The entertainment industry is saturated with ‘nepotism babies’ who have been given a leg up by their famous parents and followed their footsteps into the bright lights of Hollywood fame.
The likes of Brooklyn Beckham, Lottie Moss and Jaden Smith are all often quoted as examples of offspring that have had a helping hand in the pursuit of stardom.
But with interest around ‘nepo babies’ in Hollywood reaching fever pitch in recent months, FEMAIL has taken a look at those who have chosen a different career path to their A-list parents.
From Bruce Springsteen’s firefighter son to Jeff Bridges’ interior designer daughter, these are the celebrity children who have shunned the limelight in favor of their own careers.
Hollywood is full of ‘nepotism babies’ – celebrity offspring who have used their parents’ fame to get a leg-up in the industry – from Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber (left) to David and Victoria Beckham’s son Brooklyn (right)
Kate Moss’s daughter Lila has followed in her mother’s footsteps with her own modeling career – but there are some A-list offspring out there who haven’t relied on their parents to get ahead
Anna Wintour’s son, Charles Shaffer (38): Doctor
Charles Shaffer could have capitalized on the celebrity kudos that comes with being the son of fashion icon and long-time Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
But the 38-year-old shied away from the limelight and instead opted to become a doctor – following in the footsteps of his father who was a longtime professor of child psychiatry.
Charles got his undergraduate degree in Modern History at Oxford University, England, before returning to New York to complete his medical degree at Columbia University.
Having worked in hospitals across the US, he now holds the position of Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Attending Psychiatrist at Weill Cornell.
Charles Shaffer could have capitalized on the celebrity kudos that comes with being the son of fashion icon and long-time Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour
During the pandemic, it became clear that his lifestyle was far from that of his mother’s glamorous way of life.
Speaking in 2020, Wintour gave a rare insight into her personal life as she revealed that Charles had become ‘very ill’ while treating coronavirus patients.
Sharing the news in a video posted on the Vogue Instagram account at the time, she said: ‘My son is a doctor. He is currently quite ill and self quarantining at home but when he is able, he will return to the ICU at his hospital.
‘I am so proud of him and so grateful to all the health workers, first responders, nurses and doctors who are fighting to reduce the spread of the virus and to save lives.’
Doctor Charles married his fashion exec wife Elizabeth at his mother’s estate in Mastic, Long Island, in 2014
The couple, who exchanged vows in front of 180 guests, have since welcomed two daughters Caroline and Ella
In his personal life, Charles married his fashion exec wife Elizabeth at his mother’s estate in Mastic, Long Island, in 2014.
And the couple, who exchanged vows in front of 180 guests, have since welcomed two daughters Caroline and Ella.
Wintour, now 73, also has a daughter, Bee Carrozzini, who did in fact decide to follow in her mother’s footsteps to pursue a career in journalism and television.
Erika Jayne’s son, Tommy Zizzo (28): Police officer
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne has spoken often about how son Tommy has never been interested in celebrity status.
Erika, real name Erika Girardi, was in her early 20s when she had Tommy with ex-husband Thomas Zizzo – but the couple split when he was just a few years old.
Speaking about his career path, Erika previously told the Daily Dish that her boy was always destined to become a police officer.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne has spoken often about how son Tommy has never been interested in celebrity status
‘It’s a dangerous profession. I’ve known my son was going to be in law enforcement from the time he could walk and talk.
‘That’s all he’s ever wanted and that’s kind of your role as parent is to honor who your children really are,’ she told the publication.
Tommy, who was previously a former explorer at the Jersey City Police Activity League, graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy in 2014.
Erika, who went on to marry attorney Thomas Girardi in 1999, previously told Megyn Kelly that her son had no interest in being on screen and that she respected his need for privacy.
Speaking in 2018, she said: ‘Not everybody wants to be on TV, believe it or not.
‘I know that sounds crazy but, he’s in a dangerous line of work and he prefers his anonymity as much as possible and I agree with that.’
Speaking about his career path, Erika previously told the Daily Dish that her boy was always destined to become a police officer
The TV personality, who went on to marry attorney Thomas Girardi in 1999, previously told Megyn Kelly that her son had no interest in being on screen and that she respected his need for privacy
The blonde bombshell, 51, also opened up about her son being an essential worker during the pandemic.
In an interview with Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show Radio Andy in 2020, she said: ‘I am a proud mom, you know, of my essential worker son. He’s out there working like every other man and woman.’
When asked by the host if she was feeling ‘extra protective’ of her son amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said ‘I think we all are. Listen, this is a crazy time. We’re all concerned for all of our families.’
She continued: ‘I don’t care if he’s an adult and he carries a gun and a badge. At the end of the day. He’s still my boy.’
Tommy himself has largely stayed quiet about his connections to the TV star.
Robert De Niro’s son, Raphael De Niro (46): Real estate broker
Raphael De Niro, 46, is the eldest son of acting legend Robert – but he has proved to be incredibly successful in his own right.
Growing up, he showed great entrepreneurial spirit, working various summer jobs including at a Persian rug store, as a doorman, and as a busboy at his father’s Nobu restaurant.
Raphael, whose parents divorced when he was just a pre-teen, later attended New York University but did not end up graduating.
Raphael De Niro, 46, is the eldest son of acting legend Robert – but he has proved to be incredibly successful in his own right
Early signs suggested he would follow in his father’s acting footsteps after making a handful of on-screen appearances but he eventually decided to break away from the family tradition.
Instead, he found his feet as a real estate broker in New York and worked his way up in the property industry.
Raphael eventually founded his own team under the Douglas Elliman real estate umbrella in 2004.
The De Niro group soon became the company’s top earning team, bringing in an average of more than $250million in sales to the company annually.
And father-of-three Raphael, who recently remarried during the pandemic, now counts famous faces such as Renee Zellweger and Kelly Ripa among his client base.
Real estate broker Raphael is a father-of-three who married second-wife Hannah during the pandemic
Robert, now 79-year-old, has always encouraged his children ‘to find their own lane’ rather than follow in his footsteps
Speaking poignantly about his children making their own career choices, Robert De Niro previously told PEOPLE: ‘For my kids, I tell them, “If you want to be an actor or you want to do this or that, that’s fine as long as you’re happy. Just don’t sell yourself short.”
‘That’s the most I would say — “push yourself a little more and reach for what you really think it is you want to do. Don’t be afraid.”‘
The now 79-year-old added: ‘It’s important for them to find their own lane.’
Jeff Bridges’ daughter, Hayley Bridges (37): Interior designer
Actor Jeff Bridges has been happily married to his wife, film producer Susan Geston, since 1977, and they have three daughters together – Isabelle, Jessica and Hayley.
The couple’s oldest two daughters have followed a career in the entertainment industry, but Hayley has taken a different path altogether.
She initially explored her creative flair at Loyola Marymount University with a degree in English before receiving a Masters of Interior Architecture from UCLA/Cal Poly Pomona’s joint program in 2011.
The artist then worked for luxury interior design firm SFA Design, specializing in hospitality and high-end residential design, and it wasn’t long before Hayley decided to strike out on her own.
The youngest daughter of actor Jeff Bridges, Hayley, decided to take a different career path altogether
In 2013, she opened her own furniture boutique and the following year launched Hayley Bridges Designs.
To this day, she continues to run her interior design business from Santa Barbara, California.
Despite choosing a different career from her father, the pair remain close.
In 2021, Hayley married wealth advisor Justin Shane at Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California, with her father walking her down the aisle despite his health struggles.
Speaking to the Independent at the time, Jeff said that it had taken a lot of training for him to get ready for his youngest daughter’s big day.
In 2021, Hayley married wealth advisor Justin Shane at Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California, with her father walking her down the aisle despite his health struggles
He said that he practiced taking walks down his hospital corridor while still attached to oxygen.
‘The first goal was how long can I stand up, and my record was 45 seconds, that’s how long I could stand up. And then it was, how many steps can I take?’.
He worked with a trainer everyday and eventually his walks got longer revealing: ‘One day I said, ‘Maybe I can do it, you know’.
‘And it turns out I not only got to walk her down the aisle, but I got to do the wedding dance.’
Bill Murray’s son, Homer Murray (40): Chef
Ghostbusters’ actor Bill Murray has six children – but it is his youngest who appears to have made the biggest mark on his own.
Homer Murray initially worked as a photo assistant and had the opportunity to travel extensively, sampling a whole host of cuisines, which is how he discovered the love of cooking.
Upon his return to the US, he opened his own restaurant in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2012.
Ghostbusters’ actor Bill Murray has six children – but it is his youngest who appears to have made the biggest mark on his own
Chef Homer Murray opened his own restaurant in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2012
Now called 21 Greenpoint, and having received a Michelin star, it serves a range of dishes from vegetarian dumplings to fried calamari.
And Bill seems to be in full support of his son’s choices.
When the restaurant first opened, the now 72-year-old was seen tending the bar and pouring shots for guests.
The Lost In Translation actor reportedly told the rowdy revelers: ‘I am so happy… that he has not continued in the family business.’
When the restaurant first opened, the now 72-year-old actor was seen tending the bar and pouring shots for guests
Son Homer, when speaking to the New York Post at the time, said: ‘[My dad] has been very supporting of me.
‘He didn’t do this because I asked him to. He didn’t do this because he thought it would drum up business.
‘He did this because he wanted to. That’s the beauty of it.’
On the restaurant’s website, Homer has a photo alongside his famous father with a quote from the actor that reads: ‘Homer has taken the joy of the family to have a drink, have a meal, and have friends together in one place, and made it his life’s work.’
Bill Murray’s son, Luke Murray (37): Basketball coach
Homer Murray may be forging his own way in the restaurant industry, but he is not the only sibling to be straying from the acting path.
Bill’s son Luke has been making a name for himself in the world of college sports by climbing the ranks as a men’s basketball coach.
Speaking previously, the keen sportsman told Yahoo: ‘I was always driven by sports, particularly basketball. That’s been my life since I was a little kid. I have an older brother who didn’t really think about acting or anything along those lines either.
Bill Murray’s son Luke has been making a name for himself in the world of college sports by climbing the ranks as a men’s basketball coach
‘There wasn’t any pressure to get involved in any of those things, and I think my dad’s probably happy that we didn’t.’
Luke stuck to his guns and graduated from Fairfield University in 2007 before taking his first job as the director of basketball operations for Quinnipiac University.
Fast forward to today and Luke, who has 14 years of college coaching experience at six programs, is now assistant coach for UConn Huskies.
At the time of his appointment head coach Dan Hurley said: ‘Luke has a high level of experience as a coach and as a recruiter, he is someone I have a lot of confidence in because of the familiarity I have had with him at two other programs.
Luke, who has 14 years of college coaching experience at six programs, is now assistant coach for UConn Huskies
‘He has an extremely smart and talented basketball mind and has the commitment level and passion that we need to elevate this program to the championship level where UConn should be. I’m very pleased to welcome him to the UConn family.’
His career continues to go from strength to strength and already has a number of accolades to his name, having previously been ranked by ESPN as one of the top 10 coaches under 40 as well as being named by The Athletic as one of 40 influential people in college basketball under 40.
And Luke’s famous father has often been seen sitting in the stands to support his son in his sporting venture.
Rowan Atkinson’s son, Ben Atkinson (29): British Army soldier
Rowan Atkinson’s lookalike son Ben is also one of the celebrity offspring who has turned his back on the limelight.
Opting for a life in the army, the Exeter University graduate provided a guard of honor for French President Emmanuel Macron and then UK Prime Minister Theresa May at Sandhurst in 2018.
He was then put through his paces in Nepal as a Gurkha officer.
Rowan Atkinson’s lookalike son Ben is also one of the celebrity offspring who has turned his back on the limelight – and instead opted for a life in the army
Ben was put through a 10-week course overseas before being allowed to join the unique unit of the British Army
The Gurkhas: Part of the British Army for over 200 years
The Gurkhas are soldiers native to the Indian subcontinent that are recruited for the British and Indian army.
In 1814, the British East India Company suffered heavy casualties when it tried to invade Nepal.
Ultimately, it signed a peace deal a year later which allowed them to recruit members from the ranks of their former enemies, which laid the foundations for the Gurkha Brigade.
Ben worked through a 10-week course overseas before being allowed to join the unique unit of the British Army.
The Gurkha Brigade Association’s newsletter wrote about the soldier’s training at the time and said: ‘Lt Atkinson grasped the language remarkably quickly.
‘This may be attributed either to his language experience, having studied both Arabic and Spanish previously, or to his urgent requirement to learn the local Nepalese ‘chat-up’ lines.
‘Learning Nepalese dance moves was a personal priority and Lt Atkinson was quick to establish an impressive “uthyo basyo” (an up-down rapid squatting dance-move).’
Rowan Atkinson has never spoken openly about his son, who he shares with first wife Sunetra Sastry, signing up with the regiment.
The Mr Bean and Johnny English actor, 68, has two other children.
His oldest daughter Lily did opt to pursue a career in the entertainment industry as a performance singer and burlesque dancer.
He only recently became a father for the third time with girlfriend Louise Ford, who is 26 years his junior.
The Mr Bean and Johnny English actor has never spoken openly about his son, who he shares with first wife Sunetra Sastry, signing up with the regiment
Robin William’s son, Zak Williams (39): Entrepreneur
Zak Williams said that it was actually his father Robin’s death that inspired him to set out on his own venture away from acting.
Instead, the entrepreneur has found himself forging his own path in the health industry in the form of ‘mood chews.’
The businessman has spoken openly about how his mental health struggles went ‘into overdrive’ when his father died by suicide in 2014.
Zak Williams said that it was actually his father Robin’s death that inspired him to set out on his own venture away from acting
It was during that time that he was introduced to amino acid therapy by wife Olivia.
The duo then ‘spent the next two years working with food scientists to discover a formula that tasted delicious and worked fast to support feelings of stress and overwhelm.’
Together, the couple, who have two children, set up their own company called Prepare Your Mind.
Zak (pictured with his wife and two children) continues to pay tribute to his father and even named his son McLaurin in honor of Robin’s middle name
Its mission is to ‘provide safe, natural and effective mental hygiene products to promote self-care and end the stigma around mental health,’ according to the company website.
Despite turning his back on acting, Zak continues to pay tribute to his father and even named his son McLaurin in honor of Robin’s middle name.
The Mrs Doubtfire actor’s other children have both pursued careers in the entertainment industry with Zelda focusing on acting and directing, and Cody studying music production.
Harrison Ford’s son, Ben Ford (55): Chef
Harrison Ford, 80, is one of the world’s most famous actors, with a career spanning more than six decades.
Following a slow start, Ford gained worldwide fame for his starring role in Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sequels. He is said to be worth roughly $9 billion.
Despite this, his son, Ben, 55, works as a chef in a low-key restaurant.
He founded Ford’s Filling Station in LAX airport in Los Angeles – which currently has a 3.5 star rating on Trip Advisor.
And he is also the founder of California Southland Doorstep Market, which promotes locally-grown products and hand-crafted goods.
Chef Ben and his father actor Harrison attend the Los Angeles Mission’s Christmas Eve for the homeless on December 24, 2012
Ben is the eldest of Harrison’s two children by his first marriage to illustrator Mary Marquardt – his younger sibling is Willard, now 53.
But growing up, his dad mostly worked as a carpenter and had yet to become famous.
In fact, he would often take Ben with him to building yards, teaching him tricks of the trade.
But Ben has also previously spoken of how his dad helped inspire his passion for cooking.
He told the Mail: ‘My father was definitely around when I was growing up, and he likes to cook too.’
And he added: ‘Seeing how meticulous he was at his craft has stayed with me as a chef.’
After splitting up with Mary Marquard, Harrison then married Melissa Mathison, having two children, Malcolm, 35, and daughter Georgia, 32.
A decade later, he adopted his now-wife Calista Flockhart’s son Liam, 21.
He told the Independent in 2010: ‘ My first child was born when I was 25; I reckon I’m a little better at [parenting] now.’
Tom Selleck’s daughter, Hannah Selleck (34): Equestrian
Tom Selleck, 78, is an American actor known for his roles in Three Men and a Baby, and as Monica Geller’s love interest, Richard Burke, on Friends.
Despite his net worth being around $45million, his daughter Hannah has shunned the lavish lifestyle and opted for a career as an equestrian.
Hannah was born in 1998, to mother actress Jillie Joan Mack, Tom’s second wife – who performed in the West End show Cats.
And it seems Hannah is also successful in her own right.
Hannah Selleck watching Miami Beach Polo World Cup together with a handsome mystery man in 2022
She has won a string of medals at horseback riding competitions, including the 2010 Blenheim Summer Classic in California.
In 2011, she told Equestrian Living magazine that her parents convinced her to pursue her passion.
She said: ‘Because [my parents are] both artists, they believe in the idea that you have to be very passionate about what you do to be successful.
‘They encouraged me to be passionate about it and immersed in it, and from there it was kind of on me how much I wanted it.’
Tom also has a son, Kevin, 55, from his first marriage to model Jacqueline Ray from 1971 to 1982.
Actor Tom Selleck, with wife Jillie Mack (and daughter Hannah Selleck arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere “Killers” at the ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome in June 2010
He adopted Kevin – her son from a previous relationship – who has gone on to have a career in music.
And while both his children are now grown, Tom still holds them dear to his heart.
In 2018, he told Parade: ‘You never stop being a dad even though your kids are grown.’
Willem Dafoe’s son, Jack Dafoe (41): Environmentalist
Willem Dafoe, 67, has had a legendary Hollywood career, having won several Academy Awards and BAFTAS.
He is best known for his roles in The English Patient, American Psycho, The Last Temptation of Christ and Mississippi Burning.
He married first wife American director Elizabeth LeCompte in 1997, with their son Jack being born in 1982.
Despite his starry parents, Jack has focussed on a different path – using legal skills to have save the environment.
Willem Dafoe and Jack Dafoe attend the New York premier in 2018 – but Willem has not followed his father’s career
He previously worked in public policy as a Senior Policy and Research Associate at the New York City Apollo Alliance, which seeks to catalyse a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans back to work.
He now works as Assistant Attorney General in the Natural Resources Division in Maine, New England.
According to thethings.com, he earns roughly $600,000 from his work – a hefty pay packet but not as much as his dad’s.
Perhaps his love of the natural world comes from his father, who has said he avoids eating meat because of the damage it does to the planet.
He told Foodiamo in 2018: ‘I don’t eat meat. I admire vegans, but I’m only a vegetarian.
‘I like to eat fish once in while, but I don’t eat meat anymore because animal farms are one of the main causes of the destruction of the planet.’
Willem is now married to his second wife, Italian film director, Giada Colagrande but they have no more children.
Frances McDormand’s son, Pedro Coen (28): Personal trainer
Frances McDormand is most famous for her role in the critically-acclaimed 2017 hit, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
But in her acceptance speech, she made sure to thank husband Joel Coen and their son Pedro.
She said: ‘These two stalwart individuals were well raised by their feminist mothers.
‘They value themselves, each other and those around them. I know you are proud of me and that fills me with everlasting joy.’
Frances McDormand, Pedro McDormand Coen and Joel Coen walk the red carpet during the 10th Rome Film Fest at Auditorium Parco Della Musica in 2015
Pedro was adopted by the couple as a baby from Paraguay in 1995 and McDormand has been known to be very protective of her son.
In a 2003 profile in the New York Times , McDormand said she disliked it when people ignored Pedro when he was with her.
She also said she dug deep into her protective motherly love in order to play her famous role – of a bereaved and angry mother seeking justice for her murdered daughter.
In a 2018 interview with the Belfast Telegraph , McDormand spoke candidly about the challenges of parenting.
Pedro Coen, pictured here in his younger days, now iworks as a personal trainer and massage therapist, and often accompanies his mother to red carpet events
She said: ‘I didn’t give birth to my son, I met him at six months old, but from the minute I held him and smelled him, I knew it was my job to keep him alive.
‘And as a parent, you also come to see how the worry and the anxiety that goes along with protecting someone who you give yourself to in that way – that you surrender to – can become degenerative.’
Pedro, who splits his time between New York and California, works as a personal trainer and massage therapist.
And he frequently posts on Instagram, where he describes himself as a public figure.
Bruce Springsteen’s son, Sam Springsteen (29): Firefighter
Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, 73, has served as a cultural phenomenon in the music world, releasing 21 studio albums across five decades.
The music icon has three children, Evan, Sam and Jessica with his wife Patti Scialfa.
Their eldest, Evan, 32, followed his father’s career as a singer while their daughter, Jessica, 31, has pursued her equestrian goals.
Sam Springsteen salutes during a ceremony as he is sworn in as a Jersey City firefighter in 2020 watched by his father and mother
Sam was officially sworn in as a Jersey City firefighter in 2020 with both his parents in attendance
Evan Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Sam Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen attend the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York
But the musician’s youngest son, Sam, has opted for a very different career path.
The 29-year-old graduated from the Monmouth County Fire Academy in January 2014 and served as a volunteer firefighter at three different stations across the US.
Sam was officially sworn in as a Jersey City firefighter in 2020 with both his parents in attendance.
‘It was a long road,’ Bruce told WCBS at the time. ‘He was very dedicated for quite a few years and we are just excited for him today.’
Sam has continued to keep a low profile in his adult life and much of his private life remains a mystery.
It was even his mother, Patti Scialfa, 69, who gave the first update when he and his wife welcomed their first child together – a daughter called Lily – in July 2022.