The 20 Most Successful Acting Dynasties Ever To Rule Over Hollywood

They say success runs in the family, and that seems particularly true of Hollywood. Examine the family tree of a famous actor, and the chances are there’s at least one other big-screen big shot in there. For some, though, it’s pretty much the whole tree. Here we look at 20 families who have presided over Hollywood like monarchs…

20. The Sutherlands

Kiefer Sutherland is instantly recognizable – he’s Jack Bauer, for crying out loud. And his father, Donald, was a huge star in the ’70s who continues to work to this day. It doesn’t stop there, though. Indeed, Kiefer’s daughter, Sarah, is an established actress in her own right, best known for playing the vice president’s daughter on Veep.

19. The Stillers

Jerry Stiller and his wife Anne Meara rose to fame in the ’60s as the “Stiller and Meara” comedy act. Jerry subsequently went on to find more success on Seinfeld. Meanwhile, his son Ben has become one of the most celebrated comedy actors of his generation. Ben’s wife, Christine Taylor, is also a comedy actress, making a guest appearance of her own on Seinfeld in 1997.

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18. The Bridges

With over 150 film credits to his name, Lloyd Bridges is among the most prolific big-screen actors of all time. But his acting legacy didn’t stop there, though. His sons Jeff and Beau also both got into the game in a big way. Indeed, the former has an Oscar, while the latter has three Emmys. Furthermore, Beau’s son, Jordan, is also in the biz, with a starring role on hospital drama Rizzoli & Isles.

17. The Brolins

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Although James Brolin is probably best known as a TV actor, he’s still had plenty of film roles over the years. Meanwhile, his wife, Barbara Streisand, is a singing legend with a string of hit movies to her name. And their son, Josh, has also risen prominence as a film actor. Indeed, he’s soon to star as the arch-villain in the Avengers franchise.

16. Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and the Hudson siblings

Goldie Hawn was a big star throughout the ’70s, and her second marriage to singer Bill Hudson was heavily publicized. It didn’t last, but during their time together they had two kids. And both of them – Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson – are now in the movie game. To top things off, Hawn entered into a relationship with Hollywood heavyweight Kurt Russell in 1983 – and they’re still together.

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15. The Douglases

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Kirk Douglas is a celebrated actor who managed to win three Best Actor Oscars during his 60-year career. He’s still around now, having made it to 100 years of age, and his family is carrying on his legacy. Of course, his son, Michael, and daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta Jones need no introduction. Meanwhile, his three other sons also got into the movie business, and Michael’s son Cameron is an actor as well.

14. Jon Voigt, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Jon Voigt got his big break as Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy and continues to be successful to this day. His two children – Angelina Jolie and James Haven – both also act, although one is considerably more successful than the other. And while Brad Pitt might now be separated from Jolie, he was around long enough to be part of the family, especially given that the couple have six children, three of whom were adopted.

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13. The Barrymores

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Delores Costello was dubbed “The Goddess of the Silent Screen,” and she became the matriarch of one of Hollywood’s longest dynasties. She married John Barrymore, who himself was a big name on stage and later the big screen. Their son, John Drew Barrymore, was also a successful actor. What’s more, Drew Barrymore is one of his daughters, and she’s still going strong.

12. The Sheens

Born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, Martin Sheen has been a well-recognized screen actor for decades. His son, Charlie, has also found success on the big and small screens, although he’s a far more controversial figure. Another of Martin’s sons, Emilio Estévez, acts as well and was famously a member of the Brat Pack in the ’80s. Furthermore, Sheen has two other children, both of them actors albeit not as well known.

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11. The Hankses

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If you aren’t familiar with Tom Hanks, we’re not sure where you’ve been, but he’s kind of a big deal. From 1978 to 1987 he was married to actress Samantha Lewes. The eldest of their two children, Colin Hanks, has found acting success of his own, appearing on shows such as Dexter and Fargo. What’s more, one of Tom’s sons from his second marriage, Chet, has also appeared on screen.

10. The Redgraves

The Redgraves were the British family that took the golden age of Hollywood by storm. Michael Redgrave first found success in theatre in the ’30s, before moving on to the big screen in the ’40s. His three children – Vanessa, Corin and Lynne – all followed the same career path. What’s more, three of his grandchildren – Joey, Jemma and the late Natasha Richardson (who was married to Liam Neeson) – all became actors as well.

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9. The Garlands/Minnellis/Lufts

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Judy Garland is best known as Dorothy from the classic 1939 big-screen adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. She died tragically young, but not before giving birth to three children. And two of them – Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft – went on to enjoy successful careers on both stage and screen. What’s more, Minnelli was also married to showbiz promoter David Gest for five years.

8. The Hustons

John Huston is one of the most celebrated film directors of all time, but he also tried his hand at acting, most famously in Chinatown. His daughter Anjelica later found fame playing Morticia Addams, while his grandson Jack Huston earned acclaim for his turn as Richard Harrow in Boardwalk Empire.

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7. The Curtises

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Tony Curtis had a glittering film career that lasted more than 60 years. So it’s hardly surprising that his family have wanted to pick up the mantle. He was once married to Psycho actress Janet Leigh, and together they had two kids – Kelly and Jamie Lee. Fittingly, Jamie Lee Curtis found early success in Psycho’s spiritual successor, Halloween.

6. The Smiths

Will Smith has found success wherever he’s looked for it, be it music, TV or cinema. His wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, is also both an established actress and the lead singer in a metal band (no, seriously). What’s more, despite still being teenagers both of his children have already found fame on the big screen.

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5. The Carradines

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John Carradine was a big time horror actor in the ’30s and ’40s. And three of his children subsequently became prominent actors themselves – Keith, Robert and David. The latter took on the lead part in Kung Fu, while Keith had significant roles in Dexter and Deadwood.

4. The Robertses

The Roberts dynasty started with stage actress Betty Lou Bredemus, who had two children by Walter Grady Roberts – Eric and Julia. Both have gone on to enjoy hugely successful acting careers, while Eric’s daughter, Emma, is an established actress as well. In addition, Bredemus was also a decorated U.S. Air Force entertainer.

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3. The Derns

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Another old school actor who’s still finding work, most recently in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Bruce Dern wed fellow actor Diane Ladd in 1960. Their marriage lasted for nine years and produced two daughters. The eldest, Laura, later found success of her own in the likes of Blue Velvet and Jurassic Park.

2. The Coppolas

Although both Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter Sophia are better known for their directing, there’s still plenty of on-screen talent in the family. Francis’s brother August is father to Nicolas Cage, and his sister Talia Shire the mother of Jason Schwartzman. And his granddaughter, Gia Coppola, is also an actress, although she only has two credits, with one being a Carly Rae Jepsen video.

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1. The Fondas

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The Fonda family is arguably the most famous dynasty in the history of Hollywood. Starting with Henry Fonda, its legacy spans three generations. His children Jane and Peter both subsequently found success during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Jane’s son Troy Garity is still working, while Peter’s daughter Bridget appeared in movies from the late ’60s all the way up to 2001. What’s more, she’s also married to legendary film composer Danny Elfman.

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