A far cry from the likes of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, these children of celebrities have made sure that the world knows their names not because of their parentage, but because of their talents. Icons in their own right, these ten celebrities have shown that they are not to be overshadowed by family fame (or infamy).
1. Stella McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella McCartney has become a British icon in her own right. After she began making her own clothes at the age of 13, she interned with Christian Lacroix at 16, followed in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfield while working at Chloe, created her own incredibly successful clothing brand, and built 23 stores on some of fashion’s most coveted real estate in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Four children and zero divorces later, McCartney is now serving as Adidas’ creative director for Team Great Britain for the upcoming London Summer Olympic Games.
2. Miley Cyrus
19 year-old Destiny Hope Cyrus, known as “Miley,” has built an impressive empire for herself, producing a three-time platinum album Meet Miley Cyrus and starring in the popular Disney show Hannah Montana. Although her alter-ego as Hannah Montana and personal brand as Miley may overshadow her acting career, Cyrus has worked on several films including Big Fish and The Last Song. As successful as she is individually, she has not needed the help of father Billy Ray Cyrus and has kept her professional affiliation with minimal, only recording one song with him. Most recently, Cyrus announced her engagement to Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, her co-star in The Last Song.
3. Kate Hudson
Daughter of Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, Kate Hudson considers her real father to be Hawn’s longtime partner Kurt Russell. Since making it big as Penny Lane in Almost Famous, Hudson has enjoyed a solid career in a variety of understated and offbeat romantic comedies that have earned her a steady fan following. Hudson is currently mother to son Ryder, whom she had with ex-husband Chris Robinson.
4. Carrie Fisher
Princess Leia’s tangles with The Empire in Star Wars hardly compare to Leia’s real-life counterpart Carrie Fisher’s struggles with bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and pill addiction. The product a true life Hollywood dynasty, complete with parents Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and stepmother Elizabeth Taylor, Fisher followed up her acting debut with a steady stream of small but notable roles and successful writing ventures. Fisher wrote the screenplay for Postcards from the Edge, based on her book of the same name, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. Her talent for on-screen acting has continued with roles in When Harry Met Sally, The Blues Brothers, and Family Guy, in addition to many guest starring roles on television. Fisher’s comedic talents outshine her bouts with bipolar disorder and depression. She skillfully recounts her adventures in electroshock therapy and drug rehabilitation in her bestselling books Wishful Drinking and Shockaholic and ensuring stand-up comedy tours.
5. Liv Tyler
Daughter of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Playboy Playmate Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler started her career as a model before becoming a successful actress. After turning heads in numerous supporting roles, Tyler cemented her place in Hollywood with her role in Stealing Beauty and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Also renowned for her roles in Jersey Girl, The Hulk, and Armageddon, Tyler is now mother to son Milo and spokesperson for Givenchy perfume.
6. Angelina Jolie
Daughter of Deliverance star Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s tough-but-beautiful image began with her early acting roles in Hackers and Girl, Interrupted. Her turn as Lara Croft made her an action movie star, although she has since expanded into more dramatic roles in Changeling and A Mighty Heart. In addition to starting a family with fellow superstar and boyfriend Brad Pitt, Jolie has earned the titles of philanthropist, activist, writer, and director.
7. Zoe Kravitz
Born to singer Lenny Kravitz and The Cosby Show’s Lisa Bonet, Zoe Kravitz started her career as a senior in high school while working on No Reservations and The Brave One alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jodie Foster, respectively. After holding low profile roles in Californication and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Zoe Kravitz has gained more popularity of late as Angel Salvadore in last summer’s blockbuster X-Men: First Class. In addition to continuing her acting career, Kravitz is the lead singer and co-songwriter for her band “Elevator Fight” and the face of Vera Wang’s “Princess” perfume.
8. Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola debuted on the big screen as a baby in father Francis Ford Coppola’s monumental film The Godfather. Since then, she has written and directed four critically acclaimed feature films, trademarked her own dreamy filmmaking style, and produced her own clothing brand, Milkfed. Her 2004 film Lost in Translation received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, earned Coppola a nomination for Best Director, and scored her a win for Best Original Screenplay. She is currently working on her latest film Bling Ring starring Emma Watson and Leslie Mann.
9. Charlie Sheen
The youngest and most notorious of Martin Sheen’s children, Charlie Sheen has acted in comedic films and television shows, most notably Two and a Half Men. However, his real claim to fame comes from his relationship with ex-wife Denise Richards and infamous party antics, often involving prostitutes and drugs. After a very public meltdown last year, Sheen has recovered and is working to reinstate his image with FX’s new show Anger Management.
10. Emilio Estevez
Martin Sheen’s eldest child and Charlie Sheen’s older brother, Emilio Estevez began his career as a member of the “Brat Pack,” starring in 1980’s classic films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. He went on to work with brother Charlie Sheen in the well received comedy Men at Work. Estevez gained critical acclaim as a writer and director for his movies Bobby and most recently The Way, which he also stars in alongside father Martin Sheen.