The nepo babies who admit having famous parents is an advantage

The nepo babies who owned it! After Lily Allen’s bizarre defence, these are the stars honest enough to say they DID get an advantage from famous parents

  • The nepo baby row has been reignited on Twitter after singer Lily Allen waded in
  • Fans have noted other nepo babies in TV, film and music who have owned up
  • FEMAIL takes a look at some of the original and most recent honest nepo babies 

The ‘nepo baby’ debate is alive and well once again after singer Lily Allen this week launched a passionate defence of the offspring of famous people, while New York magazine declared 2022 the ‘Year of the Nepo Baby’ on its December front cover. 

Lily, 37, who is the daughter of actor Keith Allen, took to Twitter to defend people who had been given a leg-up in their career by their parents. 

Following the singer’s rant, other Twitter users responded with praise of other ‘nepo babies’ in TV, film and music industries who have owned up to how their parents’ status helped them into their careers. 

They include Jamie Lee Curtis who admits she won her role in Halloween over another actress because she was the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.  

Rant: Lily Allen this week launched a rant against the criticism of nepotism babies and said many are ‘starved of stability and love’ because of their ‘narcissistic parents’

Igniting the debate Lily wrote: ‘The nepo babies y’all should be worrying about are the ones working for legal firms, the ones working for banks, and the ones working in politics. 

‘If we’re talking about real world consequences and robbing people of opportunity. BUT that’s none of my business.’

‘And before you come at me for being a nepo baby myself, I will be the first to tell you that I literally deserve nothing.

From some of the earliest ‘nepo babies’ like Jane Fonda to those who are new on the scene, FEMAIL takes a look at stars who have owned up to their privilege… 

Whitney Houston

After Lily Allen waded into the ‘nepo baby’ row on Twitter, FEMAIL takes a look at some of the stars who owned up to their privilege including Whitney Houston (pictured performing in 1988)

Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy Houston was a successful gospel singer with two Grammy Awards to her name

With a voice like the late Whitney Houston’s, the chances are she’d have become the world’s biggest popstar on her own merit – but it certainly helped that her mother was already a famous gospel singer.

Cissy Houston, now 89, and who survived her daughter, began her career as a backing singer for stars including Dionne Warwick (who was also her niece) and Aretha Franklin before embarking upon her own career and won two prestigious Grammy Awards.

New York magazine declared 2022 the ‘Year of the Nepo Baby’ on its December front cover

Her daughter Whitney, who died in 2012 at the age of 48, went on to smash her mother’s record and won six Grammy Awards herself.

She sold more than 200 million records, performed at the Super bowl and starred in Hollywood blockbusters.

But despite proving to the world that she deserved her place as one of the most successful music artists of all time, Whitney acknowledged that her background had certainly helped her get a foot in the door in the first place.

In 1998, the star appeared on The Magic Hour where she spoke to basketball player Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson about her famous mother Cissy and cousin Dionne.

When he asked her mother’s fame had helped her in her career, Whitney simply said: ‘It did.’

She continued:  ‘As my cousin and my mother would put it: “We’ll help you get in the door but when you’re in, you’re on your own.”‘

Whitney added her ‘legendary background’ was ‘becoming’, however she said she needed to prove herself as a result of her family’s fame. 

Jane Fonda

Beloved actress Jane Fonda, 85, has won two Academy Awards and is most recently known for starring in Grace & Frankie

Jane Fonda’s father was one of the original Hollywood stars Henry Fonda (pictured in 12 Angry Men)

Jane Fonda’s career has spanned fitness DVDs, TV programmes and films – and she has even turned her hand to activism throughout her years in the limelight.

These days she is best known for starring alongside Lily Tomlin in Netlix’s Grace & Frankie, but the actress, 85, has won two Oscars for her roles in Klute and Coming Home in the 1970s.

Jane was perhaps always going to end up in the acting business after being born to Hollywood actor Henry Fonda.

Henry, who died in 1982 at the age of 77, was one of the earliest Hollywood actors and himself earned one Academy Award for his performance in Golden Pond, the last film he made before his death.

He also had the lead role as a juror in a film now considered a classic, 12 Angry Men.

Although Jane has enjoyed immense success in her career, she has been honest about how her father’s fame helped her into the industry.

She recently appeared in a video for WIRED with Lily Tomlin in which she was asked about how she built her career.

Jane explained, quite simply: ‘I was the daughter of Henry Fonda, that’s how I got famous.’       

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis (pictured in LA this year) rose to fame in slasher movie Halloween where she played Laurie Strode who was stalked by violent killer Michael Myers 

The actress’s father was famous actor and heartthrob of his time, Tony Curtis (pictured in 2001) 

Jamie Lee Curtis’s career was kickstarted by her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween, who is stalked by evil killer Michael Myers.

She went on to build a successful film and television career taking roles in cult comedies Trading Places (for which she won a BAFTA) and A Fish Called Wanda.

In her later years, she revisited her Scream Queen status by reprising her role as Laurie in further Halloween films which had cemented her as a Hollywood star in the first place.

However, as the daughter of two members of Hollywood royalty, Jamie Lee has always been aware of the privilege she was born into.

Her father Tony Curtis was a heartthrob who starred alongside some of the greats including Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot.

Her mother, Janet Leigh, whose own acting career spanned five decades, had her big break in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho as Marion Crane.

Reflecting on her own big break in Halloween, the 64-year-old actress told the New Yorker she got the job because of who her parents were.

‘I’m sure the fact that I was Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis’s daughter, and that my mother had been in “Psycho”—if you’re going to choose between this one and this one, choose the one whose mother was in “Psycho,” because it will get some press for you,’ she reflected.

‘I’m never going to pretend that I just got that on my own, like I’m just a little girl from nowhere getting it. Clearly, I had a leg up.’ 

Eve Hewson

Actress Eve Hewson, who is currently starring in Bad Sisters alongside Sharon Horgan, has asked that she be included in ‘nepo baby’ lists

Eve’s father is rock star and U2 front man Bono, but according to Eve she is often missed off of nepo baby lists

As the ‘nepo baby’ argument rages on between those who admit their parents gave them a platform to launch their careers and those who believe they achieved their success all on their own, spare a thought for the children of famous people whose links are often forgotten.

Actress Eve Hewson often goes under the radar as a nepo baby as people tend to forget she is the daughter of one of the biggest rockstars on the planet and front man of U2, Bono.

The 31-year-old, who currently stars in Bad Sisters alongside Sharon Horgan, has waded into the online debate to poke fun at herself for her position as a nepo baby – and has complained she hasn’t yet been acknowledged for her status.

Eve, who has been working as an actress for the last 10 years, tweeted yesterday: Actually pretty devastated I’m not featured in the nepo baby article like haven’t they seen my hit show Bad Sisters??? The NERVE.’

She later added: ‘2023 Goals: be successful enough to get recognised as a nepo baby.’

Eve also retweeted jokes about other nepo babies, including the fictional Kendall Roy from HBO’s Succession, and a tweet about Carrie Fisher, whose mother was Debbie Reynolds.

The tweet posted a photo of the late Star Wars actress which was captioned: ‘The only nepo baby we can’t criticise.’

Maya Hawke

Maya Hawke, 24, rose to fame in series three of Stranger Things and has recently appeared in Netflix film Do Revenge

Maya is the daughter of Hollywood royalty – her mother is Uma Thurman (of whom she is the spitting image) and her father is Ethan Hawke

Another actress with not one, but two famous parents making waves in Hollywood is Maya Hawke.

After she rose to fame as awkward, closeted lesbian Robin in series three of Stranger Things as her character struck up an unlikely friendship with the most popular boy at school Steve Harrington, Maya has gone on to find more success with Netflix.

This autumn she starred as ever-so-slightly psychopathic Eleanor in the Mean Girls-meets-Clueless teen film Do Revenge, which has only furthered her career.

However Maya, like Jamie-Lee Curtis, is another actress born to Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

The 24-year-old star, who is the image of her mother, has previously acknowledged how her parents’ status in the acting world gave her ‘massive advantages.’ 

Earlier this year, she told Rolling Stone about what it’s like to have two famous parents and how it helped her get to where she is. 

Maya said: ‘I feel like the only way to handle the nepotism thing — which definitely gives you massive advantages in this life — is, you will get chances for free, but the chances will not be infinite.’

Gigi Hadid

Model Gigi Hadid, 27, has appeared in campaigns for Tom Ford and was a Victoria’s Secret Angel 

Gigi has admitted her father Mohamed Hadid (pictured with Keni Silva), who is a property developer to the stars, has given her ‘privilege’

Model Gigi Hadid and her sister Bella are two of the most in-demand supermodels in the business, but mother-of-one Gigi has admitted she gained an advantage through her parentage.

Gigi, 27, who has her own clothing label, was named International Model of the Year in 2016 by the British Fashion Council.

She has modelled in campaigns and on the catwalk for Tom Ford and has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and even had a baby with a One Direction star, Zayn Malik.

After first modelling at the age of two for Baby Guess, it is perhaps no surprise that her parents might have had a hand in launching her career.

Her father Mohamed Hadid is a property developer to the stars, selling houses in exclusive neighbourhoods such as Bel-Air. Her mother, Yolanda Hadid, has recently taken a starring role in reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Although Mohamed has previously described his eldest daughter as ‘self-made’, Gigi herself has admitted the ‘privilege’ she comes from which has helped her along the way.

She told Vogue Australia: ‘I know I come from privilege, so when I started there was this big guilt of privilege, obviously. 

‘I’ve always had this big work ethic because my parents came from nothing and I worked hard to honor them.’

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, has an Academy Award to her name and, on top of her acting career, now owns a lifestyle brand 

Gwyneth’s mother is Blythe Danner, an actress with two Emmy Awards to her name and who had starred in around 10 projects by the time her daughter was born

Gwyneth Paltrow is another actress who has achieved such impressive career heights, fans could be forgiven for forgetting she is a ‘nepo baby’.

The actress has an Oscar to her name which she won in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love and has starred in dozens of films.

In recent years she has carved out a new niche for herself as a wellness guru as founder of Goop, which describes itself as a modern lifestyle brand.

However, despite achieving great success within her career, it’s safe to assume having a famous mother probably helped her out a little bit at the beginning.

Gwyneth, 50, is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner, a two-time Emmy Award winner.

Blythe, 79, already had around 10 acting credits to her name by the time Gwyneth was born in 1972.

This year, Gwyneth addressed her background in an interview with supermodel Hailey Bieber (also a nepo baby) on Hailey’s podcast, Who’s in my Bathroom?

After Gwyneth said she had ‘a lot of success really young’, Hailey asked if any of that success was down to her mother’s fame.

Gwyneth replied: ‘I think that’s fair.’

She went on to explain: ‘As the child of someone, you get access other people don’t have, so the playing field is not level in that way.’

However, the actress added: ‘However, I really do feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly got in, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good.’

Ireland Baldwin

Ireland Baldwin, 27, has modelled for brands including True Religion Jeans and Guess and has also dipped her toes into acting

Ireland has admitted that having famous parents Alex Baldwin and Kim Basinger helped her into the modelling industry

It seems modelling runs in the Baldwin family, as supermodel Hailey’s cousin Ireland is in the industry as well.

After signing with IMG Models in 2013 she made her debut in a swimwear shoot for the New York Post. Two months later in the June of that year, she was named Vanity Fair’s It Girl. 

As her career progressed she also appeared in campaigns for True Religion Jeans and Guess. 

The 27-year-old has also dipped her toes into acting over the last few years with a role in the film Grudge Match.

Ireland’s co-star in the film was her mother, Kim Basinger. Her father is also a famous actor, Alec Baldwin.

Kim and Alec, who divorced in 2002, had been married for nine years and were something of a power couple in Hollywood.

Speaking about her famous parentage earlier this year on an episode of Red Table Talk, Ireland admitted she had them to thank for her initial career success.

She said: ‘I don’t think I ever would have been scouted as a model if it weren’t for who my parents are.’

Although the model was open about nepotism in her career, she added she does not like being compared to her mother and father.

She said: ‘Nothing makes me want to peel my fingernails more than doing a Basinger-Baldwin spread in a magazine and then facing the criticism and comparisons.’

Read more: 

  • New levels of nepotism! The stars who have given their children’s careers an instant boost by appearing on screen with them (but insist they got the part on their own merits) 
  • ‘I’m sick of people blaming nepotism for why they aren’t rich and famous’: Lottie Moss wades into the ‘nepo baby’ row – but admits she’s ‘privileged’ for being related to a model sister Kate 
  • Busted for nepotism! Dakota Johnson, Maya Hawke, Zoe Kravitz, and more stars with famous parents are mocked on New York Magazine’s The Year of the Nepo Baby cover 

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