Many children of famous actors choose to pursue careers in the entertainment industry themselves. Whether inspired by their parents’ success or having a genuine passion for acting, these second-generation actors have made their mark in the industry. Here are 20 actors who have followed in their famous parent’s footsteps.
Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn
Kate Hudson’s starring roles in movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and the more recent Glass Onion were preceded by her mother, Goldie Hawn’s roles in movies and television.
Hawn appeared in lots of movies in her day, from The First Wives Club to Death Becomes Her and Cactus Flower. Both mother and daughter are still starring in blockbuster films to this day.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh
Many are familiar with the dramatic, horror, and even comedic roles of Jamie Lee Curtis – perhaps most famous for her role as the final girl in Halloween. But what you might not know is that her mother – Janet Leigh – also had a trailblazing career in Hollywood.
Leigh also starred in horror movies in her day, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 flick Psycho. This means that Curtis followed in her mother’s footsteps in more ways than one.
Lily-Rose Depp and Johnny Depp
Lily-Rose Depp is perhaps one of the most notable actors who has followed in their parent’s footsteps in recent years, mainly due to the claims of nepotism that have loomed over her career.
The young model and actress has appeared in movies such as Tusk and The King in the past decade, following in the footsteps of her father, Johnny Depp of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.
Maude Apatow and Leslie Mann
You may know Maude Apatow from her role as teenager Lexi in HBO’s hit series Euphoria, but before that, she was getting cast in small childhood roles in her father’s movies.
Daughter of major moviemaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, has been a topic of the recent heated conversation surrounding Hollywood nepotism.
Jack Quaid and Dennis Quaid/Meg Ryan
Jack Quaid’s name is not as popular as his father’s in the movie and television world. But nonetheless, he has been paving an acting career of his own in recent years, starring in The Hunger Games and the upcoming Oppenheimer film.
Before his fame, though, he was preceded by the fame of his rom-com star mother Meg Ryan, and popular film acting father, Dennis Quaid.
Zoë Kravitz and Lisa Bonet
Kravitz is not just the daughter of rock star Lenny Kravitz; she is also the daughter of actress Lisa Bonet.
Surprisingly enough, the daughter followed in her mother’s footsteps once again when Zoë Kravitz starred in the Hulu TV series remake of High Fidelity, which was originally a movie released at the turn of the century starring Lisa Bonet.
Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith
Perhaps most famous for her role in the Fifty Shades of Gray franchise, Dakota Johnson was preceded by the fame of her actress mother Melanie Griffith.
The older actress – most famous for her roles in the 1970s and 1980s – gained notoriety in movies like Working Girl, and Roar.
Jaden Smith and Will Smith
Not only has Jaden Smith followed in the acting footsteps of his father, Will Smith, but he has even starred in some of the same movies alongside his father.
Most notably, the duo appeared together – as father and son – in the 2006 drama The Pursuit of Happyness.
Emma Roberts and Eric Roberts
Most people believe that Emma Roberts’ main tie to Hollywood is through her aunt – actress Julia Roberts.
But she actually has roots closer to home via her father – actor Eric Roberts – who has starred in Runaway Train, Inherent Vice, The Dark Knight, and many other films and TV shows.
John David Washington and Denzel Washington
Notably, one of the best actors of our time, Denzel Washington managed to bring a son into the world who is also achieving awards in the industry for his acting.
John David Washington has starred in BlacKkKlansman, Ballers, and Malcolm; Marie alongside Zendaya.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner
Nowadays, she is most famous for her Goop empire. But in the past, Paltrow had a major acting career, starring in movies like Shakespeare in Love and The Royal Tenenbaums.
And before all of that, her own mother – Blythe Danner – was a famous actress as well. Danner is still acting today and has gained more recent fame from movies like Meet the Fockers.
Bill Skarsgård and Stellan Skarsgård
Many members of the Swedish Skarsgård family have found careers in Hollywood. But Bill is perhaps the most famous, known for his role as Pennywise in the modern adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
His father – Stellan Skarsgård – has his own acting career with notable roles in Lars von Trier movies such as Melancholia and Dogville.
Colin Hanks and Tom Hanks
More than one of Tom Hanks’ kids has tried out acting careers, and this includes his son Colin.
Colin Hanks has starred in the Fargo series remake of the movie, A Friend of the Family, Orange County, and various other roles.
Dan Levy and Eugene Levy
This father-son duo have careers that mirror each other, but they also have roles that mirror each other, as they star alongside each other in the TV series Schitt’s Creek.
Before Dan’s acting fame, his father was making waves on SCTV, American Pie, and various Christopher Guest comedies.
Mamie Gummer and Meryl Streep
It’s hard to fill the shoes of a mother like Meryl Streep, but one of the Oscar-winning actress’ daughters has done just that by trying out a career in acting.
Mamie Gummer is known for her roles in Separation, Emily Owens, M.D., Heartburn, and more.
Margaret Qualley and Andie MacDowell
Margaret Qualley made it big by starring in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and she has since starred in The Maid.
But before her time, there was her mother – actress Andie MacDowell, who is known for starring alongside Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Billie Lourd and Carrie Fisher
Known for her eccentric roles in Ryan Murphy TV shows, as well as the blockbuster teen film Booksmart, Billie Lourd has begun an acting career all her own.
But before her, her mother, Carrie Fisher, gained a household name by acting in the Star Wars movies as Princess Leia.
Hannah Einbinder and Laraine Newman
Hannah Einbinder has taken over HBO’s comedy genre in recent years by starring in Hacks.
In her real life, though, she is following in the footsteps of her mother Laraine Newman, who had a 5-year stint as a cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in its early days.
Cooper Hoffman and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman had notable fame for his moving dramatic roles in Paul Thomas Anderson’s movies.
After his untimely death in 2014, though, Hollywood made room for his son Cooper Hoffman to appear on the silver screen. Most recently, the young actor appeared in Anderson’s Licorice Pizza.
Chet Hanks and Tom Hanks
Before Chet Hanks made his way onto movie and TV screens, such as his one-episode role in Donald Glover’s Atlanta, his father was trailblazing Hollywood.
Tom Hanks had an acting career beginning in the 1970s, and he is still taking major blockbuster roles to this day. Although the son isn’t quite as famous as the father, they are paving similar paths.
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