Michael Douglas. Josh Brolin. Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Jeff and Beau Bridges. David, Keith and Robert Carradine. Ben Stiller. Kiefer Sutherland. Scott Caan. Peter Fonda. What do they have in common? They managed to become respected actors in their own right despite being sons of famous fathers and often mothers. There is a long tradition of acting clans in Hollywood and it continues to grow with this relatively recent list of seven acting sons of movie stars:
1. Domhnall Gleeson, 31. The son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson (“Calvary,” “In Bruges”). They both were participants in the Harry Potter franchise – Domhnall as Bill Weasley and Brendan as Mad-Eye Moody. Domhnall was a standout as farmer Konstatin Levin in 2012’s “Anna Karenina” and starred in last year’s time-travel romance “About Time.” This year, he has four titles coming out: “Ex-Machina” (April 14), where he falls in love with a cyborg; “Brooklyn,” a period romance that just premiered at Sundance; “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (Dec. 18); and “The Revenant” (Dec. 25), a frontier revenge drama with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy directed by “Birdman’s” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
2. Max Irons, 29. The British-Irish son of Jeremy Irons (the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) and Sinead Cusack (“Wrath of the Titans”). Max appeared in the 2011 dark fantasy “Red Riding Hood” and the 2013 sci-fi thriller “The Host.” Also in 2013, he played King Edward IV in the BBC One series “The White Queen.” Max graduates to the lead in “The Riot Club” (no U.S. date yet), about an exclusive group of Oxford University students.
3. Jack Kilmer, 19. The son of Val Kilmer (“Top Gun,” “Batman Forever”) and British actress Joanne Whalley (Showtime’s “The Borgias”). Jack made his acting debut in Palo Alto, a 2014 coming-of-age drama based on a short story collection by James Franco and directed by Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Coppola. He appeared in the Sundance premiere “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a psychological thriller with Billy Crudup. He plays the estranged son of a reclusive record producer (Rhys Ifans) in “Len and Company” (no date yet). And Jack will finally step into the big league with “The Nice Guys,” a mystery crime thriller due in 2016 starring Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger.
4. Alexander Skarsgard, 38. The son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Mamma Mia!,” “The Avengers”), Alex has been named the Sexiest Man in Sweden five times and lived up to that title as a seductive vampire for seven seasons on HBO’s “True Blood.” He has had less success on the big screen in such releases as the 2011 remake of “Straw Dogs,” 2012’s “Battleship” and last year’s “The Giver.” His best chance to break out in movies arrives in 2016 in the title role of the jungle hero in a new version of “Tarzan” co-starring Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz. He recently stars opposite Kristen Wiig in Sundance breakout “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.
5. Jaden Smith, 16. Son of Will Smith (“Men in Black,” “I Am Legend”) and Jaden Pinkett Smith (TV’s “Hawthorne,” “Gotham”). Jaden scored a hit the first time out co-starring with his father as the son of a homeless salesman in 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He appeared sans parent in two remakes: the 2008 sci-fi thriller “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and 2010’s “The Karate Kid.” He and his dad collaborated for the second time in the critically slammed 2013 sci-fi fantasy “After Earth.” Jaden will next co-star as a young slave who witnesses history alongside Liev Schreiber as abolitionist John Brown in the upcoming “The Lord Good Bird.”
6. Rafe Spall, 31. Son of British actor Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”). A character actor much like his father, Rafe was seen in “Life of Pi” and “Prometheus” in 2012. He is also one of Edgar Wright’s casting regulars, having acted in 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead,” 2007’s “Hot Fuzz” and 2013’s “The World’s End.” He and his father combined forces for the first time as parent and son in a 2007 United Kingdom TV version of “A Room With a View.”
7. Damon Wayans Jr., 32. Son of comic actor Daman Wayans (TV’s “In Living Color,” “The Last Boy Scout”). Damon Jr. made his acting debut in his father’s 1994 superhero spoof “Blankman.” He appeared on the ABC sitcom “Happy Endings” for three seasons until 2013. Last year, he was involved in two major movies, the comedy ”Let’s Be Cops” and as the voice of neat-freak genius Wasabi in the animated adventure “Big Hero 6,” and returned as a regular on the Fox sitcom “New Girl.”