20 Celebrities Whose Parents Are More Famous Than They Are

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20 Celebrities Whose Parents Are More Famous Than They Are


Hollywood is a small place, but it can still be shocking to learn how many stars are related. Here are 20 of the most surprising cases:

1. Mariska Hargitay

The Law and Order: SVU star's mother was Jayne Mansfield, the actress and Playboy Playmate. Mariska was actually in the backseat of the car during her mother's fatal accident, and while she can't remember much about that day she still shares a striking resemblance with her famous mom.

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, 1957.kent williams / Flickr

2. Jaime Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee CurtisGage Skidmore/ Flickr

This actress is secretly Hollywood royalty. Her father was Spartacus star Tony Curtis, while her mother was Janet Leigh, who you probably remember as Marion Crane in Psycho. What a family!

Tony Curtis & Janet Leighskeeze / Pixabay

3. Ben Stiller

You know the Zoolander star, and you probably recognize his father Jerry as Arthur from King of Queens, but lots of people don't realize the two are related. I guess comedy skills run in the family!

4. Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick at the 2009 Tribeca Film FestivalBy David Shankbone (David Shankbone) via Wikimedia Commons

Some call Matthew himself a forgotten celebrity, but there's no denying leading roles in 80s hits like Ferris Bueller's Day Off made him a star. Broderick's father James had an acting career of his own, appearing on soaps like As the World Turns and Family.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow avp Iron Man 3 ParisGeorges Biard from Wikimedia Commons

Paltrow needs no introduction - it seems like she can't go a week without making headlines. But you might just recognize her famous mom Blythe Danner. The actress is still working today, but she's best known as the mother from Meet the Parents.

Blythe Danner thanks the audience for their participation in the National Memorial Day Concert.By Mass Communications Specialist Chad J. McNeeley, United States Department of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Liza Minnelli

The talented singer had a pair of celebrity parents: her father was director Vincente Minnelli and her mother was singer and actress Judy Garland. The couple met when Minnelli directed Garland in the classic movie Meet Me in St. Louis.

Judy Garland and Liza Minnellikate gabrielle / Flickr

7. Dakota Johnson

This actress lit up the screen in 50 Shades of Gray, so maybe she got some advice from her parents. Her dad is Miami Vice star Don Johnson, and her mother is actress Melanie Griffith. Talk about an '80s power couple!

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson photo by Alan Light via Wikimedia Commons

8. Rashida Jones

With more than 79 Grammy nominations, Quincy Jones is a music legend. But his daughter Rashida Jones blazed her own path through Hollywood on comedy shows like Parks and Recreation. Her mother, Peggy Lipton, also starred in the Mod Squad and Twin Peaks.

9. The Arquette Siblings

David ArquetteWEBN-TV / Flickr
Wikipedia Commons

Recognize David from comedies like Ready to Rumble? This film star and his sisters Rosanna and Patricia all act, so it's no surprise their father Lewis does too. He played J.D. Pickett on the Waltons.

10. Scott Caan

TV fans will recognize Scott as Danny Williams from Hawaii Five-O, but most people don't realize his dad is the famous James Caan. He had a number of big roles in the '70s and '80s, but he's best-known as Sonny Corleone from The Godfather.

11. Jared Harris

This British actor has had big roles, including Lane Pryce on Mad Men and the bad guy Moriarity from Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows. But did you know his father Richard played Dumbledore in the first Harry Potter movie? He also had roles in Unforgiven and Gladiator.

Richard Harris's granddaughter said she'd never speak to him again if he didn't play Dumbledore. So, thankfully, he did.

Posted by Harry Potter on Thursday, April 18, 2013

12. Laura Dern

While her father Bruce had big roles as a western star in the '70s, Laura starred in 2 entries of the blockbuster Jurassic Park series. But lately Bruce has been making a comeback with big parts in flicks like The Hateful Eight and Nebraska.

But Laura's mother Diane Ladd is famous in her own right. She starred in Chinatown and 28 Days.

13. Emma Roberts

This young star is on the rise. She started out as a Disney star, but recently shared the big screen with Jennifer Aniston in We're the Millers. Not only does she have a famous father, Eric Roberts, who starred in films like the Expendables, but her aunt is Julia Roberts too.

14. Jennifer Aniston

Aniston's role on Friends made her a global star, but Aniston's father John has lots of fans of his own. He's played Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives since the 1980s, and had a recurring role on Search for Tomorrow before that. For soap fans, he's probably the more famous relative.

15. Woody Harrelson

Harrelson's estranged father Charles is more infamous than famous, but he became famous in the 1970s for shooting a federal judge. Yes, Harrelson's dad was a mob hitman. He even claimed to be involved in the Kennedy assassination, a brag that he later blamed on his cocaine addiction.

16. Colin Hanks

Colin Hanks (Left) for Tower Records All Things Must PassNan Palmero / Flickr

Colin isn't quite as famous as his dad Tom (or his stepmother Rita Wilson) but he's the kind of character actor that lots of people recognize without knowing their name. The pair actually co-starred once, in the magical comedy The Great Buck Howard.

Taken on September 9, 2016

17. Chris Pine

He played Captain Kirk in Star Trek, and made us laugh in Wonder Woman, but did you know that Chris Pine has a famous dad? He's another secret soap star, who was on The Bold and the Beautiful and had small roles in movies like Independence Day.

Pine's mother Gwynne Gilford was also a "scream queen" who appeared in lots of 1980s horror films.

18. Beau and Jeff Bridges

These two are one of Hollywod's best-known pairs of sibling actors, but did you know their father is an actor as well? He had roles in serious films like High Noon, but also 80s comedies like Airplane! and Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges at the 44th Emmy Awards, August 1992photo by Alan Light [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

19. Jessica Capshaw

JESSICA CAPSHAW / Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. (ABC/Lou Rocco) Disney | ABC Television Group

Grey's Anatomy is one of the most-watched shows in America, so you probably recognize the show's star Jessica Capshaw. But does the name Kate Capshaw ring any bells? The actress is married to Steven Spielberg, and starred in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

20. Lenny Kravitz

The "American Woman" singer has a mother you'll recognize if you grew up watching TV in the 70s and 80s. Roxie Roker played Helen Willis on The Jeffersons. Recently Kravitz has been acting too, with a small role in the Hunger Games series.

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