Famous Children Who Have Made Their Own Names in Different Industries 

Jessica Lawshe
Updated November 4, 2019 219.5k views 15 items

List Rules Famous kids of famous people who found their fame in completely different fields than their parents.

Usually in famous Hollywood families, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. All you have to do is look at the Smith family (Will, Jada, Jaden, and Willow) to see that celebs usually breed another generation of celebs. But what about those famous offspring who have decided to go in different directions than mom and dad? 

This list of famous children who have made their own names in different industries celebrates those "kids" who have taken different paths than their famous parents. These are the Anderson Coopers, Dylan Laurens, and Stella McCartneys of the world - those famous children in different industries than their parents. 

Alison Williams went the acting route, rather than pursue journalism like her father, anchorman Brian Williams. Chet Hanks (Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's son) eschewed acting for rapping. And Dylan Lauren (Ralph Lauren's daughter) skipped out on fashion and design to become the queen of cool candy. 

As this list proves, there's no reason you have to follow in your parents' footsteps if you don't want to - you can strike out on your own and be just as (or even more) successful!
Anderson Cooper is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Children Who Have Made Their Own Names in Different Industries
Photo:  Tulane Public Relations/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Industry: Journalism
Famous Parent: Gloria Vanderbilt
Parent's Industries: Art, fashion, acting

Journalist Anderson Cooper has risen to fame  as a result of his war reporting and in-depth interviews. But as People explained, his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, has been famous since she was born. Her great-grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, built the New York Central Railroad. At a very young age, Gloria was at the center of a very publicized child custody case. Later on in her life, she became an actress and artist, and also created a popular line of jeans

Age: 51

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

More Anderson Cooper 

#93 of 131 The Most Annoying TV Hosts #52 of 150 The Most Ridiculous Political Pundits #29 of 30 The Most Eligible Bachelors Of 2020

Keira Knightley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Children Who Have Made Their Own Names in Different Industries
Photo:  Tony Shek /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Industry:  Acting
Famous Parent: Sharman MacDonald
Parent's Industry: Writing

Keira’s mother, Sharman MacDonald, is a Scottish playwright and screenwriter that wrote the script for Knightley’s film The Edge of Love. According to Independent, MacDonald introduced Keira and her brother to theater at a very young age. As she said about her daughter's success, "I feel huge pride, absolutely – a certain amount of concern when pressures are too much, but only in as far as any mother has concern for a child doing anything as they grow up and fly on their own in any sphere."

Age: 33

Birthplace: Teddington, London, United Kingdom

More Keira Knightley 

The 25+ Best Keira Knightley Movies of All Time, Ranked #50 of 256 The Best Actresses Working Today #82 of 853 The Best Actresses in Film History

Rashida Jones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Children Who Have Made Their Own Names in Different Industries
Photo: Stephanie Moreno/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Industry: Acting, Writing  
Famous Parent:  Quincy Jones
Parent's Industry: Music

As Rashida Jones told The Guardian about her initial interest in law school, "When I would talk about being interested in the law as a kid, they would be like, 'That's so cute! She has her own thing!' The big twist in events is that, after college, I realized I wanted to be an actor, because that wasn't what I had thought I wanted from my life."

Age: 42

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

More Rashida Jones 

#99 of 424 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #68 of 282 The Funniest Female Comedians of All Time #1,191 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

Allison Williams is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Children Who Have Made Their Own Names in Different Industries
Photo:  Paul Stein/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Industry: Acting 
Famous Parent: Brian Williams 
Parent's Industry: Journalism

As Gawker explained, Allison got her start with the help of a YouTube video, but also maybe a little help from her dad, anchorman Brian Williams. Seems like Williams and Judd Apatow (a producer on Girls) were acquaintances before she landed her role on Girls, probably thanks to some cred from her dad.

When it was revealed that Brian Williams had made erroneous claims about his war reporting, Allison defended him. As reported by Us Weeklyshe told Seth Meyers during a Q&A, "He's a really good man. He's an honest man. He's a truthful man. He has so much integrity. He cares so much about journalism. And yes, he's a really good dad. I know you can trust him because, as any good daughter does, I've tested him on that."

Age: 30

Birthplace: Connecticut, United States of America

More Allison Williams 

#299 of 348 The Best American Actresses Working Today #20 of 30 Who Would Star In An Americanized 'Game Of Thrones'? #12 of 14 Celebrities With Unexpectedly Funny Instagram Accounts