13 Celebs You Didn't Know Had Famous Grandparents

Fame runs in the family for these stars!

You’ll be surprised to discover just how many stars aren’t the first members of their family to find success in the spotlight! In fact, quite a few are actually the third generation of entertainers in their fam. These descendants of Old Hollywood royalty and iconic actors of the past have all decided to follow in the footsteps of their grandparents and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. From Billie Lourd to Chris Pine to Tony Goldwyn, these stars are all part of the family business.

Read on to find out which celebs have famous grandparents…

1. Billie Lourd

“Scream Queens” star Billie Lourd comes from a very famous family! Her maternal grandmother was actress Debbie Reynolds, who rose to fame in films like “Singin’ In the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” And she might be most well known to the younger generation for portraying Aggie Cromwell in the “Halloweentown” series.

Not only does Billie have a famous grandmother but her mom Carrie Fisher was also extremely well known for her role as Princess Leia in “Star Wars.” She later passed the torch to Billie, who had a featured role in the most recent films.

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2. Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson comes from a lineage of famous actors including legendary actress Tippi Hedren, who got her start as a model until she was discovered by Alfred Hitchcock. She gave acting a try and ended up starring in films including his thrillers “The Birds” and “Marnie.” She later gave birth to Dakota’s mom Melanie Griffith, who also became an actress. Dakota says she’s endlessly inspired by her family, especially her grandmother.

“Oh gosh, she inspires me so much… She has the most incredible timing and it’s most amazing. I was asking her what she was doing and before I could finish she was quick to respond to my answers, because she thought it was funny, and it was really funny. She inspires me more as a human being than anything to do with films,” Dakota told Vogue Australia.

3. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore was born into a true Hollywood dynasty! The entertainers in her family reportedly go back seven generations. Her grandparents were notable actors John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, who earned the nickname “The Goddess of the Silent Screen.” Drew’s father also went on to become an actor, passing the acting bug to his young daughter. As for continuing the lineage with her daughters? Drew says she’s not interested.

“I think films saved my life. I mean, I come from a family that has done acting for 400 years. But film sets are a bizarre world. For me, it was better than my circumstances. It was a savior. For my children, it will not be better than their circumstances. They are going to be so saved and so loved that they won’t need a film set to make their life better,” Drew told The Guardian.

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4. Chris Pine

Fans may not know that Chris Pine’s grandmother was actually a famous actress and model! Not only was Anne Gwynne one of the most popular pin-up models around, she also was considered one of the first “Scream Queens.” She starred in quite a few horror flicks, including “House of Frankenstein” and “The Black Cat.”

5. Zoe Kravitz

While many may know Zoe Kravtiz’s famous parents Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, they may not know that her paternal grandmother also had her time in the spotlight! Roxie Roker was also an actress and had a starring role on “The Jeffersons,” where she played Helen Willis, one half of primetime-TV’s first interracial couple.

“I don’t think I really understood it until way later in my life because you have to have a bigger perspective of what’s going on in the world. When I got older I realized, ‘Oh, that’s why it was a big deal that my grandmother was married to a white man on the show.’ I had mixed parents, so I didn’t see it as a big deal. Then when I was educated about what the world was like, I realized, ‘This is a huge deal.’ It was brave of her to go there,” Zoe told Harper’s Bazaar.

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6. Alia Shawkat

“Search Party” and “Arrested Development” star Alia Shawkat takes after her grandfather, actor Paul Burke. Over the course of his career, he was nominated for two Emmys for his role on TV series “Naked City.” Before his passing, he said he was so proud that Alia was following in his footsteps.

“I think it’s marvelous but I don’t know how much can be attributed to me. Her mother was raised in Hollywood, but I rarely brought my children with me on jobs. If I was a banker, I wouldn’t bring my kids to watch me make big loans!” Paul told Palm Springs Life.

7. Rooney & Kate Mara

While sisters Rooney and Kate Mara have found success as actresses, their grandparents weren’t involved in that side of the entertainment industry! Their grandfather Wellington Mara was a big name in sports as the co-owner of the New York Giants for over 40 years. He clearly inherited his love of sports from his father Tim, who actually founded the team.

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8. Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan’s grandfather was Oscar-winning director Elia Kazan, who created films including “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” While both her parents Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord were also directors, Zoe chose to pursue her career on screen instead of behind-the-scenes.

9. Jason Schwartzman

Jason Schwartzman got his passion for music from his composer grandfather, Carmine Coppola, who contributed music to films like “The Godfather” and “The Outsiders.” Meanwhile, his grandmother Eleanor was a documentary filmmaker which inspired his work in film. The rest of Jason’s family have also made names for themselves in the entertainment industry, including his uncle Francis Ford Coppola and cousins Sofia Coppola and Nicolas Cage.

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10. Katie Cassidy

“Arrow” actress Katie Cassidy is following in the footsteps of her grandparents Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. While Jack was a Tony-nominated actor who won a Grammy for his work on the Broadway musical “She Loves Me,” Evelyn also made Broadway appearances and was featured on the game show “Hold It Please.” Katie’s father David also found fame as an actor, known for his work on “The Partridge Family.”

11. Riley Keough

Riley Keough comes straight from rock-and-roll royalty as the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and his wife, actress Priscilla Presley. Her mother is their daughter Lisa and her father is musician Danny Keough. While she grew up in a household of mostly musicians (her stepdad was once Michael Jackson!) she knew she always wanted to act.

“I always wanted to be in film. I knew that. I grew up in a family of musicians, so it was also something that I wasn’t around a lot. I wanted to make movies and that’s all I wanted to do when I was a kid. Film was everything, and I was very fascinated with people and human behavior,” Riley told the New York Times.

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12. Tony Goldwyn

“Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn has his roots in Hollywood as his grandfather Samuel Goldwyn was a film producer. He even founded his own studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which many will recognize as MGM Studios. Tony says his upbringing in a show business family has changed his outlook on fame and having a career in Hollywood.

“The assumption of being from a showbiz family are slightly skewed. I had good parents who taught me to be kind. And to always be humble… One of the great advantages for me from being from a multigenerational showbiz family is that the goal is not to be the hot guy or be on the cover of a magazine. The goal is to quietly build a strong foundation of quality work that will sustain you. When you focus on that, your ego calms down and you can be rooting for other people’s success. People are unkind in this business because they get very afraid. It makes people pretty crazy,” Tony told Fatherly.

13. Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem inherited his love of acting from his grandfather, Spanish actor Rafael Bardem. Over the span of 20 years, Rafael appeared in over 35 films. He married actress Matilde Muñoz Sampedro and they welcomed their son, and Javier’s father, Juan Antonio. He also followed in their footsteps, becoming a director and screenwriter.


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