They have lived all their lives on the edge of the spotlight, but recently some 20 offspring of Manhattan's rich and famous decided to slip into the glow personally. They threw a "Second Generation" party for themselves that clearly gave many their first chance to shine. "Finally," said Gwynne Rivers, 19, daughter of artist Larry Rivers, "here's a way to get away from just saying, 'Hi, I'm so-and-so's daughter.' "

The bash started off with a chummy dinner at Chinatown's Canton Restaurant and ended up with an all-night revel at Studio 54. The hosts were Leacock and Pennebaker (that's Victoria and Frazer, kids of the documentary filmmaker team of Richard Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker), and like them, most of their co-revelers said they want to follow Mom and Pop's glittery footsteps. Tony Torn, 18, son of actor Rip Torn and actress Geraldine Page, studies film and acts, while Mario Van Peebles, 26, son of actor-writer-director Melvin, already has landed a job on One Life to Live. Amy Stiller, 22, acting-student daughter of thespians Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, spoke for many: "All my name can do is open doors. I've got to do the rest."

A few of the partygoers, however, aren't trading on their names as much as their trust funds. Preppy Tucker Johnson, 19, scion of the Johnson & Johnson fortune, said, "It was my father's father's company. It has nothing to do with my life." And what is his life? "I play polo and fox hunt. It's the coolest thing to do."