A Family Affair: Famous Stars With Famous Parents

Photo Credit: Various
June 30th, 2014

For some major Hollywood players, talent is all in the family. The following movie stars inherited more from their well-known parents than their father's nose or their mother's hair color. Each of the following actors was born into a legacy of skill and success, winning big in the genetic lottery and winding up with the same drive and ambition as their parents.


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Liza Minnelli, known for her triple threat skills as an actress, singer and dancer, has enjoyed an illustrious acting career that spans decades. Perhaps best remembered for her lively turn as the inimitable Sally Bowles in "Cabaret," Minnelli has received a slew of prestigious awards over the years, including an Oscar and two Golden Globes. There was a definite precedent for Minnelli's sparkling charisma and powerful singing voice. She's the daughter of legendary Judy Garland, who lit up the screen during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Minnelli's father, Vincente Minnelli, was an acclaimed director of films that include "Gigi" and "Meet Me in St. Louis."



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Isabella Rossellini is another star whose parents included a renowned actor and a talented director. Her mother, Ingrid Bergman, was the hauntingly beautiful Swedish actress who starred in "Casablanca" and worked with numerous famous directors, ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to George Cukor. Her Italian father, Roberto Rossellini, was a pioneer in the Neorealist tradition. Coming from such a prestigious background, Rossellini quickly established herself as an actress of the highest caliber. She's appeared in smart, edgy films such as "Blue Velvet."

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Since the 1980s, Michael Douglas has enjoyed a reputation as both a ruggedly handsome leading man and a nuanced actor. From "Fatal Attraction" to "Basic Instinct," Douglas' filmography includes a versatile range of classics and blockbusters. His father, Kirk Douglas, is a widely celebrated actor, known for his roles as tough and complex men. By portraying everything from cowboys to soldiers and Vincent van Gogh, Kirk Douglas created an acting legacy that his son has continued.



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Kiefer Sutherland and Ben Stiller both owe some of their phenomenal success to their fathers. Sutherland is a Canadian star with roles that span both films and TV shows. He's become especially synonymous with his role as the resourceful Jack Bauer in "24." Sutherland's father, Donald Sutherland, has been acting for many years. His more recent roles include appearing as the ominous President Snow in the "Hunger Games" franchise. In the same vein, comedian Stiller didn't land upon his sense of humor and natural comedic timing by pure luck. In the fictional world of the iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," Jerry Stiller plays George Constanza's hilariously bad-tempered father. In reality, Jerry Stiller is Ben Stiller's father.


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Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie are three talented actors who have become household names. All three have starred in countless major films and graced dozens of magazine covers. Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner, whose film career has remained active over the decades. Danner and Paltrow have even occasionally appeared in movies together, including "Sylvia." Hudson's mother, Goldie Hawn, is known for her skills as a comedy queen. Hudson has followed in her mother's quirky footsteps, often appearing in romantic comedies. Jolie's father, Jon Voight, was a huge box office draw during the 1970s and has stayed involved in Hollywood during his daughter's stellar success.

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While many of these stars have parents who are also interested in acting, some of them come from a different type of fame. Rashida Jones, who has appeared in "The Social Network" and "Celeste & Jesse Forever," is the daughter of Quincy Jones, a musician and prolific producer. Bryce Dallas Howard has appeared in a number of box office hits, including "The Help" and "Terminator Salvation." Her father is Ron Howard, who transitioned his wildly successful career from acting to a focus on directing and producing. Ron Howard is also recognizable as the omnipresent narrator in the cult classic TV comedy, "Arrested Development." Liv Tyler, known for the "Lord of the Rings" series and "Armageddon," is the daughter of Aerosmith front man Steve Tyler and model Bebe Buell.

Growing up with well-known parents most likely helped these stars find their footing, providing them a firsthand glimpse of the challenges and triumphs of the entertainment industry from a young age. The result is several generations of talent, resulting in decades of entertainment for fans. Whether these actors have just one famous parent or grew up with a power couple, it's certain that these famous families must have a lot to discuss during family reunions and holiday dinners.