The road to fame and fortune is often a lonely one, but some Hollywood celebrities have the luxury of relying on personal connections to make it in the industry. A number of stars come from generations of family actors, and have combined luck and talent to attain the position that they’re at today.
Check out our list of the top 10 Famous Hollywood Family Dynasties.
Family Name: Cyrus / Parton
Notable Works: “9 to 5” movie, Achy Breaky Heart, “Hannah Montana”
Famous Members: Billy Ray Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus
Though she made her name as Hannah Montana in her young teenage years, Miley Cyrus was basically born into the entertainment industry. With her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, being an American country singer / songwriter famous for his biggest hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” Miley clearly inherited his flair for performance. However, the family’s celebrity history goes back one more generation to Miley’s godmother Dolly Parton, who was a prominent country singer, actress and author over several decades. She is best remembered for her many guest appearances on Hannah Montana, as well as her popular 1980 movie “9 to 5.”
Family Name: Vanderbilt
Notable Works: CNN, Channel One News, ABC News
Famous Members: Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt
Anderson Cooper hails from one of America’s richest family dynasties, the Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilts were collectively worth hundreds of millions after building prominent mansions and railroads throughout the early 1900s. From this family came Gloria Vanderbilt, who achieved her own fame and fortune after becoming an actress and fashion designer. Industry insiders often predicted her son Anderson would land a a job in the industry with all of the Vanderbilt’s family ties. He ultimately did, after seriously considering working for the CIA, with which the family also allegedly had ties with.
Family Name: Barrymore
Notable Works: Scream, Charlie’s Angels, Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight
Famous Members: Drew Barrymore, John Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and many more.
If you didn’t know that Drew Barrymore was practically born into Hollywood, well now you do. She’s from a tremendously long line of famous Hollywood actors – her father, grandfather, great-grandfather… the list goes on for 7 generations! The Barrymores are also the inspiration of a Broadway and West End play called The Royal Family.
Family Name: Voight
Notable Works: Ray Donovan, Mission: Impossible, The Man Who Loved Women, Salt, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Original Sin
Famous Members: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Marcheline Bertrand, James Haven
Global star Angelina Jolie and brother James Haven come from a famous albeit tumultuous family of Hollywood insiders that include Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Voight, an actor regarded as an industry veteran, and Marcheline, an actor and producer, are known for their highly estranged relationship with their children, to the point that Angelina Jolie successfully petitioned to have her legal last name changed from Voight to Jolie. The family did not speak for six-and-a-half years but began rebuilding their relationship in the wake of Bertrand’s death from ovarian cancer, which lead to a public reconciliation between Voight and Jolie.
Family Name: Smiths
Notable Works: The Pursuit of Happiness, The Karate Kid, I Am Legend
Famous people: Will Smith, Jada Pinkett, Jaden and Willow Smith
The Smith family is one of the most well known and active Hollywood families today. The family is best known for patriarch Will Smith’s A-list career that spans music, film, and television, which include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as well as “Hitch” and “Independence Day”. His wife Jada Pinkett has also carved out her own name with roles in “The Matrix” and a voice role in “Madagascar”, while their children Jaden and Willow Smith have branched out with their own careers in acting and music.
Family Name: Thicke
Notable Works: Blurred Lines, “Growing Pains”
Famous Members: Alan and Robin Thicke
Alan Thicke made his name on the American brown screen by playing the father of “Growing Pains,” a popular show that aired in the 1980’s. It wasn’t long before his son Robin followed in his father’s footsteps in Hollywood by launching his own singing / acting career. The younger Thicke is best known for his one-hit-wonder “Blurred Lines”, which caused great legal dispute due to its controversial lyrics and copyright infringement allegations on one of Marvin Gaye’s songs.
Family Name: Aniston
Notable Works: Friends, We’re the Millers, The Ice House, Days of Our Lives
Famous Members: Jennifer Aniston, John Aniston, Nancy Dow
Jennifer Aniston was America’s sweetheart of the 90’s thanks to her iconic role as Rachel Green on the hit sitcom “Friends”. But did you know that her father was a soap opera star and her mother was also an actress? John Aniston is best known for playing Victor Kiriakis on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives, while her mother Nancy Dow appeared in two 1960s TV series, The Wild Wild West and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Family Name: Sheen
Notable Works: Two and a Half Men, The West Wing, The Breakfast Club
Famous Members: Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez
The Sheen family’s foray into Hollywood began with patriarch Martin Sheen’s successful career that saw him starring in a number of hits such as The West Wing, Apocalypse Now, and even The Amazing Spider-Man. His sons Emilio Estevez, famous for his roles in the Breakfast Club and Repo Man, and Charlie of Two and a Half Men have continued the family tradition of success in acting. Of the three Sheens, Charlie is arguably the most successful and perhaps controversial, with his net worth of $150 million dwarfing his brother’s $15 million, and his father’s $50 million.
Family Name: Roberts
Notable Works: “Pretty Woman,” “We’re The Millers,” “The Dark Knight”
Famous Members: Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts, Eric Roberts
One could say Julia Roberts and her brother Eric Roberts got to live out their parents’ dream. Betty Lou and Walter Roberts were actors and playwrights who never ‘made it’ in the industry. However, Julia and Eric’s careers took off in style, with Julia starring in hit films like “Pretty Woman” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, while Eric is best known for his role in “The Dark Knight.” Eric has continued the acting bloodline through his daughter Emma Roberts, who has emerged as one of the top new faces in Hollywood in the past few years.
Family Name: Stiller
Notable Works: “Night At The Museum,” “Sex In The City,” “Seinfeld”
Famous Members: Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara
The Stillers are a Hollywood family that have huge contributions to the acting world, staring with Jerry Stiller of the top sitcom “Seinfeld.” His wife Anne Meara is also an actor, well-known for her role in the hit TV series “Sex In The City.” Their son Ben Stiller has carved out a very successful career after dropping out of UCLA by starring in a string of hits that include “Night At The Museum” and “Meet the Parents”. It seems Ben is also on his way to build a Hollywood family, as he went on to marry “Arrested Development” star Christine Taylor.