Let's be perfectly honest - families are complicated. There's no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child, and even if there were, they would only exist in story books and movies.
As we'll see with these 20 celebs, family ties aren't always the strongest, but when they are, they're strong as hell. Often with notable celebrities, so much attention is paid to them as individuals, that we sometimes forget that they've actually come from somewhere and have a backstory that may not be what we expect. Many of the celebs listed here have overcome immense obstacles to get the fame and success they so wanted, and for others, it's the support and love of their families that have pushed them to greater heights than they could ever have imagined.
We can't choose who are families are, but we can choose how we lead our lives because of or in spite of them. This list proves that even if you've experienced troubles in your past due to parental errors, you can still achieve greatness and follow your dreams. And on the other hand, there's some great inspiration here for how to be an awesome parent too. These celebs have been very vocal about their relationships with their parents, and you may not expect some of the things they've been through.
20 Brie Larson Draws On Her Traumatic Childhood For Her Acting
Brie Larson is one of our favorite Hollywood It Girls, and there’s no denying that this Oscar-winning actress has plenty of fans and admirers the world over. But not everyone in her life has been happy to share in her success. Brie Larson has spoken publicly about her strained relationship with her father, whom she hasn’t spoken to in ten years. The Room actress revealed that her parents divorced when she was a little girl, which is how she ended up drifting apart from her father. She admitted that when she no longer legally had to visit him, she ended up not seeing him at all. She told Elle magazine: “I don't think he ever really wanted to be a parent." However, Brie has learnt to channel these raw feelings she has into her work, and has credited her childhood experiences with giving her the emotional strength needed to tackle the volatile roles she plays best.
19 Justin Timberlake Is A Real Motherlover
Everybody loves Justin Timberlake. He’s our favourite musician-actor-entrepreneur, and his upbeat personality and innate charm make him one of the loveliest celebrities around. But if that isn’t enough to convince you that JT is just simply the best, maybe the fact that he is a loving son and overall mama’s boy will. In 2011, Justin brought his mom Lynn Harless, rather than his girlfriend at the time Jessica Biel, to the Academy Awards and they had an absolute blast together. Justin Timberlake usually takes the time to thank his mom whenever he wins an award, and when pictured together, they look like best friends. She even featured in his “Can’t Stop the Feeling” video, and that’s just about the cutest thing ever. No matter how much fame he’s achieved, Justin always puts his close relationship with his mom front and center.
18 Eminem Shades His Mom Out Of His Life
One of the most public dissociations between a celebrity and their parent is that of Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, and his mom Debbie. Anyone who’s ever listened to the rapper’s early work will know all too well how problematic his relationship with his mom was while growing up, and he wasn’t shy about outing his mom’s abusive behaviour in the lyrics of his songs. It was no surprise then that Debbie proceeded to sue her son for 10 million dollars for slandering her name. As for Eminem’s father, well that’s a shorter story. Simply put, his dad walked out on his family when Eminem was just 2-years-old. Several years ago, his dad tried to reach out to his now-famous son by printing a letter addressed to him in a newspaper, but the rapping star didn’t care what his deadbeat dad had to say, and firmly proceeded to ignore any requests for a reconciliation.
17 Jennifer Lawrence Proves She Just A Normal Family Gal
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most talked-about female celebrities, and her tremendous capacity for acting has shot her into the spotlight in a big way. Not only is she known for her award-winning acting, but she’s also famous for being one of the frankest, most outspoken celebs in the business too. Ever-eager to be perceived as just a “normal girl”, Jennifer Lawrence has proven she’s a down-to-earth chick by admitting that the idea of living in a big mansion by herself just isn’t for her. JLaw is very close to the members of her family and has a great relationship with her mom and dad. For a while she admitted that she still lived in her parents’ condo as she couldn’t imagine being alone after having grown up with her tight-knit family.
16 Angelina Jolie Is No Daddy's Girl
Angelina Jolie’s toxic relationship with her father Jon Voight is one of the most well-known celebrity family feuds in recent Hollywood history. For years, this famous daughter and father duo were barely in contact with one another, and the rift is said to have begun quite early on, when Voight cheated on Angelina’s late mother, Marcheline Bertrand. Things really exploded though when in 2002, Jon Voight very publicly announced that his daughter needed “help” and that she suffered from “mental problems.” It seems that since 2011, the pair have tried to reconcile their differences somewhat, but after so many years of hurt and pain, it’s likely that Angelina and Jon will never be as close as a parent and child should be.
15 Matthew McConaughey Is a Mama's Boy At Heart
Is there an actor more chilled out and seemingly nicer than Matthew McConaughey? We don’t think so. Matt McConaughey is known for his Southern drawl and his insatiable charm, but what you may not know about this Oscar-winning actor is that he’s also a devoted son to his mom, Mary Kathlene McCabe, too. When McConaughey made his acceptance speech at the 2014 Golden Globes for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, he made sure to mention his mom. He thanked her for turning off the television set when he was a young boy growing up and telling him “don’t watch somebody on TV do it for you, get out there and do it for yourself." Pretty sound advice, isn’t it? Sound enough to win a Golden Globe and an Oscar that’s for sure.
14 Ariel Winter Freezes Her Mom Out
Ariel Winter has made headlines for her great acting, most notably in Modern Family, her sense of style, and also her tumultuous relationship with her mother. In May 2015, Ariel became an emancipated minor after reports arose in 2012 of alleged physical and emotional abuse she was facing from her mom Chrisoula "Chrystal" Workman. In May 2014, Winter's older sister, Shanelle Gray, became her permanent guardian, until Winter achieved full emancipation. Ariel has made some explosive claims about her mother, including saying that her mother would force her to wear inappropriate outfits and even restricted her diet. Clearly Ariel hasn’t let this awful relationship with her mom get in the way of her success, and it’s a testament to the young actress’ strength that she has persevered with her dreams of acting despite her childhood trauma.
13 Taylor Swift Is Quick To Show Her Mom Some Love
Taylor Swift has a very close relationship with both of her parents and respects them immensely. Her mom, Andrea, is hugely supportive of her daughter and has stood by her through all the traumas and dramas that her daughter has faced throughout her fame. Taylor’s mom was diagnosed with cancer a few years back, and Taylor rallied emotional support for her in her time of need. Taylor even dedicated one of her early songs to her mom, and the lyrics of “Best Day” are all about loving spending time with her mother and how much the singer appreciates everything her mom has done for her. Taylor’s relationship with both of her parents, especially her mom, is so very endearing, and reminds us that maybe the “Old Taylor” isn’t really dead after all.
12 Adele's Father Strikes A False Note In Her Life
Adele’s music is so full of soul and sadness, that it’s not hard to believe that she experienced some form of childhood trauma in her life. Although the singer was raised in a loving home, something was amiss: her father. Mark Evans, Adele’s dad, abandoned her when she was just two-years-old. With little to no memory of her estranged father, Adele still holds on to the bitter pain of never experiencing the father-daughter relationship she may have had, had Mark Evans been a better man. It’s clear when listening to her songs, that a lot of that grief has been channeled into her music. Evans has told the press that he regrets the decisions he made, and that if he could, he would turn back the hands of time and fix the mistakes he made. Too little too late we say.
11 Ryan Gosling Gives Credit To His Mom
Ryan Gosling is one of Hollywood’s heartthrobs, but there’s more to this actor than just his insanely good looks and his megastar talent. Gosling and his mother Donna are very close, much thanks to the year she spent homeschooling him when he was little. In an interview with The Telegraph, Gosling paid respect to his mom and the strong women in his life, saying: “I feel like I think like a woman, because I grew up with my mother and my sister so I've just been programmed to think like a girl. I'm attracted to films that have strong female characters because there are strong female characters in my life." If that’s not enough to make you go weak at the knees and well up with emotion, we’re not sure what will. Ryan Gosling, you are a true gem.
10 Kate Hudson Is All Hate When It Comes To Her Dad
Most people only concentrate on Kate Hudson’s amazing relationship she has with her mom Goldie Hawn, but few stop to think about Kate’s dad, from whom she gets her last name. Many assume that Kurt Russell might be Kate’s dad since he and Goldie have lived together for the past 34 years, but 38-year-old Kate was born before Goldie and Kurt were an item. Kate Hudson’s biological father is actually musician Bill Hudson, but he was never really in the picture at all as he wasn’t the kind of dad who cared about seeing his daughter. Kate has been pretty vocal over the years about how she considers Bill Hudson to be a terrible father since he was never there while she was growing up, but luckily for the actress, she had Kurt Russell as an amazing father-figure for the better part of her life. Her brother, Oliver Hudson, wished their father a happy "abandonment" day on father's day just to show some love to their dad...
9 Kelly And Sharon Osbourne Are BFFs
The Osbournes are definitely one of the most unconventional families in show business, and the lives of all the family’s members have had their highs and lows. Throughout the years, however, Kelly and Sharon have shared a close bond and consider each other to be best friends. Their relationship arguably grew even stronger in the past few years when a family feud occurred over Ozzy’s alleged affair with a hairdresser, and Kelly was quick to side with her mom throughout the drama. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Online, Kelly shared a truly touching moment when she told her mother: “I couldn't be me without you, and that's the truth.” This mother-daughter duo have proven that their love for one another can get them through anything, and they’re loud and proud about how much they mean to each other.
8 Heather Graham Ghosted By Godly Parents
Heather Graham’s life has been so tumultuous, that we wouldn’t be surprised if somebody at some point decided to make a TV movie based on her experiences. Heather has never shied away from the spotlight and is by no means a shy person in any regard. Her determination and persistence got her where she is today, despite her humble yet strict upbringing. Her parents were devout Catholics, so when she was offered the role of a porn star in Boogie Nights, her parents outright refused to support her in any way. Heather decided to go against her parents’ wishes and took the part, but with her resulting newfound fame came a heavy price to pay. Since this initial breakout role, she hasn’t had any kind of relationship with either her mom or her dad, and this rift has lasted for over twenty years.
7 Bradley Cooper Cares More About His Family Than Anything
Bradley Cooper is another handsome Hollywood star whose love for his family is wholly and entirely endearing. Bradley’s devotion to his family is so strong, that when his father was diagnosed and sick from cancer, he moved back home in order to support and spend quality time with his struggling parents. When his father eventually died, Bradley Cooper returned to California and brought his mom, Gloria Campano, back with him in order for her to live with him in his Los Angeles home. He’s been reported saying he loves having his mom around and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s nice to see that, despite Cooper being one of the most famous actors around these days, he still puts his family first and will do anything to see them comfortable, happy, and taken care of.
6 Christina Aguilera Escaped An Abusive Father
When Christina Aguilera was six-years-old, her parents decided to get a divorce. Now, usually this might be considered to be a traumatic experience for a child so young, but the split actually came as a relief to both Christina and her mom. The famous singer’s dad, Fausto, had been abusive towards towards both his wife and his daughters, and even though he has since admitted to being domestically violent with Christina’s mother, he has seriously downplayed the events in question. So, in a sense, the divorce set Christina and her mom free. Fausto has a large family, but Christina has limited contact with all of them and remains estranged from her father to this day. In 2012, Fausto’s parents tried to get in contact with Christina, supposedly while on their deathbeds, but the “Dirrty” singer refused the request.
5 Lindsay Lohan Shows Love Can Heal Family Wounds
Despite what the media might say about Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina, the two actually share a very close bond with another. Although news stories and pictures have come out of Dina partying hard with her daughter and being accused of using LiLo’s fame as a way to rub elbows with the rich and famous, Lindsay and Dina share a very close mother-daughter connection. The two have gone through some rough patches and seem to have a bit of a temperamental relationship, but they always make up and are always there for each other. Their relationship may not be the most conventional mother-daughter bond, but it’s fiercely strong and has stood the test of many obstacles. The whole Lohan family reunited this past Christmas and it looks like any tensions and upsets that had been plaguing the family are on the right path to being reconciled.
4 Macaulay Culkin Chose To Be Home Alone
Similarly to the McCallisters, Macaulay Culkin and his parents have had their fair share of family issues. While some kids threaten to run away when they’re unhappy at home, Mcaulay wasn’t messing around with any kid stuff. At the age of just 15, he filed for legal emancipation from his parents and won. Yes, Kevin McCallister straight up lawyered his parents’ butts. All of this was a result of an ugly, ongoing custody battle between Macaulay’s parents over him, that was looking more and more like a money-grab for their son’s earnings. Macaulay wrote a quasi-fictional book called Junior about a boy who has a tumultuous relationship with his abusive father. To this day, the family remains adrift, and Macaulay’s dad Kit Culkin has said: “I don’t consider him a son anymore.” Ouch. So much for a future reconciliation.
3 Beyonce Is Beyond Grateful For Her Mother
Queen Bey is an inspirational mother, and she probably has her fantastic relationship with her own mother Tina Knowles Lawson to thank for that. Tina and Beyonce are extremely close, and their constant gushing about each other on social media is proof of how much they care about each other. Tina has stood by Beyonce and her dreams of success from the very beginning, and was even the one who used to design the clothing for her daughter’s former girl group Destiny’s Child. In 2015, Tina penned an open letter to her two daughters Beyonce and Solange and told them both that they have been “such a blessing” to her. The mother-daughter duo are often snapped by the paps looking cozy and sweet together, and we’re sure Tina will be offering all sorts of pro top-tips for Beyonce who’s now raising three children of her own.
2 Drew Barrymore Rose Above Her Troubled Childhood
Of all the celebrities out there, no one is more estranged from their family than Drew Barrymore. And for good reason too. Neither of Drew’s parents were fit for parenthood. They were a far cry from the responsible, care-giving people they should have been for their daughter, and as a result, Drew suffered for many years, both physically, as well as emotionally. Both of her parents were heavily involved in the Hollywood party scene of the time, and Drew’s mother Jaid began introducing drugs and alcohol to her her daughter before she was even ten-years-old. By the time Drew turned 14 she had applied for legal emancipation and won. Despite her unorthodox upbringing and the problems that followed her because of it, Drew continues to financially support her mother, even though they barely have any contact with each other. Drew truly is an angel.
1 Leonardo DiCaprio Only Has Eyes For His Mom
Leo DiCaprio has gone through his fair share of lady loves, but out of all the gorgeous and wonderful women in the world, there’s only woman he truly adores: his mother. She is there at almost every award ceremony and notable event in his life and has been a constant source of support and inspiration to her son. After winning the 2014 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio told Access Hollywood that his mom is the secret behind his success. He said: “She supported this little kid who said, ‘I want to be an actor,’ at 12 years old, which is ridiculous, and she drove me to all these auditions. She’s the only reason I’m able to do what I do.” Well, if Irmelin DiCaprio is the reason Leo DiCaprio’s amazing acting is in our lives, then we have nothing but love for her too.
SOURCES: DailyMail.co.uk, USMagazine.com, HuffingtonPost.co.uk, Esquire.com, ETOnline, Time.com, Elle.com, TheTelegraph.co.uk