The Nepo-Baby Taxonomy
The entertainment industry has never been a meritocracy. But this doesn’t mean all nepo babies are created equal. Some were lucky enough to be born with the exact same face as a famously beautiful celebrity; others had to make do with merely inheriting a bevy of connections and a knowledge of how to play the game. Some went to Crossroads, others to Saint Ann’s. Here’s a (nearly) exhaustive accounting of the actors, rock stars, models, directors, producers, influencers, writers, and insiders who just happen to be the children of actors, rock stars, models, directors, producers, influencers, writers, and insiders. Which ones are actually talented? According to their family and friends, all of them.
ON THE COME-UP
Gen-Z nepo babies just getting started.
BOOKED AND BUSY
Second-generation stars more likely to be third-billed.
They haven’t matched their famous relatives’ success, but they’ve got buzz. Have starred in or created at least one major project.
Have starred in or created multiple works on their own.
Once you’ve been around long enough or done enough iconic stuff on your own, no one cares who your parents were.
The Extended Universe
When every branch of the family tree is famous.
➼ The Chaplins have ruled for 110 years. Playwright Eugene O’Neill was the father of actress Oona O’Neill, who married Charlie Chaplin. (Oona also dated J. D. Salinger.) They had a daughter, actress Geraldine Chaplin. Geraldine’s daughter is Game of Thrones actress Oona Chaplin.
➼ The Lawson-Knowles-Gordy-Gaye-Fuquas have ruled for 71 years. Actor Richard Lawson married actress Denise Gordy, who is the niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy and who’d had a child with Marvin Gaye. Richard and Denise had a daughter, actress Bianca Lawson. Denise’s aunts were songwriter Anna Gordy Gaye, who was married to Marvin Gaye, and songwriter Gwen Gordy Fuqua, who married the Motown singer-producer Harvey Fuqua; Harvey was the uncle of director Antoine Fuqua. Meanwhile, Berry Gordy is the ex-partner of Diana Ross; the father and grandfather, respectively, of Redfoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO; the father of ’80s one-hit wonder Rockwell; and the second half-cousin of Jimmy Carter, whose great-grandfather had impregnated an enslaved woman he owned, thus fathering Berry’s grandfather. Richard Lawson later married Tina Knowles, the mother of Beyoncé and Solange. Beyoncé married Jay-Z, and their firstborn child, Blue Ivy, is the youngest person to hit the Billboard charts.
➼ The Coppolas have ruled for 52 years. Composer Carmine Coppola was the father of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire. Francis’s children are filmmakers Sofia Coppola and Roman Coppola. Sofia is married to Thomas Mars of the band Phoenix. Talia’s sons are actor Jason Schwartzman and musician Robert Schwartzman of Rooney. Carmine was also the grandfather of actor Nicolas Cage. Francis’s granddaughter is director Gia Coppola, whose 2020 film Mainstream co-starred her cousin Jason.
➼ The Kardashian-Jenners have ruled for 28 years. Lawyer Robert Kardashian and wife Kris had four children: Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, and Rob. Kris later married former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner. They had two daughters, Kendall and Kylie. Kim married athlete Kris Humphries, then rapper Kanye West. Khloé married athlete Lamar Odom and was in a long-term relationship with athlete Tristan Thompson. Kourtney married drummer Travis Barker. Kylie is in a long-term relationship with rapper Travis Scott. Kylie, Kim, and Khloé all rank among the top-ten most-followed Instagram accounts. Kendall is No. 12.
It’s like Drake said: We wanna be them, and they wanna be us. So who’s more famous?
A lesser cousin of the nepo baby. Didn’t inherit a famous name, but did inherit connections and knowledge of the business.
Industry babies all grown up.
The hipper stepsibling of the industry baby.
What Do They Do Again?
Their names are vaguely familiar, but what are their jobs, exactly? The influencers, podcasters, chefs, brand-makers, and Bachelor contestants.
➼ Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and cousin of Hailey, recently announced on TikTok that she and her boyfriend, musician RAC, are opening a “café, wine bar, and a boutique” as well as starting a brand together.
➼ Eva Amurri began as an actress playing the younger version of her mother, Susan Sarandon, in Dead Man Walking. Now she runs a lifestyle blog called Happily Eva After.
➼ Eminem’s daughter Hailie Jade hosts a podcast called Just a Little Shady.
➼ Olivia Jade Giannulli’s mother, Lori Loughlin, committed light fraud to get her into USC and paid for it in prison time; Olivia Jade likely would have preferred to stay a YouTuber.
➼ Together, Sistine and Sophia Stallone, daughters of Sylvester Stallone, entertain listeners on their podcast, Unwaxed. (It’s a reference to their eyebrows.)
➼ Kailand O. Morris, Stevie Wonder’s son, has modeled for Dior, interned for Kim Jones, and launched his own brand, House of K.O.M.
➼ Kit Keenan, daughter of Cynthia Rowley, is a podcaster and former Bachelor contestant.
➼ Larry David’s daughter, the Instagrammer turned essayist Cazzie David, has dabbled in acting on The Umbrella Academy.
➼ Katherine Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s daughter, is a self-help author who has been married to Chris Pratt since 2019.
➼ LL Cool J’s daughter Samaria Leah Wisdom Smith is an FIT grad with a line of “hand-picked and handcrafted” denim.
➼ Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson’s son Chet Hanks is a rapper who in Q2 2021 declared a “White Boy Summer.”
➼ Brooklyn Beckham, David and Victoria Beckham’s son, is a footballer-cum-model-cum-photographer-cum-chef.
➼ Lourdes Leon, Madonna’s daughter, is a model-slash-choreographer-slash-dancer-slash-singer and was featured in this very magazine two issues ago.
➼ Snoop Dogg’s daughter, Cori Broadus, makes music and has her own beauty line.
➼ Isan Elba, daughter of Idris Elba, is a nepo baby who’s doing it the right way: She auditioned for a part in her dad’s movie Beast … and didn’t get it.
Additional research by Jennifer Zhan.
An earlier version of this article featured an incorrect image of John David Washington. It has been updated.
Photo-Illustration (opener): Ron Galella Collection (Meryl, Don, Uma, Cindy) Taylor Hill/WireImage (Kaia); David Livingston/Getty Images (Lenny); Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal (Zoë); Daniele Venturelli/WireImage (Dakota); Steve Granitz/FilmMagic (Maya); Jim Spellman/WireImage (Grace); Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic (David); Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images (Zosia); Francois Durand/Getty Images (Will); Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images (Jaden); Eric Robert/Sygma (Vanessa); Stephane Cardinale/Corbis (Lily-Rose)
Photo (heads): Getty Images; WireImage; NBCUniversal; Ron Gallela Collection; Corbis Entertainment; Patrick McMullan; PA Images; Penske Media; Future Publishing; Mondadori Portfolio; NutPhoto, Ullstein Bild; AFP; Hulton Archive; Gamma-Rapho; WWD; National Basketball Association
Photo (TV/film stills): Disney+ (Hannah); Netflix (Maid, Noise); Universal Pictures (Compton); Lucas Films Ltd. (Force); HBO Max (Newark, Veep); A24 (Souvenir)
More on the year of the nepo baby
- We’re Making Nepo-Baby Merch for Actual Babies
- These Magazines Ran on Nepo Babies
- How a Nepo Baby Is Born