For many of the biggest names in movies, television, and music, talent runs through their veins. Not only have many of these celebrities followed a family member down their career path, but more than a few of them even bear an uncanny resemblance to their forebears. Here are 25 stars who keep forging the road their famous grandparent started.
During his time, Gregory Peck was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. The famous film star was nominated for an Oscar four times before finally winning for playing the role of Atticus Finch in the seminal 1962 drama, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Peck’s celebrity grandson, Ethan Peck, has since followed in his famous grandfather’s footsteps. Born in 1986, the younger Peck was already acting by age nine in his first role as Tyler in an episode of the 1995 series Charlie Grace. Since then this celebrity grandchild has gone on to act in numerous films and television shows, most recently in the series, Star Trek: Discovery as Lieutenant Spock.
It’s no secret that the Barrymore dynasty has a long history on the big screen. Growing up, John Barrymore disdained acting, but was eventually persuaded by his father to take up the profession, beginning in the theater. A decade later, the stage actor transitioned to silent film. He soon became an icon of the cinema, known by his nickname, the Great Profile.
Acclaimed movie star Drew Barrymore was born into a family already in the spotlight as the granddaughter of a famous grandparent. She became familiar to fans by age seven from her childhood role in the film E.T. She rose to further fame after starring in many films of the 1990’s, including Poison Ivy, Boys on the Side, Mad Love, Scream, Ever After, and The Wedding Singer.
Canadian-born Huston family patriarch Walter began his career on Broadway, and created a dynasty. When talking films became the Hollywood staple, Huston was cast as a leading man. He eventually won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Western film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, directed by his own son, John Huston.
Third in line to take up the family mantle was actress Anjelica Huston, bearing more than a passing resemblance to her grandfather. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in both Enemies: A Love Story and The Grifters. She finally won an Oscar for her role in the 1985 film Prizzi’s Honor, becoming the third generation of Hustons to win an Academy Award.
Famed actress Priscilla Presley met legendary rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley while he and her father were both in the US military, stationed in Germany. After her divorce from the hip-shaking guitarist in 1973, Priscilla Presley would eventually turn the Presley Graceland estate into a famous tourist attraction. The sharp businesswoman then pursued her own acting dreams, debuting in the 1983 TV film Love Is Forever.
Growing up, Priscilla Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough often spent time between the Graceland estate and Neverland Ranch where, in an interview with the Guardian, she said she would ride llamas with the one and only Michael Jackson. As an adult, Keough would work closely with one of the pioneers of independent cinema, director Steven Soderbergh, with roles in Magic Mike, Logan Lucky, and The Girlfriend Experience.
Henry Fonda was a World War II veteran who became an extraordinarily well-regarded actor, known for his roles in The Grapes of Wrath and 12 Angry Men. He earned an Oscar at the end of his life for his role in the wistful 1982 film On Golden Pond. His legacy continues through his family dynasty of actors: children Jane and the late Peter Fonda, as well as grandkids Troy Garity and Bridget Fonda.
Bridget Fonda made an uncredited film debut in 1969’s cult classic Easy Rider, at the age of five. Like her aunt Jane, dad Peter, and famous grandparent Henry, Bridget Fonda seemed destined for the limelight from the get-go. She is better known for her roles in numerous 90’s films, including The Godfather Part III, Single White Female, Singles, and Jackie Brown.
NEXT: This celebrity grandparent and grandchild both starred in some of the biggest movies and television shows of their day!
Charlie Chaplin was born in 1889, in Victorian England. First acting as a child, and his lifelong, 75 year career, involved numerous acclaimed works, many of which were written, directed, and starred in by the man himself. His work as the Little Tramp in 1925’s The Gold Rush, and as the titular bully in 1940’s The Great Dictator, launched him into film legend status.
Oona Castilla Chaplin was named after her maternal grandmother, Oona O’Neill. The elder Oona was the fourth and last wife of Charlie Chaplin, as well as the daughter of Nobel Laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill. One of granddaughter Oona’s first roles, at age 15, was impersonating her own grandfather in an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She went on to act in shows ranging from Sherlock to Game of Thrones, where she played perhaps her most recognizable role as Talisa Maegyr.
Jack Cassidy was a successful Broadway performer. He even earned a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway musical She Loves Me. The New York native then made a successful leap from the stage on into television. While working in television, he was honored with two Emmy Award nominations for his performances in the 1967 sitcom He & She, and the 1970 film The Andersonville Trial.
Following in the footsteps of her famous grandparent, Katie Cassidy also began her career in television, making her 2003 debut in the cop drama The Division. But her career would take a different direction as she became a Hollywood scream queen in her starring roles in When a Stranger Calls and Black Christmas.
Canadian-born legendary actor Donald Sutherland has a career dating back over half a century, beginning in 1962 with the television series Studio 4. Since then, Sutherland has been nominated for eight Golden Globes and earned a Primetime Emmy. After his nomination for an Academy Award, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph profiled him as one of the best actors who have yet to receive an Oscar.
Donald Sutherland’s granddaughter, Sarah, is best known for her role as Catherine Meyer in the critically acclaimed HBO comedy series, Veep. After the political comedy’s sixth season, a big nod was given to Sarah Sutherland’s performance when she was awarded with a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world, Tex Ritter’s career encompassed a wide range of media: radio, Broadway, television, and film. His greatest historical achievement was being one of country music’s earliest pioneers. Tex’s music was regularly seen on the Billboard top 10 and one of his songs, “High Noon,” was even awarded an Oscar.
Unlike his famous grandparent, Jason Ritter skipped music and went straight in to acting. He is best known for his role as Kevin Girardi in the television series Joan of Arcadia, along with his work in The Class, The Event, and as the voice of Dipper Pines in Gravity Falls.
Loretta Lynn is the undisputed godmother of modern country music, with hits like “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “One’s On The Way,” and the song that generated an Oscar-winning biopic, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. Lynn’s prolific career has spanned almost 60 years and is decked with awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, Tayla, inherited her deep passion for music, forging her own career as a country musician. In her bio she writes, “I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t in the wings in some town somewhere, watchin’ my Memaw [Loretta Lynn] and my Daddy on stage.” In the conclusion of her website bio, Tayla Lynn couldn’t help but add, “I started singing as soon as I opened my mouth.”
NEXT: Having this next guy as a grandfather must have been a hoot!
From the moment this titan of physical comedy entered Hollywood, sitcoms would never be the same. Orson Welles dubbed him “The Great One” due to his taste for the finer things in life and his ability to dominate a room. Gleason was known for his classic role on The Honeymooners, as well as his own show, The Jackie Gleason Show.
Jason Patric is a third-generation actor, following his famous grandparent Jackie Gleason, and his father Jason Miller. Patric made his television debut in the TV-movie, Toughlove, which was released in 1985. He is better known for roles in The Lost Boys, Rush, American Legend, and Speed 2: Cruise Control.
Before appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense-thriller The Birds, and later Marnie in 1964, Tippie Hedren had been a successful fashion model who did television commercial work before Hitchcock discovered her. The Hollywood star starred next to Charlie Chaplin in his final film, A Countess from Hong Kong. She has continued to make waves as an animal rights activist.
At age 10, Dakota Johnson made her film debut in 1999’s Crazy in Alabama. Her father is Miami Vice legend Don Johnson, and her mother is Tippi Hedren’s daughter, Golden Globe-winner and Oscar-nominee Melanie Griffith. In spite of her family’s silver screen history, Johnson was told by her parents that she had to finish high school before going on to star in movies. Her patience paid off, and at age 26, she landed her first starring role in the infamous 50 Shades of Grey.
Debbie Reynolds was a woman of many talents. First discovered in 1948 by Warner Bros and MGM, both studios wanted her so badly that two of the studio executives ended up flipping a coin to decide who would offer her the contract. Savvy woman as she was, Reynolds started at Warner Bros, and moved to MGM once her initial contract ended. Reynolds shone in The Unsinkable Molly Brown and playing Grace’s mother Bobbi on Will & Grace.
Billie Lourd has made waves in the television series Scream Queens and as Lieutenant Connix in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Not only does she have a famous grandparent, but also a famous mother, who she appeared next to in several of her Star Wars scenes. She was none other than the one and only Carrie Fisher, known to Star Wars fans as Princess Leia.
Roxie Roker is best known for portraying Helen Willis on the popular show The Jeffersons, which ran from 1975-1985. Before then, she was a successful stage actress who was nominated for a Tony Award for her role of Mattie Williams in The River Nile. Roker was a woman of many talents. Beyond acting, she was also a news anchor on WNEW-TV in New York.
Roxie Roker’s son Lenny Kravitz is popularly known for his string of rock and R&B hits, but it was his daughter Zoë Kravitz that followed her famous grandparent’s footsteps on the big screen. Kravitz’s debut came in 2011 in the film X-Men: First Class. Her next big roles included The Lego Batman Movie, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the HBO drama Big Little Lies.
One of the first “scream queens” in Hollywood thanks to her numerous appearances in horror films, Anne Gwynne was an acclaimed actress of the World War II era. In addition to her many screen appearances (which were often accompanied by her blood-curling scream), Gwynne also made history by appearing as Pat Kelly in Public Prosecutor, TV’s first-ever filmed series.
Anne Gwynne’s grandson, Chris Pine, made his feature debut in the 2004 film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, playing the role of Lord Deveareaux. Unlike his grandmother who was drawn to horror, Pine is best known for playing the sci-fi character, Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek reboot franchise.
NEXT: There’s no way you haven’t heard of this Hollywood dynasty.
In spite of a difficult childhood, acting giant John Carradine made his film debut at the age of 24 in the 1930 film Bright Lights. From there, he began taking leading roles in horror films, as well as Westerns like The Grapes of Wrath and Stagecoach, starring alongside actors such as Henry Fonda and John Wayne.
John Carradine’s five sons all became actors. His granddaughter, Ever Carradine, is among the third generation of Carradines following in his footsteps. After graduating from Lewis & Clark in 1996, she made her film and television debut the same year. She is best known for her work in Once and Again and Commander in Chief. Since 2017, she has been acting in The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways.
Bob Elliott was an actor forming half of the Bob and Ray comedy duo. After his service in Northern Europe during World War II, Elliott appeared in various programs with comedy partner Ray Goulding. In addition to syndicating radio from the late 40’s until 1990, Bob Elliott also appeared on various television programs ranging from The David Steinberg Show to Saturday Night Live.
Comedy seems to run in the family for this famous grandparent and grandchild duo. Abby Elliott finished stints with The Groundlings and the Los Angeles Upright Citizens Brigade before becoming a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live. She has appeared in numerous television shows since, and in 2011 made her film debut in the role of Joy in No Strings Attached.
One of the most famous and successful musicians in modern history, teenage Paul McCartney began his musical career as a member of what was called The Quarrymen in 1957. Three years later, the group changed its name to The Beatles and, after major success in the United States, became the highest selling band in history. McCartney’s honors now include two inductions in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 18 Grammys, and a knighthood.
With his birth in London in 1999, Arthur Donald made this former Beatle a grandfather. He seems to have inherited his grandfather’s brains, as he became an Ivy League scholar following his Yale acceptance. Now 20 years old, he’s at the same age that his famous grandparent was when he started recording The Beatles’ debut album Please Please Me.
Audrey Hepburn is one of the most recognizable names and faces of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Following a difficult childhood in World War II-era Netherlands, she made an incredible splash on screen on both sides of the Atlantic. Most famous for Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady, the celebrated movie star is also one of fifteen people who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony.
Audrey’s granddaughter Emma Kathleen Ferrer was born in May 1994 in Switzerland. After studying at the Florence Academy of Art, she went in to modeling, appearing on the covers of magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. She has continued the work of her grandmother by being involved in UNICEF, appearing at many events hosted by the organization.
Robert F. Kennedy served as the 64th United States Attorney General under his brother, President John F. Kennedy. After his brother’s death, Robert Kennedy served as a U.S. Senator from New York and ran as a presidential candidate before he too, was assassinated in 1968. Today, he is remembered by many historians as an early advocate for civil rights and an icon of modern American liberalism.
Bobby’s grandson Conor Kennedy has gravitated less towards politics, the passion of his famous grandparent, instead focusing on music and writing. In 2012, Conor made tabloid headlines during his relationship with Taylor Swift. Currently he runs his own music label. Conor’s most recent record is called Live in Utopia, Somewhere.
NEXT: These next two are practically royals in their own realm.
Lifelong actor Cyril Cusack has a career that spanned 75 years, most of the 20th century. At age eight he made his debut in the 1918 film Knocknagow. Due to his fluency in both English and Irish Gaelic, this notable thespian often appeared in controversial Irish films portraying members of the IRA fighting for Irish independence.
Much like his grandfather, and his father, monolithic film and stage actor Jeremy Irons, Max Irons jumped headfirst into the film industry. Barely out of high school, in 2004 he made his debut in Being Julia. His first leading role came far later, in 2017, when Max played the role of Yuri in the romantic-drama film set in the Soviet Union, Bitter Harvest.
According to Le Monde, Alain Delon was Europe’s most successful actor of his time, achieving fame and prominence as a heartthrob with his numerous French films from the 1960’s. In 1965 he tried transitioning to Hollywood with his 1965 role in The Yellow Rolls-Royce. As Hollywood proved more difficult than the French superstar was expecting, for the majority of his career he continued to star in, and later produce, French-language films.
Taking her mother’s maiden name, Alyson Le Borges is the daughter of Alain Delon’s son Anthony Delon, also in actor. She is known for her roles in the 2001 World War II film, L’île bleue, and the 2016 film, Neon Angel. In addition to acting, Le Borges is also a model, appearing on magazine covers in France and Italy.
Originally from a Greek family hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Elia Kazan moved to the United States in 1913, at age four. He later attended Williams College and the Yale School of Drama. While he did act professionally after graduation, he is best known as a director for some of the greatest films of his era: A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden.
Zoe Kazan also graduated from her famous grandparent’s alma mater, Yale, before going on to act. The younger Kazan made her debut in the 2003 film, Swordswallowers and Thin Men. Her 2014 appearance in the HBO miniseries, Olive Kitteridge, garnered her an Emmy nomination.
Born in 1926 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Burke made his way out to California to follow his dream of professional acting. After training at the Pasadena Playhouse, Burke landed his first movie role at age 25 in the movie, Golden Girl. Nine years later, Burke finally gained a lead role on the television series Naked City, a role that would earn him an Emmy.
Following Burke’s success, the family stayed in California, which is where granddaughter Alia Shawkat was born in 1989. Ten years later, the actress was already starring in film and television roles. Her big break came in 2003 with her role as Maeby Funke in the critically acclaimed and perpetually quirky show, Arrested Development.
Richard Davalos had a strong start to his career with the critically-acclaimed Elia Kazan film East of Eden in 1955. From there, Davalos’ career spanned numerous noteworthy films and television series, including Cool Hand Luke, I Died a Thousand Times, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the popular Western show, Bonanza.
Granddaughter to Richard Davalos is Alexa Davalos, who began her Hollywood career as Gwen Raiden in the fourth season of the television series Angel. Her career was further propelled thanks to such films as The Chronicles of Riddick, Feast of Love, Defiance, and Clash of the Titans. As of 2015, the famous actress has starred in the Amazon drama The Man in the High Castle.
One of the most popular actresses of the Hollywood Golden Age, Elizabeth Taylor was known for living a lavish lifestyle, traveling the world and partying at exclusive soirees for international socialites. The respected actress’ lifestyle was paid for by her numerous leading film roles including a then-record-breaking $1 million dollars for her title role in Cleopatra.
Taylor’s grandson, Quinn Tivey, may not have become the title lead like his famous grandparent, but he seems to have inherited both her artistic talent and desire to help humanity. Tivey joined the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS foundation as an Ambassador, one of the oldest AIDS charities, and is traveling the world, photographing people affected by the terrible disease.
The man known for being “The King of Cool” was one of the most recognizable actors of the 1960s counterculture movement. Steve McQueen’s most popular films include The Sand Pebbles, which earned him an Oscar nomination, along with The Cincinnati Kid, The Getaway, and Papillon. By 1974 McQueen had become the highest paid movie star in the world.
Steven R. McQueen may not have been quite as sensational as his grandfather, but the famous grandson has made more than one memorable appearance on screen. His most notable works include Piranha 3D, The Vampire Diaries, and Chicago Fire. Additionally, the younger McQueen has dabbled in modeling, probably trying to keep his grandfather’s “cool” alive.
Is there anything more synonymous with old western movies than the name John Wayne? Wayne is known for much more than his acting roles however, he’s a doggone American cultural icon, celebrated for his on-screen portrayals of the old-school American values and idealism. A year after his death, President Jimmy Carter found Wayne worthy enough to honor him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
So how could one follow in such legendary footsteps? Well Brendan Wayne doesn’t seem quite so interested in that. His now 20 year marriage to his wife seems to be a happy one, and although he hasn’t starred in the same blockbuster-esque films as his famous grandparent, he is known for being one of the few actors to perform his own stunts on screen.
Ernest Hemingway is most popularly known for writing such classics like A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. The man whose works are considered to be staples of American literature also led an adventurous lifestyle, fighting on the Italian front in World War I and working as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, the Normandy landings, and the liberation of Paris.
Dree Hemingway has also found success in art, although modeling and acting seems to be her preferred work. She rose to fame in the 2012 film Starlet, since then she has worked for some of the biggest names in fashion. Like her famous grandparent, Dree also seems to be drawn to world travel, working all over the world.
A former fighter pilot and flying ace of the Second World War, Roald Dahl became famous for his many publications, many of which have since been made into movies. They include noteworthy titles like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and Fantastic Mr. Fox to name only a few. He is considered to be one of the greatest writers in British history.
Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, Sophie, has seemingly inherited her grandfather’s talent for writing. Her first novel, The Man with the Dancing Eyes, was published when she was only 26 years old. In addition to writing, Sophie Dahl has been modeling since age 20 for companies like Versace and DKNY.
Errol Flynn was the face of the dashing swashbuckling fighter during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and after one look at him it might be clear as to why that is. Flynn is best known for the lead roll of Robin Hood in the 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood. It is believed that the expression “in like Flynn,” or being able to casually seduce women, originated from this dashing movie star.
It seems like acting is definitely genetic for this family. Sean Flynn, grandson to the famous Errol Flynn, began acting at age seven in commercials and film. By age 14 he had become the lead to the Nickelodeon series, Zoey 101. Recently he portrayed his legendary grandfather in the film The Last of Robin Hood.
By age 26 Grace Kelly had already accomplished what most would require several lifetimes to achieve. Kelly began acting at age 20, and for the next six years starred in over 40 theatrical productions and renowned films such as Mogambo, Dial M for Murder, High Noon, and Rear Window. After her marriage to Prince Rainier III, she had to give up acting in order to carry out her duties as Princess of Monaco.
Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi is currently eleventh in line to her grandmother’s throne but has lived her life outside of the royal family’s influence. Her many activities include modeling, philanthropy, journalism, and recently, working as a producer on the 2020 film, Our Lady of the Nile.
Known for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather, Marlon Brando has been considered by the American Film Institute and Time magazine as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. In addition to his acting, Brando made a name for himself for being a prominent activist during the civil rights and Native American movements.
Tuki Brando is less well known, but arguably carries his grandfather’s magnetism in front of the camera, which he has displayed during his modeling career. When asked if he plans to move towards acting, the younger Brando declined saying that he would be constantly compared to his grandfather who he would never be as good as. Instead, this noteworthy grandchild decided to study medicine in France.
Bob Dylan has been a fixture in pop culture since he first became popular with his 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Since then, his songs became anthems for the profound movements of the 1960’s such as civil rights and anti-war. Dylan’s accomplishments include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and more recently, a 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
To have Dylan’s grandson, Pablo, describe Bob Dylan, “I consider him the Jay-Z of his time, I love him to death.” Born in 1995, Pablo Dylan is one of the few in his family to follow his grandfather’s footsteps in the music industry, only choosing to focus on rap instead of rock.
Berry Gordy is best known as the founder of Motown, a record label company responsible for writing “I Want You Back” and “ABC” for The Jackson 5 along with launching the careers of the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Stevie Wonder. For decades Motown was the highest earning African American business thanks to Gordy’s leadership and, in recognition of his work, Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sky Blu was born Skyler Austen Gordy, but generally goes by his stylized stage name 8ky 6lu. Like his renowned grandfather, Sky Blu also made waves in the music industry as half of the musical duo LMFAO. The group’s success made them popular globally, and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” peaked at number one in over ten countries.
Sources: The Los Angeles Times, IMDB, The Guardian