Celebrities You Never Knew Had Famous Parents

It's no secret that good old-fashioned nepotism can be a huge help when it comes to making it big in Hollywood, but unless you follow the stars closely, you might not know that some of today's biggest celebrities had some help along the way from mom and dad. While some aren't afraid to trade on their family name, others have taken great pains to hide their famous heritage and prove that they made it in the business through hard work and talent. 

While it's open to debate if good genes lend a helping hand, at the end of the day, if you don't bring it in front of the cameras, audiences won't care if you're a Fisher or a Jones. You either have the goods or you don't, and this group of celebs definitely has it.

Chris Pine

Chris Pine is probably best known as the new Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams reboot of the original Star Trek franchise, but an entirely different TV show paved Pine's way into Hollywood.

CHiPs, the classic series about a pair of motorcycle-riding cops, featured Pine's father, Robert, in a recurring role as Sgt. Joseph Getraer, reported PopSugar

To Pine's credit, he reportedly only used his famous dad to help him land a job as a production assistant, and the young actor then worked his way up from building sets to starring in the 2017 blockbuster Wonder Woman.

Billie Lourd

Like a lot of children of Hollywood stars — or in this case, Hollywood royalty – American Horror Story star Billie Lourd doesn't go by the last name of her famous mother, the late Carrie Fisher. 

However, Lourd has embraced the family business by appearing in new Star Wars movies The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and at the red carpet premiere of the latter, Lourd honored the departed Fisher by cleverly recreating her iconic Princess Leia look. On top of that, after her mother's death, Lourd became responsible for a very special family member: Gary Fisher, who's become an integral part of the Star Wars universe. Okay, maybe not integral, but he's still a pretty awesome space pooch.

Katie Cassidy

Actress Katie Cassidy burst onto the scene with parts on 7th Heaven, Supernatural, and the Melrose Place reboot before landing her most prominent role on the hit CW show Arrow. If her last name sounds familiar, that's because she's the daughter of the late David Cassidy, star of the hit '70s sitcom The Partridge Family

David admitted in interviews that he didn't raise Katie. She lived with her mother, Sherry Williams. In the years leading up to his death, Katie and David became so estranged that she was reportedly left out of his will. However, People reported that Katie rushed to her father's side when he was hospitalized before his death on Nov. 21, 2017. The Arrow star said her father's last words ("So must wasted time") will serve as "a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love."

Benedict Cumberbatch

As the son of well-known British actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, Benedict Cumberbatch may follow the trend of not using a famous parent's last name, but in a twist, the Sherlock star actually uses his real family name. 

Benedict's mother reportedly warned him not to do so because the Cumberbatch surname, which his father chose not to use professionally, is heavily associated with slavery, according to the The Telegraph. However, the Daily Mail reported that Benedict has purposefully taken roles in films that highlight the awfulness of the slave industry to atone for his ancestors.

Grace Gummer

Grace Gummer might not have a prominent film career, but the actress has been building a solid resume on the small screen with roles on The Newsroom, American Horror Story, and Mr. Robot. Take a closer look because it shouldn't be a surprise that Gummer has become a reliable talent in her field.

Her mom is Meryl Streep, as in The Meryl Streep. You might assume having Streep as a parent would be an instant pass to stardom, but Gummer is putting in the work and striving to research every role, according to V Magazine

Will she one day dominate the Oscars like her mom? Who knows? For now, she's forging her own path in the ever-changing Hollywood landscape.

Rashida Jones

When it comes to last names, it doesn't get more common than Jones, so it would be easy to assume that Parks and Recreation actress Rashida Jones comes from an average, run-of-the-mill American family. 

Think again: the Angie Tribeca star is actually the daughter of legendary music producer Quincy Jones. However, if you want to know who really wields the power in this family, check this out: Rashida had her famous dad recast on Angie Tribeca after he played her TV father for the pilot! Don't worry, there were no hard feelings, and Rashida joked on Late Night with Seth Meyers that, hey, her super talented dad can't always have everything.

Dakota Johnson

In 2013, little known actress Dakota Johnson landed the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, but Johnson wasn't entirely unknown to the Hollywood scene.

She's the daughter of veteran actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and thanks to mom, Dakota made her first big-screen debut in Crazy in Alabama before the age of 10.

Gwyneth Paltrow

While Steven Spielberg is often credited with launching Gwyneth Paltrow's career by casting his goddaughter in Hook, the future Goop entrepreneur actually had some help from her showbiz industry parents, actress Blythe Danner and director/producer Bruce Paltrow. In fact, Bruce cast Gwyneth in her first role at age 5, according to The Guardian

To Gwyneth's credit, she built her own name in Hollywood by turning in an Oscar-winning performance for Shakespeare in Love. Mom and Dad might've opened a few doors, but it was Gwyneth who put in the work.

Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard might be one of the top hunks in Hollywood, but The Legend of Tarzan star also has some impressive acting chops that earned him an Emmy award for best supporting actor in HBO's Big Little Lies

That shouldn't come as a surprise if you know that his father is veteran actor Stellan Skarsgard, who you may recognize from Thor and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Thanks to his dad, Alexander got an early jump on acting and was a star in Sweden by age 13, but the experience freaked him out so much, that he actually quit acting and almost became an architect, according to The Telegraph. Fortunately for fans of the Swedish heartthrob, Skarsgard caught the acting bug again, and he's never looked back.

Mariska Hargitay

Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay is the daughter of iconic '50s bombshell Jayne Mansfield. However, according to Country Living, Hargitay has long described her famous heritage as a "scar," which has an especially literal meaning. 

The actress still has a scar on her face from the fateful day her mother was killed in a car accident that spared her children, including 3-year-old Hargitay. Though she's worked hard to make her own name in Hollywood, Hargitay has made peace with her lineage. She even posted an Instagram photo showing just how much she resembles her famous mom.