17 Second-Generation Hollywood Stars Who Reached Their Parents’ Fame

Some things run in the family. Eye color, intelligence, a predisposition to huge fame in Hollywood. While that last one isn’t super common, it’s a reality for plenty of Hollywood stars. Many have had to work hard to get out of their famous parent’s shadows and create careers all their own. While many have failed to do anything meaningful in the face of their parent’s fame, plenty have reached the same heights or surpassed them.

Becoming a successful actor or singer can be hard when you’re a no name but it can be even harder when you’re part of a Hollywood legacy family. Some would-be stars have crumbled under the pressure of their famous last names, but a few have risen above. Here are some second-generation Hollywood stars that have reached the same level of fame as their parents and carve identities all their own!

17. Liza Minnelli

Minnelli had one huge Hollywood legacy to live up to — her mother was classic star Judy Garland. Garland was Hollywood royalty and widely known as having one of the best voices in the biz. Minnelli also has a commanding voice like her mother and used it to become a musical theater actress and recording artist early in her career. She eventually transitioned to film and television and won an Academy Award in 1972 for her work on the film Cabaret. Her long and storied career has made her a Hollywood mainstay — and a gay icon!

16. Rashida Jones

The hilarious Parks and Recreation actress has a Hollywood legend as her father: Quincy Jones. And it’s not just her dad that’s had fame and success, her mother is actress Peggy Lipton, known for The Mod Squad. Jones has followed in her famous parents footsteps with a thriving acting career that includes currently leading the show Angie Tribeca and upping her film cred into 2018.

15. Miley Cyrus

Before she was a Disney darling-turned-wild-child she was just the daughter of country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray was on top of the world in the ’90s with his hit song “Achy Breaky Heart.” His daughter Miley followed in his footsteps, joining Disney for the show Hannah Montana. The rest is history as the pop star has moved from Disney to superstardom. She’s had countless controversies along the way, but seems to have calmed down a bit recently!

14. Sofia Coppola

Filmmaking runs in the famed Coppola family. Sofia is the daughter of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola but has cultivated a filmmaking style all her own. While her father may have earned his claim to fame with classics like The Godfather, his daughter has taken a decidedly different direction. Her films include The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring, where she’s shown her versitility and devotion to modern stories.

13. Colin Hanks

Anyone who’s seen Colin Hanks face sees the resemblance to his famous father, Tom Hanks. But the two are very different actors. While Tom has built a career on affable, heroic roles – Colin has branched into darker and more complex territories. He’s carved a spot all his own in Hollywood, playing everything from awkward cops to serial killers. While he’ll probably never be on the same level as his father (I mean, c’mon), he’s definitely made his mark on Hollywood on his own despite his dad’s insane fame.

12. Emma Roberts

Emma’s entire family tree is Hollywood royalty, basically. Her father is the “hardest working man in Hollywood,” Eric Roberts who’s basically been in everything. He’s the most visible character actor in the biz these days. But the famous blood doesn’t stop there for Emma. Her aunt is none other than Julia Roberts, a.k.a an onscreen legend. Emma’s been able to step out of her famous relatives’ shadows, though, and create a career uniquely hers. She’s never afraid to take on different kinds of roles and has proven the acting gene definitely runs in her family. Anyone who can make bitchy look good like she did on Scream Queens is a total star.

11. Jennifer Aniston

Here’s one you may not have known — Aniston is the daughter of two Hollywood stars. Her father is John Aniston, known for his long tenure on Days of our Lives. Her mother was Nancy Dow, an actress and model who appeared on shows like The Beverly Hillbillies. Jennifer has definitely outshined both of them though, with a little show she was on called Friends. You may have heard of it. Anyone who has a haircut named after their character and imitated around the globe is a freakin’ queen. In this case the second-generation star has certainly surpased her parent’s fame, and then some!

10. Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland started his acting career at a young age and, at the time, he was just picking up the family business. His father is acclaimed character actor Donald Sutherland, known for an endless amount of films but possibly most notably to modern audiences as President Snow in The Hunger Games. Kiefer has had a similarly steady career, transitioning from film to television when he made his mark as Jack Bauer on 24. Both Sutherlands are still acting in Hollywood, but they definitely play starkly different roles!

9. Zoe Kravitz

It’s no surprise Kravitz has a great career in Hollywood — she comes from two insanely talented parents. Her father is musician Lenny Kravitz and her mother is actress Lisa Bonet. Zoe clearly got both of her parents’ talents as she acts AND fronts her own band, Lolawolf. Recently her star has been on the rise after an acclaimed performance in HBO’s Big Little Lies. With all those famous genes running through her, she’s definitely going to take over the world any day now. Also, is it just me or could she and her mom actually be twins?

8. Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas is one of the most diverse actors of his generation, and his father Kirk Douglas was one of the most diverse of his generation! The Douglas family is a movie-making machine. Kirk is one of the last remaining stars of Hollywood’s “Golden Era,” and is known for his westerns and war movies. Michael followed in his famous dad’s footsteps and created a vast and varied filmography that has earned him praise and awards alike. Every generation needs a hard-working Douglas putting out films!

7. Candice Bergen

Bergen is a model turned actress, taking the best of both worlds from her parents. Her mother Frances Bergen was a Powers model and her father Edgar Bergen was a famous ventriloquist, comedian, and actor. In the vaudevillian era, Candice got her start on her father’s radio show and with him on Groucho Marx‘s quiz show. She transitioned to modeling and was even on the cover of Vogue before fully launching her acting career. Her best known role was her award-winning turn as the titular character on the TV show Murphy Brown. Candice has continued to work in film and television, and it was announced that Murphy Brown was going to be revived, bringing her back into the spotlight.

6. Angelina Jolie

Jolie is one of the most talented, and beautiful, actresses in Hollywood and she got some of those acting chops from her famous actor father, Jon Voight. Both are Academy Award-winning actors, and Jolie clearly got her dedication to her roles from her father. These days Jolie is definitely more well-known, but Voight is no slouch still acting in films to this day. The two have been estranged for years but recently reconnected with Jolie’s children and presumably to trade acting tips!

5. Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is a queen in Hollywood, and her father was certainly a king. Her pops Henry Fonda had an acting career spanning five decades and including some of the most famous films of all time. His Hollywood debut was as Tom in The Grapes of Wrath, so he definitely started with a bang. His daughter took over the mantle and then some. In addition to acting, she’s been on Broadway, written, worked as a model, and become a fitness guru with her workout videos. She’s also a two-time Academy Award winner, which is one more than her father won!

4. Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez

These famous brothers share one big thing: their powerhouse actor father Martin Sheen. Sheen is known for The West Wing and countless film roles. His sons have followed suit, and have both been wildly successful, especially during their heyday in the ’80s. Charlie has seen some personal issues in the last few years, but modern audiences still embrace his legacy on Two and a Half Men. Estevez was a Brat Pack star in the ’80s, and while his career has slowed down a bit, he still actively works in film and even directs now.

3. Drew Barrymore

Drew is just the latest in the long line of famous Barrymores. Her grandfather, John Barrymore, was regarded as one of the most beloved and celebrated actors of his time, starting his career in the early 1900’s. His son and Drew’s father, John Drew Barrymore took over the family business and had a mildly successful acting career. But it wasn’t until Drew was born that the Barrymore family saw a resurgence. Drew’s career has surpassed that of her troubled fathers, whose career declined due to his reckless behavior and drug use. While that almost derailed Drew herself, she overcame and has become one of the most beloved actresses of all time!

2. Kate Hudson

Hudson is a rom-com queen, and so was her mother Goldie Hawn before her. Hawn’s career took off in the ’70s and ’80s, with her career starting off with a bang in 1969 when she won an Academy Award for Cactus Flower. Hudson started her career similarly, with an Academy Award nomination for her breakout role in Almost Famous. Since then, she’s been working steadily and has become one of the top romantic comedy actresses of all time. In the last few years, she’s branched out into an athletic clothing line and writing books, become a true jack of all trades in Hollywood. And as always, her mother Goldie is her biggest supporter.

1. Carrie Fisher

Carrie was the daughter of a Hollywood legend, and also the mother of a budding actress! Her mother Debbie Reynolds was a prominent actress in the ’50s and ’60s, starring in classic films like Singin’ in the Rain. Fisher had her mothers talent and began acting at a young age. The eccentric funny woman broke into Hollywood in a little film called Star Wars. From there, her career exploded, and there was nary a time where Fisher wasn’t on a movie or TV screen. Unfortunately, the mother and daughter duo both passed away within a month of each other in late 2016. They’re survived by Carrie’s daughter and up-and-coming actress Billie Lourd, who will soon take over the entire planet if she has a modicum of the talent her mother did!

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