01/10/2022

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27 Actors Whose First Roles Were Handed To Them By Their Parents

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27 Actors Whose First Roles Were Handed To Them By Their Parents

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It’s no secret that basically half of Hollywood is made up of nepotism babies — aka people whose parents were famous first.

27 Actors Whose First Roles Were Handed To Them By Their Parents

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While a lot of nepotism babies are genuinely talented, there’s no denying the privilege that comes with having a famous family member — especially when they can help you land a role in something they’re directing, producing, or starring in.

Eugene and Dan Levy

Abc / ABC via Getty Images

Here are 27 actors whose first roles were in movies or TV shows their parents directed or starred in:

1.Maude Apatow is the daughter of writer/director Judd Apatow and actor Leslie Mann.

Jude Apatow, Leslie Mann, and Maude Apatow

Emma Mcintyre / WireImage / Via Getty

She made her film debut as Sadie in Knocked Up, which was directed, written, and co-produced by her dad.

Sadie in "Knocked Up"

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Her mom also had a major role in the movie, and her sister Iris cameoed alongside her.

Screen shot from "Knocked Up"

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

2.Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of actor Blythe Danner and director/producer Bruce Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow and her parents

Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

She made her TV debut in the movie High, which her dad wrote, directed, and produced.

Gwyneth Paltrow in "High"

Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

3.Jaden Smith is the son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will, Jaden, and Jada Pinkett Smith

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

In his first acting credit, he played a recurring character named Reggie on All of Us, which was created and executive produced by his parents.

Jaden Smith in "All of Us"

The show was loosely based on Will and Jada’s blended family.

Then, he made his film debut costarring alongside his dad in The Pursuit of Happyness. They played father and son.

Will and Jaden Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

4.Willow Smith is the daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Willow, Jada, and Will Smith

Bennett Raglin / Getty Images for BET

She made her onscreen debut as Marley Neville in I Am Legend, which her dad starred in. They played father and daughter.

Will and Willow Smith in "I Am Legend"

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

5.Blake Lively is the daughter of actor/director Ernie Lively and talent manager Elaine Lively.

Ernie, Blake, and Elaine Lively

Axelle / FilmMagic / Via Getty

In her first role, she played Trixie/Tooth Fairy in the movie Sandman, which her dad directed.

Ernie and Blake Lively

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

6.Miley Cyrus is the daughter of singer/actor Billy Ray Cyrus.

Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus

Joseph Okpako / WireImage / Via Getty

She made her onscreen debut as Kylie on Doc, the medical drama her dad played the lead on.

Miley Cyrus on "Doc"

7.Ben Stiller is the son of comedians/actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

Ben Stiller, Anne Meara, and Jerry Stiller

Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

His first role was a guest spot on Kate McShane, the legal drama his mom starred on.

Ben Stiller and Anne Meara

Tim Boxer / Getty Images

8.John David Washington is the son of actor Denzel Washington and actor/singer Pauletta Washington.

John David, Pauletta, and Denzel Washington

Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic / Via Getty

His earliest role was a cameo in Malcolm X, which his dad starred in.

John David Washington in "Malcolm X"

9.Mamie Gummer is the daughter of actor Meryl Streep.

Mamie Gummer and Meryl Streep

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

For her first role, she played Annie Forman in Heartburn, and her mom played the lead. She was credited as Natalie Stern.

Screen shot from "Heartburn"

Brian Hamill/©Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

10.Grace Gummer is also the daughter of actor Meryl Streep.

Grace Gummer and Meryl Streep

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She first played the younger version of her mom’s lead character in The House of the Spirits. She was credited as Jane Gray.

Screen shot from "House of the Spirits"

Miramax / courtesy Everett Collection

11.Angelina Jolie is the daughter of actor Jon Voight.

Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie

Her first acting role was Tosh Warner in Lookin’ to Get Out, which was written by her dad. He also played the lead role. She played his daughter.

Screen shot from "Lookin' to Get Out"

Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection

She was credited as Angelina Jolie Voight.

12.Ever Anderson is the daughter of director Paul W. S. Anderson and actor Milla Jovovich.

Ever Anderson and her parents

Gisela Schober / Getty Images for amfAR

She made her film debut in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which her dad wrote and directed. She played the younger version of Alicia Marcus — her mom’s starring role.

Ever Anderson in "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter"

13.Wyatt Russell is the son of actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, and Wyatt Russell

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

Nine years after reportedly taking his first steps on the set of his parents’ film Overboard, he made his first onscreen appearance in Escape from L.A., which his dad wrote and starred in.

Kurt and Wyatt Russell

Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

14.Colin Hanks is the son of actor Tom Hanks.

Tom and Colin Hanks

Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage / Via Getty

His first role was Male Page in That Thing You Do!, which his dad wrote, directed, and starred in.

Colin Hanks and Liv Tyler in "That Thing You Do!"

15.Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.

Diane Ladd, Laura Dern, and Bruce Dern

Gregg Deguire / WireImage / Via Getty

Her first role was Sharon Anne in White Lightning. She played the daughter of her mom’s character.

Screen shot from "White Lightning"

16.Natasha Bure is the daughter of actor Candace Cameron Bure.

Candace Cameron Bure and Natasha Bure

Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

She made her onscreen debut on an episode of Make It or Break It, which her mom had a recurring role on.

In her first leading role, Natasha played the daughter/niece of her mom’s twin characters in Switched for Christmas.

Screen shot from "Switched for Christmas"

17.Lily Collins is the daughter of musician/record producer Phil Collins.

Phil and Lily Collins

Todd Williamson / Via Getty

In her very first role, she voiced a baby ape in Tarzan, which her dad composed the soundtrack for.

Lily and Phil Collins

Fotos International / Getty Images

18.Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of director Ron Howard.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Her earliest roles were cameos in movies her dad directed, including Apollo 13 and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Hoard

Lawrence Lucier / Getty Images

Her dad also produced and appeared in her directorial debut, the documentary Dads.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Jessica Capshaw is the daughter of actor/producer Kate Capshaw and stepdaughter of director Steven Spielberg.

Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg, and Jessica Capshaw

Barry King / Getty Images

For her first role, she played Patsy in The Locusts, which her mom starred in.

Screen shot from "The Locusts"

20.Harley Quinn Smith is the daughter of filmmaker/actor Kevin Smith.

Harley Quinn Smith and Kevin Smith

James Devaney / WireImage / Via Getty

She made her film debut as Baby Silent Bob in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Her dad wrote and directed the movie, and he also starred as the grown-up version of Silent Bob.

Screen shot from "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

21.Emilio Estévez is the son of actor Martin Sheen.

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez

Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic / Via Getty

His first role was a cameo in Badlands, which his dad starred in.

Screen shot from "Badlands"

22.Charlie Sheen is also the son of actor Martin Sheen.

Martin and Charlie Sheen

Mark Sullivan / WireImage / Via Getty

Likewise, he made his onscreen debut in a Badlands cameo.

Screen shot from "Badlands"

23.Sosie Bacon is the daughter of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.

Kevin Bacon, Sosie Bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick

Jason Laveris / FilmMagic / Via Getty

Her first role was the 10-year-old version of Emily Stoll in Loverboy, which her dad directed. Her mom played the grown-up version of Emily.

The cast of "Loverboy"

Think Film / courtesy Everett Collection

24.Dakota Johnson is the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson.

Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson, and Don Johnson

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Alongside her half-sister Stella Banderas, she made her onscreen debut as the daughter of her mom’s lead character in Crazy in Alabama. The movie was directed and produced by her then-stepdad Antonio Banderas.

The cast of "Crazy in Alabama"

Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

25.Scott Eastwood is the son of actor/director Clint Eastwood.

Clint Eastwood and Scott Eastwood

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

He made his film debut as Private Roberto Lundsford in Flags of Our Fathers, which his dad directed, produced, and co-scored.

Screen shot from "Flags of Our Fathers"

Using his mother’s last name, he was credited as Scott Reeves.

26.Liza Minnelli is the daughter of actor Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli.

Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive / Via Getty

She made her film debut as the daughter of her mom’s character in In the Good Old Summertime.

Cast of "In the Good Old Summertime"

Loew’s, Inc. courtesy Everett Collection

27.And finally, Sofia Coppola is the daughter of director/producer/writer Francis Ford Coppola.

Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola

Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

Her earliest roles were uncredited cameos in some of her dad’s most notable works, including The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and The Outsiders.

Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola

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She shares her first screenwriting credit with her dad. They co-wrote Life Without Zoë, the second chapter in the anthology film New York Stories.

Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola

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He also produced her feature directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides.

Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola

Fred Duval / FilmMagic / Via Getty

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