A lot of reports of actors with famous relatives are a bit, well, over-the-top. I can point to the coverage of “Girls” when it came out as an example of this, where all four actresses were accused of getting to the top because of nepotism, even though some of the connections weren’t exactly earth-shattering, and Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet didn’t exactly care about hiding their famous dads.
Nepotism is a loaded word, implying a negativity surrounding sons and daughters wanting to go into the family business, which in any other industry is completely accepted.
With that in mind, here are 13 current actors who are related to some pretty big-time Hollywood names, and we say, more power to ‘em!
1. Dakota Johnson Is Don Johnson And Melanie Griffith’s Daughter
That’s right, Anastasia Steele herself has a a heck of a Hollywood pedigree, as the daughter of “Miami Vice” star (and Kenny Powers’ father) Don Johnson and “Working Girl” star Melanie Griffith.
2. Mariska Hargitay Is Jayne Mansfield’s Daughter
Mansfield was one of America’s biggest sex symbols before her tragic death, but daughter Hargitay keeps her mom’s flame burning as the tough-as-nails Olivia Benson in “Law and Order: SVU.”
3. Margaret Qualley Is Andie MacDowell’s Daughter
You probably got your first good look at Qualley last Sunday in “The Leftovers,” but if you thought you might have seen her before, you’re kind of right: she’s the daughter of romantic comedy starlet Andie MacDowell.
4. Tony Goldwyn Is Samuel Goldwyn’s Grandson
Real presidents usually have some pretty well-off parents, and apparently TV presidents are no different. President Fitz is, in real life, heir to the Goldwyn name. Who was Samuel Goldwyn? Well, you know that “G” in “MGM?”
Yeah, that’s him.
5. Mamie Gummer Is Meryl Streep’s Daughter
Gummer is the adorable, klutzy title character in “Emily Owens, M.D.” Also, she’s the daughter of arguably the most famous actress in the world.
You know, third from the left? It’s just Meryl Streep. No pressure, Mamie.
6. Nicolas Cage Is Francis Ford Coppola’s Nephew
Cage was born Nicolas Coppola, which could have earned him passage into Hollywood royalty. Like many on this list, he chose to forego his namesake, and made the Cage name just as big as his “Godfather”-directing uncle.
7. Jamie Lee Curtis Is Tony Curtis And Janet Leigh’s Daughter
Curtis wears her parents’ names on her sleeve, and while many know that the “Halloween” star is the daughter of “Psycho” actress Janet Leigh, strangely fewer realize her dad was the more famous Tony Curtis. Jamie’s followed in her mom’s footsteps, becoming a staple of horror movies, but we’d love to see her channel dad Tony and put on a couple song-and-dance numbers.
8. Carrie Fisher Is Debbie Reynolds’ Daughter
It’s rumored that Carrie Fisher’s daughter will be in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and it makes sense that the acting bug would run in the family, considering Fisher’s own mother was famed “Singin’ in the Rain” star Debbie Reynolds.
9. Kate Hudson Is Goldie Hawn’s Daughter
Mom and daughter share the same beautiful golden locks, and they’ve both held their own as great rom-com female leads.
10. Scott Caan Is James Caan’s Son
Scott shares his dad’s penchant for playing hot-headed, fast-talking guys, though he’s used it more for comedy roles, like his in “Entourage,” than dad James.
Let’s just hope James taught his son the most important lesson of Hollywood: don’t stop at toll booths.
11. Eva Amurri Martino Is Susan Sarandon’s Daughter
You might have seen this young beauty in “House,” “Californication,” and some other TV shows without knowing she was the daughter of another beauty, Susan Sarandon. Her dad is also an Italian director, which, you know, not too shabby.
12. George Clooney Is Rosemary Clooney’s Nephew
“Clooney” isn’t exactly the most common name, and George is indeed the nephew of the famous singer-actress.
His dad Nick is a former newsman (which influenced George’s decision to direct “Good Night and Good Luck”), but also no stranger to movies: he hosted AMC for five years in the 90s.
13. Anderson Cooper Is Gloria Vanderbilt’s Son
We’re cheating a bit here with Cooper, but his parentage is so huge we had to include it. Don’t know who Gloria Vanderbilt is? Well, she’s a famous artist, actress, designer, and also a Vanderbilt, one of the most powerful and wealthy families in U.S. history.
Just makes you appreciate Anderson choosing to be a newsman even more, when he could’ve just become, well, Paris Hilton.