Forget the family business: 7 Hollywood children who refused to follow in their famous parents' footsteps

These offspring of Oscar winners and big screen legends have turned their talents to far less glamorous day jobs

Harrison Ford, Anna Wintour and Bruce Springsteen have all said how proud they are of their children who have shunned the spotlight. Instagram / REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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With so many children of celebrities following their parents into the entertainment industry, it’s easy to think every A-list offspring is an actress, singer or model. But there are plenty of kids who eschewed the bright lights of Hollywood for career paths that, while certainly worthy, are a lot less glamorous.

Chefs, doctors, firefighters and life coaches, meet the children of very famous stars who said "no" to the bright lights and big salaries of Tinseltown, and "yes" to following their down-to-earth dreams.

Harrison Ford’s son, Ben

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: Harrison Ford and his son Benjamin Ford are seen on January 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by GONZALO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Harrison Ford and his chef son Ben Ford. Gonzalo / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

Star Wars legend, Harrison Ford has five children, including his wife Calista Flockhart's son Liam, who he adopted. His eldest child Ben, 53, his son with his first wife, Mary Marquardt, is a chef with his own restaurant in LA called Ford's Filling Station. Having penned his own cookbook, Taming the Feast, Ben has admitted that having a famous dad was more hindrance than help at times.

"I found it more difficult than rewarding at times," he told the Daily Mail. "You want to be one of the guys you're working with, but sometimes that was hard for me. Also there was less trust in my commitment to the profession. People thought, 'He doesn't need it as much as the next guy'."

Anna Wintour’s son, Charles

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Anna Wintour and her son Charles Shaffer attend Roger Federer's match in his box during day 2 of the 2018 tennis US Open at Arthur Ashe stadium of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2018 in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
'Vogue' editor, Anna Wintour and her doctor son Charles Shaffer. Jean Catuffe/GC Images

Anna Wintour, 70, might be the most influential woman in fashion, but her son, Charles Shaffer, 35, took a decidedly different career path and became a doctor.

However, the Vogue editor revealed in April that her son, who is the chief resident at Weill Cornell in New York City, became ill after treating coronavirus patients.

"The most critical aid, of course, is happening on the front lines," Wintour revealed in a Instagram video. "My son is a doctor. He is currently quite ill and self-quarantining at home. But when he is able, he will return to the ICU at his hospital." Adding, "I am so proud of him and so grateful to all the health workers, first responders, nurses and doctors who are fighting to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives."

Bruce Springsteen’s son, Sam

In this photo provided by the Jersey City, N.J. Mayor's Office, Sam Springsteen, left, is sworn in as a firefighter at City Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 as his mother Patti Scialfa, right, holds his badge. Mayor Steven Fulop, center, looks on. (Jennifer Brown/Jersey City Mayor's Office via AP)
Bruce Springsteen's son, Sam Springsteen is sworn in as a firefighter. Jennifer Brown / Jersey City Mayor's Office via AP

The Boss's son, Sam, 26, was sworn in as a New Jersey firefighter in January this year. Dad Bruce Springsteen, and musician mum, Patti Scialfa were front row to watch the ceremony.

“This is my son’s day, so I’m staying out of it,” Bruce told reporters. “We’re very proud … It was a long road. He was very dedicated for quite a few years, and we’re just excited for him today.”

In this photo provided by the Jersey City Mayor's Office, Bruce Springsteen hugs his son Sam Springsteen after he is sworn in as a Jersey City Firefighter at City Hall in Jersey City, N.J. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (Jennifer Brown/Jersey City Mayor's Office via AP)
Proud dad, 'Born to Run' singer, Bruce Springsteen hugs his son Sam Springsteen. Jennifer Brown / Jersey City Mayor's Office via AP

Sam has two siblings, showjumper Jessica, and musician Evan, and the Glory Days singer has said of the trio: "If I can wish for anything for my children it's that they can pursue their dreams and know that if things don't work out, it's OK. Patti and I will always be there for them."

Emma Thompson’s son, Tindyebwa Agaba

Emma Thompson and her adopted son Tindyebwa Agaba, who is known as Tindy, sit infront of the Liberian flag that hangs in Maime Smith's front porch in Zannah village, Monserrado county, Liberia.
Emma Thompson and her adopted son Tindyebwa Agaba, who went from child soldier in Rwanda to human rights activist

British actress Emma Thompson couldn't be prouder of her adopted son, Tindyebwa Agaba, 28, and it's easy to see why. The Rwandan was kidnapped at the age of 12 and spent three years as a child soldier, before a charity helped him escape and go to Britain. However, he ended up living on the streets. A chance meeting with Emma Thompson, 61, at a Refugee Council event led to the double Oscar winner becoming his mum. And now, the former child soldier boasts a politics degree and a masters in human rights law, and works as a human rights activist.

Jeff Bridges’s daughters, Isabelle and Haley

Jeff Bridges with his daughters Isabelle Bridges (left) and Haley. Michael Tullberg / Getty Images; Ari Perilstein / Getty Images
Jeff Bridges with his daughters Isabelle Bridges (left) and Haley. Michael Tullberg / Getty Images; Ari Perilstein / Getty Images

The Big Lebowski and Tron: Legacy star has three daughters, and while middle daughter Jessica is a successful songwriter, his eldest and youngest children have decidedly less starry jobs.

Isabelle Bridges-Boesch, 39, is a life coach, telling Publisher's Weekly: "As a mother's empowerment coach, I talk to women every day who take on the brunt of parenting. They do the cooking, cleaning, and childcare – including being the main disciplinarian."

And Bridges's youngest daughter Haley, 34, is an interior designer with her own Santa Barbara company, Hayley Bridges Design.

Bill Gates’s daughter, Jennifer

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) Jennifer Gates and her parents, Bill and Melinda Gates, listen to former U.S. President Barack Obama speak at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City.   Yana Paskova/Getty Images/AFP
Jennifer Gates and her Microsoft founder father, Bill Gates. Yana Paskova / Getty Images / AFP

"I was born into a huge situation of privilege," Jennifer Gates, 24, told Sidelines magazine, "and I think it's about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I'm passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place."

Her father is worth $108 billion. While Jennifer enjoys the expensive hobby of horse-riding and showjumping, she recently began her second year as a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and hopes to become a paediatrician.