Being a successful female celeb is hard. You are busy all the time, shooting a movie on location for six months or more or tethered to table readings to run your lines for your television show. That’s why some Hollywood celebs have put off having a family and choose to concentrate on work first.
But a remarkable number of celebs are having babies when they are very young or when they are much older without repercussions. For example, Kate Hudson and Britney Spears, who both became mothers at the young age of 24, their careers—and popularity–didn’t lag before, during and after pregnancy. However, a number of celebs are waiting until they are in their forties to start a family. Even at 50, Janet Jackson was able to have a healthy child. How’s that possible?
Celebs may be different from us, what with their fame and wealth, but they are still human beings, and a star who is, say, 46, and uses her own eggs in IVF has very little chance of becoming pregnant. But some women are lucky enough to have successful late pregnancies. So here we’ve put together 15 of the youngest celebrity mothers, as well as 5 who gave birth well past their prime.
20 Youngest: Victoria Beckham, 25
Victoria Beckham used to be a pop singer, but nowadays she’s known for being Mrs. David Beckham. She’s also known for being very young to give birth. In 1999, she welcomed a son into the world, whose name was Brooklyn Joseph Beckham. Victoria was only 25 at the time. The father is the multi-millionaire footballer David Beckham. In 1997, Victoria met David at a charity football match. She was not a fan of football, so she didn’t even know who David was. Eventually, they had a whirlwind romance and announced their engagement in 1998, which caused a media frenzy and which led them to being nicknamed “Posh and Becks” by the press and paparazzi.
19 Youngest: Loretta Lynn, 16
Country music superstar Loretta Lynn has been ranked #5 top female country singer and #15 top country artist of all time. But her greatest claim to fame was when President Obama, in 2013, announced that Lynn would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But did you know Lynn was famous for another reason? She and husband, Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn, married in 1948 when they were 15 and 21. She was so young at the time and had her first child when she was just 16. By the time she was 19, she had three children in total, including Betty Sue, Jack Benny, and Ernest Ray. Before she turned 20, she yet again had a child, Cissie.
18 Youngest: Reese Witherspoon, 23
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon thinks having a baby when you are young is challenging and hard. But the Wild star also admitted that she “would never change anything.” She gave birth to Ava Elizabeth Phillippe in 1999, when she was only 23. She was married at the time to actor Ryan Phillippe and also had a son, Deacon Reese Phillippe in 2003 when she was 27. In 2006 the couple separated. Witherspoon recently addressed having a baby when you are so young. She told Elle that being a mother at such a young age was tough. "It was so hard ... living [away from my family]. I really didn't have any friends. And I had a baby. No one else who was 22 had a baby."
17 Youngest: Whoopi Goldberg, 18
We know Whoopi Goldberg to be an outspoken star of the talk show The View, as well as a talented actress starring in endless hit movies, including Sister Act, its sequel, and Ghost, for which she was awarded an Academy Award. What’s not really known is that the comedic actress was just 18 when she had her first daughter, Alex Martin. She married early too, when she was 18, to her first husband Alvin Martin in 1973. They divorced in 1979, and she married again but never had another child. Since she was so young when she had Alex Martin, she became a grandmother at 34 and a great-grandmother at 58. Fun fact: she used to be a phone sex operator because the money was “great."
16 Youngest: Kate Hudson, 24
Kate Hudson, the star of Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, had her first child, Ryder Robinson when she was only 24. It was 2004, and she had been married to Chris Robinson from the band Black Crowes for three years, starting from when she was only 21. The actress and the crooner divorced in 2007. Not much later she dated Matt Bellamy, and they were engaged but never married. She had her second child, Bingham, with Bellamy. Hudson claims it did not hit her at first that it might have been too early to have given birth to Ryder. She told People that she didn't feel like a "young mom" when Ryder was born, and only felt it later: "As I started getting older, as [Ryder] started getting older and I was 28, 29, I was like, 'Wow. I'm a young mom.' It started hitting me."
15 Oldest: Halle Berry, 41
Halle Berry gave birth to her first child when she was 41. They say it’s more difficult to have a baby when you’re in your 40s, but the only thing Berry felt was excitement. Berry named her daughter Nahla Ariela Aubry, who was born in March 2008. The father was her then-beau, Gabriel Aubry, a male model. Berry proved you could do it even if you are aging; at age 47, she welcomed Maceo, her second child, with estranged husband Olivier Martinez. So, about any difficulties being an older mom with her first child? Well, Berry told Harper’s Bazaar, "My pregnancy was amazing. I was happy that whole time, I felt good, I had energy, I was like Superwoman. I wish I could feel like that for the rest of my life, that's how fantastic it was."
14 Youngest: Anna Nicole Smith, 19
Anna Nicole Smith married Billy Wayne Smith in 1985 after the two met at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, where Billy Wayne worked as a cook. They married in the same year and Anna Nicole became one of the youngest celeb moms in the world as she gave birth to her son Daniel at only age 19. Smith was famous for her addiction to prescription medication to treat her borderline personality disorder. In the summer of 2006, Smith announced she was pregnant again. In the same year, Daniel Smith, then 20, died in his mother’s hospital room, due to an overdose of antidepressants. Anna Nicole was devastated; at his funeral, she tried to climb inside the open coffin. In 2007, Smith died from an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate.
13 Youngest: Hilary Duff, 24
Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff was only 24 when she gave birth to her son, Luca Cruz Comrie. This was in March of 2012, and she had been married to pro hockey player Mike Comrie since 2010. The marriage failed and although Duff felt hurt over the divorce, she and Comrie became amicable co-parents. She adored her son and didn’t really contemplate if she had been too young to have her first child. But it didn’t matter, really, She told Parents that being a mom at such an early age means she has more time to have more children in the coming years. "I want to have more kids and I'm looking forward to doing that, but I'm not in any rush. . . . "[I] think sometimes maybe if you start a little later you're in a hurry to get all the kids you want, and I have a little time to spread that out."
12 Youngest: Jamie Lynn Spears, 16
The former star of Nickelodeon's All That, Jamie Lynn Spears made headlines when she announced to the world that she was pregnant in 2007. At the time, she was only 16, which means she gave birth to her daughter, Maddie Briann Aldridge, earlier than her sister, who had her first baby when she was 24. She stirred controversy at Nickelodeon because the kid’s channel didn’t think it was right for her to be pregnant at such a young age. The father was her then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge. Jamie Lynn was so excited about her pregnancy that she did not care that she had to take a maternity leave, thereby nearly dissolving her relationship with the channel. She tried to bounce back and even released a new country album shortly after giving birth, but her famed had dimmed.
11 Youngest: Sofia Vergara, 19
Sofia Vergara, the star of Modern Family, also had her baby when she was young. She also married young. Vergara married Joe Gonzalez, who was her high school sweetheart, when she was only 18. The next year, at 19, Vergara gave birth to a baby boy, Manolo, in 1992. The couple divorced a year later. Today, her son is in his twenties and she is now married to Joe Manganiello. Being a mom at such an early age can be a hard time, especially if you are single. Vergara admitted this to Redbook and also said, "When I had Manolo, I was 19, and I had the energy for everything." Well, at least she doesn’t have to worry about money. In 2016, Forbes reported that Vergara was the highest paid actress on television, bringing in $43 million in the past year.
10 Oldest: Mariah Carey, 42
Before Mariah Carey gave birth, she had previously suffered a miscarriage. Insiders said she never got over it, so the next time she finally got pregnant, she did all she could to minimize another disappointment. The mega-hit pop singer discussed her use of progesterone to reduce her chances of a second miscarriage. On 20/20 Barbara Walters asked her if she had fertility treatments and Carey openly confided that "The main thing I did that was tough was to go on progesterone, like, every month… and then when I was pregnant, I had to stay with the progesterone for 10 weeks. It minimizes the chance of miscarriage by 50 percent." It worked and Mariah became a first-time mom in 2011 when she was 42 years old. She gave birth to healthy twin babies, whom she named Moroccan and Monroe.
9 Youngest: Britney Spears, 24
In July 2004, pop sensation Britney Spears met and dated American dancer Kevin Federline. They were married in 2004 and before becoming pregnant, Spears wrote on her website, "I've had a career since I was 16, have traveled around the world and back and even kissed Madonna! The only thing I haven't done so far is experience the closest thing to God and that's having a baby. I can't wait!" True to her word, on September 14 in the next year, Britney delivered her first baby, Sean Preston Federline, when she was only 24, making her one of the youngest celeb moms. The very next year, in 2006, Spears had her second son, Jayden James Federline. That same year, Federline and Spears divorced, which meant their marriage lasted only 2 years and shared joint custody of their sons.
8 Youngest: Roseanne Barr, 17
In 1970, when Roseanne Barr was only 17 years old, she gave birth to a daughter. But because she could not care for her, she gave her baby up for adoption. Barr was in poverty and felt pangs of pain and regret for letting go of her baby because she was single and poor. According to Barr herself, it was very hard for her to give up her child, who is a piece of her. But more than 18 years after giving up her baby, Barr and her daughter have reunited. In the decades to come, Barr starred in the 1990s sitcom named after her. The show was a success and brought instant fame to Barr. Even now, the show is still popular, so much so that ABC is bringing Roseanne back for a limited time (9 episodes) this March.
7 Youngest: Candace Cameron Bure, 22
Candace Cameron Bure just got another chance at fame after being out of the spotlight for a while. The former Full House star has revived her role in Fuller House, which has been a huge hit on Netflix. She too had a baby when she was young. She married when she was only 20 and gave birth to her daughter, Natasha Bure in 1998 when she was only 22 years old. To this day Bure has three kids. She told Cookie magazine, "I love being a young mom and taking my kids everywhere with me. I'm blessed to say my kids have traveled all over the world. . . I also get to see the world through young eyes and do things I might not otherwise because of it."
6 Oldest: Janet Jackson, 50
There was so much speculation surrounding the fact that five-time Grammy winner Janet Jackson was having a baby because she was already 49 and past her prime. But when Jackson made it official to ET in the fall of 2016, her fans supported her, and she did the same. She said on Twitter, "I thought it was important that you be the first to know. My husband and I are planning our family, so I'm going to have to delay the tour." That tour was Unbreakable, and her husband’s name is Wissam Al Mana, the Qatari billionaire. Jackson's baby news comes just two weeks shy of the singer's 50th birthday, and her baby, Eissa Al Mana, was born on January 2017. A source for Us says Jackson is ecstatic about having her first child: “She feels like this is one of the best things to ever happen to her.”
5 Youngest: Ashlee Simpson, 24
The young mom Ashlee Simpson, who is Jessica Simpson’s younger sister, had her baby with Pete Wentz shortly after their marriage. Ashlee Simpson was only 24 at the time when she had her baby Bronx. Their marriage dissolved and Ashlee gave birth to her second child, Jagger Snow, with her second husband Evan Ross. The Pieces of Me singer is glad that Jagger Snow has a big brother Bronx to play with. She’s also ecstatic about becoming a mom. She told People that “no matter what, with every child it’s different. It feels new to me, too, and it’s been six years, so I’m like, ‘Here we go! We gotta learn how to get the swaddle on again!’” For her first child, she told ET that having a baby is “definitely the happiest moment in my life."
4 Oldest: Drew Barrymore, 37
Drew Barrymore finally gave birth when she was passed a “woman’s prime.” At 37, Barrymore and art consultant Will Kopelman had their first daughter, whom they named Olive. She proved everyone wrong when she gave birth to her second child, daughter Frankie when she was 39. On aging and being a mother, Barrymore admitted, “There’s a steep learning curve, no matter what your age. I try to have a sense of humor about how much you need to learn and tackle.” And on parenting, Barrymore told InStyle: “I love the person who said, 'Parenting is like wearing your heart on the outside of your body.' It's the most beautiful, perfect analogy."
3 Youngest: Naomi Judd, 18
When she was only 18, the now legendary country crooner Naomi Judd gave birth to her first child, Christina Ciminella. It was 1974, and Christina is now known as Wynonna Judd. Wynonna’s biological father Charles Jordan abandoned Naomi. She then married Michael Ciminella. Four years later, they had a daughter, Ashley Judd, and then a few years later the couple divorced. Naomi raised both girls as a single mother, but to this day she would not change a thing because Ashley went on to star in several movies. And both she and Wynonna became famous country artists. Not everything was good in the Judd household, When Wynonna was 30, Naomi admitted that she and Ashley had different fathers, a secret she had been keeping from her daughters her entire life. Wynonna’s reaction was that the secret was very painful to her.
2 Youngest: Maya Angelou, 17
Maya Angelou had a dream but she was a single mother and got nothing working as a waitress and a cook. Not many can do that, but Angelou miraculously turned her life around to become the esteemed poet that we now know and love. Angelou graduated from high school at the age of 16. Three weeks later, Angelou gave birth to her only son, Guy Johnson, at 17. A little while later, her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published, which was a biography of her life up until she turned 17. Putting out a book by an unknown author who has no track record is a difficult task, but Angelou somehow captured the hearts of many. She left the world at 86 with her legacy; her words that work to transform, empower and inspire.
1 Oldest: Laura Linney, 49
Laura Linney knew she was old and that the odds were against her when she was pregnant with her babies two years shy of her 50th birthday. To her surprise, The Big actress and husband Marc Schauer had a healthy son in January 2014 when she was 49. They named him Bennett Armistead Schauer. So little about the birth was known because Linney had managed to do the impossible: hide her pregnancy from fans and paparazzi so no one would know. And why did she do this? She kept her pregnancy a secret because it had taken her a “long time to have a child,” she told Live with Kelly. Laura also said she wanted to make sure her baby was safe and healthy before she announced the news.