Celebrity Parent: Faye Dunaway
Like his American mother, Academy Award winning actress Faye Dunaway, 59, Liam O'Neill has spent time in front of the camera—as a teen model for an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. And like his British father, celebrity photographer Terry O'Neill, 61, he has spent time behind the camera, snapping pictures "of everything," he says. "I just sent a book to my father of photographs I had done of my puppies, wildlife and scenery." So what does the 20-year-old—now a sophomore at a New England college, where he is leaning toward majoring in the classics—plan to do when he graduates? For one thing, he says, "I want to open my own bar. I like the people I meet. I enjoy making other people happy." His girlfriends—both former and present—can attest to that. "For Valentine's Day one year, Liam bought a life-size teddy bear with a big red bow and left it in my room," recalls Nina Butler, 20, who dated him at boarding school. And when his college sweetheart Lilli Ceaser, 19, was feeling blue last summer, "he jumped on a plane and showed up on my doorstep with a bouquet of roses," she recalls. Back at school, Ceaser adds, "he'll leave me roses in my dorm room when I'm out playing soccer, with a note saying, 'Good luck today—I hope you score.' " Dunaway is hardly surprised by her son's chivalrous behavior. "From the first moment of infancy," she claims, "you could see his sweetness." The only child of Dunaway and O'Neill, Liam spent his early years in London. But after his parents' 1987 divorce, he moved with his mother to New York City and then to L.A., where at age 17 he accompanied her to a party at Elizabeth Taylor's house. Taylor, Liam recalls, "made me run out to my car and get my modeling book. She showed it to everyone at the party—she wanted to help me out." But for now, the 5'11" undergrad has put modeling on hold. "I'm definitely going to finish school," he says, "because it gives you something to fall back on."
Celebrity Parent: Jim Croce
While onstage in St. Petersburg, Fla., last year, musician A.J. Croce did something he never thought he would: He sang one of the classic hits—"You Don't Mess Around with Jim"—made famous by his father, folk rocker Jim Croce, who died in a 1973 plane crash. "The crowd loved it," A.J. recalls. "And for me, it was liberating." Until then, A.J., 29, had separated himself from the legacy of his father—a man celebrated for such hits as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle." "All my life, I've been introduced as Jim Croce's son," explains A.J., who was only 2 when his father died and who was raised in San Diego by his mom, Ingrid, 53, a restaurateur. "But I'm no longer afraid of the comparisons people inevitably make." It helps that A.J. has his own successful career: He recently released his fourth CD, Transit
(which he describes as "Bob Dylan goes electric"), and wrapped up a national tour. "He's a very quiet, polite guy," says friend Cathy Guthrie, daughter of folksinger Arlo Guthrie. "But onstage he's a different person. He's a performer." It's a side the 5'9" singer's female fans like to see. "Sometimes the women in the audiences go totally crazy," says his wife, Mario, 31, a homemaker. "But I'm okay with that. A.J. doesn't give me any reason to be jealous." Back home in San Diego with his family (daughter Camille is 10; son Elijah, 3), A.J. oversees the rights to Jim Croce's music. But he says he'll never try to cash in on his father's fame by recording those old hits. "I'm not concerned with being a star," he says. "I just want people to hear my music and enjoy it."
Celebrity Parent: Gloria Estefan
When Nayib Estefan performs before an audience, it's not as a singer, like his mother, Gloria Estefan, 43. It's as a deejay. "I just did this pre-Latin Grammys party in Century City," he says, "and I had this huge crowd of 4,000 people pumping!" Nayib, 20, who attends the Los Angeles Film School by day, hopes the public will be equally responsive to his roles in two upcoming independent films—Punks and Snowbirds
—and to future projects he hopes to write and direct. "When you grow up on the road, you spend a lot of time on the tour bus," he explains, "so very early on I loved watching movies." At age 9, Nayib was on his mother's tour bus in March 1990 when it was hit by a truck in Pennsylvania, shattering Gloria Estefan's spine. "My mom was lying there with a broken back," recalls Nayib, who broke his collarbone. "My dad [music producer Emilio Estefan, 47] picked me up and laid me down next to her. We talked together to keep each other calm." A decade later Nayib says that he calls his mom back in Miami "four or five times a day," lessening the physical distance between them. "I feel he's as close as if he were still in his room in our home," Gloria Estefan says. Nayib's home is now a two-bedroom, Art Deco-style bungalow in L.A., where the 5' 10" bachelor stocks his fridge with fruit punch, coffee cake and ice pops. Another favorite: Gerber baby-food fruits. "My mom fed them to me when I was a baby, but I still like them," he says. "They're so good!"
Celebrity Parent: Deepak Chopra
His father, self-help guru Deepak Chopra, 53, is the author of the bestseller The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
. Gotham Chopra, 25, may be living proof those laws are worth following. As a Columbia University senior in 1997, Gotham published a novel, Child of the Dawn
, which has since been translated into 13 languages; his second book, a nonfiction tome about Buddhism, comes out next spring. A monthly comic-book series that he wrote in 1999 called Bulletproof Monk
has been optioned for a movie. He's now writing a spiritual advice column for alloy.com. And all that's in his free time: Chopra's full-time job is as a reporter for Channel One, an educational TV network that airs in more than 12,000 schools. Says his father: "Gotham has been meditating since the age of 4, so he has a lot of inner wisdom to draw from." As befits the son of a New Age spiritual leader, Gotham (whose mother, Rita, 52, is a homemaker) is quite Zen about it all. "The journey is the destination," he insists. "Who knows if there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? But the rainbow's just as cool." Especially when it includes a Marina del Rey apartment and a friendship with Michael Jackson. "We talk about once a week, when something comes up, just like any other friend," says the 5'9" Gotham, who logs heavier phone time with his girlfriend of six years, Candice Chen, 25, a Columbia med student. "She's saving lives, and if you ask me, having your hand under someone's heart is far more sexy than anything here in L.A.," he says. Some might beg to differ. "Ever since he was a baby," says his sister Mallika, 29, founder of the Web site mypotential.com, "all my friends have said, 'Save him for me when I grow up!' "
Celebrity Parent: Bob Marley
One of 11 children born to the late reggae legend Bob Marley, Rohan is quick to admit he can't carry a tune. "Yeah, man. The shower's where I do most of my singing!" he says with a laugh. And yet in nearly every aspect of his life, Rohan, 28, has surrounded himself with music. He's engaged to Grammy-winning R&B singer Lauryn Hill, 25, with whom he has two children (Zion, 3, and Selah Louise, 2). He helps oversee merchandising and royalty rights to his father's estate. He even talks about his hoped-for career as a professional soccer player—he's currently in a recreational league near his South Orange, N.J., home—in musical terms. "You have to have a rhythm with the ball," he says. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, however, Rohan was more interested in creating discord; he says he was so troublesome that in 1984—three years after his father died of cancer—his mother, Janet Hunt (whom Bob Marley never married), sent him to live with Miami relatives. "He had a big mouth and liked to get into fights," recalls his half brother Ziggy, 32. Channeling his aggression into football, the 5'8" Rohan starred on the University of Miami's 1991 national championship team and had a brief stint with the Canadian Football League's now-defunct Ottawa Rough Riders before meeting Hill at a 1996 concert. "Ro was the first guy I was with who actually took care of me," Hill told Essence
magazine in 1998. But those roles reverse when it comes time to get dressed for a big event. "I'm not a fashion statement," admits Rohan, who's most comfortable in jeans. "She tells me what looks nice!"
Celebrity Parent: Anne Rice
Before he settles down to work, author Chris Rice takes a couple of leisurely hours to surf the Internet and drink a pot of coffee. "I get up at 10 a.m. on a good day," he says. "I am not a morning person." That makes sense. After all, he's the son of novelist Anne Rice, 59, mistress of the vampire genre. But with his own fiction writing, Chris, 22, prefers the human to the supernatural. His first novel, the bestselling A Density of Souls
, follows four high school friends in his hometown of New Orleans, and boasts a lead character who—like its author—is gay. But while his fictional counterpart is terrorized by peers, Chris, who came out to his parents when he was 18, says he was never bullied. "He had tons of friends," recalls his best friend, Brandy Edwards Pigeon, 26, who works as Anne Rice's assistant. Although Chris spent time at both Brown University and New York University, he dropped out of college in 1997 to write screenplays in L.A. "I really thought film was my calling," he says. But the following year, his mother slipped into a diabetic coma and Chris returned to New Orleans to be with her and his dad, Stan, 58, a painter and poet. To keep occupied, Chris began writing what would become his novel. He didn't show the story to his mother until it was finished. "I read it over two days, almost nonstop," she says. "I was just so amazed." Though Chris sold the manuscript to Talk Miramax Books as part of a six-figure, two-book deal (his second novel is due next fall), he is discovering that success isn't without its pitfalls. "All these articles written about me describe me as 'willowy' and 'lanky'!" complains the 6'3" writer, whose only exercise is from bouncing on the mini-trampoline he keeps at his parents' home. "I wish I could bulk up a little more."
Celebrity Parent: Jason Robards
When Jake Robards made his New York City stage debut last year—as a hustler in an Off-Broadway play called Backstage Bitches
—critics didn't line up to review it. But one of America's most acclaimed actors gave the 26-year-old newcomer a rave. "He did very well," says Jason Robards, 78. "I'm very proud that he chose to be an actor." It was a choice that Robards's youngest son made after graduating from Georgetown University in 1997. There, his most acclaimed performances were with the male singing troupe the Chimes. "There was a Jake contingent," recalls his friend Jessica Lappin, 25. "A group of girls in the balcony would swoon a little bit when he sang!" Jake's entry into the family business (half brothers Sam, 38, and Jason III, 52, are also actors), however, was sidetracked in 1998 when his father became ill with lung cancer. Jake dropped out of Manhattan's American Academy of Dramatic Arts to help his dad and mom, former producer Lois O'Connor, 64. "My parents are the most important thing to me," he says. Acknowledges his father: "He gave up almost two years of his life to watch over me. And he still does!" In fact the 5'9" Jake—who is dating a childhood friend, Rachel Bell, 26—lives with his folks in Southport, Conn., as he pursues an acting career. Someday he hopes to play opposite his dad. "He's a wonderfully giving, loving person in life, and I know he is onstage," says Jake. "Working with him would be a real treat."