The path to stardom is certainly easier if your family is already in the business. Jamie Lee Curtis (pictured here, second from the left, with her mother Janet Leigh, sister Kelly and father Tony Curtis) grew up in Hollywood and made her acting debut in the 1978 horror classic “Halloween.”
Other stars who followed in their famous parents (or grandparents’ footsteps): Oscar winners Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Bridges, Liza Minnelli and Angelina Jolie … and we’re just getting started.
Here are some of the acting dynasties that have made a mark on Hollywood.
John Huston, Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston, Jack Huston
Talk about your acting dynasties: “The Maltese Falcon” helmer John Huston, who also acted in films including “Chinatown,” directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston to Oscars for the roles in, respectively, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “Prizzi’s Honor. Anjelica’s brother, Danny Huston, has appeared in “Yellowstone,” “Succession,” “The Constant Gardener” and “Wonder Woman.” Their brother, Tony, also acts, as does Tony’s son Jack Huston. Jack’s credits include “Boardwalk Empire,” “House of Gucci” and “American Hustle.” He currently stars as Lasher in “Mayfair Witches” on AMC.
Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Bridget Fonda
Henry Fonda, star of classics like “The Grapes of Wrath” and an Oscar winner for “On Golden Pond,” saw his two kids, Jane and Peter, go on to successful acting careers of their own. Jane won Best Actress twice (for “Klute” and “Coming Home”) and Peter became a key part of the counterculture in the ’60s, starring in “Easy Rider” and “The Trip,” and was nominated for Best Actor for his lead role in “Ulee’s Gold.” Peter’s daughter, Bridget, also became an actress, starring in films including “Singles,” “Single White Female,” and “Jackie Brown.”
Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges
Oscar-winning Jeff and his triple Emmy-winning brother Beau began acting on their dad’s 1950s TV show, “Sea Hunt.” Most movie fans know Lloyd from his hilarious turn in “Airplane!,” while Beau is known for films including “Norma Rae” and for TV roles such as Major General Hank Landry on “Stargate SG-1” and Vice President Ralph Warner on “Homeland.” He and Jeff, whose films include “Iron Man,” “True Grit,” and “The Big Lebowski,” co-starred in the 1989 film “The Fabulous Baker Boys.”
Talk about Hollywood royalty: Liza’s mother was Judy Garland and her father was Vicente Minnelli, who directed Garland in such beloved classics as “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “The Pirate” opposite Gene Kelly. Liza made her film debut at fourteen months old in Garland’s 1949 movie, “In the Good Old Summertime,” and often sang with her mother on tour. While Garland sadly did not ever win a Best Actress Oscar, Liza did, for her show-stopping performance in 1972’s “Cabaret.”
Jamie Lee Curtis
When Jamie Lee Curtis won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards, she thanked her late parents, “Psycho” star Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis (whose films included “Some Like It Hot”) in her moving speech. She also proudly claimed her status as “the OG Nepo Baby” in her SAG acceptance speech. Jamie Lee became as much of a horror icon as her mother with “Halloween” and both scream queens appeared in “The Fog” in 1980.
Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars of the ’50s and ’60s, with leading roles in “Spartacus” (which he also produced) and Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole,” and in “Lust for Life” as Vincent van Gogh. Michael got his start in the ’70s TV series “The Streets of San Francisco,” and by the ’80s, he was starring in “Romancing the Stone” and winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Wall Street.”
David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine, Martha Plimpton, Ever Carradine
Deep-voiced character actor John Carradine’s many films include “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Ten Commandments” and John Ford’s iconic western “Stagecoach.” Son David is known for starring in “Kung Fu” and “Kill Bill”; Keith costarred in “Nashville” and won an Oscar for writing the song “I’m Easy”; and Robert played fraternity president Lewis Skolnick in the “Revenge of the Nerds” movies. Keith’s daughter Martha Plimpton also acts (you know her from “Running on Empty” and the TV series “Raising Hope,” “The Good Wife” and “7th Heaven.” Robert’s daughter, Ever Carradine, also acts: Her credits include “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Major Crimes,” and “24.”
The “Mad Men” and “Chernobyl” actor is the son of Oscar-nominated Richard Harris, who is probably best known today for being the original Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films.
Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen
“The West Wing” star Martin Sheen’s many films include “Apocalypse Now,” “Badlands” and “The Departed. Son Charlie Sheen starred in “Platoon,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Wall Street,” in which his real-life dad played the father of his character.
Brother Emilio Estevez (who opted to keep the family’s original last name) is best known for his Brat Pack films like “The Breakfast Club” and “The Mighty Ducks” franchise. Emilio also directed himself and his brother in the 1990 comedy “Men at Work,” as well as helming several films featuring Martin, including “Bobby” and “The War at Home.”
The “Jurassic Park” star, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Marriage Story,” is the daughter of “Coming Home” and “Nebraska” star Bruce Dern and actress Diane Ladd. Laura and her mother were both Oscar nominated for their roles in the 1991 film “Rambling Rose,” and they both appeared in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” and “Inland Empire,” as well as Alexander Payne’s satiric comedy “Citizen Ruth.” Laura and Bruce both starred in the 2017 western “The Good Time Girls.”
Rashida and Kidada Jones
“The Office” alum has starred in films including Sofia Coppola’s “On the Rocks,” while her fashion designer sister acted in James Toback’s “Black and White.” Their dad is none other than legendary composer and producer Quincy Jones, and mom was actress Peggy Lipton of “The Mod Squad” and “Twin Peaks.” Rashida directed the Netflix documentary “Quincy” about her dad, which won a Grammy for Best Music Film in 2019.
The “Star Trek” actor’s dad, Robert Pine, was a regular as Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Getraer on the ’70s motorcycle cops show, “CHiPs.”
Jon Voight brought nearly 11-year-old Angelina to the Academy Awards, where he was nominated as Best Actor for the third time. Just 14 years later, she collected her own Oscar for “Girl, Interrupted.” She dropped his last name when she began acting and the two are very publicly not on speaking terms.
The “Shakespeare in Love” Oscar winner is the daughter of Blythe Danner (“Meet the Parents”) and the late director Bruce Paltrow. And although they’re not related by blood, Steven Spielberg is her godfather. Now there’s a powerful connection.
Clint Eastwood’s son is a chip off the old block: His films include “Wrath of Man,” “Fate of the Furious” and the upcoming “Fast X.’ Formerly billed as “Scott Reeves,” he also appeared in his dad’s films “Gran Torino” and “Flags of Our Fathers.”
The actress, producer and talk show host is descended from one of the most revered acting families in Hollywood. Her grandfather, John Barrymore, was a legendary silent film star who went on to appear in Best Picture winner “Grand Hotel” and Howard Hawks’ screwball comedy “Twentieth Century.” John’s siblings, Ethel and Lionel are also well-known. Ethel was nominated for four Oscars, winning for her supporting role in 1945’s “None But the Lonely Heart.” Lionel earned one of the first Best Actor Oscars for his role in 1931’s “A Free Soul,” but is probably best known for his performance as mean Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” John’s son John Drew Barrymore had a more limited career, appearing in a number of western series in the ’60s.
Drew was only 7 when she co-starred in Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and headlined her first film two years later in “Firestarter.” She went on to produce and star in two “Charlie’s Angels” movies and was famously killed off in the first “Scream” installment in 1996. She remains a Gen X icon who regularly relives the movies she made with past co-stars like Keanu Reeves and Melanie Lynskey.
Tatum co-starred with her dad, “Love Story” actor Ryan O’Neal, as a couple of Depression-era grifters in 1973’s “Paper Moon.” She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film when she was only 10 and is still the youngest to win in that category. Her other films include “The Bad News Bears” and “International Velvet” She also played Maggie on the FX series “Rescue Me.”
David Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Alexis Arquette
The stars of, respectively, “Scream,” “Boyhood,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” and “Sometimes They Come Back… Again,” are the kids of Lewis Arquette, who was best known for playing J.D. Pickett on “The Waltons.” Trivia: Dad Lewis had a small role in “Scream 2” as Police Chief Hartley.
Tracee Ellis Ross
The “black-ish” actress is the daughter of singer/actress Diana Ross, who was nominated for Best Actress for the 1973 film “Lady Sings the Blues.”
Bryce Dallas Howard
Her father is “Apollo 13” director Ron Howard, and her films include “The Help,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Village.” She had a small role in her dad’s Best Picture winner, “A Beautiful Mind.”
Gustaf, Bill and Alexander Skarsgard
Stellan Skarsgard — who’s appeared in everything from the MCU to “Mamma Mia” to “Nymphomaniac,” is dad to several actors: Bill of “It” and “John Wick 4,” Alexander of “True Blood” and “Infinity Pool,” and Gustaf of “Westworld” and “Vikings.”
The Oscar-nominated star of “Almost Famous” and “Glass Onion,” is the daughter of “Cactus Flower” and “The First Wives Club” actress Goldie Hawn and her first husband, singer Bill Hudson. Brother Oliver Hudson also acts: His credits include the TV series “Rules of Engagement” and “The Cleaning Lady.”
Wyatt, whose credits include “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Overlord,” is the son of Goldie Hawn and “Escape From New York” star Kurt Russell.
John David Washington
Denzel Washington’s son got into acting after a career in professional football. His films have included Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “Monsters and Men.”
The actor, who plays Spock on “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” is the grandson of Gregory Peck. Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in “How to Kill a Mockingbird,” and also starred in “Roman Holiday,” “Cape Fear,” “The Guns of Navarone” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.”
The renowned “In the Air Tonight” drummer and singer is dad to “Emily in Paris” star Lilly. The former Genesis lead singer acting credits include the lead role in 1988’s “Buster,” and Inspector Good in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.”
O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Who better to play Ice Cube in “Straight Outta Compton” than his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr? The younger Jackson has gone on to appear in “Cocaine Bear,” “Den of Thieves,” and “Long Shot,” while the rap star’s credits include “Boyz n the Hood,” “Barbershop,” and “Friday.”
The actress, who played Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader in “The Batman,” is the daughter of rocker and “Hunger Games” star Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, who starred on “The Cosby Show” and its spinoff, “A Different World,” and in “Angel Heart.”
Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson
Hitchcock scream queen Tippi Hedren of “The Birds” is mom to Melanie Griffith of “Working Girls” and “Body Double” fame. Griffith was married to “Knives Out” and “Miami Vice” star Don Johnson and their daughter Dakota has appeared in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “The Lost Daughter,” “Suspiria” and “Cha Cha Real Smooth.”
The “Scream Queens” star is the daughter of Eric Roberts (who was Oscar-nominated for his role in 1985’s “Runaway Train”), and niece to Julia Roberts. Emma has also appeared in the films “Nerve,” “Holidate” and “Scream 4.”
Her parents crushed the ’80s: Mom Lea Thompson starred in “Back to the Future” while Howard Deutch directed the John Hughes classics “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Zoey has starred in “Set It Up,” “Everybody Wants Some!” and “The Disaster Artist.”
The daughter of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” star Andie MacDowell has appeared in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Nice Guys” and she and her mom shared the screen in the Netflix series “Maid.”
Maya Hawke, Levon Hawke
The children of Oscar-nominated stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman (who met while filming 1997’s “Gattaca”), both began acting recently: Maya played Robin Buckley on “Stranger Things” and also appears in “Do Revenge” and Wes Anderson’s upcoming “Asteroid City”; Levon is in Apple TV+’s “The Crowded Room” series with Tom Holland and Zoe Kravitz’s directorial debut, “P—y Island.”
Jaden and Willow Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s kids have made their parents proud: Jaden acts (including in “The Karate Kid”and with his dad in “After Earth,”) and Willow had an enormous hit with the song “Whip My Hair.” She also does Red Table Talk with her mom and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris.