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Close up of Molly Gordon© Getty

The Bear's Molly Gordon hails from film royalty – meet her parents

The actress stars as Claire in season three of The Bear 

Megan Bull
TV Writer
July 2, 2024
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Molly Gordon is a rising star thanks to her stellar performances in Life of the Party (2018), Booksmart (2019), and more recently, The Bear (2023). The star – who portrays Carmy's love interest, Claire – started acting at a young age, and she clearly inherited her passion for TV and film from her famous parents.

The Bear season 3 – trailer

Meet Molly Gordon's parents

Born and raised in Venice, Los Angeles, Molly is the daughter of Hollywood heavyweights, Bryan Gordon and Jessie Nelson. 

Molly Gordon with her parents, Bryan Gordon and Jessie Nelson. © Getty
Molly Gordon is the daughter of filmmakers Bryan Gordon and Jessie Nelson

Her father, Bryan, is a director, writer, actor and producer known for directing the films, Career Opportunities (1991) and Pie in the Sky (1995), as well as various episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm (2000-2017), The Office (2005-6), Party Down (2009-2010), and The Neighbors (2013-2014). As for his acting work, Brian has landed minor roles in Corrina, Corrina (1994) and Sour Grapes (1998). 

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Molly's mother, Jessie Nelson, boasts an equally impressive career and like her husband, has directed and acted in numerous productions. 

Corrina, Corrina (1994) and Love the Coopers (2015) are among her directorial credits, as well as episodes of Little Voice (2020). Acting-wise, you may have spotted Jessie in So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) and The Story of Us (1999). 

What has the star said about her parents?

In a 2023 interview with Shondaland, Molly revealed that her parents helped get her into community theatre, where she was part of a chorus from a young age. "Obviously I couldn't carry a tune, and I couldn't fully dance," she told the publication, "but they would put me in the back, and I would just groove and have a very dandy time. It was amazing."

After dropping out of New York University to pursue acting, Molly was cast in a few of her parents' shows and plays but also made a name for herself, landing roles in Animal Kingdom (2016-18), Shiva Baby (2020) and The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020). 

Molly Gordon with her mom Jessie Nelson© Getty
Molly with her mom Jessie Nelson

Praising her parents for their enduring support, Molly explained to The Independent that watching them in the industry helped her to better understand it. 

"I think growing up and watching my parents succeed, then not succeed, watching their friends succeed and not succeed, it was like, 'Oh, this is like such a beautiful, wildly insane career that can bring so much fun and glamour and amazingness.' But also it's like, 'Oh, this is a really hard job.' Unless you have really thick skin, which me and my family do not have."

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