It’s true what they say about apples not falling far from the trees, and in case if the trees are celebrities, their apples almost always stay in the shade of their parents’ crowns. Sometimes it’s the other way around, if the kid gets lucky! But still, it’s fascinating that some celebrities had dads, moms and grandparents, who achieved success in entirely different fields and became a part of history.
This article is an ode to parents rather than their offsprings, so it might get a little boring, but, I guess, if you’re already here, you’re into that kind of stuff. Either way, let’s get it started!
George Stephen Morrison, Jim Morrison’s Father
Jim and his Doors are one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, and even had a movie made about them. If you’ve seen it, you might be surprised to learn that Jim’s dad, George Stephen Morrison, served in the US Navy for 40 years. During that time George fought in 3 wars and was even present at Pearl Harbor in 1941 when it was attacked. Later, in August 1964, now-Admiral Morrison was in charge of the US naval fleet during the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident, that prompted the US to escalate the Vietnam War.
Afeni (Alice) Williams, Tupac Shakur’s Mother
Much like Tupac Shakur himself, his family was just as controversial. Alice Williams, Tupac’s mother, changed her name to Afeni after joining the infamous Black Panther Party. During her pregnancy, Afeni and 20 of her Panther friends were arrested by the NYPD, which later became known as the “Panther 21” case. They got charged with 156 crimes of all calibers, including a potential bombings. In 1971, just one month before Tupac was born, Afeni and the rest of the Black Panthers had all charges against them dismissed.
Ran Laurie, Hugh Laurie’s Father
Remember Hugh Laurie? Yes that’s Gregory House M.D. and take a wild guess what his father, Ran Laurie, was famous for … he got numerous rowing titles back in the 1930s! He was even a gold medalist a few times. Fascinating, isn’t it? Okay, let’s move on.
Brin Newton-John, Olivia Newton-John’s Father
Olivia’s grandfather was the Nobel Prize–winning atomic physicist Max Born, who had to leave Germany with his family, because of their Jewish heritage. Later in England, Irene, Olivia’s mom, married Brin, who spent WW II decoding German messages for the top secret RAF organization Ultra. Brin also questioned captured Nazis in a very untimely manner – by feeding them fancy food and just chilling. This non-standard method of interrogation allowed Brin to capture Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess. Apparently he was a big fish.
Viktor Yelchin and Irina Korina, Anton Yelchin’s Parents
It’s a real tragedy what happened to Anton Yelchin. He was an incredible actor and I really feel bad for making this segway into his parents who are either dead, or still devastated after the horrific accident. But when they were young, Viktor Yelchin and Irina Korina were figure skating celebrities in the USSR. In 1972 they qualified to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo, but Soviet authorities forbade them from going. So the couple decided to ditch the proto-Russia in 1989, and look for their luck in the United States.
Milton Rubenfeld, Pee-Wee Herman’s Father
Who would’ve thought that Paul Reubens’ father was a War Hero? Years before Pee-Wee was born, Milton Rubenfeld was a combat pilot in World War II for both the Royal Air Force and the US Army. But that wasn’t enough for him. After the war, Milton was recruited to fly missions for Israel in the Arab-Israeli War, making him one of the founding members of the Israeli Air Force, which was basically five pilots and four airplanes.
Ernest Hemingway, Mariel Hemingway’s grandfather
Mariel is probably best known for her role in Manhattan, which can’t be said about her father – Ernest Hemingway! The same guy who said that Scott Fitzgerald’s junk was “normal size”, and the same drunken genius who tried to steal a urinal from a bar, saying he had “pissed away” enough money in that bar to own that urinal. That’s not how it works, Ernie, not at all. And, of course, most importantly, he was an outstanding writer.
Charlie Chaplin, Oona Castilla Chaplin’s grandfather
While Oona is nothing like her gramps, she’s still a fairly successful TV and theatre actress. But speaking of her grandpa, Charlie Chaplin was the first actor to appear on the cover of the Time magazine, which made him even more famous among women. He didn’t mind, though and he was actually married 4 times. The most f’d up thing about him was that after his death, some crooks stole his body to extort money from Chaplin’s family!