Do stellar acting genes get passed down from actor parents to their kids? Or are children of actor parents simply drawn to the career path? Whatever the reason, we’re seeing a new generation of actors that bear a striking resemblance to their established actor parents. And, in some cases, these sons and daughters are starting to make big names for themselves on the small screen.
Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson)
The spitting image of his father Tom Hanks, Colin Hanks has managed to carve his own acting career that includes movies, but mainly consists of television roles. His first notable appearances were in The Good Guys, Roswell, and Band of Brothers. But it was arguably his dark and disturbing character arc as art historian and serial killer Travis Marshall in the sixth season of Showtime series Dexter that really put Hanks on the map. Since then, he’s appeared in a number of TV shows, like Burning Love, NCIS, and Bad Teacher. He also snagged a role on the TV series Fargo, and currently appears in CBS comedy Life in Pieces. The latter was renewed for a second season set to commence this October, making Hanks’ face a recurring part of the primetime fall television schedule once again.
Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep)
Chances are when you first saw Gummer, you knew the face, but simply could not place it. Gummer is indeed, as her striking features suggest, the daughter of A-list Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep. And she’s shown that the acting talent is in her DNA with an impressive resume that includes notable parts in some of the biggest hit TV shows of the past few years. In addition to roles on less successful series like Smash (2012-2013), Zero Hour (2013), and Paloma (2013-2014), Gummer had scene-stealing roles on HBO shows The Newsroom and American Horror Story, as well as Fox’s Extant. Most recently, she appears as a key character in the second season of Emmy-nominated USA Network series Mr. Robot, in the role of a curious and mysterious FBI agent. It seems that with each role, Gummer is continually climbing the acting ladder.
Eva Amurri (Susan Sarandon)
Much like Gummer, chances are you first saw Amurri and knew that she looked eerily familiar. That’s because she’s the daughter of Hollywood icon Susan Sarandon. Amurri’s breakout role was as a naughty student in Showtime’s raunchy comedy Californication. She enjoyed a series of small parts after that recurring role, including ones on popular sitcoms like The Mindy Project, House, and How I Met Your Mother. Most recently, her stock rose with a role in the 2015 TV mini-series The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, in which she plays Young Gladys (Marilyn’s mother). Fittingly, Sarandon plays the older version of the character.
Rumer Willis (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore)
Her distinct facial features leave no question that this young gal is the daughter of Hollywood A-listers Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. While most of her television roles to date have been guest starring ones in shows like Army Wives, CSI: NY, 90210, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and Hawaii Five-O, Willis has had some pretty significant roles, too. Most notable was in 2013, in the fourth season of hit show Pretty Little Liars. In 2015, she both competed on and won reality competition series Dancing With the Stars. Fresh off a stint on Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Willis’ face back on television in a new project once again.
Damon Wayans Jr. (Damon Wayans)
Another offspring who carries a striking resemblance to his famous dad, Damon Wayans Jr. has proven that his family’s comedy genes are strong. The Wayans family, which also includes actors/writers/directors Keenan Ivory, along with Marlon and Shawn Wayans, is best known for the hilarious ‘90s sketch comedy show In Living Color, as well as the original Scary Movies spoof horror films. Following in his father’s television footsteps (Wayans Sr. has appeared in a number of TV sitcoms, including starring in My Wife and Kids, which ran from 2001-2005), Wayans Jr. has had some serious television acting gigs of his own as well. In 2011, he was simultaneously starring in two of the biggest TV comedies of that year: Happy Endings and New Girl. When Happy Endings was picked up for a second season, New Girl replaced his character with someone else, but brought Wayans Jr. back for a few episodes. After Happy Endings’ cancellation, he returned to the show as a series regular for its fourth season. We’re excited to see where he’ll pop up next.
Allison Williams (Brian Williams)
While her famous father is not an actor, he is a well-known television personality. Yes, one of the stars of HBO’s Girls is the dear daughter of former NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams. Her odd performance in the NBC live television presentation of the musical Peter Pan Live! notwithstanding, Williams has enjoyed steady success, mostly through her role as uptight Marnie, the best friend to Lena Dunham’s character in the HBO comedy/drama. Williams has also appeared in a series of Funny or Die sketches as Kate Middleton. Most recently, she was cast in Get Out, an upcoming horror film directed by Jordan Peele of the comedy duo Key & Peele.
Zoe Kravitz (Lenny Kravitz and actor Lisa Bonet)
The striking resemblance to both famous parents (musician Lenny Kravitz and actor Lisa Bonet) and surname make it obvious that this beautiful young actress is the offspring of those two Hollywood beauties. Following a recurring role on Californication, her star continued to rise, with appearances in both movies and on television. While the television roles have been minor to date, Kravitz is currently working on a series called Big Little Lies, TV movie The Divergent Series: Ascendant, and several other film projects. The 27-year-old is poised for continued success in the biz.
Here are 7 actors making waves on the small screen who just so happen to be the offspring of a famous Hollywood parent. Some have spent time on the big screen, but most — like much of Hollywood these days — are finding their home on television, and show no sign of wanting to leave.