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10 Celeb Nepotism Babies Who Lost It All

10 Celeb Nepotism Babies Who Lost It All
VOICE OVER: Sophia Franklin WRITTEN BY: Cameron Johnson
These nepo babies were given the world and lost it all. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're looking at celebrities who followed in their famous parents' footsteps, only to be driven out by professional or personal misfortune. Our countdown includes Max Landis, Tatum O'Neal, Tori Spelling, and more!

Nepotism Babies Who Lost It All

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re looking at celebrities who followed in their famous parents’ footsteps, only to be driven out by professional or personal misfortune.

#10: Christina Crawford

Joan Crawford was a renowned movie star throughout the mid-20th century, and a notorious diva. She was something much more destructive for her adopted daughter Christina. The second-generation actress appeared in surprisingly small film and TV roles starting in the early 1960s. A decade later, she disappeared. Then, in ‘78, Christina became a bestselling author with “Mommie Dearest”. The disputed memoir, later turned into a hit film, alleges that the late Joan was a cruelly abusive mother who spitefully blackballed and disinherited her daughter. Some say Christina was just too difficult to work with. Either way, her career in the public eye would be totally consumed by a grim portrait of her mother's private life.

#9: Tori Spelling

The daughter of powerhouse TV producer Aaron Spelling was bound for small-screen stardom. After making her own name on “Beverly Hills, 90210”, Tori Spelling became a prolific film and television actress. She also headlined several reality shows with her husband Dean McDermott. But behind this stardom was immense debt, due to the extravagant lifestyle that Spelling maintained after achieving financial independence. It didn’t help that a falling-out with her father left her with a relatively meager inheritance. Work declined, back taxes mounted, and the marriage became turbulent. Costly divorce proceedings finally forced Spelling to move into motels and an RV. Now, she is steadily reentering the public through TV and openness about the perils of overestimating one’s finances.

#8: Montana Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne has long stolen the show in genre and prestige pictures alike. His daughter Montana, however, opted for a less mainstream acting career. Motivated by her name and Kim Kardashian’s intimate tape, she began performing in adult films at age 19. She had already been arrested on charges related to sex work. When Laurence found out about his daughter’s secret career, he cut her off. Montana later left the industry and dabbled in exotic dance amidst several run-ins with the law. Her far-fetched path to stardom completely backfired with scandal and a strained relationship with her family. But after two stints in rehab, she is reportedly teaching yoga and working to reconcile with her father.

#7: Uday Chopra

Filmmaker Yash Chopra was a pillar of Bollywood as the founder of Yash Raj Films. His son and successor Aditya is himself regarded as one of the industry’s great starmakers. But he admits that he couldn't make a star out of his brother Uday. The youngest Chopra stepped in front of the camera as a character actor, best-known as Ali Khan in the “Dhoom” films. Sadly, multiple attempts to transition into a leading man yielded huge bombs. The disgraced Uday briefly went into producing, before disappearing entirely for nearly a decade. When he returned in “The Romantics”, a docuseries about his family, he asserted that not even the most credible nepotism can save a miscalculated career.

#6: Chet Hanks

Besides being one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, Tom Hanks has been dubbed “America’s Dad”. His eldest son Colin has also built a following as a great talent. In defying the family’s wholesome name, though, Chet Hanks hasn’t won much fanfare. The problem child grew up to be a rapper and actor, with a career that was stifled by legal, domestic and substance scandals. He even became the poster child for cultural appropriation with “White Boy Summer”. Never mind the song and term being appropriated by some unsettling groups. Tabloid scrutiny has merely finished off Chet’s unsteady brand. While Tom seems glad to boost his children into what he calls “a family business”, one would likely question Chet’s personal qualifications for it.

#5: Jaycee Chan

The whole world recognizes action superstar Jackie Chan. He was still so confident in his son achieving independent success that he announced plans to defer Jaycee’s inheritance to charity. Sure enough, after the American-born singer relocated to his mother’s native Taiwan, he became a pop and movie star throughout China. Ten years of a meteoric rise then came crashing down in 2014, when Jaycee was arrested for marijuana possession. This is such a serious moral taboo in Asia that he was publicly denounced by anti-drug ambassador Jackie. Jaycee had to start from the bottom after a six-month prison sentence. Thankfully, he has since reconciled with his father, who is helping to rebuild Jaycee’s career through mutual projects.

#4: Cameron Douglas

Actor and producer Kirk Douglas has sired a dynasty in the entertainment industry. Michael’s career particularly measures up to his father's sterling legacy. But his own son Cameron struggled to rise above a different image. In 2009, the actor’s scandalous struggle with substance use culminated in police discovering enough of an illicit substance on him for an intent to distribute charge. Cameron pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to five years in prison. An additional smuggling conviction extended the sentence to seven. Since his release in 2016, Cameron has been slowly rebuilding his career and his relationship with Michael. While he is still acting in smaller projects, he is better known for detailing his self-destruction and sobriety in the memoir “Long Way Home”.

#3: Tatum O’Neal

At nine years old, Tatum O’Neal debuted opposite her father Ryan in “Paper Moon”. This made her the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award. She went on to have a prominent acting career, but appearances were sparse. O'Neal eventually revealed a serious substance use disorder inherited from her father. His own reputation would be damaged by revelations of hostility that led to conflicts and disorders with his eldest children. Meanwhile, Tatum’s career was consumed by this and other scandals. The latest was a stroke and coma caused by a prescription overdose in 2020. Though she publicly reconciled with Ryan during the last years of his life, Tatum is still working to maintain sobriety and steady work.

#2: Max Landis

John Landis directed some of the most beloved comedies of the ‘80s, and is still going strong. His son Max, however, lost his way as a genre filmmaker. The “Chronicle” and “Victor Frankenstein” writer came under fire for misogynistic comments about an ex-girlfriend and the Mary Sue archetype. His reputation formally collapsed starting in 2017, when multiple colleagues alleged a history of abusing women. Landis’s behavior was called an “open secret” in Hollywood. These accusations led to loss of representation and projects, driving Landis into obscurity. Of course, some say this was a long time coming for a notorious figure of smug Hollywood nepotism. Now Landis is best-known for YouTube skits and defensive writing online.

#1: Charlie Sheen

The children of Ramón Estévez, better known as actor Martin Sheen, have found success sticking to the family name. Carlos found particular success under the family stage name: Charlie Sheen’s superstardom seemed to withstand any scandal over his substance use and personal life. But in 2011, after lambasting “Two and a Half Men” co-creator Chuck Lorre, he lost the highest-paying acting gig on TV. His volatile antics then became a tabloid staple, as well as internet memes. Sheen has since been relegated to small, often self-deprecating roles. He has also gotten sober and made amends with several peers. Martin, as prolific as ever, has expressed pride in his son’s recovery. But Hollywood’s most polarizing nepo baby still has to redeem himself with the public.

Are there any other compelling stories of triumph or tragedy in nepotism? Drop some names in the comments.