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Celebrity children that have dropped their parents' surnames© Getty

Celebrity children who have dropped their parents' famous last names — from Willow and Jaden Smith to Suri Cruise and Malia Obama

From Tom Cruise's daughter Suri to Rob Schneider's daughter Elle, there are plenty of kids who dropped the surnames of their famous parents

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
Updated: May 29, 2024
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When you're the child of a celebrity, the sheer star-wattage of their name can linger over you like a shadow. 

It's a Catch-22 situation: when the expectation comes for the children of stars to also be successful, many people then assume - per the nepo baby moniker - that they only got famous because of their parents. Then there are the kids who have more complicated relationships with their parents - who want distance not only from their family legacy but the parents themselves.

Famously, Angelina Jolie refused to go by her father Jon Voight's surname, and now her daughter Vivienne has dropped 'Pitt' from her name. 

WATCH: Celebrity children who dropped their parents' famous last names

Here are the children who dropped their famous surnames.


malia obama sundance film festival 2024© Getty Images

Malia Obama

As the daughter of the former president set out on her path as a filmmaker, she dropped her famous surname. Debuting her short film, The Heart, at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the 25-year-old went by Malia Ann for the occasion instead.


Vivienne Jolie-Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend the opening night of "The Outsiders" at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on April 11, 2024 in New York City.© Getty Images

Vivienne Jolie-Pitt

The daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie opted to drop her father's surname, according to a Playbill leaflet. The 15-year-old was listed as Vivienne Jolie, rather than Jolie-Pitt. She isn't the first of their kids to do so, as Zahara, 19, was introduced in her university's sorority as Zahara Marley Jolie last year.


Katie Holmes and her lookalike daughter Suri went for a stroll in New York recently © AKGS

Suri Cruise

Katie Holmes' daughter with Tom Cruise seemed to debut a new name during a performance of Head Over Heels. As she took on the role of Philoclea, the casting sheet revealed Suri was not going by her birth name 'Cruise', instead adopting her mom's middle name and going by Suri Noelle.


Elle King attends Estee Lauder at Stagecoach Festival on April 28, 2017 in Indio, California.  (Photo by David Crotty/Getty Images for Estee Lauder)© David Crotty

Elle King

You wouldn't believe that this country singer was actually the daughter of Rob Schneider, but her real name is actually Tanner Elle Schneider. The "Ex's & Oh's" singer instead goes by her mother's surname, 'King'.


Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles© Getty Images

Angelina Jolie

The Lara Croft actress has famously had a volatile relationship with her famous father, who was reportedly in and out of her life while growing up. She petitioned the court the legally remove her surname, Voight, in favor of her middle name Jolie, which she used as a stage name. The change was granted on September 12, 2002.


Jaden Smith and Willow Smith attend The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City.© Getty Images

Willow and Jaden Smith

While their resemblance to their mom and dad is undeniable, as Willow and Jaden have grown older they've ditched the 'Smith' moniker as they've further pursued their artistic careers. Jaden revealed in an interview on The Zane Lowe Show that Willow had started going by her forename alone long before he did.


Nicolas Cage wearing a red suit at The Red Sea International Film Festival 2023© Getty

Nicolas Cage

Believe it or not, Nicolas Cage is actually a member of the famous Coppola family - the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire, he goes by his stage name instead.


BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 6: Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute's Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. The 27th annual global conference explores various topics, from the rise of generative AI to electric vehicle trends and features participants, soccer star David Beckham and actor Ashton Kutcher. (Photo by Apu Gomes/Getty Images)© Apu Gomes

Vivian Jenna Wilson

Elon Musk's 18-year-old daughter, of whom there are no public photos available, changed their name to Vivian Jenna Wilson during their transition. They dropped the 'Musk' moniker in favor of their mom's maiden name instead.

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