It seems to be some sort of Hollywood trend that the children of famous stars go on to be stars themselves. We see it all the time and often begin to wonder who in Hollywood is not connected. There are endless cases of stars with famous parents, and this list aims to look at those actors in Hollywood that you had no idea had famous parents. Sometimes, these actors don’t bother to mention their famous family; this is often due to wanting to make a name for themselves, away from their mom or dad’s shadow. These stars want to rely solely on their own talent.
Yes, we admit, although these stars may come from households of fame, most managed to stay in the spotlight due to their own talent and capability. Their parents may have been able to get them some early auditions or roles, but if the ability isn’t there, this parental influence won’t last long, no matter how famous they may be. So, let's take a look at the list and see some of the connections between these actors and their parents that you may have never realized before. It may even make you believe that talent is genetic...
16 Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones is a very recognized actress due to the many popular roles she has taken on in her career. You may recognize the actress as having played the parts of Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation, Louisa Fenn on Boston Public or Karen Fillippeli on The Office. Nevertheless, Rashida is not the only member of her family to act. That’s correct, Rashida’s mom is Peggy Lipton; who played the part of Norma Jennings on the cult 90s show Twin Peaks. Rashida clearly took inspiration from her mother’s choice of lifestyle. Not only has Rashida made these TV appearances, she has also had quite the successful movie career. The actress has appeared in the likes of Celeste and Jess Forever, I Love You, Man, The Social Network and Our Idiot Brother. Another interesting thing, is that Rashida’s dad is musician Quincy Jones, whose claim to fame is producer for, most notably, Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad albums.
15 Eva Amurri Martino
Eva Amurri Martino may look familiar to you seeing as she’s appeared in many popular TV shows including How I Met Your Mother, The Mindy Project, Californication and House. But did you know that Ava is the daughter of famous actress Susan Sarandon? Susan is an established star on the movie scene with many famous titles to her name; she starred in the likes of Thelma and Louise, Step Mom, Dead Man Walking and White Palace. So, with an influence like this it’s no wonder Ava began to develop her own love for acting. One of Ava’s first acting jobs was in the 2002 movie The Banger Sisters, in which her mother Susan starred; things came together perfectly when Ava was cast to play Susan's daughter in the movie.
14 Kate Cassidy
Kate Cassidy has had great success with her portrayal of Lauren Lance on CW’s Arrow. You may recognize Kate from various other roles such as her part as Juliet on Gossip Girl or Trish on Harper’s island. Kate’s famous parent comes in the form of her dad, David Cassidy, who is known for his role in the 1970s musical-sitcom The Partridge Family. You may not realize it but during the 1970s David was quite the star; his role on the show led him to be considered one of pop culture’s most celebrated pop singers and teen idols of the time. With this success, it’s no wonder Kate saw the positive side of opting for a life in the spotlight. Apart from her roles on TV, the actress had made some movie appearances including parts in Monte Carlo, Taken, Click, When a Stranger Calls and The Scribbler.
13 Alexander Skarsgard
Alexander Skarsgard is most recognized for playing the part of Vampire Eric Northam on the HBO series True Blood. However, many people don’t seem to make the connection between Alexander and his father, Stellan Skarsgard. Stellan has had a terrific run at acting appearing in hit movies such as Good Will Hunting, The Avengers and Pirates of the Caribbean. After taking on some small acting roles in his youth, Alexander took a 7-year break from acting and even spent 18 months serving in the Swedish military. After returning to acting, the star soon landed himself a good part with his appearance in the 2001 movie Zoolander, which starred Ben Stiller. From here Alexander’s career began to grow as he appeared in numerous movies and TV roles. Earlier this year the actor had great success playing the lead character in Tarzan, opposite Margot Robbie, who played Jane. It looks like Alexander’s career may soon rival his father’s.
12 Grace Gummer
American Horror Story fans will be familiar with Grace Gummer due to her appearance in numerous seasons of the show. The actress is also recognized for her role on the HBO series The Newsroom. Did you know that Grace is Meryl Streep’s daughter, though? The same Meryl Streep who is commonly referred to as being the “best actress of her generation.” That’s right Meryl is an actress of the highest standard; she has starred in terrific movies from every genre. Switching up genres like this and being good in each one is a rarity in the acting world. Some of Meryl’s movies include Kramer vs Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada, The Iron Lady, Mama Mia!, Sophie’s Choice and Doubt. With her mother’s terrific career, it’s no wonder Grace saw the positives in being an actress; she can currently be found making regular appearances in the popular TV series Mr. Robot.
11 Chris Pine
Chris Pine’s parents are both members of the acting world. Chris’ mother is Gwynne Gilford, who had a spot in the limelight during the 80s thanks to her appearance in movies like Fade to Black and Masters of the Universe. Chris’ dad Robert Pine, has done his fair share of acting work also. Robert may be recognized for his roles in things such as Murder She Wrote, The Office and The Bold and The Beautiful. With acting clearly, a thing that runs in the family, Chris followed in his parents' footsteps, making his acting debut in 2003 when he began appearing in episodes of popular TV Shows such as E.R, The Guardian and CSI: Miami. Since these early on-screen appearances, Chris has gone on to be quite the movie star. Some of the actors' most popular movies include The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Unstoppable, Smokin’ Aces and of course, the Star Trek franchise.
10 Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore’s family tree is one that is certainly full of fame; not only are both of Barrymore’s parents famous actors in their own right, but so too are her grandparents. The actress is the daughter of Jaid Barrymore and the late, John Drew Barrymore. Now you see where the star got her name. Drew’s dad, John Drew, starred in a number of TV shows and movies all the way from the 50s to the 70s. Her mom, Jaid appeared in her fair share of movies too, including Funny Valentine, Searching for Bobby D and The Stand In. To make things even more interesting the star’s grandparents are none other than John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, who are both commonly considered acting legends. It’s not surprising that with both actor parents and grandparents, that Drew too, sought a career in the limelight. Drew made her acting debut in Steven Spielberg’s E.T when she was only 7 years old. Since this point, the actress has gone on to appear in numerous hit movies, including Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.
9 Matthew Broderick
Matthew Broderick is a well-known actor but he isn’t the only member of his family to follow this particular path. Matthew’s father, the late James Broderick, was also an actor. James appeared on TV shows all the way from the 50s to the 80s including Brenner and Family. Matthew made his acting debut opposite his father in Horton Toole’s On Valentine’s Day. Displaying excellent potential in this movie, Matthew’s career continued to expand. The actor has starred in movies such as The Lion King, Godzilla, Election and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, for which he won a Golden Globe award. The actor has also won two Tony awards for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983) and Best Actor in a Musical for How to Succeed in Business Without Trying. As of today, the actor is still the youngest person ever to win a Tony for Best Featured Actor.
8 Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson seemed to appear out of nowhere when she was cast in the 50 Shades of Grey movie, but since then the actress has steadily remained in the spotlight. But did you know Dakota isn’t the first member of her family to spend time in the spotlight? That’s right, Dakota’s dad is Don Johnson; many Miami Vice fans may recognize him as having played the long-time role of James “Sonny” Crockett on the show. It doesn’t stop here though, Dakota’s mother Melanie Griffith, is also an actress; Melanie is probably most well-known for the movie Working Girl. To go even further back into the family tree though, Melanie’s mother and Dakota’s grandmother is Tippi Hedrin, a movie star of the highest standard due to her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds.
7 Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is one of, if not the, most famous actress in the world, but did you know both her parents are also in the same business? Jennifer’s dad is none other than John Aniston, famous in his own right for his roles in shows such as The West Wing and Days of Our Lives. John also appeared in Star Trek: Voyager. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s mother Nancy Dow passed away earlier this year; however, during her career she had brief appearances in The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West. As we all know, Jennifer sought a career just like her parents and after much hard work and dedication soon found herself being cast as Rachel Green on Friends, a role that changed the actress’s life forever. Since then, the star has become the queen of romantic-comedies having appeared in numerous ones; some of these include Along Came Polly, The Break-Up and Just Go with It.
6 Blake Lively
You may not have realized that Blake Lively’s dad, Ernie Lively, is also an actor just like his daughter. That’s right, long before Blake was on the acting scene her dad could be found appearing in movies such as Passenger 57, The Man in the Moon and Simon Says. It appears that Blake wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps so she soon started attending auditions herself. Some of the actress’s first roles included the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and its sequel. Interestingly, Ernie plays Blake’s dad in both of these movies. Since this point Blake’s career took off completely. After being cast as Serena van der Woodsen in hit teen show Gossip Girl, the actress really began to gain recognition. Soon enough Blake was starring in huge movie hits including The Age of Adaline, The Shallows, The Town and Green Lantern.
5 Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner, an actress who has been filming since the 70s. However, Blythe is probably most known for playing Marilyn Truman, the mother of will, on Will and Grace, a popular sitcom during its time. You may also recognize Bylthe for her appearances opposite Robert De Niro in the Meet the Parents movies. Blythe’s daughter Gwyneth has certainly made a name for herself in the acting world. The actress has starred in many popular films; some of these are Shakespeare in Love, Shallow Hal, The Talented Mr. Ripley and of course the Iron Man franchise. Yes, Gwyneth has become quite a popular celebrity of these times due to her great performance on the big screen.
4 Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson is one of the most recognized actresses of this generation, but were you aware that she is the daughter of Goldie Hawn, one of the most recognized actresses of her respective generation. Yes, Goldie starred in movies such as Overboard, Death Becomes Her, The First Wives Club and Private Benjamin. Just like her mother, Kate too pursued an acting career. Kate had her breakthrough role as Penny Lane in Almost Famous, released in 2000. The actress went on to win a Golden Globe for her performance and was even nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar. From here, the actress went on to have a terrific movie career starring in a ton of hits like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Raising Helen, The Skeleton Key, You, Me and Dupree and Bride Wars.
3 Billie Lourd
This one is probably the most surprising on our list as it seems to shock many people to learn that Billie Lourd, who plays Chanel No.3 on Scream Queens (the one with the earmuffs) is the daughter of Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher. Yes, that’s right! After seeing the marvelous career her mom had, Billie seemed to want the very same thing for herself. Just to blow your mind even more, the earmuffs worn by Billie in Scream Queens are actually a subtle reference and tribute to Carrie’s Princess Leia’s buns in Star Wars. How cool is that!? Not only this, but in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Billie made a cameo appearances in the role of Lieutenant Connix.
2 Carrie Fisher
So, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the plot continues. Carrie Fisher also has a famous parent in the form of, wait for it, Debbie Reynolds. That is the same Debbie Reynolds who played the part of Kathy Selden in the classic movie Singin' in the Rain. Wow! Acting talent really does run in this family. After her appearance in this classic, Debbie was on her way to stardom and by the 1950s, was considered a huge star. The actress went on to star in numerous classics including How the West Was Won, The Affairs of Dobie Gillis and Susan Slept Here. Debbie also starred in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
1 Mariska Hargitay
Many individuals will recognize Mariska Hargitay from her portrayal of NYPD Special Victim’s Unit Detective Olivia Benson on the NBC drama series Law and Order SVU. This role has allowed Mariska to display just how much of a talented actress she is; the star has been awarded numerous awards throughout her time on the show, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe. It all becomes clear, however, where Mariska gets her talent from when you learn that her mother is none other than 50s actress and sex symbol Jayne Mansfield. Mansfield was a huge star up until her untimely death in 1967, from injuries she sustained in a terrible car accident. Mariska, who was only three years old at the time, was a passenger in the car but escaped with only minor injuries. Years later Mariska chose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and has succeeded in having a successful career herself.