The Seven Celebrity Offspring That Didn't Blow It

October 26, 2010

The spoiled spawn of Hollywood icons have been taking a stab at their parents' professions for years now, but only a few of these legacy thespians have legitimately risen to the occasion to get the real respect they deserve. It's time to give respect to some hard-workin' rich kids.

Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images


7. Kiefer Sutherland

Photo: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Son to Canadian actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland had some pretty big shoes to fill when it came to pursuing a career in acting. Needless to say, the guy has straight killed it since his first screen appearance back in 1983.

Even though his dad Donald is easily one of the greatest screen stars of all time, Kiefer has been able to stand on his own two feet with his serious star power and undeniable skills. A lot of fans can be cruel to a Hollywood legacy like Kiefer, but with epic roles in classics like Stand by Me, Young Guns, and 24, everyone’s favorite drunk celebrity has done his family proud on many artistic levels. The man is a rock star, y’all.

 

6. Charlie Sheen & Emilio Estevez

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I can’t say that I think that Charlie or Emilio have ever surpassed their dad Martin in terms of skill and/or charisma as an actor, but they damn sure are both screen legends that can’t be denied.

In the ‘80s, both Charlie and Emilio became two of the most popular young actors in Hollywood. Throughout their careers, the two brothers have taken part in some of the most influential and iconic films of all time. Sheen’s work in Platoon, Wall Street, and Major League is as respectable as it gets in film. Emilio also put down great performances in classic films like Repo Man, The Outsiders, and The Breakfast Club. Their careers did dip in the ‘90s, but no one can take away from the amazing body of work they have put together throughout their careers. 

On a side note: Sheen totally blew his kid outta the water in Wall Street.

 

5. Drew Barrymore

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Being a member of a multi-generational theatrical dynasty can’t be easy. Having John Barrymore as your grandfather pretty much guarantees a career in moving pictures. With this said, Drew Barrymore has had one of the greatest careers in the history of show business. Seriously.

Things started off really well for Ms. Barrymore. Drew’s breakout role in 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial put her on the map in Hollywood, but her rebellious, cocaine-sniffing behavior in her early teens was what made fans believe her career might have truly been finished before it even really began. Just when we all thought she had gone off the deep end after flashing her boobs on Letterman, Drew was able to regroup and surprise us all with a string of box-offices successes like Scream and The Wedding Singer. She also formed Flower Films and went on to produce such cult classics as Donnie Darko and box office smashes like Charlie's Angels. She’s also done all of this by the age of 35. Not too shabby.

Dating Tom Green might not have been the greatest idea though.



4. Jane and Peter Fonda

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Jane and Peter Fonda are both Hollywood legends. Period. Peter’s work on the 1969 landmark Easy Rider helped make him a household name overnight. The fact that Peter took the risk of doing a film like Easy Rider during such a turbulent time in America is proof that he was a real artist who wasn’t afraid of jeopardizing his spot on the Hollywood scene. His sister was no different. Not only did Jane Fonda put down solid dramatic work in Academy Award-winning films like Klute and Coming Home, she was also in extreme opposition to the war in Vietnam. Regardless about how you feel about her "Hanoi Jane" stint and statements about the war, you gotta respect her as an artist. Both of Henry’s kids each carved out their own unique path and became legends in the process.

In my opinion, neither Peter nor Jane surpassed their father’s work/career as an actor. It’s not really all that fair to compare them to the likes of Henry Fonda, but he is their father and that’s just the way it is, people.

 

 

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3. Brandon Lee

Photo: Barry King/Getty Images

Of all the actors on this list, there is no question that Brandon Lee had the biggest shoes to fill when it came to making his own mark as a Hollywood star as well as getting respect from fans. His father’s untimely death at the peak of his powers made Bruce Lee the biggest action star on the planet. This pressure to carry on his legacy couldn’t have been easy for Brandon, but the only son of Lee Jun-fan made his own way and proved how talented and unique he really was.

It took Brandon a few movies to really get his career going, but by the time he did Rapid Fire, it was apparent that the kid had some serious skills as a performer. His stardom obviously peaked when he took on his final role in the 1994 landmark The Crow. Who knows what Brandon could of accomplished if he had lived, but I guarantee he would have gone on to become one of the biggest and most versatile Hollywood stars in the world. His father would be proud.

 

2. Michael Douglas

Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images

In terms of making your own way in the movie biz, being the son of one of the most beloved Hollywood stars of all time can’t be all that easy to escape. Somehow Michael Douglas did it. His production work on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest back in 1975 seemed to be the moment where he went from Kirk Douglas’ little boy to a legit Hollywood player. When the ‘80s finally hit, Douglas straight up exploded. From Romancing the Stone to Fatal Attraction to his Oscar-winning role in Wall Street, Michael Douglas became his own man and won the hearts and respect of film fans around the world. It's true that the popularity and status of his father in the world of Hollywood allowed him to have these amazing opportunities, but you can’t fake talent, people.

Get well soon, Michael.

 

1. Jeff Bridges

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

First and foremost, there is no question that Jeff Bridges is the most talented actor on this list. His jaw-dropping resume speaks for itself.

With classics like High Noon and Airplane!, Lloyd Bridges was entertaining film audiences since the 1930s. His son Jeff has been no different. In only his third movie role in The Last Picture Show, Jeff was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category. It could have been a fluke, but from then on in, Jeff proved again and again why he was one of the most talented actors around. Seeing both of them get to act together as father and son in 1994’s Blown Away was a real treat.

Jeff Bridges' work ethic has always been second to none. That’s surprising for the offspring of a big time movie star. A lot of people would've just collected a few paychecks and hit an early retirement. Not this guy. He's helped create some of the most iconic characters film has ever seen and he’s also one of the nicest dudes around to boot.

Shoutout to Beau Bridges as well. Looks like Lloyd Bridges sure knew how to raise some awesome kids.

 

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