15 Second-Generation Actresses Who Surpassed Their Famous Mothers

Many children born in famous Hollywood families end up pursuing similar stardom goals. Of course, having a parent like Tom Hanks, for example, will certainly help you move up the acting ladder (yes, we’re looking at you, Colin Hanks).

Even if you don’t share the same famous name as a relative, it’s very likely that your bloodline will help you out in some other way. It’s a well-known fact that Nicolas Cage purposefully changed his name to separate himself from his celebrity uncle and director of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola.

Additionally, due to a falling out with her actor father, Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie had her real surname removed (even though most people are very aware of her celebrity background).

On the other hand, the Baldwin brothers are widely known for their celebrity genes. This is due to their striking family resemblance as well as their shared name and success within the movie industry. Even their political disputes have become notorious, with Alec Baldwin being a democrat and Daniel Baldwin being a Trump supporter. Their family fame doesn’t stop there, because Alec and Stephen Baldwin’s daughters are both high-in-demand models.

Now it’s time to look at some very accomplished actresses who even managed to out-fame their celebrity moms.

With that said, here are the 15 Second-Generation Actresses Who Surpassed Their Famous Mothers.

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15 Ashley Judd

You might know Ashley Judd because of her on-going activism to abolish harassment in the work place, most prominently within the movie industry.

Having made misconduct allegations against big time producer Harvey Weinstein, she now gives talks regarding her own experiences as a female actress and frequently uses social media and other outlets to voice her opinion on the treatment of women.

Though Judd’s acting stardom came from partaking in major '90s movies like A Time to Kill and Kiss the Girls, she was always destined for great things.

Her mother, Naomi Judd, is a Grammy winning country singer, who performs alongside her daughter Winona (Ashley Judd’s sister) in the singing duo aptly named The Judds. Naomi is also an activist so it’s obvious where Ashley gets her inspiration from.

14 Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis quickly became horror’s sweetheart when she first starred in John Carpenter’s Halloween at the age of nineteen. She later went on to star in various comedies and popular TV shows, including Freaky Friday, Scream Queens, and New Girl.

Thankfully, the actress will be returning to her horror roots once more as she is currently filming the new Halloween movie, this time written, but not directed, by John Carpenter. In it, she will be confronting her evil brother Michael Myers for a final battle. Horror fans cannot contain their excitement.

However, what some don’t know is that the horror actress is the daughter of Janet Leigh.

Leigh was an incredibly famous actress during the late '40s up until the '60s when she secured her own infamous horror role as Marion Crane in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

13 Laura Dern

Laura Dern has been acting for years, and in each of her movies, she very rarely fails to give an outstanding performance. Her acting catalogue is impressive to say the least, with roles in everything from actions movies such as Jurassic Park, to more serious flicks like I Am Sam. More recently she gained some amazing reviews for her performance in the well-received HBO show Big Little Lies.

Laura Dern was born is 1967 to actor parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. Both of her parents also have an extensive list of acting awards and nominations.

In 2014, Bruce was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Nebraska and Diane won a BAFTA in 1974 for her supporting role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. There’s no doubt that Laura Dern is living up to her family’s reputation.

12 Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones first found fame in the hit comedy show Parks and Recreation in which she played the level-headed doctor, Ann Perkins. She currently has a fairly long list of films lined up to be released later this year, including a movie adaptation of Jack London’s infamous book, White Fang.

While Jones’s father is none other than one of the most famous music producers of all time, Quincy Jones, her mother, Peggy Lipton, is also well-known amongst TV and music fanatics alike.

Although she’s starred in some movies, most of her acclaim derives from her roles in the popular shows The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks. She also quit acting for a while after marrying Quincy Jones to focus on their family which is why her fame dwindled a little even after having won numerous awards for The Mod Squad.

11 Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore has been acting since she was four years old. Her big break came at the age of seven, when she starred in Steven Spielberg’s legendary film, E.T. She then went on to become a big name in comedy, starring in films such as Never Been Kissed and The Wedding Singer.

What most people nowadays don’t know is that her mother, Jaid Barrymore, also has a few films up her sleeve, although they are not quite as prominent as her daughter’s.

In fact, Drew’s family tree is heaving with actors on her father John Drew Barrymore’s side. Her father was a famous actor during the '50s up until the '70s, and her grandfather, John Barrymore, started his career in silent movies during the 1910s. Plus, her godfather is none other than Steven Spielberg himself.

10 Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz knows how to pick roles that will get her recognized, and not just as musician Lenny Kravitz’s daughter. After starting her career as an actress in various indie movies, she went on to star in the Divergent franchise before joining an all-star cast in the HBO show Big Little Lies.

While her father is a major celebrity where music’s concerned, her mother, Lisa Bonet, has a recognizable name in the movie and TV business.

However, most of Bonet’s fame stems from her playing Denise Huxtable in the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show and its spinoff A Different World, so her film career isn’t nearly as exemplary as her daughter’s.

You’ll be interested to know that after divorcing Lenny Kravitz, Bonet went on to marry Jason Momoa, who plays Aquaman in the MCU and played Drogo in Game of Thrones.

9 Dakota Johnson

Soft spoken Dakota Johnson has one of the most famous mothers in showbiz, Melanie Griffiths. The mother-daughter duo frequently attend red carpet events together and seem to possess a very close-knit bond.

Melanie Griffiths also did a ton of big movies during the '80s and '90s such as Body Double and Working Girl. Dakota’s grandmother, Tippi Hedren (Melanie’s mother) is also a highly celebrated actress with lead roles in classic Hitchcock films, The Birds and Marnie.

With fame already running in her blood, it’s no surprise that Dakota has gone down the same route as her family’s matriarchy and, let’s not forget, her actor father Don Johnson.

Although Dakota is most famous for playing Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades movie series, she is quickly becoming an acclaimed actress on her own merits.

8 Gwyneth Paltrow

Like Dakota Johnson, Gwyneth Paltrow has the fortune of having two very famous parents. Bruce Paltrow, her father, was a profitable director, producer, and writer, while her mother, Blythe Danner, has been starring in films and TV shows since the late '60s.

It’s fair to say that Gwyneth’s career reached its peak during the mid-'90s up until the late '00s.

In 1998, she starred in Shakespeare in Love, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, and she was also praised for her performances in Emma, The Talented Mr Ripley, and Sylvia.

However, after winning an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, some of her career moves were a little off the mark which led to some bad movie choices.

Nonetheless, Gwyneth is still one of the most sought-after actresses, but she now prefers to dedicate the majority of her time to her lifestyle company Goop.

7 Carrie Fisher

It’s hard to say who is more famous: Carrie Fisher or her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Of course, Debbie Reynolds appeared in countless films since her first movie, The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady, in 1948.

As the years went by, Reynolds never stopped acting and continued to take part in movies until her death in 2016. She also gained favour with critics for her performance in musical Singin’ in the Rain and was cast in the comedy sitcom Will & Grace.

Although Carrie wasn’t revered for her acting in the same way that her mother was, her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars made her one of the most famous faces in the world.

Reynolds passed away due to a stroke just two days after her daughter died from a cardiac arrest. Carrie’s death may have partly triggered the stroke, since she had been severely impacted by the news.

6 Liv Tyler

Like Zoe Kravitz, Liv Tyler can also say she is the daughter of a rock star. Strangely, she had no idea Steve Tyler was her biological father until she reached the age of eight.

During an interview, Liv Tyler said that she had put two and two together as a child when she noticed the striking resemblance between herself and his daughter Mia (Liv’s half-sister).

Liv’s mother, Bebe Buell, is also a dedicated musician.

Furthermore, Buell enjoyed a fruitful modelling career during her youth and became notorious for dating high-profile rock-stars, including Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and of course, Steve Tyler.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Liv pursued a career in Hollywood with major roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Armageddon.

5 Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn are often seen together at celeb events and perhaps have one of the most public mother-daughter relationships in the business. The two also share similar careers, with both primarily starring in comedies.

Kate’s breakthrough role as Penny Lane in Almost Famous gave her instant stardom and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. However, after that, Kate mostly starred in light-hearted comedies such as Bride Wars and Mother’s Day.

Similarly, Goldie Hawn has a huge backlog of movie and even bagged herself an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Cactus Flower.

She continued to impress viewers with her wide-eyed humour in films Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club. In 2016, the legendary actress ended her approximately fourteen-year movie hiatus to film Snatched, but it’s unclear whether this was just a one-off.

4 Lily Rose Depp

Although Lily Rose Depp models for big brands like Chanel, she’s also made a name for herself on-screen with Planetarium and French movie The Dancer. Having two actors as your parents can’t hurt.

Her father, Johnny Depp, has been cast as the leading man in films for decades. He went from playing a troubled teen in What’s Eating Gilbert’s Grape to portraying the infamous Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Vanessa Paradis also modelled for Chanel (like her daughter) and continues to act in French movies.

Aside from her acting and modelling, Paradis also boasts a triumphant music career as a singer.

Although Lily is still at the initial stages of her career, her dual nationality as well as her very public image will most likely secure her a permanent spot in both American and French cinema.

3 Angelina Jolie

The feud between Jolie and her actor father Jon Voight is no secret. In 2002, Angelina got her surname officially removed so as to distance herself from him for good.  Recently, however, the two seem to be attempting to make up for lost time.

Jon Voight’s prolific acting career means that most people will have heard of him. His performance as Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy, released in 1969, gave him the recognition he’d been hoping for and he hasn’t stopped since.

What many don’t know is that Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, also dabbled in acting and film making and even went on to win a Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival for her work on Trudell.

Sadly, her mother passed away in 2007 from Ovarian Cancer, which prompted Jolie into having a double mastectomy.

2 Jessica Capshaw

Jessica Capshaw is an incredibly successful TV actress. Although her role as Dr Arizona Robbins in the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy catapulted her to instant stardom, it seems she was destined to be famous since birth.

Her mother, Kate Capshaw, was also a famous actress but hasn’t done any work since her film Due East in 2002.

Nevertheless, her role as Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom won’t be forgotten about any time soon.

Another thing that makes her a recognizable face in Hollywood is her notorious marriage to director Steven Spielberg, who she initially met whilst filming the Indiana Jones sequel.

However, being on one of the longest running TV shows ever created has made Jessica Capshaw ever so slightly more famous than her mother.

1 Mariska Hargitay

Believe it or not, but Mariska Hargitay has been starring in the NBC TV series Law Order since it was first shown in 1999. Now that’s a long time ago.

This long-standing role has landed her with multiple award wins, including a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Drama Series (2005) and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2006), and her nominations are too many to even mention.

While both her parents were actors, her mother, Jayne Mansfield, gained the most stardom of the two. Perhaps it was her larger than life presence on screen, with many regarding her as a symbol during the '50s and' 60s.

Unfortunately, she also had to endure the unfair stigmas associated with the types of characters that she played and was offered very few serious roles.



Can you think of any other actresses who have surpassed their famous mothers? Let us know in the comment section!

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