Many actors have made a name for themselves by appearing on top-rated television shows, but fans might not know everything about them. There are several big TV stars who have famous parents, which means show business runs in the family for them. Many of today’s most popular celebrities including Stranger Thing’s Maya Hawke, Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross, and The Morning Show’s Jennifer Aniston all come from a long line of celebrity parents. Read on to see how these celebs found success outside their famous families.
Drew Barrymore Didn’t Really Know Her Father
The Barrymore family is one of the most iconic and famous families in entertainment history. Their family dates back years, with one of the most well-known modern members being Drew Barrymore. She currently has her own daytime talk show called The Drew Barrymore Show.
Her father was John Drew Barrymore, who was known for roles in Rawhide, The Trojan Horse, Gunsmoke, and more. Drew barely knew her father because he left when she was six months old and she seldom saw him before his passing in 2004. Drew started acting at the age of 11 months, appearing in a dog food commercial.
Schitt’s Creek Was A Family Affair For Dan And Eugene Levy
Father and son Eugene and Dan Levy created the wildly successful sitcom Schitt’s Creek together. Dan came up with the idea for the show after watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians and went to his father to help him pitch it to several US and Canadian networks.
The show ran for six seasons and continues to do well in syndication. The Levys also cast Eugene’s daughter and Dan’s sister, Sarah Levy, as diner waitress Twyla Sands. Those who aren’t familiar with Eugene’s past should know he is an actor, writer, director, and producer known for the Canadian sketch series SCTV and several Christopher Guest films.
Lily Collins’ Dad Could Be Her Twin
Those who’ve seen Lily Collins on their screens may know her from The Blind Side, Abduction, To the Bone, or Mank. She’s currently working on the second season of the Netflix series Emily in Paris. If she looks familiar, it’s probably because her father is legendary musician Phil Collins.
Phil Collins rose to fame as the singer and drummer for the band Genesis, but he also has an impressive solo career with hits including “In the Air Tonight,” “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” and all of the songs on Disney’s Tarzan soundtrack.
Jennifer Jason Leigh Set Herself Apart From Her Father
Jennifer Jason Leigh started training to be an actor at 14-years-old by taking classes held by acting teacher Lee Strasberg. She was inspired to become an actor because her father, Vic Morrow, was one as well. Morrow had a starring role on a series called Combat! and also was known for Blackboard Jungle and The Bad News Bears.
While performing a stunt with two other child actors for Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982, things went south and Leigh was the only one to make it out alive. She continued to act in films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Miami Blues. Leigh’s currently on the Netflix series Atypical.
Mariska Hargitay Was With Her Mom During Her Fatal Car Crash
Fans most likely know actress Mariska Hargitay for her many years as Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She was born to actor and bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and actress and model Jayne Mansfield. Mariska didn’t know her mother too long because she was in a fatal car crash when Mariska was three-years-old.
She was in the car with her mother and the early loss took a toll on her life. “It left a hole in my life that won’t ever be filled. I will never get over it. I will always be a girl who lost her mom,” said Hargitay in a Good Housekeeping interview.
Sosie Bacon’s Parents Didn’t Want Her To Be An Actress
Sosie Bacon wasn’t supposed to become an actress. Her parents, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, are very famous in Hollywood and didn’t want their children to step into the spotlight. At 10-years-old, she filmed a small part in her parents’ film, Loverboy, and the producer suggested she continue down the acting path.
Sosie is now 29-years-old and has starred in a decent number of films and TV shows including Charlie Says, The Last Summer, and Scream. Her most famous role was Skye Miller on the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why and she can now be seen on HBO Max’s Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet.
Music Fans Will Know Tracee Ellis Ross’ Mother
Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein and the singer, songwriter, and actress Diana Ross. Tracee started modeling as a teen and studied theatre at Brown University. Later, she worked as a fashion editor for top magazines such as Mirabella and New York.
Tracee began her professional acting career in her mid-20s and is known for roles in Girlfriends, Reed Between the Lines, and Daddy’s Little Girls. Most of her fans know her from her role as Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson on ABC’s Black-ish. Her mother still continues to make music with her 25th studio album coming September 2021.
Billie Lourd Joined The Star Wars Family
Some may know actress Billie Lourd for her work in Scream Queens or Booksmart. She is also a cast member on American Horror Story with the newest season dropping later this year. If she looks familiar, it’s because she comes from a famous family.
Her grandmother was Debbie Reynolds, her grandfather is Eddie Fisher, her aunt is Joely Fisher, and her mother was Carrie Fisher. Lourd’s first professional role was alongside her late mother in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix. She is now a mother and engaged to boyfriend and actor Austen Rydell.
Zoey Deutch Started Her Career On Disney Channel
Those who remember Back to the Future will recognize Lea Thompson as Marty McFly’s mother, Lorraine. She married director Howard Deutch, known for his collaborations with John Hughes. Together they had Madelyn and Zoey Deutch, who are both actresses. Zoey started working as a professional actress at age 15 on the Disney Channel series The Suite Life on Deck.
She has continued her career with leading roles in Zombieland: Double Tap, Everybody Wants Some!!, Why Him?, and more. TV fans will most likely know Zoey for her role as Infinity Jackson on the Netflix series The Politician.
Maya Hawke Became The Breakout Star Of Stranger Things
Fans of Stranger Things realized why third season newcomer, Maya Hawke, looked vaguely familiar. Maya is the daughter of acclaimed actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. Ethan is best known for roles in Dead Poets Society and Training Day, and for his frequent collaborations with director Richard Linklater. Uma’s fans know her from her frequent collaborations with Quentin Tarantino and roles in Batman & Robin and Robin Hood.
Maya began working as a model and was discovered by Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. She was able to study acting at some of the best schools including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Zoë Kravitz Got The Best Of Both Worlds From Her Parents
Zoë Kravitz began acting in her late teens and is also a studio artist. Her combined love for acting and music comes from her parents. Her mother, Lisa Bonet, rose to fame in the role of Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show and A Different World.
Lenny Kravitz, Zoë’s father, won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for four consecutive years and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Zoë is also the granddaughter of actress Roxie Roker from The Jeffersons and the cousin of Al Roker. Her most recent TV work includes Big Little Lies, High Fidelity, and A World of Calm.
Maya Rudolph Was The Inspiration For Her Mom’s Biggest Hit
Two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Maya Rudolph has been gracing the small screen since 1996. She started her acting career on Chicago Hope and is most likely recognized for her work on Saturday Night Live. Her father, Richard Rudolph, is a popular songwriter who has worked with Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Julian Lennon, and many more.
Richard also worked with his late wife and Maya’s mother, Minnie Riperton. Known as “the queen of the whistle register,” she shot to superstardom for her 1975 hit “Lovin’ You.” The song was written by Richard and Minnie as a distraction to soothe Maya when she was a fussy baby.
Jennifer Aniston’s Dad Didn’t Want Her Watching TV As A Kid
Jennifer Aniston was discouraged from watching television growing up even though both of her parents were actors. Her father, John Aniston, is best-known for playing Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives, and her mother, Nancy Dow, had small roles on The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West.
Still determined to act, Jennifer started working in Off-Broadway productions as a teen and booked film and TV roles beginning in her early 20s. Most of her fans know her as Rachel Green from the highly popular Friends sitcom on NBC, but she’s made a TV comeback as Alex Levy on The Morning Show opposite Reese Witherspoon.
Michael Douglas Took Hollywood By Storm
Michael Douglas was the first child of actors Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill and was inspired by them to get into acting. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in drama and studied acting at The American Place Theatre.
Michael is one of the most awarded actors in history with two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, an Emmy, and many more. Some of his most famous roles include Liberace in Behind the Candelabra and Jack Colton in Romancing the Stone. Now, Michael is starring as the lead on the Netflix series The Kominsky Method.
Kaia Gerber Is A Rising TV Star
Kaia Gerber is considered to be an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. The 19-year-old is a supermodel and actress who has already been on the cover of Vogue three times. Her interest in modeling is most likely due to the fact that her mother is former supermodel Cindy Crawford.
Crawford was seen in movies, TV, magazines, and on the runway during the ’80s and ’90s, which made her an international star. Gerber began acting at 15 in the television film Sister Cities and is set to star in the upcoming season of American Horror Stories.
Maude Apatow Acted Alongside Her Family As A Kid
At 23-years-old, Maude Apatow has had roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40, The King of Staten Island, and more. Her most recent TV parts include Lexi Howard on HBO Max’s Euphoria and Henrietta Castello on Netflix’s Hollywood. Her early roles were alongside her sister Iris Apatow and mother Leslie Mann, which were written and directed by her father Judd Apatow.
Leslie Mann is a relatively well-known comedy actress with roles in The Cable Guy, George of the Jungle, Big Daddy, and 17 Again. Judd Apatow has made numerous comedic films and TV shows such as Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Freaks and Geeks.
Laura Dern’s Family Members Are Regulars At The Oscars
One of the most talented actresses in Hollywood is Laura Dern. The 54-year-old got bitten by the acting bug when she was six years old in an uncredited role in White Lightning. She is now an Academy Award-winning actress who has starred in Marriage Story, Jurassic Park, and Little Women.
Some of Laura’s most recent TV roles include Big Little Lies and Twin Peaks. She is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Bruce has been nominated for two Oscars for Coming Home and Nebraska. Diane was also nominated for three Oscars for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Wild at Heart, and Rambling Rose.
Jane Fonda Is Gearing Up For Another Season Of Grace And Frankie
Jane Fonda made a name for herself in the entertainment industry over the course of several decades, but she didn’t start out on her own. Her parents were actor Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Ford Seymour. Her brother and niece (Peter and Bridget Fonda) were actors as well.
Henry started acting in his early 20s and was seen on both the silver screen and the Broadway stage in titles such as The Grapes of Wrath and 12 Angry Men. Jane is currently filming the seventh season of the hit Netflix series Grace and Frankie with Lily Tomlin.
Rashida Jones Grew Up Around Celebrities
Rashida Jones grew up in Los Angeles and was often surrounded by celebrities due to her famous parents. She is the daughter of record producer Quincy Jones and the late actress Peggy Lipton. Quincy is known for his iconic collaborations with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and Celine Dion.
Peggy Lipton was known for her Golden Globe Award-winning role as Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad. Rashida began her professional acting career in the late ’90s and has worked on Parks and Recreation, The Office, and more. Her most recent TV roles include Duncanville, Mixed-ish, and Waffles + Mochi.
Anderson Cooper Comes From A Prestigious Family
Anderson Cooper hails from one of the wealthiest families in America. Cooper is well-known for his journalistic endeavors, especially his CNN broadcast show Anderson Cooper 360°. His mother was heiress, fashion designer, artist, writer, and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt. Some may not know that she was also one of the first people to develop designer blue jeans.
Cooper spent a lot of his early time as a reporter traveling around the world to places that were war-torn or had endured natural disasters. In April 2020, he announced that he became a father to a son named Wyatt Morgan.