When a parent (or two) achieves fame via exceptional acting or singing talent, will that special attribute transfer down to any of their offspring? And if so, will that young, aspiring performer ever match their parent’s success?


It’s a relatively rare occurrence. First, many children of celebrities consciously avoid following the same path; either they don’t have the gift, or don’t want the life. Sometimes the parent actively discourages them.


Then there are those who pursue the same track, but never quite measure up to the large shoes they’re trying to fill (think John Drew Barrymore and Frank Sinatra, Jr.). These folks will tell you a famous name can be a curse, carrying you only so far.


However, there are times when the child of a big star grows up and makes it, on their own merits and their own terms.


Below is a pictorial tribute to the mothers and daughters who both managed to hit the big time in the film business. Our simple criteria: both have appeared in features selected for this site.


Enjoy the visuals — and the films!



Janet Leigh/ Jamie Lee Curtis


Their Movies: 

“The Naked Spur” (1953)

Psycho (1960)

“A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)



Judy Garland/ Liza Minnelli

Their Movies: 

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

“Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944)

“Cabaret” (1972)


Vanessa Redgrave/ Joely Richardson

Their Movies: 

“Blow-Up” (1966)

“Julia” (1977)

“Sister My Sister” (1995)


Ingrid Bergman/ Isabella Rossellini


Their Movies:

“Casablanca” (1942)

“Notorious” (1946)

“Blue Velvet” (1986)


Tippi Hedren/ Melanie Griffith


Their Movies: 

“The Birds” (1963)

“Night Moves” (1975)

“Working Girl” (1988)


Catherine Deneuve/ Chiara Mastroianni

Their Movies: 

“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964)

“Tristana” (1970)

“Bastards” (2013)


Diane Ladd/ Laura Dern


Their Movies: 

“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974)

“Jurassic Park” (1993)

“October Sky” (1999)


Jane Birkin/ Charlotte Gainsbourg



Their Movies: 

“La Belle Noiseuse” (1991)

“The Science of Sleep” (2006)

“Golden Door” (2006)


Debbie Reynolds/ Carrie Fisher


Their Movies:

“Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)

“Star Wars — A New Hope” (1977)

“When Harry Met Sally” (1989)




More:  The Turbulent Saga of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

Kirk and Michael Douglas: Like Father, Like Son