From Lily Collins to John David Washington, there are no shortage of celebrity offspring who have gone on to become global superstars.
Earlier this week Ben Stiller, whose parents are legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, responded to criticism about Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry Spielberg’s new movie The Rightway, as the cast includes children of famous actors including Sean Penn and Robin Wright’s son Hopper Penn.
He was ripped apart online for weighing into debate on nepotism in Hollywood and saying ‘ultimately it’s a meritocracy’.
However Ben and Hopper are far from the first actors to be buoyed onto the Hollywood red carpet by their very famous parents.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the other A-listers who have won the gene-pool lottery with their world famous parents.
FAMOUS PARENTS: Musician Phil Collins and actress Jill Tavelman
Lily Collins, who was born in Surrey, is the only child from her father Phil Collin’s second marriage to American Jill Tavelman (pictured together)
Lily was five when Collins split from her mother, reportedly ending the marriage by fax, before moving to the tax haven of Switzerland for the next 20 years
Lily, who was born in Surrey, is the only child from her father Phil Collin’s second marriage to American Jill Tavelman.
The musician is worth around £115m and has sold 150m albums worldwide.
Her path to showbiz started at the tender age of two when she made her small screen debut in the BBC series Growing Pains.
But it was only when she was 15 that she decided to set her sights on an acting career in a serious way, and landed a role in popular teen drama 90201.
Her big break came in the sports drama film The Blind Side in 2009, appearing alongside Sandra Bullock.
Lily was five when Collins split from her mother, reportedly ending the marriage by fax, before moving to the tax haven of Switzerland for the next 20 years.
Following the break-up in 1994, Lily and her mother, an antiques dealer, moved to Los Angeles and the star would only see her father during school holidays.
Lily, who got her big break in the 2009 film The Blind Side, is now the star of the hit Netflix show Emily in Paris
The pair have since had a famously rocky relationship, but Lily penned in her 2017 that she had forgiven her father for not always being present in her life when she was growing up.
She’s previously admitted she first realised the level of her father’s fame when they were on a family trip to Disneyland when she was a child, and she saw a man had the music icon’s face on his t-shirt.
And she insists that her success has nothing to do with her famous father.
‘I didn’t want to have people open doors for me,’ she said. ‘My dad never made a call on my behalf to anyone – not to a producer, a director or a casting agent.
‘I didn’t want to land an audition because I was ‘The daughter of…’ I never wanted to give anyone the opportunity to say, ‘You only got the role because of who you are.’
Lily, who is the star of the hit Netflix show Emily in Paris, has previously said that her father is ‘very proud’ of her work as he loves her being an actor, and he is often ‘super excited’ whenever she gets cast in a new project.
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman
Maya Hawke got her breakout role as Robin on Netflix’s Stranger Things aged just 20 (pictured with her mother Uma Thurman)
She is Ethan Hawke’s oldest child, the first with his first wife Uma Thurman, who he was married to from 1998 to 2003 (pictured together)
Maya is Ethan Hawke’s oldest child, the first with his first wife Uma Thurman, who he was married to from 1998 to 2003.
She got her breakout role as Robin on Netflix’s Stranger Things aged just 20.
She appeared in all eight episodes of Stranger Things Season 3 as Robin, who works at the ice cream shop Scoops Ahoy with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery).
Her new film Mainstream is set to make its debut at the 77th Venice Film Festival.
While the plot remains under wraps, Maya stars in the film alongside Andrew Garfield, Nat Wolff and Jason Schwartzman.
Speaking to Sirius XM she said: ‘My parents are wonderful and really supportive and have given me a lot.
‘I feel really grateful. They both love the show and loved it before I was on it.’
Meanwhile she said that her parents ‘don’t BS’ her with their commentary on her work, adding: ‘I was never aware of them being anything other than my parents.’
And she’s been honest about the fact that her parents have helped her get a leg up in the acting world, saying: ‘I’m very grateful for the fact that they made it so easy for me to do the thing that I love.’
But she said that their star clout will only get her so far, and that she won’t succeed without talent.
‘I think I’ll get a couple chances on their name and then if I suck, I’ll get kicked out of the kingdom,’ she added. ‘And that’s what should happen. So I’m just going to try not to suck.’
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actors Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson
John David Washington previously revealed how he ‘always’ wanted to be an actor like his father Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington is father to actor John David Washington, 36, as well as 33-year-old daughter Katia and 29-year-old son Malcolm, from his 37-year marriage to Pauletta Pearson.
The acting couple originally met on the 1977 set of NBC movie Wilma, and they renewed their vows in a 1995 ceremony officiated by anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu in South Africa.
John previously revealed how he ‘always’ wanted to be an actor like his father Denzel Washington.
The Malcom & Marie star opened up about his career path in a recent interview for WSJ Magazine, admitting his pro-football persona was just a facade.
Denzel is father to John David, as well as 33-year-old daughter Katia and 29-year-old son Malcolm, from his 37-year marriage to Pauletta Pearson (pictured together)
‘I always wanted to do what he did, always wanted to be an artist,’ Washington explained.
But the Tenet actor was reluctant, fearing what it would be live to live in the shadow of his father’s legend.
He made his big screen debut at the age of seven as an extra in Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcom X, starring his father.
But initially, he pursued a football career and was signed by the St Louis Rams in 2006, going on to play for the Sacramento Moutain Lions.
In 2015, he returned to acting in the HBO series Ballers, before landing the lead role in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlandsman, earning him Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations.
John has previously called his father ‘my favorite actor.’
Talking to People in September 2020, he said: ‘I think the best actor in the industry, in the business, is my father.’
‘I’m inspired by the kind of career he’s had and what he’s had to do.
‘Again, he’s been on the frontline for many years and what he’s done with it, with his opportunities, I just am so inspired and continue to be inspired by what he does and how he works and his approach to the craft and the business.’
FAMOUS RELATIVES: Actors Eric and Julia Roberts
Emma, who has a host of famous relatives including Julia Roberts, made her professional movie debut in the 2001 film Blow and has been working as an actress ever since
Emma made her professional movie debut in the 2001 film Blow and has been working as an actress ever since.
She is best known for starring in Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story starting from season 3 AHS: Coven up until the current ninth season AHS: 1984.
However she’s far from the first person in her family to achieve success in Hollywood and follows in the footsteps of her very famous father and aunt.
Emma’s father Eric, 65, has been starring in movies since the 1970s, and is one of few actors in history to have more than 600 credits to his name.
Meanwhile her aunt is Oscar-winning actress Julia is a member of Hollywood’s A-list.
Recently, Julia and her family have been seen down under in Australia, where she is slated to film two big-budget movies later this year.
Emma’s father Eric, 65, has been starring in movies since the 1970s, and is one of few actors in history to have more than 600 credits to his name
One of the projects is a political thriller called Gaslit, centered on the infamous Watergate scandal, with Academy Award-winner Sean Penn and Australia’s own Joel Edgerton.
She will also reunite with Ocean’s Eleven co-star George Clooney to film the romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise, which will begin filming in Queensland later in the year
In 2011, Emma denied she had benefited from her famous connections, telling Popeater: ‘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.’
FAMOUS PARENTS: ACTORS LENNY KRAVITZ AND LISA BONET
Performer Lenny Kravitz and Oscar-winning actress Lisa Bonet married from 1987 to 1993 and are the friendly co-parents of 31-year-old actress Zoe Kravitz
Performer Lenny Kravitz and Oscar-winning actress Lisa Bonet married from 1987 to 1993 and are the friendly co-parents of 31-year-old actress Zoe Kravitz.
They conceived Zoe on a vacation in the Bahamas and then, on Lisa’s 20th birthday in November 1987, they eloped to Las Vegas.
Although the marriage did not last the two have remained friends and in fact he is even close with Lisa’s new husband Jason Momoa, who is 11 years her junior.
Zoe married actor Karl Glusman, 33, in 2019 but filed for divorce in January 2021 after 18 months of marriage.
On March 13, the Viena and the Fantomes actress wrapped her role as cat burglar Selina Kyle/Catwoman on the England set of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which will hit US/UK theaters March 4, 2022.
Zoe’s parents Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz conceived Zoe on a vacation in the Bahamas and then, on Lisa’s 20th birthday in November 1987, they eloped to Las Vegas
Kravitz, who served as the executive producer for the Hulu series High Fidelity, also starred in Big Little Lies and X-Men.
In the first major deal of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, MGM bought the distribution rights to Kravitz’s directorial debut Pussy Island.
Written by Zoe and E.T. Feigenbaum, the thriller will star Naomi Ackie and Channing Tatum. Ackie plays LA cocktail waitress Frida, who scores a trip to a private island owned by philanthropist and tech mogul Slater King (Tatum) before ‘something terrifying’ happens.
Kravitz, who served as the executive producer for the Hulu series High Fidelity, said that she has been developing her new project for years.
She told Deadline Hollywood, ‘This is my first feature and it’s taken many years to get to this point and I’m very excited to step into this new phase.’
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actor Tom Hanks
Colin, the eldest son of Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks, has been gradually building his film and television acting career for nearly three decades
Colin, the eldest son of Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks, has been gradually building his film and television acting career for nearly three decades.
He initially nabbed small time roles in TV shows like The OC and Band of Brothers, where his father was one of the was one of the producers on the series.
He then appeared as an extra in his father’s 1996 film That Thing You Do? when he was 18-years-old.
The two have even starred in movies playing characters who are father and son. In 2008’s The Great Buck Howard, Colin plays an aspiring writer named Troy Gable, who defies his father to become road manager to the titular illusionist.
However far from his famous father, Colin has credited his own hard work throughout his career with opening doors.
In an interview with Deadline, he said he had refined his craft during his school years, saying: ‘Look, when I started out, I did the school plays. I did the middle school plays. I did the high school plays. I did the plays in college…that’s how I learned. That’s how I got into it. That’s how I started to discover it.’
He has since worked his way up to star in huge TV series including Mad Men and blockbusters like Jumangi.
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
FAMOUS PARENTS: Musician Diana Ross
Tracee, who grew up the daughter of mega star Diana Ross, has been portraying liberal anesthesiologist Doctor Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish since its premiere on ABC in September 2014
Tracee had a stint as a model in her teens before attending Brown University where she acted in campus productions. After graduation she continued modelling and fashion writing, not making her big screen debut until 1996 when she was 24 in an indepdendent film Far Harbor.
The following year she started working as a presenter on The Dish, Lifetime’s popular culture show. A mix of independent productsions and made for TV movies followed, before she broke into comdey on MTV’s hip hop variety series The Lyricist Lounge Show.
Her big break came in 2007 when she landed the lead role in the hit series Girlfriends, and continued working steadily in film and TV – including four episodes of CSI.
Mainstream success finally came when she was cast in Black-ish as Dr Rainbow Johnson.
Speaking to Elle Canada in 2018, the 48-year-old actress said ‘she felt like she grew up in her embrace, not her shadow’ regarding the lead singer of The Supremes
She said that she had to audition for the role like anyone else and ‘wasn’t recognised’, describing the experience as ‘very humbling’.
Tracee has been portraying liberal anesthesiologist Doctor Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish since its premiere on ABC in September 2014.
In 2017, Tracee won a Golden Globe for her performance as Rainbow. She became the first black woman in thirty years to do so while collecting an Emmy nomination along the way.
In January 2018, she also picked up a NAACP Image Award for her role.
However she also grew up as the daughter of mega famous entertainer Diana Ross.
Speaking to Elle Canada in 2018, the 48-year-old actress said ‘she felt like she grew up in her embrace, not her shadow’ regarding the lead singer of The Supremes.
She said: ‘That monster of fame that we see take down so many people with bright lights—my mother protected her light. I don’t know how. But she is a better parent than she is ‘Diana Ross’.’
FAMOUS PARENTS: Musicians Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days actress Kate Hudson, 41, is a star in her own right – but was also born into Hollywood royalty (pictured, with mother Goldie Hawn)
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days actress Kate Hudson, 41, is a star in her own right – but was also born into Hollywood royalty.
Her parents are legendary Overboard star Goldie Hawn, 75, and musician Bill Hudson, 71.
Despite maintaining a close relationship with her mother Goldie, she has been estranged from her father for years.
Speaking earlier this year on Today, she said: ‘I have a beautiful mother. I have a stepfather who stepped in and played a huge, huge part in sharing what it is to have a dependable father figure in our life, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that we didn’t know our dad.’
She has said that her parents pushed her as a child and insisted that she hadn’t ‘earned’ any of her privilege.
She told CNBC: ‘My personality profile is perfect for an overachiever based on my family of origin. We grew up privileged, but our parents [Hawn and Russell] made sure we understood it….
‘No part of me believes I’d be here if I didn’t do everything that I did to get here. I’m a worker bee. Almost to a fault.
‘Sometimes I have to sit back and realize that I need to take care of myself. I thrive and love to be busy and in it.’
FAMOUS RELATIVES: Actor Sean Penn
Sean shares his daughter Dylan and son Hopper, 28, with House of Cards actress Robin Wright, 53, Sean’s second wife
Sean shares his daughter Dylan and son Hopper, 28, with House of Cards actress Robin Wright, 53, Sean’s second wife.
The family lived together in Marin County, California until their parents’ divorce in 2010.
Dylan received early career success with modelling campaigns for the likes of Gap, and has appeared in several independent films including Flag Day, which her father directed.
Dylan said that Sean Penn first came to her with the script for Flag Day when she was 16.
Pictured: Sean Penn and his second wife Robin Wright with their children Dylan and Hopper Penn
Sean is next set to star opposite Dakota Johnson in Daddio, which will explore two complete strangers making revelations about ‘sex and power dynamics’, according to Deadline.
Sean’s son Hopper has found himself at the centre of a storm of criticism after he was cast in Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry Spielberg’s new movie The Rightway.
The short film is also written by Stephen King’s son Owen King, and news of the movie prompted Vanity Fair contributing editor Franklin Leonard to tweet: ‘Hollywood’s a meritocracy, right?’
Sean’s son Hopper has found himself at the centre of a storm of criticism after he was cast in Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry Spielberg’s new movie The Rightway
Stiller called the criticism ‘too easy’ offering: ‘People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.’
He added: ‘Just speaking from experience, and I don’t know any of them, I would bet they all have faced challenges. Different than those with no access to the industry. Showbiz as we all know is pretty rough, and ultimately is a meritocracy.’
However, many Twitter users labelled the Along Came Polly star as a ‘hypocrite’, as he is the son of legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, prompting a flood of hilarious reactions.
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actress Carrie Fisher
American Horror Story star Billie Lourd, 29, was born into a Hollywood dynasty, including her grandmother Debbie Reynolds and her mother, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (pictured, Billie with Carrie)
Billie followed in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps when she began her career in 2015 with several roles in the franchise, telling Ellen DeGeneres that she had auditioned for the main part of Rey (pictured, Debbie with Carrie and Billie)
American Horror Story star Billie Lourd, 29, was born into a Hollywood dynasty, including her grandmother Debbie Reynolds and her mother, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher.
She followed in her mother’s footsteps when she began her career in 2015 with several roles in the franchise, telling Ellen DeGeneres that she had auditioned for the main part of Rey.
Speaking in 2019 to Variety, she said she and the family decided to ’embrace the weird galactic nepotism’.
She explained: ‘Some people carry on their family name, some people carry on holiday traditions – I was going to carry on the family hairstyle.
‘So after we tested a few other space-appropriate hairstyles, we decided to embrace the weird galactic nepotism of it all and went with the mini-Leia buns. [Fisher] stood in the mirror behind me and smiled like we had gotten matching tattoos. Our secret-handshake hairstyle.’
In February 2015, Billie was cast in the horror-comedy series Scream Queens, before joining American Horror Story.
She is also set to star in the upcoming movie Ticket to Paradise alongside Julia Roberts and George Clooney.
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith
Dakota Johnson’s parents Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson are both megastars in their own right (pictured together in 2016)
Don Johnson met Melanie Griffith when she was just 14 and he was 22 after meeting on the set of The Harrad Experiment.
At the age of 18 in January 1976, the pair married but had split up by July of that same year.
Melanie followed in the footsteps of her mother Tippi Hedren, who famously starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s classics The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).
She began her Hollywood career in the 1970s with acclaimed roles in Arthur Penn’s neo-noir mystery Night Moves and the Paul Newman–starring mystery The Drowning Pool, both from 1975.
The 1980s saw her receiving renewed acclaim for Brian De Palma’s thriller Body Double (1984), Jonathan Demme’s Something Wilde (1986) and Mike Nichols’ Working Girl (1988), among other films.
Now Dakota is a successful actress who has had critically-acclaimed roles and even starred in a very successful movie franchise
She reunited with Don in the eighties, and they married once again in 1988.
The following year, the beauty gave birth to the Fifty Shades of Grey actress before separating after six years.
Her daughter Dakota Johnson, 31, has gone on to have similar success as an actress.
Following a small but pivotal role in David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010), she landed the lead role in the Fifty Shades Of Gray Trilogy and Luca Guadagnino’s epic horror remake Suspiria (2018).
Now Dakota is a successful actress who has had critically-acclaimed roles and even starred in a very successful movie franchise.
Her father Don – who has rumored net worth of $50 million – previously revealed that she had much more incentive to make it in Hollywood than most kids with two actors for parents.
The 71-year-old actor told Late Night With Seth Meyers earlier this year he cut off daughter Dakota, now 31, when she refused to go to college.
At the time, he said: ‘No, she doesn’t really call me for advice. She calls me to say, ‘Gosh, I would see you, but I’ve got three pictures that I’m shooting at the same time.'”
FAMOUS RELATIVES: Actor John Aniston
Jennifer Aniston’s father John has starred on Days Of Our Lives since 1985 – the same daytime soap opera that was incorporated into the plot of Friends
Jennifer Aniston’s father John has starred on Days Of Our Lives since 1985 – the same daytime soap opera that was incorporated into the plot of Friends.
Greek-born John walked out on Nancy, a model, in November 1979, after 11 years of marriage. At the time their daughter was ten.
In 2012, Jen told The Hollywood Reporter that her dad initially tried to keep her from show business, knowing the long odds of success.
‘My dad’s advice has always been: ‘Don’t do it. Become a doctor. Become a lawyer,” she said. ‘He didn’t want me to be heartbroken because he knew it was a tough business.’
Jennifer, who’s currently appearing on the Apple TV series The Morning, was not dissuaded by his advice, as she said ‘it compelled [her] to go for it even harder’ en route to her iconic turn as Rachel Green on the 90s NBC hit Friends.
In 2012, Jen told The Hollywood Reporter that her dad initially tried to keep her from show business, knowing the long odds of success
John, speaking with The Television Academy Foundation earlier this year, recalled how he tried to dissuade his daughter from a career in front of the cameras. He said: ‘I told her, ‘You don’t want to be in show business – show business stinks!’
He recalled how Jennifer once contacted his agent in hopes of getting her an audition for a movie.
‘She called my agent!’ he said. ‘So that’s when I knew she wanted to be in show business … I knew right from the beginning when she started auditioning for things.’
In the 2012 THR interview, Jennifer said that even when that success happened for her, she was still looking at spreading her wings as an actress.
‘There was a period when I was on Friends where The Good Girl came to me, or Friends With Money came to me,’ she said. ‘I thought, ‘I’ve got to go for it now and try to not just be Rachel Green so I can get out of the Fruity Pebbles section at the grocery and explore the organic food.’
‘It’s a terrible analogy, but I had to get out there and do something different so they could see that I’m an actor, so I didn’t forget that I could do other things. I was lucky that happened.’
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actress Andie Macdowell
Margaret Qualley is one of three children that actress Andie McDowell shares with her ex-husband Paul Qualley, whom she wed in 1986 and divorced in 1999
She has followed in Andie’s footsteps, landing roles including the part of Pussycat in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood directed by Quentin Tarantino, 56 (pictured together)
Margaret is one of three children that actress Andie McDowell shares with her ex-husband Paul Qualley, whom she wed in 1986 and divorced in 1999.
Her older sister Rainey, 30, is an actress and singer and there’s an older brother Justin, 34.
While Andie made her film debut in 1984’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, she has since gone on to star in films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love After Love.
Her daughter Margaret has followed in her footsteps, landing roles including the part of Pussycat in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood directed by Quentin Tarantino, 56.
She is best known for her work on the TV series The Leftovers and the miniseries Fosse/Verdon.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, she said she ‘didn’t want to act because my mom does that and…I think people often don’t want to do what their parents did.’
FAMOUS PARENTS: Actor Jon Voight
Actress Angelina Jolie dropped her father’s Jon Voight’s surname for her middle name when she appeared in Lara Croft (pictured together in 2001)
Jon Voight, who is still best known for his appearance in the 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy. split from wife Marcheline Bertrand when their daughter Angelina Jolie was only four.
The father and daughter had only sporadic contact during her childhood, yet in her early TV and film work she still used her full name of Angelina Jolie Voight.
But, perhaps because she did not want to be seen as trading on her father’s fame, she had dropped the Voight in favour of her middle name by the time she appeared as Lara Croft, a female version of Indiana Jones.
It is not known what caused her to fall out with Voight, who played her father Lord Croft in the movie.
The father and daughter had only sporadic contact during her childhood, yet in her early TV and film work she still used her full name of Angelina Jolie Voight (pictured together in 1986)
By July 2002, however, she was applying to have her non-acting name legally changed to Angelina Jolie, losing the Voight.
The following month, Voight gave an interview on U.S. television in which he claimed his daughter, who had just adopted a Cambodian boy named Maddox, had ‘serious mental problems’.
‘I’m broken-hearted… because I’ve been trying to reach my daughter and get her help, and I have failed and I’m sorry,’ he said.
‘Really I haven’t come forward and addressed the serious mental problems she has spoken about so candidly to the press over the years, but I’ve tried behind the scenes in every way.’
Angelina responded by cutting off her father completely, saying that, as a new mother, she did not think it was healthy to associate with him.
In an interview a year later, she said Voight’s comments were damaging because they could have affected her relationship with Maddox.
Voight repeatedly tried to regain contact with his daughter, particularly after her mother’s death from cancer in 2007.
And finally, with Pitt’s blessing, she is said to have finally responded in 2009. To the surprise of many, Jon and Angelina were first pictured together in 2010, when he visited her on the Venice, Italy, set of The Tourist.