That’s My Momma! 9 Famous Celebs With Even More Famous Parents (And Grandparents) We Didn’t Know About

January 4, 2013  |  
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Being the child of someone with a lot of pull in the entertainment industry can have its perks. Not only can it help you get your foot in the door if for some reason you decide that you want to act, sing, or do anything that takes regular people hard work, years and tears to accomplish (see the Smith family, Will put everybody on), but you’re pretty much assured not to go hungry. But it can also have its setbacks, including being overprotected, judged by your parents actions and accomplishments and more. Many of the young people on this list kept themselves on the low low and didn’t ride their parents coattails to success, it just so happened that when they reached success, news got out that they were a famous kid. And others, well, nepotism isn’t the worst thing in the world for those on the receiving end of the benefits, right? Check out these nine celebs, and their surprising parents (hey, we were surprised at one time or another when we found out, you might be too!).


Redfoo and Berry Gordy

The former member of LMFAO is known for his big hair, party-rocking jams, eclectic clothing, and his unique name. But in reality, “Redfoo” is actually Stefan Kendal Gordy, and he’s the son of legendary music producer and Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. Stefan comes from Gordy’s relationship with Nancy Leiviska, and he is the youngest of Gordy’s eight children. With the electropop jams Stefan is famous for, compared with the classic R&B jams that came out of Berry Gordy’s famous label, it makes the fact that they are father and son all the more interesting. And to make things more interesting, the other member of LMFAO, SkyBlu, is the grandson of Berry Gordy, making him the NEPHEW of his former band mate, Redfoo.

Allison Williams and Brian Williams

As a Girls stan, it’s pretty well-known that all the young women with a starring role on the show are the children of musicians, artists, writers and journalists. I for one was very surprised to learn that Allison Williams, who plays Marnie Michaels on the show, is the daughter of NBC Nightly News and Rock Center anchor Brian Williams. But once I saw the two standing side by side, it all made sense. They definitely look very similar. But I always wonder what Brian Williams thinks about his daughter being on such a raunchy program with sex scenes and such provocative stuff being discussed? Very interesting…

Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

With her red hair and smile, it becomes pretty clear pretty fast that Bryce is the offspring of former child actor and producer Ron Howard. But for many, including many people who saw The Help in 2011, she was just any ‘ol young actress on-screen. The oldest of Ron Howard’s four children, Bryce and her siblings were kept out of the public spotlight and from the industry, but of course, after doing a few small cameo roles in a few of her father’s movies, she was bit by the acting bug.

Jennifer Aniston and John Aniston

For all Days Of Our Lives lovers out there (I used to be one when I had the time to catch up on the episodes in college), how many people knew the shady character of Victor Kiriakis was the real-life dad of actress Jennifer Aniston? Born Yannis Anastasakis, the Greek actor is a soap staple and has been on Days of Our Lives since ’85. Jennifer is John’s first child and is his daughter with actress Nancy Dow, whom Jennifer had a rocky relationship with for many years after Dow talked openly about her in a memoir.


Maya Rudolph and Minnie Riperton

I never knew all that much about Minnie Riperton back in the day, aside from the fact that she sang “Loving You” and could hit high notes that most people couldn’t even imagine reaching. But aside from all that, some of the most interesting information I ever learned about Riperton is that she is the mother of famous comedienne and Up All Night star Maya Rudolph. To this day, Rudolph pays homage to her mom, speaking about her during an episode of TV One’s Unsung, and even dressing up how her mother did on the cover of her album, Perfect Angel, for the bumper photos in between commercials while hosting the show she blew up on, Saturday Night Live.

Mariska Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield

An early Playboy playmate, Jayne Mansfield was all the rage in the late ’50s as an actress and “The Working Man’s Marilyn Monroe.” And after her untimely death in 1967 in a brutal car accident (Mariska and her brothers were actually in the car with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend during the accident), it seemed that her star was gone. But looking exactly like her mom, actress Mariska Hargitay became a star in a different lane thanks to her work on the addictive series, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, so people get another glimpse at Jayne through her beautiful daughter. However, Hargitay doesn’t like being compared to her mother, and would rather be compared to her father, former Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay. Maybe she’s not comfortable with her mom’s past sex symbol status?

Jenny Lumet and Sidney Lumet; Grandmother – Lena Horne

Okay, so you might not know homegirl like that, but Jenny Lumet is an acclaimed screenwriter, who started off as an actress. She’s the mind behind the critically-acclaimed film, Rachel Getting Married, which starred Anne Hathaway. Not only did Lumet win awards for her screenplay, but the story helped Anne Hathaway get an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Jenny Lumet is the daughter of journalist Gail Lumet Buckley, and Academy Award nominated film director and producer Sidney Lumet. Gail Lumet Buckley’s mother was the incomparable Lena Horne, making Jenny the late actress/singer’s granddaughter.

Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

Not only was Anderson Cooper’s great-great-great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt, the wealthy shipping tycoon, but journalist and TV personality Anderson Cooper is the son of legendary designer, Gloria Vanderbilt. Gloria of course is known as one of the earliest makers of jeans for women. Her jeans were tighter than most out on the market back in the ’70s, propelling her brand into the stratosphere. She has an extremely close relationship with her son, as they’ve done numerous interviews together over the years. He even interviewed her for his show, Anderson Live. And may I add, for 87, Vanderbilt looks FAB!

Keifer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland

The last names should be a dead giveaway, but when a lot of people see the face of legendary actor Donald Sutherland, they don’t think of his famous son, actor Keifer. Out of his five children, Keifer and his twin sister Rachel were Donald’s first children, and Keifer is the only one to successfully follow in his dad’s movie star footsteps. While you might not immediately realize these two are father and son when you first hear the news (everybody’s seen Donald’s face but might not know his name like that), when you look at them it will all make sense. They look exactly alike!



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  • Veronica Moser

    I was in high school and heard while i was there that Minny Riperton had die from cancer. I cried since i knew she had 2 children too and a sweet good lucking hubby.

  • Shiala

    Wow… the Maya Rudolph and Minnie Riperton one has been well-known FOREVER. And if you’re unable to tell that Donald and Kiefer Sutherland are related, your observation skills are terrible.

    • Cinnamon71

      Exactly. Kiefer is a younger version of Donald. They look exactly alike.

  • Kat

    Sorry, but your information on how Jayne Mansfield died is incorrect. Google ‘Charles Manson’ for the correct information.

    • Lulu

      You’re thinking of Sharon Tate. Jayne Mansfield did indeed die in a car accident.

    • ohsnaponu

      Uh no. Jayne Mansfield died in car accident…I remember when it happened. Plus, she had a very high IQ, was college educated, spoke 5 languages. Unfortunately, Hollywood wasn’t interested in her brains.

  • Schaal

    Do I win a prize for knowing all of these? C’mon, try a little harder.

  • Joel Lessard

    What fool didn’t know this?

  • Who didn’t know Bryce Dallas Howard was Ron’s daughter? But the Red Foo thing was surprising, I just knew about “Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell. Now a surprising one that wasn’t mentioned here was Martha Plimpton being daughter of Keith Carradine, niece of “Kung Fu” David Carradine and granddaughter of John Carradine. Melissa McCarthy and Jenny McCarthy are cousins. Dylan is the adopted son of “Vagina Monologues” author Eve Ensler.

    There’s Tyne (“Cagney & Lacey”) and Tim (“Private Practice”) Daly. And apparently Gloria Steinem is Christian Bales stepmom. Then there’s the whole Nic Cage, Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire (Yo, Adrian!) Francis Ford, Sofia and Roman Coppola thing, too.

    Whoa – just looked up some more: Henry Winkler is cousins with Richard Belzer

  • Quel

    If you didn’t know that Kiefer and Donald were related, then you are a dumb-ass. Sorry.

    • Veratta Pegram-Floyd

      Right! Last name as well as faces…

  • lateshia

    Wow I had no idea those two guys LM…whatever that group name is was Berry Gordy son and grandson. That is funny they would make that kind of music when their dad, grandfather is a soul music mogul. Anyways, I knew Minnie Riperton daughter was the one comedian….by the way Mariah Carey can hit Minnie Riperton high notes.

    Mariska mom look like Marylin Monroe she she do look like her mother.

  • dddooonnnttt

    Was Jayne Mansfield passing as white? She looks bi-racial to me.

  • IllyPhilly

    These were all pretty much known about.

  • Maya rudolph is funny…


    The only one that surprised me was Anderson Cooper. I had no idea.

  • LiiSH

    If you listen really hard to Loving You by Minnie Riperton you can hear her calling Maya Rudolph’s name.

    • I was thinking the same thing. The song definitely ends with her saying Maya several times over the refrain

  • eyeEEsha

    I knew that Mariska Hargitay was Jayne Mansfield’s daughter but I don’t ever think I’ve seen a side-by-side picture of the two of them. I swear if you put a blonde wig on Mariska, she’d look just like her mother.

    • bahamianempress99

      You guys must not have seen her father. She definitely looks more like mickey, down to the square jawline.

      • GEO

        Excuse me, there must be a mistake. Mickey not had a square jaw. His jaw was pointed. View your pictures and see.

      • bigdede

        All Jayne’s kids with the father have blond hair and blue eyes. Mariska is the only one with dark olive skin. Everyone has said her bio dad was this Italian guy her mom was cheating on her dad with. Her skin tone and eyes matches that guys

        • voiceofreason38

          no her dad ….Mickey was Hungarian

    • GEO

      Totally agree with the above comment. If Mariska loiríssima would be much like her mother. The big difference between the two in this attitude. Jayne was an exhibitionist. Mariska is always very discreet in dress and in your personal life. Jayne’s famous breasts were too big. Mariska has better proportioned breasts. At least that’s what one perceives in the pictures and on television. Both are beautiful women. But the more I appreciate dark skin Mariska.

  • Love me some Bryce Dallas Howard!

    • Potato Dono

      Who would have thought little Richie Cunningham would have such a pretty daughter?

  • JB#3

    Never in a million years would I have associated Red Foo with Berry Gordy.

  • JN31

    “The last names should be a dead giveaway, but when a lot of people see the face of legendary actor Donald Sutherland, they don’t think of his famous son, actor Keifer.”

    Really guys? At first I thought it was an age thing, but by the time I got to the end of this post I figured it was a common sense thing. Just about everyone I showed this post to laughed; whether they were movie buffs, in the film/entertainment industry, or just people who occasionally watch movies & don’t get caught up in celebrity obsession. I’m not sure who the “We” are in the title of the post referencing those who were not aware of these family bonds but most of this is well known.

    • tutifrutti

      You took the words right out of my mouth! Not one of these was a revelation!