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Celebrity Children Who Were Born to Be Famous

Elisabeth Edwards
Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images

When it comes to making it in Hollywood, it certainly helps to have a connection in the industry. While some people work their way up from waiting tables to attending red carpet premieres, these celebrity kids were born to some of the biggest stars in Tinseltown. Now, these talented offspring are stealing the spotlight from their parents. We guess what they say is true: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Lily Collins

Side by side images of Lily Collins with Phil Collins as a child and later as a teen

Left: Musician Phil Collins with daughter Lily Collins. (Photo Credit: Dave Hogan / Hulton Archive / Getty Images). Right: Actress Lily Collins and musician Phil Collins attend a film premiere, 2009. (Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images)

Lily Collins was born on March 18, 1989, in Surrey, England to singer-songwriter and Genesis frontman Phil Collins and his second wife Jill Tavelman. Lily moved to Los Angeles with her mother following her parents’ split and began acting as young as two years old, but her real passion was for journalism.

Collins attended The University of Southern California where she studied broadcast journalism. She wrote articles for major magazines like Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and the Los Angeles Times. Her acting career was re-ignited following her role in the Acadamy Award-winning film The Blind Side (2008). Today, Lily Collins is known for starring roles in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013),  Love, Rosie (2014), and Netflix’s smash hit series Emily in Paris (2020).

In an interview with Marie Clare, Collins shared what it’s like to grow up with such a famous father: “I get kids who say, ‘Oh, I love your movie, but my mum loves your dad.’ It’s really nice to be able to share that with him, but it doesn’t define who I am career-wise.”

Jack Quaid

Jack Quaid and Dennis Quaid pose together at an event

Actors Jack Quaid and father Dennis Quaid attend a film screening in 2015. (Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images)

Rising star Jack Quaid has made a name for himself as the geeky and loveable Hughie in Amazon’s hit series The Boys (2019) and with a new role in the highly anticipated Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer (2023). Quaid is taking Hollywood by storm.

The son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, Jack says that growing up with famous parents sometimes led to challenges in his own acting career: “There’s a little bit of an attitude that I’ve gotten, especially as I was starting out. Like, I would walk into an audition room and people would just assume I would be a jerk.”

Nicole and Sofia Richie

Side by side images of Lionel Richie with his daughters Nicole and Sofia Richie

Left: Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie and daughter Nicole Richie arrive at a awards show in 2008. (Photo Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images). Right: Sofia Richie and Lionel Richie attend a launch event in 2020. (Photo Credit: Presley Ann / Getty Images for Rolla’s)

Iconic soul and R&B artist Lionel Richie’s daughters Nicole and Sofia Richie had very different upbringings. Nicole was raised as Lionel’s adoptive daughter after her biological parents left her under Lionel’s care. Nicole was raised as Lionel’s own daughter, and he even wrote the hit song “Ballerina Girl” for her.

Nicole Richie rose to fame as hotel heiress Paris Hilton’s best friend and star in the hit reality show The Simple Life. Putting the drama and party life behind her, Richie now owns a successful clothing line, House of Harlow, and has two children with her husband Joel Madden – who is the brother of actress Cameron Diaz’s husband Benji Madden.

Sofia Richie, Nicole’s adoptive sister, was born to Lionel Richie and his second wife Diane Alexander in 1998. Her famous father wasn’t Nicole’s only famous connection – she was also Michael Jackson’s goddaughter!

The model and social media star says that her dad is her biggest inspiration: “My dad, he thinks so out-of-the-box,” Sofia told Dujour magazine. “He’s so weird and he can take my mind places that I probably wouldn’t go to and he opens me up to so many different thoughts. He’s my creative go-to.”

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross embraces her mother Diana Ross at an event

Diana Ross (L) and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / VF19 / WireImage / Getty Images)

Actress, singer, producer, and activist Tracee Ellis Ross is incredibly close to her mother and famed lead singer of the Supremes, Diana Ross. As a teenager, Tracee Ellis Ross attended prestigious schools in Manhattan and Switzerland, modeled in Paris, and was painted by iconic artist Andy Warhol. Graduating from Brown University with a degree in theater, she began to act in small television roles throughout the ’90s before landing her breakthrough role in the CW series Girlfriends (2000).

Ross has also made waves for her role in the hit TV comedy Black-ish (2014). Tracee describes her relationship with her mother as one of the biggest priorities: “I was beyond spoilt with love,” Tracee said. “My mother is a mother first and foremost. She really instilled in all five of her children, family first, care for other people, go after your dreams and never be afraid of authority figures.”

Kiefer Sutherland

Donald Sutherland with son and actor Kiefer Sutherland at a premiere in Toronto, Canada

Actors Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland attend the premiere of Forsaken during the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, 2015. (Photo Credit: Hubert Boesl / Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

Canadian actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland has made a name for himself in the acting industry thanks to his famous father Donald Sutherland. Since his acting debut in 1984, Kiefer has starred in countless classics like Stand by Me (1986), Flatliners (1992), and the 1993 remake of The Three Musketeers. His daughter Sarah Sutherland has also carved out a successful acting career as part of the Sutherland acting dynasty.

Donald Sutherland struggled to get his acting career off the ground until his breakout role as surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in the 1960 M*A*S*H film. Since then, Sutherland has portrayed a range of characters in films including The Dirty Dozen (1967), Animal House (1978), Pride and Prejudice (2005), and The Hunger Games (2012).

Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd

Billie Lourd, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher pose together at an event

Billie Lourd, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher pose during TNT’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2015. (Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images)

The daughter of one of vintage Hollywood’s brightest celebrities, Carrie Fisher was raised by Singin’ in the Rain (1952) star Debbie Reynolds. Fisher rose to fame as the iconic Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise and contributed to her family’s acting dynasty through her own daughter, Scream Queens (2015) actress Billie Lourd.

Following the death of her mother and grandmother, who passed away just one day apart, Lourd struggled to come to terms with her own identity. “I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own,” Billie told Vanity Fair. “I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie.”

Riley Keough

RIley Keough, Elvis Presley's granddaughter, with her mother Lisa Marie Presley

Riley Keough and mother Lisa Marie Presley at an event in 2017. (Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

The granddaughter of the King himself, rising star Riley Keough was raised by Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Keough spent her childhood growing up in Hawaii and Los Angeles with her father and Tennessee with her mother. Keough’s already star-studded life came into the spotlight when her mother married Michael Jackson in 1994.

Since making her feature film debut at the age of 20, the 33-year-old actress and filmmaker has starred in films like Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and indie-flick Under the Silver Lake (2018). Her first major breakthrough role was in the 2016 anthology series The Girlfriend Experience.

In an interview with Esquire, Keough shared how she deals with her tumultuous famous family background; “People always ask, ‘How crazy is it that your grandpa was Elvis and your stepdad was Michael Jackson?’…The reality is I know as much about my grandpa as you’d know about a grandpa you never met. I remember this Disney watch that Michael gave me. I think I sold that for five [dollars].”

Drew Barrymore

Side by side images of actress Drew Barrymore and her father John Drew Barrymore

Left: Drew Barrymore during the premiere of “Ever After”, 1998. (Photo Credit: S. Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images). Right: American actor John Drew Barrymore, father of Drew Barrymore, in the early 1950s. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Actress Drew Barrymore is truly Hollywood royalty. Hailing from the famed Barrymore family of actors, her ancestor Maurice Barrymore immigrated to the United States in 1874 to become an actor. Maurice’s three children all went on to be successful in show business.

Drew’s father John Drew Barrymore began acting in Westerns throughout the 1960s and ’70s. When Drew was born in 1975, she was already considered famous thanks to her godparents Sophia Loren and Steven Spielberg. Drew still experienced plenty of hardships despite her background.

Her father left when she was only six months old, and she struggled to find herself while working tirelessly as a child actor. Barrymore was emancipated from her mother when she was 14 years old, and now the actress and celebrated talk show host shares her infectious and uplifting energy with audiences around the world.

Drew’s upbringing has also influenced how she parents her daughters Olive and Frankie: “I had such an exposed childhood,” Barrymore told Harper’s Bazaar, “I appreciate my journey, but I don’t want that for my kid. Not any of it.”

Mariska Hargitay

Side by side portraits of Mariska Hargitay and her mother Jayne Mansfield

Left: “Law And Order” star Mariska Hargitay at a press conference, 2019. (Photo Credit: Vera Anderson / WireImage / Getty Images). Right: Actress Jayne Mansfield circa 1957. (Photo Credit: 20th Century-Fox / Getty Images)

Tragedy struck Law and Order star Mariska Hargitay at an early age. Her mother, the famous actress Jayne Mansfield, was killed in a fatal car crash when Mariska was just three years old. Raised by her father Mickey Hargitay, Mariska had a normal childhood. As an actor, she has channeled her loss into a positive approach to understanding trauma:

“That’s been kind of my superpower, and the gift of having trauma early in life. I’ve spent the last… 54 years sort of trying to figure out what happened and why, and what am I supposed to do with it?” Hargitay said to Glamour magazine, “My life has been a process of unpeeling the layers and trusting again.”

As the lead character in Law and Order – the longest-running television drama in history – Hargitay has become one of TV’s more celebrated stars.

Hailey Baldwin

Alia Baldwin, Hailey Baldwin, and their father Stephen Baldwin on the red carpet at an event

Alia Baldwin, Hailey Baldwin, and Stephen Baldwin attend an event in 2014. (Photo Credit: Taylor Hill / FilmMagic)

With over 46 million followers on Instagram, model and social media star Hailey Baldwin-Bieber is one of today’s biggest “it” girls. Born in 1996 to film producer, actor, and director Stephen Baldwin – Alec Baldwin’s brother – Hailey is descended from Hollywood royalty. As a model, Baldwin-Bieber has appeared in major luxury fashion campaigns for brands like Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tiffany & Co.

Baldwin married Canadian singer Justin Bieber in 2018. Despite her star-studded family, she describes her upbringing as normal. In an interview with Glamour UK, she discussed her family.

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“I’m lucky that I was raised so normally in a suburban town,” Hailey said. “If I didn’t have that normal childhood before I started doing this, I don’t know—I think things would be different…I don’t see myself as famous, I see myself as a normal person with a job that is not very normal. My work life is very out there and very public. But I do my best to maintain my privacy.”