Fame Must Run In The Family: Surprising Celebs With Famous Parents
We all know that Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of Motown Queen Diana Ross, and that country star Billy Ray Cyrus fathered “twerk-star” Miley Cyrus – but how many of us knew that these 15 were among the few celebs with famous parents? Most of them were a surprise to us!
Sanaa Lathan was born to Eleanor McCoy, an actress, dancer and Broadway performer who has worked with Eartha Kitt, among others, and Stan Lathan, the producer behind a number of notable TV shows like Sanford & Son and Def Comedy Jam.
It’s no secret that Drew Barrymore is the daughter of John Drew and Jaid Barrymore. But lesser known is the fact that Drew actually comes from a long line of actors. Her great-grandparents and grandparents were all actors; John Barrymore (her grandfather) being the biggest actor of his time.
Even Drew’s godparents, Steven Spielberg and Sophia Loren, are famous!
Singer-songwriter Norah Jones has released a slew of soulful hits over the course of her career. But though many of us have been vibing to her music for years, not many know that her father was Indian musician Ravi Shankar.
The two were estranged for most of Norah’s life, but a year before his death in 2012, Norah was happy to reveal that she loved her dad, and that the two had finally established a good relationship.
We all know that Lenny Kravitz married actress Lisa Bonet, and together the two had Zoe Kravitz, now an actress – but not as many of us know that Lenny Kravitz’s mother, Roxie Roker, was the actress who played Helen Willis on “The Jeffersons.” Fun fact: Al Roker was Roxie’s cousin, making Al and Lenny second cousins.
Remember the hilarious Arthur Spooner from “The King of Queens?” Well, his real name is Jerry Stiller and he fathered – you guessed it – Ben Stiller. Ben gave his comedic father a role in his hit movie “Zoolander” back in 2001 – as well as his mother Anne Meara who’s also a comedian.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Believe it or not, award-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of actor Tony Curtis who played opposite Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot,” and actress Janet Leigh, star of the hit film – and my personal favorite horror flick – “Psycho.”
R&B Diva Syleena Johnson has built a very successful music career over the years, but one generation prior, her father Syl Johnson (who we learned quite a bit about on “Iyana: Fix My Life”) made his mark on the music industry releasing a number of soul and blues hits. His greatest, Take Me to the River, reached number 7 on the R&B chart in 1975.
Swedish hunk Alexander Skarsgard doesn’t get his award-winning acting chops from just anywhere. The 36-year old is the son of actor Stellan Skarsgard, who’s been starring in blockbuster hits like “Good Will Hunting,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Thor” for decades.
67-year old Liza Minnelli has become a huge success over the years, inheriting her talent from her mother, screen legend Judy Garland and father, director Vincente Minnelli.
Those who didn’t watch season six of American Idol may not know that Jordin Sparks is the daughter of former pro football player Phillippi Sparks. The athlete played for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys after making his NFL debut in 1992 – three years after Jordin was born.
Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott has been highly praised for his acting work on shows like “The Practice” and “American Horror Story.” But the inspiration for his becoming an actor in the first place? Apparently, it was his adopted mother Eve Ensler, the famous playwright, feminist and creator of The VaginaMonologues.
Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah’s father is international tennis player and singer Yannick Noah, and his mother is Swedish model Cecilia Rodhe. But that’s not all: Joakim’s grandfather was Zacharie Noah, a pro soccer player from Cameroon and winner of the Coup de France 1961.
Drew Barrymore isn’t the only actress on this list to have a surprise parental connection to Steven Spielberg. Jessica Capshaw, best known for her roles in “The Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” is the stepdaughter of the famed director. Her mother, Kate Capshaw – also an actress – married Spielberg in 1991 after having met him on the set of his blockbuster film “Indiana Jones” and “Temple of Doom.”
“The Dark Knight Rises” actor Christian Bale has an interesting parent that few people know about. His stepmother is Gloria Steinem, the feminist and political activist best known for leading the women’s liberation movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.