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What is a Nepo Baby? (With 20 Famous Examples)

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What is a Nepo Baby? (With 20 Famous Examples)

The internet is abuzz with the term nepo baby. People have become somewhat obsessed with these famous babies and their privileged families. However, what exactly is a nepo baby, and why has this term blown up recently? 

A nepo baby is short for a nepotism baby, and nepotism is defined in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as “favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship,” or in other words, benefiting from the name and success of another family member to advance in your own careers. 

Therefore, a nepo baby refers to a child of a famous person who has reaped the benefits of their parent's success. These babies seemingly effortlessly break into specific industries based on their names. While there are many nepo babies with famous parents, a few on this list are considered nepo babies based on relatives such as sisters, uncles, or aunts. 

Nepo Babies Have Been Around Since Forever

In all reality, a nepo baby has been around for quite a long time. It's even true that nepo babies exist outside of Hollywood. After all, the common saying, “It's not always what you know, it's who you know,” benefits more than just celebrities.

So, if nepo babies are everywhere, why is the world obsessed with Hollywood nepo babies? Truthfully, It's because their faces are always out in public and easier to spot. Additionally, the success of a person who also has a famous or powerful parent or family member always makes one wonder, could they make it on their own if they had to?

Fun fact: since the term nepo baby has spiked recently, in 2023, it was added to dictionary.com as an actual word. 

The nepo babies on this list include up-and-comers as well as seasoned pros. While these names have connections to the industry, making their entrance easier than, say, a newbie, there is no doubt that for many of them, their hard work and dedication have kept them in their success. 

Famous Nepo Babies

Take a look below at famous nepo babies. Some may be familiar to you, and others you may be surprised are even on this list!

Colin Hanks

Colin Hanks is the son of Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes. His first acting appearance was in Roswell in 1999. From there, he has succeeded with both television shows and films, including the show “Life in Pieces” as well as movies like “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and the 2005 rendition of “King Kong.”

Eve Jobs 

Eve Jobs is the daughter of the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, and Laurene Powell Jobs. She is a model up-and-comer. Last year, in 2022, Eve debuted on the runway at the Coperni Fashion Show, a French Fashion Brand. 

Lily Collins

Lily Collins is the daughter of singer and drum player Phil Collins. He is known for his songs “In the Air Tonight” and “You'll Be in My Heart,” among many more. 

Lily Collins broke into acting on the BBC television show “Growing Pains” when she was two. From there, her acting success only grew. You may have seen her in “Emily in Paris,” “The Blindside,” and “Abduction.” 

Apple Martin 

Apple Martin is the daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. What's interesting is her mother is also a nepo baby. So, does this make Apple Martin a nepo grandbaby? Quite possibly. 

Apple's dad is a famous singer-songwriter and musician. He was the co-founder of Coldplay. 

Gwyneth is a famous actress and businesswoman known for many successful movies, including “Avengers,” “Captain America,” “Country Strong,” and more. Now, Apple Martin is a rising fashion star.

Jafaar Jackson 

Jafaar Jackson is the son of Jermaine Jackson and an internet personality. However, heads turned when it was announced that he is playing his late uncle Michael Jackson in the new biopic coming sometime in 2024. 

Jafaar is said to look like the spitting image of his uncle, which will likely prove beneficial in his new role. 

Maya Hawke 

Maya Hawke is the daughter of Uma Thurman, a famous actress and former model, and Ethan Hawke, an actor and writer. 

At first, Maya began a modeling career and later broke into acting. Her first screen appearance was in 2017 as Jo March in the BBC film “Little Women.” Maya is also seeing success as a singer and recently released her second album titled “Moss” in 2022. 

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is famous for her role as Rachel on the hit television show Friends. She has gone on to create a successful career for herself in the popular show “Friends” as well as movies like “Murder Mystery,” “The Breakup,” and “Just Go With It.”

She is the daughter of actor John Aniston and model, actress, and socialite Nancy Dow. Although Jennifer Aniston is technically a nepo baby, she has been open about her rocky relationship with her parents throughout the years. She may not have had their full support and help in her career, but nonetheless, she rose to become one of the most famous actresses today.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is a singer-songwriter and actress. She may have garnered some controversy throughout the years. However, it is apparent that Miley is a successful and determined woman, and although Miley is a nepo baby, she continuously outshines her parents.

Her father is actor and singer Billy Ray Cyrus, and her mother is Tish Cyrus. Her Godmother is also a famous singer-songwriter and actress, Dolly Parton. 

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson has had a long and successful career; sometimes, it is easy to forget that she is also a nepo baby. 

Her parents are actors Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson.

Kate has seen success as an actress in films such as “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Fool's Gold.”

Hailey Bieber

Hailey Bieber is famously known as Justin Bieber's wife and has an ongoing alleged feud with Selena Gomez (which Hailey has noted is completely made up). It can be easy to miss that she is, in fact, also a nepo baby.

Hailey's parents are actor and film producer Stephen Baldwin and graphic designer Kennya Baldwin. 

Hailey has a career as an American model. However, she has also appeared in television shows and as a host on “Drop the Mic.”

Deacon Phillippe

Deacon Phillippe is the son of actress Reese Witherspoon and actor and film producer Ryan Phillippe. 

He is a musician who is making a name for himself. Deacon also appeared in the movie “Never Have I Ever.” Although he is paving the way for himself in the industry, Deacon found himself in the middle of media backlash after showing off his new New York apartment on TikTok. Commenters and the media began asking, is it possible that Deacon is the epitome of a nepo baby? 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow. Her father is a director-producer, and her mother is an actress. 

Gwyneth has made a name for herself as an actress and a businesswoman. Although her parents may have helped pave the way, her success is clearly her own.

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson is the daughter of actress Melanie Griffith and actor and film producer Don Johnson. 

In 1999, Dakota began her acting career in “Crazy in Alabama” and has gone on to star in the “Social Network,” breaking completely into the industry in her role as Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” From there, she only grew in her success as an actress. 

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz is the child of singer-songwriter and actor Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet. 

She has seen success as an actress, singer, and model. Zoe debuted her acting talent in “No Reservations” in 2007 and has gone on to appear in “Big Little Lies,” “High Fidelity,” and “The Batman.” 

Mariska Hargitay 

Mariska Hargitay may be a nepo baby, but many people go quite a while before realizing it! Her mother is the late Jayne Mansfield, who was an American Actress who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 34. Her father is Mickey Hargitay, who was a Hungarian-American actor. 

Mariska Hargitay is famous for her leading role on the television series “Law and Order: SVU,” where she plays Olivia Benson. This series has been running for 24 seasons. Mariska has also appeared on “Baywatch,” “ER”, and “Telling Amy's Story,” a documentary film exploring domestic violence and fighting to stop it. 

Jamie Lee Curtis 

Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

She broke into the industry at an early age when she debuted in “Quincy, M.E.” Curtis has seemingly done it all, including comedy. However, she has been nicknamed the “Scream Queen” for years because she has seen immense success in horror films. She appeared in the thriller film “Halloween” in 1978 (as well as all the “Halloween” sequels). From there, Jamie Lee Curtis became a household name, and most families in America know who she is. Jamie Lee Curtis is also a children's author and producer. 

Emma Roberts 

Emma is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and Kelly Cunningham. However, her connections to her father and aunt Julia Roberts have given her the title of a nepo baby.

Emma is an actress who starred in “Scream Queens,” “We're the Millers,” and “Scream 4.” 

Elle Fanning 

Elle Fanning is an American actress who has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere. She appeared as Aurora in the “Maleficent” movies, as well as in the series “The Great” and the movie “We Bought a Zoo.” 

Elle's parents are athletes, Steven Fanning and Heather Joy Arrington. Yet, her connection to her older sister, Dakota Fanning, is why she is sometimes considered a nepo baby. However, her hard work and talent have undoubtedly kept her in her success. 

Elizabeth Olsen 

Elizabeth Olsen is a talented actress who plays Wanda Maximoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, Elizabeth has appeared in “Love & Death,” “WandaVision,” and more. 

There's no debating that Elizabeth is a talented and hard-working actress. Nonetheless, her connection to her oldest sisters gives her the title of nepo baby. 

Elizabeth is the younger sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who played Michelle Tanner on the 80s and 90s sitcom “Full House.” 

George Clooney 

George Clooney is a well-known actor whose success is immense. It can be pretty surprising when you learn that he, too, is a nepo baby. 

George is the son of Nicholas Joseph Clooney, an American journalist and television host. 

In Conclusion

While nepo babies have existed since forever, the term is now becoming prevalent. Although being a nepo baby may help one break into certain industries, it can be challenging to be center stage constantly. Many of these celebrities work hard through challenging relationships with their families, expectations, and judgments to pave a path that is theirs alone. 

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