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Feb 01, 2015
LA's Power Families (with Elizabeth Jenkins and Andrew Stone) - Angeleno Magazine

Call it clout. Call it influence. Call it gravitas. Call it style. These leading clans have it in spades. From Hollywood heavyweights and their scions to titans of industry to recent transplants building their empires, here’s a look at the notable names that make moving and shaking in Los Angeles a real family affair.

The Azrias—Michael, Anaïs, Marine, Lubov, Max, Agnès and Joyce—at home in Holmby Hills

Businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad—photographed in his Century City office—is opening the Broad Museum with his wife, Edythe, later this year.


Actor Balthazar Getty at home with his wife, Rosetta, a former model and one of L.A.’s most admired stylesetters.

Like many transplants, fashion designer Max Azria was drawn to Los Angeles because of the weather. “Though I grew up in Paris, I was actually born in Tunisia,” he explains, “so the sunny weather reminds me of my youth.” He also chose L.A. because he wanted to raise a family and start a company in a city with cinema, music and, of course, style. He launched his flagship line, BCBGMaxAzria, 26 years ago, and today, his empire encompasses more than 20 brands. “The energy in L.A. is very different from New York,” Max says. “We are able to play by our own rules, and as a result, our product is unlike any other.” Max also has the advantage of working with his wife, Lubov, who is the company’s chief creative officer, and his daughter Joyce, who is creative director of BCBGeneration. “L.A. inspires me every day,” says Lubov. “I wouldn’t be designing the same pieces if I lived anywhere else.” The couple resides in Holmby Hills with their teenage girls, Agnès and Anaïs, and their four adult children live throughout the city. Chloé attends Occidental College, Marine owns Venice’s The Collective boutique and Michael is a photographer. “My dad and Lubov are fashion royalty,” says Joyce. “Never forgetting my roots is essential.”

A lot has happened in the decade since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. While working on a myriad of films and philanthropic efforts, the couple has been busy expanding their jet-setting clan into perhaps the most famous family in the world. In addition to their adopted children, Maddox, Zahara and Pax, the genetically gifted duo gave birth to daughter Shiloh (now 8) and twins Knox and Vivienne (6). After finally tying the knot last August, the couple will appear on screen together again later this year in the Jolie-directed film By the Sea. Meanwhile, they continue to make numerous charitable contributions and oversee the impressive Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty and protecting wildlife.

Unlike most storied families in Los Angeles, the Hiltons found fame through real estate, not entertainment—well originally, at least. Richard Hilton—husband of Kathy and father of Paris and Nicky—is the grandson of Conrad Hilton, founder of the eponymous hotel empire and onetime husband of Elizabeth Taylor. Richard is also the co-founder of Hilton & Hyland, a top L.A. real estate brokerage firm specializing in luxury estates. Kathy was an actress before becoming a boutique owner and fashion designer—and those interests clearly influenced her daughters, who have built empires around their vast social and professional pursuits. Meanwhile, Kathy’s half-sisters, Kim and Kyle Richards, were both child actresses before becoming known to a new generation as castmates on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kyle’s husband, Mauricio Umansky, is making waves in the real estate industry as well, as CEO of the hot new firm The Agency; he’s currently recognized as one of the top realators in the entire country. Kyle’s eldest daughter, Farrah Aldjufrie, is also a licensed agent and works for The Agency. It’s clear that the legacy will live on.

The epitome of old-school L.A., the Annenberg fortune was built by the late Walter Annenberg, who expanded his father’s magazine business into radio and TV. He and his wife, Leonore, founded the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC, as well as the Annenberg Foundation, which has awarded more than $4 billion to public projects, mostly in L.A. Walter’s daughter, Wallis Annenberg, is the only surviving heir and serves as president of the foundation. Under her leadership, it has created the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Annenberg Community Beach House and, most recently, the groundbreaking Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts. Three of her four children are vice presidents of the organization as they all work together to continue to elevate the city as well as their family’s name. 

The varied creative careers of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have no doubt influenced their children. Will rose to fame as the Fresh Prince, first as a rapper and then as a TV actor, before really taking off in blockbuster films. Jada got her start in television before crossing over to movies, launching a metal band and co-authoring two books. Their son Jaden, 16, first appeared on screen opposite his father in the film The Pursuit of Happyness at age 8, and has since starred in the remake of The Karate Kid, released music and launched a clothing brand. His younger sister, Willow, 14, also made her acting debut alongside her dad, in 2007’s I Am Legend, but really made headlines in 2010, when she was signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label and her single “Whip My Hair” went platinum. Even their 22-year-old half-brother, Trey Smith, is getting in on the act, performing as a DJ under the stage name AcE. Talk about passing the torch.

The most glamorous couple ever to grace the California governor’s mansion, Arnold Schwarzenegger, body builder-turned-action star-turned-politico, and Maria Shriver, journalist and Kennedy scion, have had their ups and downs since leaving Sacramento (including a well-documented divorce). But their brood has certainly thrived. Their third child, Patrick, is a budding model who has posed for, among others, Tom Ford. He also recently opened a restaurant, Blaze Pizza, and happens to date Miley Cyrus. Patrick’s older sister, Katherine, just published two high-profile self-help books. Expect to hear much more from the next generation as they continue to come of age.

Encino-born financier and philanthropist Michael Milken has used his business acumen to create a vast empire for his family, which includes wife Lori and their three children, Milk boutique owner and fashion designer Bari Milken Bernstein; Apollo Global Management partner Lance Milken; and AltEgo COO Gregory Milken. Michael is also highly regarded for his altruism and established The Milken Institute, a world-renowned economic think tank dedicated to addressing a wide array of global concerns, and The Milken Family Foundation, a medical research and education organization that he runs with his brother, Lowell.

Born to Jewish immigrant parents who fled Nazi Germany, high school dropout Ron Meyer rose to become a superagent for the William Morris Agency and then founded Creative Artists Agency from card tables in rented offices. He went on to reign as president of Universal Studios for 18 years (the longest management of a major studio in Hollywood history) before moving on to his current post as vice chairman of Universal’s parent company, NBCUniversal. Daughter Jennifer met megastar actor Tobey Maguire on the set of Universal’s Seabiscuit and the two families officially joined forces when the couple was married in 2007. Jennifer has also made a name for herself as a jewelry designer; her eponymous line launched in 2004 and is worn by A-list pals like Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson. The low-profile couple have two young children, Ruby and Otis.

The brood of self-made billionaire Larry Ellison—executive chairman and former CEO of software giant Oracle—has quickly become one of the most prominent and well-connected families in L.A. This distinction comes not only from Ellison’s business legacy or his children’s entertainment industry influence; his real estate portfolio is legendary as well. He recently purchased and is redeveloping more than 95 percent of Lanai and has been acquiring numerous properties along Malibu’s Carbon Beach. His daughter, Megan, has made Oscar-nominated waves as a producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures, known for bringing intelligent films like HerAmerican Hustle and Zero Dark Thirty to the silver screen. Son David is an actor, producer and CEO of Paramount partner Skydance Productions, which is behind movies like True Grit and Star Trek 3. His longtime love, Nikita Kahn, is an animal rights activist and philanthropist who contributes to local organizations like the California Wildlife Center.

For music producer, composer and songwriter David Foster, entertaining has become a family business. In addition to 16 Grammy wins and 47 nominations, the patriarch and chairman of Verve Music Group has five daughters in addition to three stepchildren with his wife, Yolanda, who stars on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. David’s daughters Sara and Erin Foster are about to debut a docudrama on VH1, while Yolanda’s two girls, Gigi and Bella Hadid, are currently enjoying “it” girl status in the modeling industry. But not everyone is seeking the limelight—David’s oldest daughter, Allison Jones, serves on the board of the David Foster Foundation, which supports families whose children are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in David’s native Canada.

Even though the Southland is their adopted home, Eli and Edythe Broad’s influence on L.A. is monumental. Eli—a former Detroit accountant—scored an extraordinary doubleheader by founding what would become KB Homes and then SunAmerica Inc. Much of the Broads’ $7 billion fortune has been devoted to charitable causes, but their biggest legacy will be the transformation of L.A. into a modern Florence. “There is no question that Los Angeles has become the contemporary-art capital of the world,” Eli has declared, and for the past three decades, the couple has been dedicated to making sure it stays that way with the creation of The Broad Art Foundation. Eli is the founding chairman of MOCA and the Broads own more than $2.2 billion in art, much of which will be going to the wildly anticipated downtown Broad Museum, set to open this fall.

The Gettys have long been one of the wealthiest families in the United States, thanks to wildcatter J. Paul Getty’s lucrative oil deals. He left his lasting imprint on L.A. with the founding of the renowned Getty Museum, to which he bestowed most of his estate when he died in 1976 (his children still inherited billions through a trust). Though members of the affluent family have made names for themselves in various industries around the world, J. Paul’s great-grandson Balthazar has remained prominent in this city because of his chosen profession: acting. While he is best known for his roles on Alias and Brothers and Sisters, Balthazar also launched a record label, Purplehaus Music, in 2013 and currently has four movies in various stages of production. Meanwhile, when she isn’t helping Balthazar care for their four children, wife Rosetta Getty keeps plenty busy with her new eponymous ready-to-wear line, sold at stylish boutiques like Just One Eye.

Richard Kayne eschewed his native New York for California in order to attend Stanford as an undergrad and earn his MBA at UCLA. His decision to partner with John Anderson (for whom the UCLA Anderson School of Management is named) to form the investment firm Kayne Anderson ultimately made him a billionaire. As a result, he and his wife, Suzanne, have been able to support their three daughters in their personal pursuits. Jenni Kayne launched her namesake clothing line back in 2003 at the age of 19 and now has three stores: two in L.A. and one in Santa Barbara; Maggie Kayne paired with Bill Griffin and James Corcoran to open the esteemed Kayne Griffin Corcoran art gallery; and Saree Kayne is earning her doctorate in cultural anthropology at Stanford. These talented sisters clearly know how to make the most of a good situation.

To say the Goldwyns are Hollywood royalty would be putting it lightly. Samuel Goldwyn, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1879, literally founded Tinseltown when he and his friend Cecil B. DeMille produced the first feature ever filmed in L.A. in 1913. He later played a key role in the formation of both Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) before creating his own studio. Of his six grandchildren, four work in the entertainment industry today: Tony Goldwyn occupies the role of President Fitzgerald Grant on Scandal; John is a producer; Peter is senior vice president of Samuel Goldwyn Films; and Liz is a local fashion fixture who runs an independent studio of her own.

Despite tabloid excoriations and a handful of inauspicious claims to fame, the Kardashians—famous for the E! reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians—are a family with extraordinary influence and earning power, and serve as a sign of the times. The world first became obsessed with Kim Kardashian in the mid-2000s, but her profile reached astronomic proportions when she linked up with rapper and music mogul Kanye West. A wedding and a baby later, Kim presides over a net worth that reportedly rivals that of Oprah and Ellen. Khloe and Kourtney often work alongside their middle sister, overseeing their Dash boutiques, launching clothing lines and making appearances around the world. Younger half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner have become pop phenomena of their own, serving as teen idols, fashion darlings (particularly Kendall, who has modeled for the likes of Chanel, Balmain and Marc Jacobs) and social media superstars. And with famous “momager” Kris Jenner overseeing the whole bunch, the entire Kardashian clan is laughing all the way to the bank—in designer heels, of course.

As if it weren’t enough to be a Lakers legend, Earvin “Magic” Johnson also became a Dodgers fan favorite when he rescued the team from disgraced owner Frank McCourt in 2012. Last February, Johnson was part of a group that purchased local WNBA team the Sparks to save them from relocation, and in October he announced that he was part owner of the city’s future Major League Soccer franchise. Johnson’s Los Angeles roots were firmly planted in 1979 when he was selected first in the draft by the Lakers and went on to win five championships for the purple and gold before retiring in 1996. He has been an activist for HIV ever since his announcement in 1991 that he is HIV-positive, and his wife, Cookie, is equally involved with the cause through their charity, the Magic Johnson Foundation. He also is a powerhouse businessman, overseeing Magic Johnson Enterprises, a corporation committed to developing and empowering urban communities, while Cookie runs her premium denim line, CJ by Cookie Johnson. Magic’s son Andre is executive vice president of MJE; their son E.J. is on his way to becoming a gay icon and stars on #RichKids of Beverly Hills on E!; and their adopted daughter Alisa is a college freshman and budding fashionista. Just ask her devoted Instagram followers.

“My grandfather is always very adamant that I am the fifth generation of our family to work in the movie industry,” says Palo Alto writer-director Gia Coppola, 28, of her grandfather, Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. “In fact, one of our relatives was involved in the invention of the Vitaphone, which allowed movies to become talkies,” she explains. Gia’s aunt Sofia Coppola, uncle Roman Coppola and cousins Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman are among the many boldface names in the family business. In addition to their combined eight Oscar wins and 24 nominations, the Coppolas are also winemakers, thanks to Francis’ 1975 purchase of a vineyard in Napa Valley. “I grew up around winemaking just as much as [around] movies,” explains Gia, who studied bartending after graduating from Bard College and released her eponymous line of wines this past year. “What’s so great about making wine, as opposed to a movie, is that you can keep perfecting the same thing each year. With a movie you only get one shot.”

Arguably the most successful and powerful producer/director in the history of a city that has been awed by entertainment titans for more than a century, Steven Spielberg continues to break into new genres—currently in the form of directing a Cold War spy thriller, St. James Place, due to open in October. He and Kate Capshaw, his wife of 23 years, preside over seven children, including Grey’s Anatomy star Jessica Capshaw (Kate’s daughter from a previous marriage). Other offspring are rising through showbiz ranks too. Brother-and-sister duo Theo and Sasha have formed musical pairing Wardell, while younger brother Sawyer Avery is making his mark in New York City as a theater director and actor—even after dropping his famous last name.

Unbeknownst to many, the Caruso family legacy begins with paterfamilias Hank, who co-founded Dollar Rent a Car in 1966. Son Rick Caruso inherited his father’s entrepreneurial instincts, starting as a real estate lawyer who jumped over to the development side, amassing a $3 billion fortune building family- and neighborhood-friendly retail spaces, including The Grove, which boasts a higher annual attendance than Disneyland. Rick’s wife, Tina, an ex-model and clothing designer, is often cited as an inspiration for the creative touches in his spaces. Next up: a three-year redevelopment of the troubled retail heart of Pacific Palisades. Having led several prominent municipal commissions, Caruso is regularly bandied as a mayoral contender. 

Since launching the first Mr. Chow restaurant in London in 1968, Michael Chow has watched his empire grow exponentially. The longtime Angeleno now presides over six of his namesake Chinese eateries, including two in L.A., and lives with his wife, Eva, in a Holmby Hills mansion where he hosts the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and President Obama. Like their restaurants, the Chows themselves have endured elegantly in a town that worships both stamina and style. Michael—known for his signature round black glasses—is a ubiquitous social presence, while Eva is on the board of LACMA. Meanwhile, Michael’s daughter from an earlier marriage, China, is a well-known model and actress; son Maximillian is gradually taking over the business reins and youngest daughter Asia is a model and musician. A Las Vegas Mr. Chow is currently under construction in Caesars Palace—a promising spot for extending the family’s good luck for years to come. 

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