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Parents And Their Kids Who Appeared In The Same Movie (As Unrelated Characters)

Updated January 16, 2020 65.2k views14 items

Since the earliest days of filmmaking, actors and actresses have appeared alongside their children in various projects, and there are tons of examples of famous families in movies. In the vast majority of these instances, the child appears as either a younger version of the parent or as the kid to their parent in the story - which makes a lot of sense, since they often actually look like each other. 

Famous family castings aren't limited to parent/child roles, though. There are a few times when those combos play characters who are completely unrelated on screen. It's rare, but it does happen every once in a while, especially when the famous "child" is an adult. Check out these examples of parents and their kids playing unrelated characters on screen, and see if there are any you didn't catch the first time you watched them.

  • John Wayne's 1956 film The Searchers is all about a father and Civil War veteran who spends years searching for his long-lost niece after she is taken by Native Americans. In the movie, the elder Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, the man on the hunt for his niece, while his son Patrick plays Lieutenant Greenhill. 

    It's a small part, but it has an impact on the film, as Patrick is the one who divulges the whereabouts of the missing girl. He showed up in eight more of his father's films over the years, but he never quite achieved the fame his father had.

  • 'Easy Rider' - Peter Fonda, Susan Brewer, Bridget Fonda, & Justin Fonda

    Bridget Fonda made her feature film debut in 1969's Easy Rider at the age of 5. She played an uncredited child in the hippie commune while her father, Peter Fonda, took on the leading role of Wyatt.

    Bridget wasn't the only member of the Fonda family in the scene either: Her brother Justin Fonda and mother Susan Brewer were in the hippie commune, as well.

  • Melanie Griffith has appeared in a plethora of films, but despite having a daughter who has carried a major motion picture franchise, the two have only worked together in a single movie. Crazy in Alabama was Dakota Johnson's feature film debut, and she was only 10 years old at the time.

    In the movie, Griffith played opposite Meat Loaf as Lucille Vinson, while her daughter took on the role of Sondra, a minor character in the film. This happened a good 17 years before Dakota would take on the role of Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

  • 'House of D' - Robin Williams & Zelda Williams
    Photo: Lionsgate

    Zelda Williams appears in David Duchovny's directorial debut, House of D, with her father Robin Williams. In the film, Robin Williams plays a mentally challenged janitor who is best friends with a 13-year-old named Tommy.

    The film follows Tommy as a child, growing up, and becoming a man as he experiences his first love with Melissa, played by Williams's daughter Zelda.