16 Actors Who Completely Overshadow Their Famous Parents

People say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Hollywood is no exception. While fame is not necessarily inherited, having famous parents certainly helps actors make a name for themselves.

Nepotism is fairly common in the entertainment industry. It’s a hard industry to break into without connections. Actors with famous parents have good genes, as well as a good source of networking from the moment they are born.

Actors with famous family members grow up with a leg up on all of their competition. Hard work and talent certainly play a part, but there’s no doubt that having famous family is beneficial. Of course, growing up in the spotlight has it’s downsides. It’s hard to live with people constantly intruding on your personal life. The perks, however, make it hard for people to see the downside.

Many of these children end up exceeding their parent’s fame. Some of these parents have even become more well-known simply for having a famous child, while others have been completely forgotten as the spotlight moved away from them and instead focused on their child. Parents typically want to see their children succeed, and these children have certainly found success. 

Here are the 16 Actors Who Completely Overshadow Their Famous Parents.

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16 Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus Guardians of the Galaxy Character

While Miley Cyrus now dominates the radio stations, she started out acting on Disney Channel as well as in multiple movies. Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus are one of the most famous father-daughter duos in the entertainment industry. They’ve performed emotional duets together and were co-stars on Hannah Montana.

Before their Disney days, Billy Ray was a famous country singer. His mullet and his achy-breaky heart were in the spotlight. He was even on a television show called Doc. After Miley became Hannah, everything changed. Miley’s acting skills, hit songs, and crazy publicity stunts made her the center of attention in the Cyrus family.

While Billy Ray dropped a new album in 2016, it has been overshadowed by Miley’s announcement that she’s done with her crazy antics. With her new music, not many people focused on her father’s career unless it relates to his daughter.

15 Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston in Office Christmas Party

Jennifer Aniston’s Friends character Rachel Green was obsessed with Days of Our Lives, which is funny considering her real-life father has starred on the soap opera for years.

John Aniston has played the character Victor Kiriakis since 1985. He’s also had small roles in Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, and Star Trek: Voyager. While he’s even been nominated for an Emmy, his career isn’t nearly as recognized as his daughter’s.

Jennifer isn’t just known for her roles on Friends. She has appeared in countless comedies, including Bruce Almighty, Horrible Bosses, and We’re The Millers. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is one of the highest paid actresses in the industry. The actress has an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

14 Gwenyth Paltrow

Iron Man 2 - Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

Gwyneth Paltrow has been famous since her early film work in the 1990s. Her first, widely recognized performance was in Shakespeare in Love, for which she won an Academy Award.

Before Gwyneth was born, her mother rose to fame as an actress. Blythe Danner has two Emmy’s and and a Tony. She’s known for the film Meet The Parents and it’s sequel, Meet The Fockers. Gwyneth's father, Bruce Paltrow, was a famous television and film director. To top it all off, Gwyneth's brother Jake is a screenwriter.

Despite the fame that runs through all of their blood, Gwyneth overshadows the rest of her family members. Most people are familiar with her work from her time on Glee and as Pepper Potts in the Avengers films.

13 Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz in Dope Will Be Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts 2

Zoe Kravitz has been dominating both movie theaters and television screens. She appeared in Mad Max: Fury Road, the Divergent series, and more recently, HBO’s Big Little Lies.

Her acting career has started to overshadow her father’s career. Lenny Kravitz is a musician known for his Hendrix-like style. He’s also dipped his toes in the acting world. He played Cinna in The Hunger Games trilogy and has worked on some other films. Zoe’s mother, Lisa Bonet, is also an actress, best known for her role on The Cosby Show.

Zoe, however, is the now the better known Kravitz. Not only is she a talented actress, she’s absolutely gorgeous and rocks out with her band LOLAWOLF. There’s almost nothing the actress, singer, and model can’t do.

12 Angelina Jolie

Many people aren’t aware that Jon Voight is Angelina Jolie’s father. They have a complicated and sometimes difficult relationship. He wasn’t even invited to her wedding with Brad Pitt. They've been estranged for most of Jolie’s life.

Jolie doesn’t like to discuss Voight publicly. That doesn’t make it hard for Jolie to overshadow her father, though. Although he’s won an Academy Award and four Golden Globes, she’s more famous to the general public. Everyone knows her name. She has won an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, and has been named Hollywood’s highest paid actress multiple times by Forbes Magazine.

Not only does she have an impressive film career, she’s also noted for her humanitarian work. Jolie has become far more relevant than her father and has surpassed his fame and fortune.

11 Lily Collins

Actress Lily Collins is known for her performances in The Mortal Instruments, Mirror Mirror and The Blind Side. While this generation is familiar with Lily’s work, her father has been a famous musician for decades. They’ve had a rocky relationship, but have worked to mend it in recent years.

Phil Collins was a musical superstar in the 1980s. He played with a band called Genesis and has a successful solo career. He’s had eight studio albums and is one of the world’s best selling artists. Even with all of that fame, his daughter has become more relevant in the present day.

Phil is pretty much out of the spotlight these days, leaving plenty of room for his daughter to step in. She recently starred in the Netflix original films To The Bone and Okja.

10 Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller in Brad's Status

Ben Stiller has been making audiences laugh for years with films like Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. Not only is he a talented actor, but he’s also a writer, director, and producer. With his award-winning career, it’s easy to forget his parents are famous.

Ben’s parents are actors and comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.  In the 1960’=s, they were each half of a popular comedy duo. Unfortunately, Anne passed away in 2015, and Jerry is still alive at 90 years old. He even made an appearance in Zoolander 2.

Clearly, their son followed in their famous footsteps. The entire family certainly knows how to make people laugh. While his parents were once in the spotlight, Ben is now the most famous member of the Stiller family.

9 Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli has a long career in both music and movies. She was extremely famous in the 1970s and 1980s. Her most well-known performance is as Sally Bowles in the film Cabaret, for which she received an Academy Award.

According to Fred Astaire, her mother was “the greatest entertainer who ever lived.” Judy Garland is best known as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She both lived and died in the spotlight. Liza’s father, Vincente Minnelli, was a musical director.

Between her two parents, it’s no surprise that she ended up with so much talent. She received an entirely new set of fans after starring in the comedy Arrested Development throughout the 2000s.  While Garland was once an icon, at this point, Liza is more recognizable than her parents.

8 Drew Barrymore

Actress Drew Barrymore doesn’t just have famous parents- she has a famous family. Her grandparents as well as her great-grandparents were actors. Her family’s acting lineage can be traced all the way back to 18th century.

Her father was a film actor as well as his father before him. While Drew’s family has a star-studded past, she holds the spotlight now. Her first major roles was in the film E.T., and since then, she’s impressed audiences with all kinds of roles. From Scream to 50 First Dates, she’s starred in a variety of genres and played lots of different characters.

It seems like she’s made her family proud, continuing their entertainment legacy.  People can check out her acting skills on her recent Netflix show, Santa Clarita Diet.

7 Chris Pine

Not many people realize that Chris Pine’s father is an actor. Robert Pine appeared on the NBC television show CHiPS in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Fans may also recognize him for his small role on The Office. Chris’s mother was also once a famous actress, appearing in several shows in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chris’s career has overshadowed both of his parent’s careers. Any man playing Captain Kirk in Star Trek is going to get a lot of attention. Chris has also starred in popular movies such as Hell or High Water, Into the Woods, and, more recently, Wonder Woman.

While there’s been an ongoing debate of which Chris is the best among Pine, Hemsworth, Pratt, and Evans, it’s pretty clear which member of the Pine family is the most popular.

6 Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones in Parks And Rec

Actress Rashida Jones has not one, but two famous parents. Her father is music icon Quincy Jones. Quincy’s career spans over six decades, and that career includes 79 Grammy nominations, 28 of which he won.

Her mother is Peggy Lipton, who is an actress and model. She is best known for her role in the Mod Squad. Lipton was also on Twin Peaks. While both of her parents have extensive careers in the industry, Rashida is the most recognizable of the three.

Fans of Parks and Recreation adore her character Ann Perkins, a role for which she received critical acclaim. She also played a minor character on The Office and has appeared in multiple films. Currently, fans can catch her on the TBS series Angie Tribeca.

5 Emma Roberts

Many people are aware that actress Emma Roberts is the niece of Julia Roberts, but not many know that her father is also famous.

The Scream Queens star’s father is Eric Roberts. He’s an actor with a career of over forty years. His most notable performance was in the film King of the Gypsies, for which he won a Golden Globe. Emma grew up visiting her aunt on film sets and hearing about her father’s career, so it’s no surprise that she entered the industry herself.

Emma has made a name for herself and has a more well-known acting career than her dad. She first gained attention on her Nickelodeon show Unfabulous. Since then, she has appeared in countless television shows and films including American Horror Story, Nerve, and We’re The Millers.

4 Bryce Dallas Howard

Jurassic World 2: Bryce Dallas Howard Teases Surprising Story Direction

Bryce Dallas Howard is an writer, director, and actress who has grown more popular in recent years. While she’s starred in big films like The Help, her role in Jurassic World has really put her on Hollywood’s radar.

Her father is actor and director Ron Howard, who is currently directing Solo: A Star Wars Story. Although Bryce ended up in the spotlight, her parents didn’t raise her in it. She would visit movie sets, but was kept away from more glamorous events like red carpet premieres.

Bryce has followed in her father’s footsteps and has even mentioned wanting to work with her father on a film one day. For now, she’s the more recognizable member of the Howard family, but if they worked together on a film they would certainly gain a lot of attention.

3 Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen was once famous for his many different films, like Platoon and Major League, as well as his show Two and a Half Men. In recent years, however, he’s become known for his crazy meltdowns and drug abuse.

His father is actor Martin Sheen. He’s appeared in countless films, including Apocalypse Now, Badlands, and The Departed. Martin has multiple awards, including a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his role on West Wing.

While Martin certainly is successful, his son has grown to be the more relevant Sheen in the present day. He had a show called Anger Management a few years ago. However, the actor will forever be remembered as a winning “warlock” with “tiger blood," as he once stated in an interview. That’s hard for a father to compete with.

2 Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard Big Little Lies

Actor Alexander Skarsgard is best known for his role as Eric Northman on the vampire drama True Blood. He also won an Emmy for his performance as Perry on Big Little Lies and starred in The Legend of Tarzan. With all of that attention, it’s easy to overlook his father.

Stellan Skarsgard is also an actor, and has racked up quite the resume. He’s been in the Pirates of the Caribbean films as well as the Avengers franchise. Prior to that, he was in successful films like Goodwill Hunting and The Hunt For Red October.

Alexander’s brothers are also actors. Bill Skarsgard recently played the clown in the It remake and Gustaf Skarsgard is on the series Vikings. While the entire family’s background in the industry is impressive, Alexander seems to receive the most attention in the family.

1 Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher as General Leia in Star Wars The Force Awakens

Carrie Fisher is one of the least surprising members on this list. She and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, recently passed away within a day of each other. They were both famous actresses. Their relationship can be seen in a documentary called Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Debbie landed her breakout role in 1952 with the film Singin’ in the Rain. She was in countless musicals and dazzled audiences with her dancing skills, singing voice, and beauty. She is regarded as one of the most popular audiences of her time.

While Debbie was certainly popular, after Carrie appeared in Star Wars, she took over the spotlight. Everyone is familiar with her iconic character, Princess Leia. Audiences will soon get to see her last on-screen performance as Leia in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

As if starring in one of the most famous franchises of all time wasn’t enough, Carrie was also a successful author and appeared on many television shows. Carrie and Debbie both certainly left their mark on the entertainment world.


Can you think of any other actors or actresses who have cast long shadows over their famous parents? Let us know in the comments!

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