peggy and Quincy in her corner.

10 Josh Brolin


Josh Brolin has starred in a number of hit movies, and the rough, tough, rowdy guy persona that he tends to portray has meant that he’s become a hugely popular figure in the film industry. He’s been going strong pretty much from the time he started in 1985 and just keeps churning out successful movie after successful movie, and he’s received plenty of awards and accolades because of it.

Josh’s dad, James Brolin, is best known for roles in soap operas and sitcoms. He’s since transitioned into work behind the camera as a director and producer, although he still enjoys being in the spotlight from time to time. His mom was a wildlife activist, but it’s probably his stepmom that’s the most famous member of the family. In 1998, James married his third wife, legendary singer and actress Barbra Streisand, and the couple are still together to this day. That’s one very famous family!

9 Lily Allen


British singer and songwriter Lily Allen was super bad as a kid, but found solace in music and because of it, she has turned her life around to become a global superstar. She’s now – as you do when you achieve a certain level of fame – started acting and is starting to become known in the U.K. as a television presenter too. But music is still her passion. She experiments with different genres of music, and her fearless nature when it comes to producing songs has meant that she’s achieved plenty of accolades and her music appeals to a wide audience.

Her dad, Keith Allen, is a Welsh actor, comedian, musician, singer and songwriter, artist, author, and television presenter – wow! – and her mom is an English film producer, Alison Owen. Amazing list of stuff her parents do and have achieved there, it’s no wonder that Lily, when she was getting into all that trouble, getting expelled from school after school and what not as a kid, saw singing as a way out, and boy has it helped her. Although she’s still never too far from controversy, that’s what we love about her.

8 Ben Stiller

Comedy genius Ben Stiller is a unique personality in the acting world. He’s achieved most of his success killing it in comedy movies, but he’s also written a ton of so-called mockumentaries, and has done a ton of other stuff too during the course of his 37-year career. But Ben’s a guy who wants to be involved in all aspects of film making; he loves being in front of the camera – as he should because he’s one of the best actors around – but he has also directed and produced most of his movies, which in today’s day and age is pretty uncommon – just imagine the workload!

It’s little wonder that Ben got into acting as a kid. His dad is Jerry Stiller, a prominent actor and comedian – that’s where Ben got his comedic prowess from – and his mom is Anne Meara, also an actress and comedian. Three comedians – that’s what you call keeping it in the family!

7 Blake Lively

The stunning Blake Lively is now a prominent name in the film industry. After slow beginnings, she rose to fame and achieved plenty of success in the 2000s, with hit movie roles such as her portrayal of Ophelia "O" Sage in the 2012 crime thriller Savages, and most recently her role as the hot surfer in peril in the horror flick The Shallows.

Blake’s renowned for being one of the hottest– not to mention talented – actresses on our screens today. Ryan Reynolds is the lucky man who can call Blake his wife, and Ernie and Elaine Lively are the lucky two who can call Blake their daughter.

Ernie’s somewhat of a small-time actor, in comparison to the other acting parents on this list, but he’s still famous in his own right. His wife’s a talent scout, working in the entertainment industry, and they got Blake into acting. Her parents taught acting classes – must have been handy for Blake – she got the acting bug and followed in their footsteps, getting her first role at the age of just ten. Her sister, Robyn Lively, is also an actress, probably best known for her role in the 1989 movie Teen Witch.

6 Drew Barrymore


One of the hottest, most loved, and most successful former child actresses in the industry, Drew Barrymore started out as a child star, and has been killing it ever since. Killing it onscreen – her private life has been very different. That’s what can happen when you start out and basically grow up in front of the cameras from such a young age. The fame and pressures of life in the industry can be hard to handle for some. The pressure also comes from being in a family such as hers, with a long line of acting professionals before her. The Barrymore family is a pretty big deal in the world of entertainment; her paternal great-grandparents started it all off, and then her grandparents followed suit. Her mom, Jaid, was an actress, but her dad, John Drew Barrymore, is probably the most famous Barrymore of them all – aside from Drew of course – with a long and successful career onscreen.

5 Keira Knightley


Here’s another child star who blossomed into one of the most beautiful actresses we have in the industry today - this time it’s British actress Keira Knightley. Keira began acting in the mid-90s, and even appeared in a Star Wars movie, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that she really began to rise to global stardom. The 2001 film, The Hole, was her first significant role, but it was the Pirates of the Caribbean film series that propelled her to stardom. Her career has since gone from strength to strength, but where did it all start for Keira? It began in London, England, where she was influenced by her mom and dad’s work. Her mom, Sharman Macdonald, is a Scottish playwright, screenwriter, and actress, and her dad, Will Knightley, is mainly a TV and stage actor. He’s had a ton of TV stints in over four decades of work, but his passion is in acting in theatre, something that Keira’s recently started doing too.

4 Liv Tyler


The stunning Liv Tyler is at a stage in her career where everything she does, every role she plays, turns into a success. She’s beautiful and has the skills to pay the bills. She possesses the whole package to light up the big screen. She actually began life in the limelight posing for the cameras as a model – no surprises considering she’s super hot – but thankfully, for her fans and the film industry as a whole, switched her focus to acting after a year, and it’s certainly paid off.

Know any other famous Tylers? Does the name Steven Tyler ring any bells? Most people probably knew this one! The famous singer-songwriter is the lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, and Liv’s dad, and her mom’s also a pretty famous figure, Bebe Buell. She’s also done a bit of singing, but achieved most of her fame as a fashion model, having posed in Playboy.

3 Angelina Jolie


Angelina Jolie is a Hollywood megastar who’s been in the news a lot of late. After she rose to global fame in the late 90s, pretty much everything Angelina Jolie touches has turned to gold – in terms of her success onscreen I’m talking about. One thing everyone thought was rock-solid was her marriage to Brad Pitt, but that has crumbled, which means she’s in the papers pretty much all the time nowadays. Aside from her acting work, she’s an avid humanitarian and philanthropist, contributing her time and cash heavily to various charitable causes and global issues she feels strongly about.

Angelina made her onscreen debut as a child actress alongside her dad, Jon Voight. His career has been eclipsed due to the feats of his daughter, but he too is a hugely successful actor, winning many awards and receiving plenty of accolades in his heyday. Her mom, Marcheline Bertrand, was an actress and humanitarian, another case of a child of famous parents choosing the same career path.

Angelina has come a long way since those initial days working alongside her dad as a child actress, and has risen to become one of the most successful and highest-paid actresses in the world.

2 Dwayne Johnson

From the highest paid and one of the most successful female actresses in the world, Angelina Jolie, to high paid man, Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne’s a guy who’s hungry for success and wants to be at the top of whatever industry’s he’s in. It’s just remarkable to think what Dwayne Johnson’s achieved and how he’s risen to the top of two seriously tough and competitive industries.

Dwayne gained mainstream fame as the wrestling personality we all know and love – even non-wrestling fans know the name – The Rock. He quickly rose through the ranks, winning title after title, and established himself as one of the best wrestlers to have ever stepped foot in the ring. What’s remarkable about Dwayne’s career is that while he was wrestling, he was acting, and now he’s at the helm of that industry too, becoming the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

It was his dad, Rocky Johnson, who got him into the wrestling business. Dwayne was coming to terms with the fact that his short-lived football career was finished, and so he decided to do what his dad had already been doing for years, try his hand at wrestling. Rocky was a massive name in wrestling, and he created a legacy for himself and his son, which Dwayne has now continued, and surpassed.

1 Jennifer Aniston


Jennifer Aniston has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, is regarded as one of the hottest women in the world, and is just an all-round global megastar. After Friends, where her role as Rachel Green took her career to new heights, many thought her career would stall, but she’s proved the naysayers wrong by continuing to wow audiences with her onscreen performances.

Both of Jennifer’s parents are – or were in her late mother’s case – a pretty big deal in the film industry. Her dad, John Aniston, achieved plenty of fame in his long wide-ranging filmography (most notably appearing on popular soap opera Days of Our Lives), and her mom, Nancy Dow, had a decent career too, mainly as a TV actress. Hers is certainly a successful and famous family, and although they’ve had their differences, they managed to bask in Jennifer’s fame together.

More in Entertainment