I have always appreciated when people follow in the footsteps of their famous parents. In fact, I think it is fun to see actors collaborate with their own children on-screen, of which there are more than enough examples. The following are 30 of our favorite movies and TV shows that proved to be a family affair for the stars involved.
Adam, Jackie, Sadie, And Sunny Sandler (You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah)
Not only did producer Adam Sandler star as the father of two girls played by his real daughters, Sadie and Sunny, in the You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah cast in 2023. The Netflix original coming-of-age dramedy also stars the comedian’s wife, Jackie, while Idina Menzel handled the role of Adam’s onscreen spouse.
Andie MacDowell And Margaret Qualley (MAID)
According to MAID developer Molly Smith Metzler, it was actually star Margaret Qualley who brought up the idea of casting her own mother, Andie MacDowell, as her character’s mother. The Golden Globe-nominated Four Weddings and Funeral star plays Paula (a woman with severe bipolar disorder) opposite the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cast member in the Netflix original miniseries based on Stephanie Land’s memoir.
Angelina Jolie And Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Maleficent)
Vivienne Jolie-Pitt gave her debut (and, so far, sole) onscreen acting performance opposite her mother, Angelina Jolie, in 2014’s Maleficent — a live-action reimagining of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perspective. According to Vanity Fair, the then-5-year-old got the part of a younger version of Elle Fanning’s character, Aurora, because other children were too afraid of the Academy Award winner in full makeup and costume in the title role.
Ben And Jerry Stiller And Anne Meara (Various)
Ben Stiller shared the screen with both of his late parents, legendary comedy duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, multiple times — the first being the 1989 mockumentary, That’s Adequate, followed by 1991 horror-comedy, Highway to Hell. Ben later played a sadistic fitness guru who purchases a youth weight loss camp from his parents’ characters in Disney’s 1995 summer comedy movie, Heavyweights, before casting them 2001’s Zoolander, with Jerry as Maury Ballstein and Meara cameoing as an egg-throwing protester.
Billy Ray, Miley, And Noah Cyrus (Doc, Hannah Montana)
Both Miley Cyrus and her sister, Noah, made their acting debuts on the medical drama, Doc, which was led by their musician father, Billy Ray Cyrus. Years later, the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer took a supporting role on Miley’s smash hit Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana, which Noah would also appear on in various unnamed roles.
Brendan, Domhnall, And Brian Gleeson (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 1, Frank Of Ireland)
Brendan Gleeson reprised Mad-Eye Moody in the penultimate installment of the Harry Potter movies, which also starred his son, Domhnall, as Ron Weasley’s older brother, Bill, in 2010. More than a decade later, the Academy Award nominee starred opposite the Star Wars movies actor and his younger son, Brian, in an episode of their Amazon Prime comedy series, Frank of Ireland, as a new boyfriend of the title character’s mother.
Blythe Danner And Gwyneth Paltrow (Sylvia)
In 2003, Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow played the title role of a biopic about Sylvia Plath. To play the renowned writer and poet’s mother, Aurelia, Paltrow’s real-life mother, Tony and Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner was cast.
Chris, Tristan, And India Hemsworth (Thor: Love And Thunder)
After his older brother, Luke, portrayed his comic book character in a play in Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth made 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder a real family affair. Not only would Luke return, but Chris’s son, Tristan, appeared as the title character’s younger self in a flashback and his daughter, India, played Gorr the God Butcher’s daughter, Love.
Clint And Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino, Trouble With The Curve)
The first time Clint Eastwood acted alongside his son, Scott, was in 2007’s Gran Torino for a scene in which — as the Suicide Squad star claimed to Conan O’Brien — his father threw a few unscripted insults toward his character. Five years later, Scott starred in the baseball movie Trouble with the Curve as a minor leaguer discovered by his father’s character.
Damon Wayans And Damon Wayans Jr. (Blankman, My Wife And Kids, Happy Together)
Daman Wayans Jr. debuted as the younger version of his father’s character — aspiring superhero, Kevin — in the funny ‘90s movie Blankman, before landing a recurring role on his sitcom, My Wife and Kids, and later inviting him to play his dad on his own sitcom, Happy Together. In early 2023, Deadline reported that the Wayans are developing a new sitcom that will pair them up as an on-screen father-son duo once again.
Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, And Rumer Willis (Various)
Rumer Willis’ first two acting gigs were alongside her mother, Demi Moore, as Angela Albertson in the underrated ‘90s movie, Now and Then, and as the daughter of Moore’s character in the classic stripper movie, Striptease. The actor and singer’s next two roles would be alongside her father, Bruce Willis, with an uncredited cameo in the 2000 comedy, The Whole Nine Yards, and as the daughter of Willis’ character in the 2005 thriller, Hostage.
Donald And Kiefer Sutherland (A Time To Kill, Forsaken)
The first time Donald and Kiefer Sutherland appeared in a movie together — namely 1996’s A Time to Kill — Donald played a civil rights lawyer and Kiefer played a vicious white supremacist. Nearly two decades later, the father and son played a father and son in a western called Forsaken.
Eugene, Dan, And Sarah Levy (Schitt's Creek)
The Schitt’s Creek cast has more than two related actors in it. Eugene Levy and his son, Dan (who also created the hit sitcom together), play Johnny Rose and his son, David, and Dan’s sister, Sarah, also stars as Café Tropical owner, Twyla Sands.
George And Mayan Lopez (Lopez Vs. Lopez)
Comedian George Lopez teamed up with his daughter, Mayan, and Debby Wolfe to create the NBC sitcom, Lopez vs. Lopez. The series — which was renewed for a second season, according to Variety — also stars George and Mayan as a father and daughter forced to reconnect after year when they have no choice but to move in together.
Henry And Jane Fonda (On Golden Pond)
The 1981 film adaptation of the acclaimed play On Golden Pond was a very special moment in Henry Fonda’s career. In addition to being his final performance, which earned him a Best Actor Oscar, it saw him share the screen with his real-life daughter, Jane, who played his estranged daughter.
Johnny And Lily-Rose Depp (Tusk, Yoga Hosers)
A nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp plays Guy LaPointe in Kevin Smith’s bizarre A24 horror movie, 2014’s Tusk, which also stars his daughter, Lily-Rose, as a convenience store employee. When Smith made a spin-off in 2016 focusing on Lily-Rose and Harley Quinn Smith’s characters called Yoga Hosers, Depp reprised the French-Canadian P.I. as well.
Judy Garland And Liza Minnelli (In The Good Old Summertime, The Judy Garland Show)
As The Guardian recalls, the multi-talented Liza Minnelli was just three years old when she made her acting debut with a brief cameo at the end of 1949’s In the Good Old Summertime, alongside her mother — the iconic Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz star later invited her daughter to perform with her on her variety program, The Judy Garland Show, in the early 1960s.
Kirk, Diana, Michael, And Cameron Douglas (It Runs In The Family)
It Runs in the Family, marks a rare instance of a movie starring three generations of an actor family. It stars Kirk Douglas and his former wife, Diana, as the father and mother of a man played by their real son, Academy Award winner Michael Douglas, whose own actual son, Cameron, also stars as his eldest son in the 2003 dramedy.
Leslie Mann And Iris and Maude Apatow (Knocked Up, This Is 40)
Leslie Mann’s character in 2007’s Knocked Up and its 2012 quasi-sequel, This is 40, is married to writer/director Judd Apatow in real life. Their children, Iris and Maude — the latter of which went on to star in the Euphoria cast as Lex Howard -- appear in both This is 40 and Knocked Up with Leslie Mann.
Martin And Charlie Sheen And Emilio Estevez (Various)
Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez are celebrity siblings who have acted together multiple times, including once with their father, Martin Sheen, with small roles in Badlands. However, every other time the actors appeared alongside Martin was individually — with Charlie in Wall Street, Cadence, and Hot Shots, most notably, and with Estevez in In the Custody of Strangers and The Way.
Meryl Streep And Mamie Gummer (Heartburn, Evening, Ricki And The Flash)
When speaking to Jimmy Fallon, Mamie Gummer looked back on her acting debut as a toddler in the 1986 dramedy Heartburn, which was led by her mother, Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. More than twenty years later, Gummer played her mother’s younger self in the 2007 romantic drama, Evening, before playing her estranged daughter in 2015’s Ricki and the Flash.
Ralph And Julia Macchio (Cobra Kai)
Ralph Macchio’s daughter, Julia, has made a name for herself as an actor in movies like Girl Most Likely and shows like Showtime’s City on a Hill. She would share the screen with her father on a couple episodes of Netflix’s Karate Kid sequel series, Cobra Kai, as Daniel LaRusso’s cousin, Vanessa — a young, but highly skilled, child psychology grad student.
Ryan And Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon)
According to Collider, the record for youngest Oscar winner is still held by Tatum O’Neal for her performance in 1973’s Paper Moon. Her character in the crime dramedy directed by the late Peter Bogdanovich is a precocious, Depression-era orphan who teams up with a con artist who could be her father, played the actor’s actual father, Ryan O’Neal.
Robin And Zelda Williams (In Search Of Dr. Seuss, Nine Months, House Of D)
Zelda Williams had her first taste of show business with her father -- Academy Award winner Robin Williams -- right beside her in the 1994 TV movie In Search of Dr. Seuss and the following year with her small role in the Hugh Grant-led rom-com, Nine Months. Her first starring role in a theatrically released film was in 2004’s House of D, which also marked the third and final time she acted alongside her late father.
Sean And Dylan Penn (Flag Day)
Sean Penn and Robin Wright’s daughter, Dylan Penn, got her start as a model before she took up acting. Her biggest role to date was as the unwitting daughter of a criminal played by Sean in 2021’s Flag Day, which the two-time Academy Award winner also directed.
Sylvester And Sage Stallone (Rocky V, Daylight)
In the Rocky movies’ fifth installment, Rocky Jr. was the debut role of star and director Sylvester Stallone’s real-life son, Sage, who would later appear with his dad in the ‘90s action movie, Daylight. Sage went on to become the founder of Grindhouse Releasing — which prevented him from reprising his Rocky V role in Rocky Balboa — and, according to CNN, sadly passed away at 36 in 2012.
Thandiwe Newton And Nico Parker (Reminiscence)
Nico Parker — known for Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake and HBO’s The Last of Us cast — is the youngest daughter of actor Thandiwe Newton and filmmaker Ol Parker. However, in the 2021 futuristic noir, Reminiscence, she appeared alongside the Westworld star as a grandmother and granddaughter.
Tom, Colin, Elizabeth, Chet, And Truman Hanks (Various)
Tom Hanks has shared the screen with all four of his children. He cast Colin Hanks in a small role in That Thing You Do! before appearing alongside him again in 2008’s The Great Buck Howard. Elizabeth Hanks was also in That Thing You Do!, but debuted in Forrest Gump. Chet Hanks has been in Larry Crowne and Greyhound and Truman Hanks normally does technical film work, but has appeared in three of his dad’s movies — News of the World, A Man Called Otto, and Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City.
Will, Jaden, And Willow Smith (The Pursuit Of Happyness, After Earth, I Am Legend)
Jaden Smith has played his father's onscreen son in two of Will Smith's movies — the first being his debut role in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness and the second in the M. Night Shyamalan movie, After Earth. Willow Smith also made her acting debut as her father’s daughter in a heartbreaking flashback sequence from 2007’s I Am Legend.
If you're familiar with some or all of these films, you may agree that much of these parent-child pairings demonstrate the magic that can come from family members working together on screen.