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Paltrows - Gwyneth and Blythe Danner

Famous Families

Fame runs in the family for many Hollywood stars. For the Baldwins, Paltrows, Judds, Arquettes, Barrymores and Hawns, talent flows in their blood, and acting is a gene passed down for generations. It's easy to inherit power if you are a member of these star-studded clans!

For the massive Baldwin clan, four out of six kids had no problem making it in Hollywood. Though their father was just your average social studies teacher and football coach, and the boys grew up in the town of Massapequa in Long Island, New York, nothing was going to stop these ambitious Baldwin's from getting into show business. Alec, born in 1958, is the oldest of the group and set the trend of stardom for the rest of the brothers. Formerly married to the actress Kim Basinger, Alec began acting on Broadway in the early 1980s, abandoning his early desire to become a lawyer. Younger brother, Daniel (1960), followed in Alec's path and is also now an accomplished actor and has even branched out to directing films. William Baldwin (1963) came close behind Daniel, beginning his career as a model. The star of the hit movie, Backdraft, William is married to pop singer Chynna Phillips (whose mother is Michelle Phillips) of Wilson Phillips and has two children. Last but not least, Stephen Baldwin (1966), the youngest of the brothers, also tapped into the acting career and has starred in various films and made dozens of TV cameos. The family is related to cousin Joseph Baldwin, also an actor. The acting gene must have only run in the male blood in this family, however, because the Baldwin boys' two sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, did not become involved in Hollywood.

While the Baldwins are all about the boys, the Judd family gives rise to girl power. Mother Naomi Judd was initially a nurse, moving her family around until really settling down in 1979 in Franklin, Tenn. At that point, Naomi and beautiful daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, searched for a record deal in the nearby Nashville, and in 1983, their wish came true. They had a sit-down audition with RCA Nashville that launched them into their highly successful careers. Unfortunately, years later, Naomi announced that she had contracted Hepatitis C during her nursing career. Wynonna and Naomi had their last concert in 1991. Though it may have been the end of the influential duo, Wynonna has gone on to have a record-breaking solo career in which her first solo album "Wynonna" sold over three million copies! Younger sister, Ashley Judd, also came into her own as an actress. Though she once worked for US $10 a day cleaning her mother and sister's tour bus, Ashley's adorable looks and sweetness took her straight to the top. She starred in 1999 film Double Jeopardy and has been named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People. With her mother's influence, however, Ashley refuses any nudity shots. The self-proclaimed feminist says, "My mother worked too hard for me to take my clothes off in my first movie."

With generations of stardom, Bruce Paltrow, Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow make up one of the most accomplished, though small, Hollywood families. The late Bruce Paltrow began his career in the movie industry in the late 1960s and eventually became a renowned producer and director with some of his hits being Duets and Fargo. Danner, his beautiful wife and mother of "Gwynnie," studied acting at Bard College and made her debut in theater companies and is predominantly a star of the stage, though her acting career has included a number of hits. Their son, Jake Paltrow, is also a screen favorite, starring in episodic television programs such as NYPD Blue. Gwyneth, however, takes the cake in the family for her acting career. She began acting during her college career at the University of California, Santa Barbara in a theatre play Picnic in 1991 with her mother. But it wasn't long before the art history major was out on her own and in the spotlight. Because of her starring role as Emma Woodhouse in the 1996 remake of the classic Emma, Paltrow was given a role in the 1998 Shakespeare in Love for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The stunning natural beauty, Gwyneth dated both Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck before settling down with band Coldplay's handsome frontman Chris Martin. The happy couple has since had a baby Apple, who will no doubt carry on the Paltrow family tradition of talent.

Though perhaps more controversial than the perfect Paltrows, the Arquette family deserves their place in fame. Hailing from grandfather Cliff Arquette, famous for his role as Charley Weaver and as his many talents as a comedian, actor, pianist, and a composer, the Arquettes have show biz in their blood. Cliff's son Lewis, TV's The Walton's star and his five kids shot to fame. The eldest of the bunch, Rosanna Arquette, born in 1959, began her acting career at age five and has continued ever since. She has starred in countless made-for-TV movies and has even won the British Academy Award for her acting in the independent film Desperately Seeking Susan. The next of the Arquettes, Richmond was born in 1963 and has many numerous movie cameos. Patricia Arquette, born in 1969 and the former Mrs. Nicholas Cage, has an incredible range as an actress. From terrifying audiences to making them laugh, this Arquette has definitely paved her way through Hollywood. At 15, the actress ran away from home to live with her older sister, and in no time, she was casted in various films. She has appeared in numerous critically-acclaimed films such as Ethan Frome (1993) and Flirting with Disaster (1996). One year younger, Alexis Arquette, has also made a statement of his own. The flamboyant actor may be best remembered for his comic performance in The Wedding Singer singing "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me." He also controversially posed as the Hindu god Krishna on the cover Genre Magazine, a gay publication. Youngest, but perhaps best known for his acting in the Scream series, David Arquette has captured the screen many times. Like the rest of his siblings, David Arquette started young and landed a role as Luke Perry's best friend in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992. After being introduced to Courtney Cox on the set of Scream in 1996, David married her in 1999, and the two live happily in a beautiful house in Malibu with their baby, Coco.

A family and also a Hollywood legend, the Barrymores have spent generations in the spotlight! The three Barrymore siblings Ethel, John and Lionel are stars of the stage, screen and television and appeared in one film together: Rasputin and the Empress in 1932. The three siblings were the children of stage actors Maurice Barrymore (Blythe), who died in March 1905 and Georgianna Drew. Ethel Barrymore had her heyday during the 1940s and 1950s and even turned down a marriage proposal from Winston Churchill. John Barrymore married Dolores Costello and then produced another generation of Hollywood stars. Though his mother tried to stop him, the determined John Barrymore II also hit up the stage, though not quite as successfully as his daughter Drew Barrymore, who we have all known since her childhood debut as the adorable girl in Spielberg's E.T. Though she has stardom in her genes, Drew's acting ability is what got her to the top. Able to star in both dramas and comedy, she is one of the most bankable actresses of all time. For her charming role in the sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Drew pulled in US $14 million.

Another star-studded clan is headed by Goldie Hawn, the blonde actress who charmed her way into show biz got her first big "break" as a go-go girl because of her moves in the can-can line at the 1965 World's Fair. It wasn't long before her acting ability was noticed and soon, she became famous for her roles as a ditzy and beautiful girl. In 1969, she starred next to Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman in Cactus Flower, for which she won an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress. Her relationship with rocker Bill Hudson left her with two beautiful children: Kate Hudson, Goldie's look-a-like blonde bombshell daughter, and Oliver Hudson, her handsome brother. Though her family was hoping she would attend New York University, Kate Hudson opted to pave her own way into acting. A born performer, she has made her way into stardom in just a matter of years. Though she was originally cast as a minor role in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, she begged to read for the part of "Band Aide" Penny Lane and landed the role in no time. Rising straight to fame after this one movie, she has since had numerous highly popular films, including the adorable, romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Her brother, Oliver Hudson, though, not completely involved in the cinema yet, has definitely not gone unnoticed. In 2002, he was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful. Goldie's long-time love of over 22 years with Kurt Russell has truly withstood the test of time for a Hollywood couple. Goldie and Kurt have one son together, Wyatt Russell who is 19 years old. The two Hudsons also think of him as their father and the group of four together started Cosmic Entertainment in 2003.

A huge Hollywood family, the Wayans have practically taken over Hollywood! Howell and Elvira Wayans are the parents of 10 children, six of whom are in the acting industry. With four boys, Keenen, Damon, Shawn and Dwayne and six girls, Kim, Elvira, Deidra, Nadia, and Vonnie, the New York family has made a huge impact on the movie, TV and comedy scene! The eldest, Keenan (1958), pursued a college education until his senior year when he dropped out to try his hand at comedy full-time. Keenan really made it big with his creation of the popular early '90s TV series In Living Color, in which his sister, Kim, a Wesleyen graduate and brother, Shawn also acted. Next up, Damon, is the star of the TV show, My Wife and the Kids. Nadia has made cameos in minor roles and Marlon, the baby of the clan, has had major success since his debut in In Living Color. He has acted in Requiem for a Dream and in the Scary Movie series, which was actually created by yet another family member, cousin Craig Wayans. As the Wayans kids have started having kids of their own, this star-studded family keeps on growing and growing!

If these families can't prove that fame and fortune run in the blood, then no one can!

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