Acting dynasties are really interesting, simply because you get to see the way talent manifests through different generations and branches of the family. There are actually lots of acting families working in films and televisions today, some of which might surprise you. There are big names everyone knows, of course, but many times those families also include actors and actresses you might not expect. Take a look at some of the most successful acting dynasties, big and small, and see which names pop out at you!
1 The Barrymores
The Barrymores are one of the most well known, prolific acting dynasties, and they're among the most talented as well. Naturally, Drew is the family's current incarnation, but Hollywood's Golden Age was filled with Barrymores. They weren't just actors, although they certainly graced both movie screens and the stage. The family was also known for its talent in directing and even writing. John, Lionel, and Ethel were legends, and they helped shape, mold, and improve Drew Barrymore's career in a number of ways.
2 The Baldwins
The Baldwins form a comparably modern acting dynasty, but they're still a huge name in TV and movies. True, Alec Baldwin has won most if not all of the families awards, but brothers William (also known as Billy), Stephen, and Daniel are nearly as famous in their own rights. The brothers are all also just as well known for their often tumultuous personal lives, whether it involves preaching the ministry or going through acrimonious divorces and indulging in verbal abuse. The thing is, nothing seems able to touch these five; Alec, especially, just keeps shooting back to the top.
3 The Arquettes
One thing troubles me about the much loved Arquette progeny, who got the acting bug courtesy of Cliff, their comedian grandfather, and their father Lewis. You rarely hear about any love for Alexis, the very brave, very funny, and very talented transgender member of the family. Along with David, Rosanna, and Patricia, she forms a vital part of the Arquette family. Sometimes the members are better known for their personal lives as well but, again, we still love them best when they're on the big screen.
4 The Redgraves
The Redgraves represent one of the most talented acting dynasties ever – in England or the states. The family's roots began on the stage, all the way back in the 19th century, and they've been acting ever since. Well, acting, directing, and writing – they're a talented bunch! Currently, the most well known members include sisters Lynn and Vanessa, and Vanessa's children Joely Richardson and the dearly departed Natasha Richardson, who was married to Liam Neeson.
5 The Hustons
The Hustons are definitely one of my favorite acting families, primarily because I still have an enormous girl crush on Anjelica Huston. This family got its start courtesy of Walter Huston, but his son John is probably the most well known name in the bunch – or at least he was, of course, before his amazing children took center stage. Still, John was important to the world of cinema as we now know it, and daughter Anjelica along with son Danny have continued that legacy. There was even a brief union with the Madsen family, courtesy of Danny's marriage to Virginia.
6 The Fondas
The Fondas are still a huge dynasty in Hollywood; if you're a movie lover, then you very likely know the entire bunch. It started with actor Henry, who was simply amazing. He produced two likewise amazing children: Peter and Jane, a great actress and a widely controversial, exceptionally strong woman. Peter Fonda is Bridget Fonda's father, and she herself is the wife of Danny Elfman, who's responsible for tons of original soundtracks in both movies and televisions.
7 The Sheens
Can you say winning? It might make more sense to put this under “Estevez,” but since the family's divided mostly down the middle, I stuck with Sheen. That's also thanks to Martin Sheen, who started it all, being arguably more well known than his brother Joe Estevez. Needless to say, Martin is the father of that fountain of tiger blood, Charlie, whose career is just as notorious as his crazy personal life. Brother Emilio was a member of the Brat Pack and a cutie pie, but Ramon Estevez, Jr., and Renee Estevez are both quite successful as well.
8 The Bridges
Last but not least, the Bridges are a much loved acting family as well. Lloyd Bridges was an incredible actor who starred in too many movies and television shows to count. His wife, Dorothy, was an actress herself, in addition to being a poet of some renown. Thanks to them, Hollywood gets to enjoy The Dude. Seriously, Jeff Bridges has starred in so many amazing films, and he just keeps getting better. Beau Bridges is just as talented in his own right, and he's still busy with some fantastic projects too. Jordan Bridges, Beau's son, rounds out the fourth generation, and can currently be seen in Rizzoli & Isles. You'll recognize him because he looks just like his dad.
There are many other acting dynasties, some of which are well known, some of which are just getting started. Look at Julia, Eric, and Emma Roberts, for example – with the latter's recent successes, the family is well on its way to becoming a dynasty! Are there any acting families you love that I've missed on this list? Let me know your favorites, and some of the movies you love best as well!
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