Credit where credit is due—we'll praise Gwyneth Paltrow for her performance in Shakespeare in Love, but other than that, is there a single movie that people have enjoyed seeing this actress in? And don't get us started with her business Goop, and all the ridiculous products they've forced on the world. So why exactly is Paltrow a big deal in the first place?
That happened because her mom happens to be actually good actress Blythe Danner. Danner has had a long career in both movies and TV, with some of her most well-known works being Meet the Parents, To Wong Foo, and Prince of Tides. Paltrow is definitely not the best actor in the family, but she's somehow managed to become the most famous.
Dakota Johnson has a decent filmography, but she's probably most well-known for her starring role in the Fifty Shades series. What a legacy. While not a terrible actress, she's definitely not a star worth writing home about, so why does it seem like she keeps popping up everywhere? Family connections!
Johnson is the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, both of whom have made iconic names for themselves in Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, Johnson's first big break in show business came when she appeared in the 1999 film Crazy in Alabama, starring...you guessed it! Her mother, Melanie.
Even with nepotism on her side, Allison Williams hasn't had a blockbuster Hollywood career as of yet. Aside from a starring role as Marnie on the HBO series Girls, Williams' acting credits have been pretty ho-hum...sort of like her acting style. It seems like having a famous dad isn't enough these days to secure a wildly successful career.
Or rather, we should say that her dad is a bit infamous at this point. Williams is the daughter of former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. His reputation took a serious hit in 2015 after he told a fabricated story about his helicopter being hit by an RPG during the Iraq War.
Jaden and Willow Smith
At this point in time, pretty much everyone is sick of the entire Smith family for a variety of reasons. However, it all started when the precocious Smith children, Jaden and Willow, were forced upon the world as "actors" and "musicians." Whether you want to watch a lackluster sci-fi movie or hear an annoying song about hair, Jaden and Willow have you covered.
Anyone with two functioning brain cells can see that these two would never have gotten the attention they have if their parents weren't world-famous actors Will and Jada Smith. While their parents may have had some legitimately good hits, the same can't be said about this next generation of Smiths!
Are there any big Charlie Hall fans in the house? Probably not, because this young actor has less than ten credits to his name. And, if we're being honest, none of them are anything you actually want to watch. So what's this guy's deal? Is he some starving artist trying to make it big in Hollywood? Not quite—while he's not very famous, his mother most definitely is.
Hall is the son of actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who, nepotism or not, is probably one of the funniest women Hollywood has ever seen. While her son might want to carry on the family legacy, he's yet to do a very good job of it. In the true spirit of nepotism, Hall's first acting gig was on his mother's hit comedy, Veep.
Billie Lourd is a relatively new actress, but her family has been in Hollywood for generations. While not a terrible actor, it's very obvious that she got some early roles because of who her mother is. Namely, she appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi in no small part because she is the daughter of Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher.
Despite how beloved Fisher was, there's no denying that she was the beneficiary of nepotism as well, as her mother (and Lourd's grandmother) was none other than Debbie Reynolds, one of the biggest stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Will Lourd have children that will carry on the family business? Only time will tell.
Most of the time, when people talk about Hollywood nepotism, they're talking about famous parents giving their kids a leg up in the business. However, that's not always how it works! Sometimes your acting career can get a boost thanks to a little brotherly love. And that's exactly what happened with Stephen Baldwin and his much more famous sibling, Alec Baldwin.
While all the Baldwin brothers have pursued careers in acting, it's obvious that Stephen has struggled the most. Some might say that his outspoken views as a Christian are keeping him down, but the fact that his biggest hits include Bio-Dome and The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas aren't doing him any favors either. This actor would have faded into obscurity entirely long ago if he wasn't riding the coattails of his more famous brother.
We're sure she's a nice person, but Sofia Coppola had no business being in front of a camera. And if her father weren't world-famous director and writer Francis Ford Coppola, she probably never would have been. Her nepotism crash and burn is probably one of the most famous in all of Hollywood.
Things went south for Coppola's acting career when she appeared as the daughter of Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III. Her performance was so bad that she won Razzies that year for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star. It's believed that her acting was so bad that it actually hurt her father's directing career as well!
Everyone seems to roll their eyes when they hear the name Zooey Deschanel, and for good reason too. The actress has made an obnoxious name for herself by playing quirky, eccentric characters on shows like New Girl and in movies like Elf. You probably won't be surprised to learn that her parents are famous too!
Deschanel is the daughter of actress Mary Jo Deschanel (Twin Peaks, JAG, Law and Order) and director Caleb Deschanel (The Escape Artist, Twin Peaks, Bones). Her older sister also happens to be Emily Deschanel, but we'll overlook her nepotism since she's actually a good actress! Making one of your kids a legitimate star is a pretty good track record!
We'll give her this—Kate Hudson is undeniably a famous actress. But is she a good actress? We're not entirely convinced that's true. Her last really noteworthy role was all the way back in 2000 when she played Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Since then, her other acting credits have included very prestigious films like Kung-Fu Panda 3 and Bride Wars.
The reason we keep seeing Hudson pop up is that her mother is none other than Goldie Hawn. And hey, we don't blame her for trying to give her daughter a leg up. When you're as funny and talented as she is, it makes sense to think that some of that skill got passed on to your kids. Unfortunately for Hudson and Hawn, that talent seems to have skipped a generation.
Thankfully, the world has mostly rid itself of Charlie Sheen, but there for several years in the 2010s you couldn't seem to escape him and his antics. While he's had a few movie hits in his lifetime (Platoon and Wall Street), these minor successes have been overshadowed by his bad behavior.
How in the world did a nutjob like Charlie Sheen end up in show business in the first place? He had a famous dad, of course! His father, Martin Sheen, has starred in numerous acclaimed projects, with his most famous being The West Wing and Apocalypse Now. Sheen's brother, Emilio, also went into the acting business, but he's managed to put together a much more successful career than Charlie.
If you're not a fan of rom-coms, there's a good chance you have no idea who Lily Collins is, and, for that, you should count yourself lucky. Most famous for starring in the title role of Emily in Paris, Collins is yet another perfectly average actor who manages to get good gigs because of who she's related to.
You may not be familiar with her, but you probably know her superstar dad, Phil Collins. He's made a name for himself both as a solo artist and as the drummer and singer for the band Genesis. Despite her creative genes, it doesn't seem like Lily Collins will be rising to the same heights as her father. Maybe she should try the drums?
Chris Pine is allegedly a Hollywood heartthrob, but he's just another forgettable face if you ask us. Pine is probably most famous for portraying Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboots that began in 2009. He's had almost two decades in the business without doing anything noteworthy, so how does he keep nabbing gigs?
Finding acting jobs is probably a lot easier and less stressful when your dad is beloved TV actor Robert Pine. The elder Pine rose to fame in the late '70s as Joseph Getraer on the cop drama CHiPs, but he has numerous TV and movie credits to his name. Chris better get to work if he wants to achieve even half of what his dad has accomplished.
Liv Tyler did well enough as an elf in the Lord of the Rings movie series and as the love interest in Armageddon, but what has she done since then that's as noteworthy? Not much. Despite her so-so acting skills, she still managed to nab multiple coveted roles in blockbuster movies. What's her secret?
There's no secret—her dad just happens to be Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith. We're sure the fact that her dad's band recorded a song for the movie that ended up being her big break was just a total coincidence. Anything is possible, but we're not betting on it!
Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce Dallas Howard has had a stellar career in Hollywood, with roles in critical and commercial hits like The Help, Jurrasic World, and As You Like It. If she's such a decorated actor, then why are all of her performances such a snoozefest? It might be because her famous dad tips the scales in her favor.
When it comes to famous dads, you can't do much better than Opie Taylor himself, Ron Howard. We're sure that this critically acclaimed actor and director has plenty of connections that could help his kids get ahead in life. Unfortunately, all the influence in the world is not enough to make Bryce Dallas Howard an interesting actress.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Does Jamie Lee Curtis have talent? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t get her start thanks to her famous parents Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Even she stated that she was likely given preferential treatment thanks to her parents when she got her start as an actress.
During an interview with the New Yorker she stated, “I auditioned many, many, many times. And then it was between me and one other woman… I’m sure the fact that I was Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis’s daughter, and that my mother had been in Psycho.” She’s definitely proven herself since then as a fantastic actress.
Kaia Gerber isn't a bad actress– she’s just incredibly flat and boring. The only reason Kaia Gerber has gotten to where she is now is that her mother is none other than Cindy Crawford, and the resemblance is clear. That's precisely what people hate most about nepotism.
On top of that, her father is the Casamigos Tequila cofounder Rande Gerber. She’s been in a few films like Babylon, American Horry Story, and Palisades where she simply stood with a flat face and no emotion. At least her face works well for her modeling career, which is what she really excels at.
Nothing says nepotism quite like an Apatow. Judd Apatow is more than happy to throw his family into his films over and over, regardless of whether or not they have talent. Recently, Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow’s daughter, Maude, have been put on blast for being a nepotism baby.
While being interviewed by Net-a-Porter, she admitted, “I try not to let it get to me because I obviously understand that I’m in such a lucky position. A lot of people [in a similar position] have proven themselves over the years, so I’ve got to keep going and make good work.”
Jenners and Kardashians
We all know this one. The Kardashians have pretty much had a freeride after Robert Kardashian became the center of the spotlight during the O.J. Simpson trial. What also helped was that Kim Kardashian was BFFs with Paris Hilton at the height of Hilton’s career. The Kardashian sisters have at least tried to do something interesting.
Most of them have attempted to have several businesses, but even those businesses wouldn’t be popular without their name. However, the Jenners don’t have any excuse. Kylie and Kendall Jenner do the bare minimum but seem to reap constant rewards. They don’t seem to have the drive their sisters had, but why bother when your family is just rich for being famous?
Emma Roberts is another child from a famous family that seems to act like her skills are what made her famous in the first place. The fact her father is Eric Roberts – a super-famous Oscar-nominated actor – has nothing to do with her fame. Also, she’s the niece of Julia Roberts and looks super similar is also unimportant to her.
During an interview with PopEater, she stated, “A lot of people think that, and they talk about nepotism which I think is so ridiculous considering it's obviously not true; because I've auditioned for so many things and never gotten the part. Also, it's like, you know, maybe someone can get you one part, but they can't really get you ten parts.” Maybe if she had a small ounce of talent?
Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal
The talent of the Gyllenhaal kids is hotly debated, but what can’t be debated is their famous lineage. They’re the kids of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner. Stephen Gyllenhaal directed A Dangerous Woman, while Naomi Foner was a writer and producer of the film. Maggie and Jake’s rise to fame was inevitable.
For that being said, Jake has actually done a great job acting in a number of films like Nightcrawler, Donnie Darko, and Brokeback Mountain. Maggie has appeared in films like Secretary, The Dark Knight, and Stranger Than Fiction. No doubt they got their foot in the door thanks to their parents, but their acting is really what set them apart.
Scott Eastwood certainly has an interesting lineage. He’s the son of insanely famous actor Clint Eastwood and Jacelyn Reeves, a flight attendant he had an affair with. As he grew up, he used his mother’s name as an attempt to distance himself from his father’s “Eastwood” name.
He credits his success to working hard – something that’s very Clint Eastwood if you think about it. However, he completely ignored the fact that he began his Hollywood career by acting in Clint’s films like Flags of our Fathers, Gran Torino, and Invictus. There’s clearly some nepotism there.
Tori Spelling is your classic case of nepotism. She’s the daughter of the famous Aaron Spelling, the creator of The Love Boat and Dynasty. Tori became famous in Beverly Hills, 90201, but she actually got her start thanks to her father plugging her into his latest production because no one told him no.
The public was pretty mad about it, but there wasn’t anything anyone could do. Since 90201 ended, she struggled to land jobs, which wasn’t a great combination with a very bad spending habit. Some theorize that part of her difficulties are due to the fact that her father plugged her into his show, and Hollywood is still salty about it.
Drew Barrymore is a staple of Hollywood at this point, but she got her start because she was the daughter of Jaid Barrymore and John Drew Barrymore. The crazy thing is that her family’s fame goes back even further. The Barrymore legacy dates back to the 19th century to Maurice Barrymore and Georgina Emma Drew, who were stage actors.
The first Barrymore to be featured on TV was Lionel Barrymore, who won an Oscar for a 1931 film called A Free Soul. Barrymore getting into Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial was a given. Barrymore still had a rough childhood, sadly, and it was thanks to her connections with Spielberg that she didn’t spiral into a bad lifestyle like Lindsay Lohan.
Angelina Jolie was the daughter of famous actor and actress Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. The couple split when Jolie was a baby, and she’s been estranged from her father for years. We’re not sure if nepotism helped her get her foot in the door, but she’s shown to be a good actress since then.
She’s been top-billed in many films, including Girl, Interrupted, Maleficent, Salt, and Beowulf. Nowadays, she’s passing her fame along by getting her kids cast in super-famous films. Vivienne Jolie-Pitt landed the role of child Aurora, the princess from Sleeping Beauty. Pax and Zahara also have similar smaller parts in Disney films.
Hm…Skarsgard… why does that name seem familiar? Oh, well, maybe because three of the sons and the father are all pretty famous actors. The Skarsgard family is pretty big, and the youngest, Bill Skarsgard, has gotten a lot of attention due to his excellent acting in IT as Pennywise.
You might also recognize his father, Stellan Skarsgard, who has been in Good Will Hunting and Thor. Or maybe you recognize Gustaf, who played Floki in Vikings. Maybe Alexander, who was famously Eric from True Blood. We can’t say anything bad, though, because every one of these Swedish stars is talented, so keep acting away.
Rumer Willis is truly the child of Hollywood royalty. Her mom is Demi Moore, and her father is none other than Bruce Willis. Rumer spent much of her life in Idaho, and she didn’t really want to follow in her parents' footsteps. When Rumer joined Dancing with the Stars in season 20, Demi Moore actually said it was a bad decision.
Demi said, “My whole insides, I have to be honest, were screaming, ‘No.’” That doesn’t mean Rumer hasn’t benefited from her status. Golden Globes had “ambassadors” that were mostly the kids of famous Hollywood celebrities. Recently, Golden Globes dumped this program after the nepo-baby backlash. Rumer had been one of those ambassadors.
Looking at Maya Hawk, it’s pretty easy to see who her parents are. She looks just like her mother, Uma Thurman. Her father is Ethan Hawke. Today, she’s most famous for her role in Stranger Things, but she’s aware that she got her start in Hollywood thanks to her parents.
During an interview with People, she stated, “I'm very grateful for the fact that [my parents] made it so easy for me to do the thing that I love. I think I'll get a couple chances on their name and then if I suck, I'll get kicked out of the kingdom. ... And that's what should happen. So, I'm just going to try not to suck.”
At the height of her father’s court case, Lily-Rose Depp had one thing to say…about nepotism. She completely avoided what was going on with her famous father and discussed the fact she is the nepo baby of Johnny Depp and French star and model Vanessa Paradis.
She seemed to casually discuss that the internet cared too much about her family than their own, stating that all anyone has to do is get their foot in the door (like it’s easy for those who aren’t the child of two super famous stars). Apparently, for her, nothing will get you the part other than “being right for the part.” Denial is strong with this one.
Both Cyrus kids have gotten famous for being the daughters of Billy Ray Cyrus, but none have benefitted from it more than Miley Cyrus. Miley’s big break was playing the titular character on Hannah Montana. All she had to do was play a famous pop singer who was living a double life. That wasn’t too hard because her dad was already famous.
She knew the biz, so she just had to act. Acting alongside a famous dad like Billy Ray Cyrus really gave her the opportunity to become what she is today. She’s tried her hand at acting, but like her father, her real talent is performing.