Celebrities With Famous Godparents

The following article includes brief references to child sexual abuse allegations.

You've heard a lot about nepo babies, but what about nepo godbabies? Celebrities love asking other stars to be the godparents of their children, so tons of tiny tots are growing up with extra Hollywood connections — giving them yet another advantage over other aspiring entertainers who've had to settle for average Joe godfathers who probably haven't even seen "The Godfather."

It's much too soon to tell if she'll be a screen queen like her mom, but Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor has a godfather who could definitely help her land an acting gig or two. When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry asked producer Tyler Perry to be their daughter's godfather, he immediately accepted his friends' request. But on the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," Perry recalled informing the couple that he would not be flying to the U.K. to participate in a christening ceremony with the rest of the royals.

It's also not unusual for actors to ask co-stars to be their children's godparents. Mindy Kaling's former "The Office" castmate — and former boyfriend — B.J. Novak is the godfather of her two kids. "He's very good with children!" Kaling gushed to ET. "... He's a great godfather." And on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Aaron Paul revealed that he asked his "Breaking Bad" co-star, Bryan Cranston, to be his son's godfather. The entertainers on this list also have famous godparents and grew up to be successful themselves, so who can blame celebs for keeping this time-honored tradition alive?

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis quarantined together

Jake Gyllenhaal's parents also work in showbiz. His father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, launched a successful career as a TV director in the '80s, and his mom, Naomi Foner, is a screenwriter whose screenplay for the movie "Running on Empty" earned her an Oscar nomination in 1989. So naturally, they've made a few famous friends over the years.

One of those pals is "Halloween" star Jamie Lee Curtis, who is the godmother of Jake and his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Curtis adorably plugged Jake's film "The Guilty" when she appeared on the "Rachael Ray Show" in 2021, and she couldn't resist bragging about her talented godson. "He is spectacular in the movie," she said, "and the entire movie was shot in 11 days during COVID." Jake returned the love when he appeared on "The Jess Cagle Show," revealing that his famous fairy godmother conjured him up a place to stay during the pandemic. But no pumpkins were transformed into quaint cottages; he just crashed at Curtis' guest house. "She is just one of the most generous, loving, giving people," Jake gushed. "... She has been so good to me."

For Curtis, there was a huge perk of inviting Jake to become her neighbor — she became the beneficiary of his sourdough obsession during the pandemic's early days. "I, every day, would make bread, and I would walk it over to her window," Jake recalled. Why does it sound like these two live in a real-life fairytale?

The role Angelina Jolie's godmother was 'too British' for

By deciding to become an actor, Angelina Jolie was following in the footsteps of her father, Jon Voight, and her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who sadly died from ovarian cancer in 2007. Jolie also gained a famous godmother when Voight appeared alongside British icon Jacqueline Bisset in the 1975 movie "End of the Game." However, it was Bertrand who forged a close bond with Bisset. "We became friends, and she asked me to be her godmother when Angie was in the tummy," Bisset recalled to People in 2021.

Unfortunately, a casting shakeup prevented Bertrand from getting to see her bestie and her daughter act alongside each other in the 2005 action comedy "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," which also starred Jolie's future ex-husband, Brad Pitt. Bisset revealed that she and another English actor, Terence Stamp, filmed scenes as the bosses of Jolie and Pitt's spy characters, but they got scrapped. "They recast it, with apparently two other actors. They said we were too British," Bisset recalled.

When Jolie visited Paris for a Guerlain fragrance event in 2019, she reconnected with her godmother. Jolie previously told Marie Claire that she agreed to become the face of Guerlain because her mother used the French cosmetic brand's products. And who better to reminisce about Bertrand with than Bisset? "They don't see each other often, so this recent visit was a real treat," a source told ET. "... Angelina and Jacqueline talked about memories of her mother."

Miley Cyrus is ready to play her 'fairy godmother'

When Billy Ray Cyrus' country music career was taking off, he became good friends with legendary entertainer Dolly Parton. The singers, who recorded a song titled "Romeo" together in 1993, even sparked romance rumors at one point. While interviewing Billy Ray and his magnificent mullet for "The Today Show" in the '90s, Parton recalled what she told someone who asked her about the rumors: "I wish it was true and you never get too old to dream ... but good lord, I got wigs older than that boy."

While Billy Ray never made that dream come true, he did ask Parton to be his daughter Miley Cyrus' godparent. "I said, 'I don't know if I'll be around to where I can actually do all of the duties that a godmother does. Let me be her fairy godmother,'" Parton recalled on "Anderson" in 2012. In that capacity, Parton gave the "Hannah Montana" star her blessing to play her in a biopic someday, something Miley expressed an interest in while speaking to E! News in 2022. "I'm sucked, I'm tucked and plucked, just like she taught me," Miley said of her godmother's sage advice. 

However, Parton can't wave a magic wand to give Miley what the "Jolene" hitmaker thinks she needs for a more accurate biopic portrayal. In addition to her goddaughter having to sing octaves higher, Parton joked to Insider, "She'd have to put on some weight, and get some bigger boobs."

Paris Jackson's advice from her godfather

In a 2020 interview with Esquire, "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin opened up about a topic he rarely speaks about: his friendship with Michael Jackson. In defending the late pop star against allegations that he sexually abused children, Culkin said that he never witnessed Michael do anything inappropriate when he spent time around him as a child. Culkin also revealed that Michael asked him to be the godfather of his daughter, Paris Jackson.

Paris and Culkin became close friends and even got identical tattoos of spoons, a reference to Culkin's custom of pilfering the cutlery from establishments he dines at. The ink also serves as a reminder of some wisdom Culkin once shared with Paris: "Don't forget to be silly, don't forget to take something away from this whole experience, and don't forget to stick something up your sleeve."

According to Paris, Culkin also offered her some helpful acting advice. She had a few screen credits to her name when she auditioned for a role in the 2021 anthology series "American Horror Stories," but Culkin's input was invaluable because he'd previously appeared in its parent series, "American Horror Story." Paris told E! News, "He said overdo it at certain points. Kind of like, overact and kind of make it theatrical." After she landed the part, she later celebrated by sending her godfather a selfie of her blood-soaked face. "Then he sent me a picture of blood in his hair. It was cute," Paris recalled.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Drew Barrymore's godfather played matchmaker for her

Drew Barrymore doesn't just share a professional connection with Steven Spielberg, who directed her in the 1982 movie "E.T." when she was seven years old. Apparently, after Spielberg became the actor's godparent, he decided that matchmaking is part of the role; he once helped Barrymore meet her childhood crush, "Stand by Me" star Corey Feldman. In a January 2023 appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Feldman reminisced about Spielberg arranging the meeting when he and Barrymore were tweens. "What happened was, I get a call one day. My grandmother says, 'We got a call from Steven's office, and the little girl from "E.T." wants to meet you because she's got a crush on you,'" he recalled. Barrymore admitted that this was true. According to Feldman, they went to the movies together, and when they got a bit older, they actually ended up dating.

Spielberg previously appeared on "The Drew Barrymore Show" in 2021 and reflected back on another memorable moment in Barrymore's life: when she posed for Playboy in 1995. The filmmaker reacted to her pictorial by sending her a quilt emblazoned with the words "cover up" — which he helped her do by gluing paper doll clothing onto her photos. Spielberg revealed that he received some apologetic photos in return. Barrymore was dressed like a nun, and in one shot, she was pictured kneeling beside a statue of the Virgin Mary. "You always just inspired me to be my best," Barrymore told Spielberg.

James Kennedy's godfather was a pop icon

"Vanderpump Rules" villain James Kennedy is the godson of pop royalty: "Faith" singer George Michael. However, Michael was only a "Father Figure" to Kennedy until the future reality show star was a tween. According to The Sun, Michael and Kennedy's father, former music producer Andros Georgiou, were cousins who were once the best of friends. However, Michael's 1998 arrest for lewd conduct reportedly fractured their friendship. "He was like a second dad — he was family. He wasn't George Michael to me, it was family," Kennedy recalled, adding that the "Last Christmas" singer always bought him awesome gifts during the holidays.

In a 2017 appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," Kennedy said that Michael's death on Christmas Day in 2016 hit him and his dad really hard. Kennedy had been planning to visit the singer sometime after the holidays. "It was heartbreaking," he shared.

According to Kennedy, reports that he'd received an inheritance from Michael were just rumors, but the Wham! legend left him an even greater legacy: his music. Kennedy launched a music career of his own as a DJ and producer, and in 2021, he told TheThings that he was toying with the idea of remixing some of Michael's music. "It would have to be done right. Definitely in my life, it's going to happen. Who knows, it could be something special. A 'Last Christmas' Christmas remix would be really great," Kennedy said. "... I want to make him proud."

Bryce Dallas Howard's godfather is The Fonz

On the sitcom "Happy Days," Bryce Dallas Howard's dad, Ron Howard, served up nostalgia at a greasy spoon with a little help from Henry Winkler's shark-jumping greaser character, Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli. Off-screen, the denizens of Arnold's Drive-In became such good friends that Ron made a big ask of his co-star. "Early on, he said to us, 'God forbid, if anything happens to us, would you take all of our children. You can even bar mitzvah them,'" Winkler recalled to Variety. "I thought that was one of the great compliments of my life."

The "Barry" star took his role as a godfather seriously. In a 2011 appearance on "Piers Morgan Tonight," Bryce said that Winkler had recently wished her well ahead of the premiere of "The Help," and she revealed that such displays of support were not uncommon. "He checks in more than my parents," Bryce shared. When she took to Twitter to show off some gnarly bruises she sustained while filming "Jurassic World: Dominion" in 2020, Winkler sweetly responded, "Feel better Bryce."

In short, having the Fonz as a godfather is just as perfectamundo as you'd imagine it would be. However, because Winkler is so down-to-earth, Bryce didn't realize just how big of a star her godfather is until she got older. "After my son was born, my parents were there and he was there. He's just a very dear friend," Bryce told Parade in 2011. "... He's such a wonderful, normal person."

Zoë Kravitz was interviewed by her godmother

On "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," actor Marisa Tomei revealed that she became friends with Lisa Bonet before they began appearing together on "A Different World" in the late '80s. "Yeah, we met in an acting workshop," Tomei recalled. When Bonet and rocker Lenny Kravitz became parents in 1988, Bonet asked her co-star confidant to be the godmother of their daughter, Zoë Kravitz, whom Tomei affectionately refers to as Zozo.

Three decades later, Tomei interviewed her goddaughter for InStyle. By then, Zoë was a star in her own right, and her acting credits have included the likes of "Big Little Lies" and "The Batman." Tomei's pride in Zoë's accomplishments was evident. "To see you cultivate your own style and watch you move through the world as you grow up — you just keep grabbing more of who you are, stepping into yourself," she told her goddaughter.

Tomei said that she gained a new friend when Zoë reached adulthood, with the two women discussing topics including their work, similar taste in body art, and favorite beauty rituals. And speaking of beauty, when Zoë collaborated with YSL Beauté on a lipstick line in 2019, she paid homage to her godmother by giving one of the shades a name inspired by Tomei: Maris' Nude, per Refinery29. Many of the shades' names were tributes to influential women in her life, another topic Zoë discussed with Tomei. "I've grown up with an amazing support system. You're part of it!" she told her godmother.

Khloé Kardashian's godfather pic confused fans

Khloé Kardashian's family had a number of stars in their orbit long before they landed their E! reality series, including her attorney father's infamous client, O.J. Simpson. But the NFL player who was accused of murder isn't Khloé's godfather.

In 2014, Khloé shared a throwback picture on Instagram of her late father, Robert Kardashian, posing with her stepdad, Caitlyn Jenner, and boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard, whom she described as her godfather. After some of Khloé's followers mistook Leonard for Simpson, she set them straight on Twitter. "For those of you that are that f***ing stupid. ... That's NOT OJ in my #TBT that's Sugar Ray Leonard," she wrote. "Some of you never fail to amaze me!"

During a 2017 "Conversations with Maria Menounos" interview, Leonard admitted that he didn't have a close-knit relationship with Khloé but would always be there to offer her his support. When host Maria Menounos asked him if Khloé had ever reached out to him for help, he said that she had not, but explained, "She's that strong." Leonard is also Kim Kardashian's godfather. In fact, his wife, Bernadette Robi, helped Kim launch her closet-organizing business. "Bernadette's closet was massive and had so much stuff in it," Kim recalled to Cardoza, saying that she offered to clean it. She did such an amazing job that Bernadette began telling her famous friends about Kim's incredible organizational skills, and the "Queen of the Closet Scene" was born.

Kendall Jenner's godmother helped name her

Kris Jenner is a good friend of former talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford, who is the godmother of Kris and Caitlyn Jenner's daughters, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner. When she needed help choosing a baby name that fit with her family's alliterative theme, Kris turned to her fellow member of the K name club. "I started throwing out names to Kathie Lee — 'Kameron' ... 'Kendall' — and she stopped me at 'Kendall,'" Kris recalled in her memoir "Kris Jenner ... And All Things Kardashian."

Years after she played such a significant role in her goddaughter's life, Gifford seemingly threw some shade at Kendall and Kylie's behavior when she appeared on "Watch What Happens Live." In the 2020 interview, Gifford admitted that she wasn't close with the girls but shared the advice she would give them. "I would tell them, first of all, stay close to god — and they sometimes do," she said, laughing.

Gifford can possibly claim some responsibility for the rise of the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty. In her memoir "It's Never Too Late," she shared that her agent kept urging her to do a reality series, which she had no interest in. Gifford suggested that the Jenners would be a better fit for the format. While her agent wasn't a fan of this idea, she decided to ask another client if he would be open to inviting cameras into his life: future "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" producer Ryan Seacrest.

How Brooklyn Beckham's godfather entertained him in the car

If aspiring chef Brooklyn Beckham ever needs help in the kitchen, he could always consult his godfather's 1997 special "An Audience with Elton John." During the show, Elton John accepted a challenge to create a catchy song based on an oven manual. But according to John, when he took the "Cookin' with Brooklyn" host and his two brothers to the "Kung Fu Panda" premiere when they were young lads, he kept them entertained in the car by singing a different tune. "They said, 'Uncle Elton ... You write songs, don't you?'" John recalled. "And I went, 'Yes.'" His young charges then demanded, "Sing us one!" Their specific request was "Circle of Life" from "The Lion King." John shared this cute story of extraordinary privilege on "The Graham Norton Show" in 2016 and did a hilarious impression of the Beckham boys' voices.

While John's status as Brooklyn and Romeo Beckham's godfather has allowed David Beckham and Victoria Beckham's children to experience priceless moments like that car concert, some of David's relatives were reportedly peeved about the couple's godparent picks, who also included actor Elizabeth Hurley. "You have to ask yourself why it is that Liz Hurley and Elton John have been asked to be godparents when David's own flesh and blood have been excluded," a source sniffed to the Daily Mail ahead of Cruz Beckham's 2004 birth. Cruz and Harper Beckham's godparents also include some celebs: actor Eva Longoria and singer Marc Anthony.

Cara Delevingne's actor godmother advised her not to act

When "Dynasty" legend Joan Collins was asked to be Cara Delevingne's godparent, the honor was slightly diminished by the fact that Collins shared the title with 16 other people. Collins is good friends with Cara's parents, property magnate Charles Delevingne and his wife, Pandora Stevens, a socialite whose mother was one of Princess Margaret's ladies-in-waiting. In a 2015 appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," Collins said that she asked the couple why Cara had over a dozen other godparents. "They said, 'Well, in case any of them die!'" she recalled (via Hola!).

Collins became an active participant in Cara's life, and the model turned to the seasoned star for advice when she decided to pursue her own acting career. However, Collins didn't immediately spill her secrets for executing a flawless slapping scene. "From when she said she wanted to be an actress when she was about 16, I said, 'You know what Jack Nicholson always said in that movie "As Good As It Gets"? 'Just what the world needs: another actress,'" Collins recalled to The Cut.

But a determined Delevingne told The New York Times that she'd dreamed of becoming an actor since she was a little girl. When she went against Collins' wishes, her godmother transitioned to the role of a supportive mentor. "She gave me truly great advice about being an actress," the "Paper Towns" star told TimeOut. "She was the one who told me I didn't have to go to drama school."

Damian Hurley's godfather is his mother's ex

Hugh Grant infamously got caught cheating on Elizabeth Hurley with a sex worker in 1995, and rom-com rules dictate that any relationship must be forever severed after such a serious transgression. However, against all odds, the "Bridget Jones's Diary" actor and the "Bedazzled" star remained a couple for years afterward. And when they split in 2000, they remained the best of friends; Elizabeth even asked Grant to be the godfather of her son, model-actor Damian Hurley.

After Damian's birth in 2002, Elizabeth's ex, Steve Bing, contested her claim that he was Damian's biological father. (Elizabeth was eventually proven right.) Even though Elizabeth probably could have used her good pal's support during that difficult time, WENN reported that Grant was hesitant about accepting a role as a father figure for baby Damian. "There's no godfather talk emerging from that camp so far," he said. "With babies, I don't mind them for about four minutes. It's my max." But Grant would end up having the godfather title thrust upon him and would later welcome five children of his own. On "The Jonathan Ross Show" in 2015, Elizabeth revealed that Grant asked her to be the godmother of one of his kids. 

Although he's busy with his own big family, Grant still hangs out with his ex and his godson. "He says we're like a tornado when we swarm into a room," Damian told The Times in 2021. "... We look 'terrifyingly alike and cause mayhem.'"

How Billie Lourd's Oscar-winning godmother honored Carrie Fisher

"Star Wars" icon Carrie Fisher chose a universally admired godmother for her child. In 1990, Meryl Streep starred in the semi-autobiographical movie "Postcards from the Edge," the screenplay of which Fisher adapted from her own novel of the same name. Two years after the movie premiered, Fisher and talent agent Bryan Lourd welcomed their daughter, Billie Lourd — who hit the jackpot when Streep was asked to be her godmother. During a 2019 "Watch What Happens Live" episode, Andy Cohen asked Billie, "What's the most magical thing about having Meryl Streep as your godmother?" Her response? "I mean, she's Meryl Streep!" 

Streep spent some time with her goddaughter for a heartbreaking reason in 2017. The December prior, Fisher and her mother, silver screen legend Debbie Reynolds, had died just a day apart, and Streep was among the mourners in attendance at a memorial for the two beloved stars. According to People, Streep sang "Happy Days Are Here Again," her late friend's favorite tune.

Reynolds and Fisher's acting legacy lives on in Billie, who joined the "Star Wars" family in 2015 with her appearance in "The Force Awakens." Her television credits include "Scream Queens" and "American Horror Story." Now that she's a star in her own right, she has a career goal that we're fairly certain her late mother would support. "This is so dumb to say, but I'd love to work with Meryl. Who wouldn't?" Billie told Vulture with a laugh in 2018. "So classic and typical, but she's awesome."

Nicole and Sofia Richie's godfather was Michael Jackson

"The Simple Life" star Nicole Richie and her younger sister, model Sofia Richie, grew up with a famous father in "Hello" hitmaker Lionel Richie. Through him, they also gained a global superstar as a godfather — although Michael Jackson's musical legacy has, as previously mentioned, been marred by allegations of child sexual abuse. Nicole defended the late singer in a 2003 interview with "Access Hollywood," saying that she and other children would occasionally have sleepovers at Michael's Neverland Ranch compound. "It was like, absolutely nothing more than just ... an adult kind of wanting to be a kid again. Just, you know, enjoying the company of children," she said (via Reality TV World). But by 2006, she was refusing to comment on Michael when The Guardian asked her about him.

In a 2018 appearance on "Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie," Sofia said that she also visited Neverland Ranch. She said of Michael, "He was a really sweet guy." However, Michael's daughter, Paris Jackson, is who she spent the most time with. "Paris is the sweetest girl, and she's like family to me," Sofia shared.

Lionel first met Michael when they were still members of their respective bands, The Commodores and The Jackson 5. After Michael became a parent, Lionel revealed that he and his friend became even closer. "For Michael, I am now the wise old philosopher," Lionel told WalesOnline in 2009. "He'll call me and say, 'Lionel, how do I do this?'"

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).