When it comes to good genetics, these kids have hit the jackpot. Check out which celebrity children have grown up to look just like their famous relatives. But is it really like hitting the jackpot or a curse? There are Psychological ramifications of having a celebrity parent whereby children often find themselves with no real identity but living an entire existence based on the fact that their parent is “so-and-so THE FAMOUS STAR.” living in shadow of a famous parent can be taxing to the child’s identity especially if they can’t ever live up to peoples expectations either physically or talent wise. The genetic lottery is a tricky thing because it takes the right roll of the die that makes a star. The right combination of looks, talent, drive, determination, tenacity, hard work, a genuine love for the preforming arts and the desire to be around people and in the public eye all the time. Miss just one of those qualities and the celebrity child will find themselves living under a name that they can never shake, compete against or be comfortable with. In Hollywood it is not shocking to hear of stories like the one of Barbra Streisand’s stepson and the shocking pictures of him rifling through garbage cans illustrate once again the perils of growing up in the shadow of celebrity parents.
JESS Brolin doesn’t look much like a showbusiness prince. Grossly obese at 25 stone he was evicted from his £500-a-month flat three years ago, having blown a six-figure-trust fund and he now sleeps on the streets.
He looks like he has too much to eat rather than too little but either way he must forage, searching in rubbish bins for food and bedding down on the streets of Californian town Ojai.
His father is actor James Brolin and his stepmother is singer and actress Barbra Streisand. They live in Malibu about 80 miles away and are worth around £300million. Apparently, they have repeatedly offered help but Jess, whose brother Josh was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film Milk, shuns them every time.
How did someone like that end up on the streets with nothing but the clothes he stands up in?
In Brolin’s case we can only speculate but there is a long tradition of celebrity offspring messing up. Too much money, access to party drugs, erratic lifestyles and messy parental break-ups all play a role, along with the classic torment of living in the shadow of someone to whom they can never live up.
CAMERON DOUGLAS, 35 Michael Douglas’ son Cameron was jailed in 2010 after he was caught selling heroin in a New York hotel room. A judge nearly doubled his sentence after he broke prison rules to get drugs behind bars and he has spent two years in solitary confinement, leading his parents to launch an online petition urging prison authorities to allow them access to their son. He has now been released from solitary but is not due out of prison until 2018.
Blaming himself for being a bad father Michael Douglas has said his own experience of living in the shadow of a famous father, screen legend Kirk Douglas, made him understand something of his son’s difficulties: “I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father. I’m not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with.”
CHRISTIAN BRANDO, 49 Marlon Brando’s eldest son Christian by Anglo-Indian actress Anna Kashfi, was a toddler when his parents divorced. She was awarded custody, but it was revoked when a judge ruled that her reliance on drugs and alcohol made her temper uncontrollable. Christian went to live with Brando’s older sister and eventually with his father himself – although at one stage his mother had him kidnapped by hippies.
Too much money, access to party drugs, erratic lifestyles and messy parental break-ups all play a role, along with the classic torment of living in the shadow of someone to whom they can never live up
He dropped out of school, began drinking and using LSD and did a variety of jobs including being a welder and tree-trimmer. He lived for years at Brando’s hilltop estate where in 1990 he shot and killed his sister Cheyenne’s boyfriend Dag Drollet after Cheyenne claimed he was beating her. Christian said he only meant to scare Drollet and thought the safety catch was on.
He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and spent five years in jail. After his father died, he became addicted to crystal meth. He was living on welfare in a one-bedroom apartment when he died of pneumonia in 2008. Cheyenne hanged herself in 1995.
CHARLIE GILMOUR, 24 Charlie Gilmour, stepson of Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour, was sentenced to 16 months in jail after pleading guilty to violent disorder during a student protest in 2010. The history student at Cambridge University was high on LSD, valium and whisky when he joined a mob that ransacked Topshop on Oxford Street, attacked the convoy carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Variety Performance and swung from a Union flag on the Cenotaph. He served just four months and went on eventually to complete his degree.
ADAM BARKER, 46 Ronnie Barker’s son Adam was arrested in 2003 by police who were investigating child pornography. Hundreds of videos and images were found on his computer but Barker, also an actor, went on the run for eight years during which time both his parents died. After running out of money he finally surrendered himself to police in 2012 and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
OLIVIA CHANNON, 22 Olivia Channon, a member of the Guinness brewing dynasty and daughter of then Cabinet minister Paul Channon, was about to graduate from Oxford University when she was found dead of a heroin overdose in 1986. She had been celebrating the end of her finals with Count Gottfried von Bismarck, great-great-grandson of the Prussian Iron Chancellor, in whose rooms her body was discovered.
He was found to have had nothing to do with her death but in 2006 history repeated itself when a male guest fell to his death from the roof terrace of the count’s Chelsea flat during a sex party. Bismarck was found dead the following year. A pathologist said his body contained the highest level of cocaine he had ever seen.
JENNIFER ELLIOTT, 37 Jennifer Elliott, daughter of actor Denholm Elliott, watched her father’s five-year-struggle with HIV before his death in 1992. She herself battled drug addiction. In 1995 a tabloid newspaper revealed that she was living on the street and working as a prostitute. Jennifer hanged herself.
MICHAEL BLOSIL, 18 Marie Osmond’s son Michael, a fashion student, committed suicide in 2010 by jumping from his apartment in Los Angeles. He had been battling depression and first entered rehab for drug and alcohol problems aged 16.
He had attempted suicide once before and told his mother he felt alone and friendless. His father, record producer Brian Blosil, did not attend his funeral because his children made it clear that neither they nor their dead brother wanted him there.
PEACHES GELDOF, 25 Peaches Geldof, middle daughter of Live Aid founder Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, was only 11 when her mother was found dead of a heroin overdose. It was her sister Pixie’s 10th birthday.
Although the couple’s three girls had been raised by Geldof since their divorce, the tragedy cast a long shadow over Peaches’ life. She died too of a heroin overdose in April this year. Her 11-month-old son was in the house with her when she died and spent 17 hours alone with her body.
There are success stories of children that grow in to their own and make a life for themselves independent from their famous
parent and thrive without consequence but one can’t help but wonder how difficult it must have been for them to figure out and map their own destiny. To make peace with your genetic gifts or lack thereof, and deal with it by breaking away and plan a life of their own. Perhaps a life where instead of being the supporting actors or cast, they get to be the leading man or lady in their own lives. If they can manage that they may not ever get a golden Oscar statue but what they get is even better which is peace of mind and to live with the fact that the light may never shine on them, but they can still bloom whilst living under a constant shadow.