10 Celebrities Who Were Raised By Pushy Stage Parents

Celebs November 27, 2017 By Hugo

For better or for worse, stage parents are there from the get-go and often play a pivotal role in ensuring their children achieve success in the lucrative world of show business.

So, if you've recently had a child and would like to live your dreams through them, you might want to take a leaf out of the book of these 10 stage parents, who were notorious for their pushy demands and arriviste approach to their child's success.

1. Dina Lohan- Lindsay Lohan's mother

If stage parents ever needed an example of why success too early on in their child's career isn't always a good thing, then most would point to Lindsay Lohan. Once mooted as the Next Big Thing, Lohan was once the highest paid child star in Hollywood and commanded 7-figure cheques for her roles in the films The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday thanks in large parts to her ruthless stage mother, Dina.

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Growing up in the business, Dina's mother was also an entertainer, and she simply did- in her eyes- what she knew best for both herself and Lindsay. However, others have criticised her and Lindsay's father, Michael, for exploiting Lindsay in order to further their own careers in the entertainment world, with both parents since appearing on a number of reality shows thanks to Lohan's initial success as an actress.

2. Jaid Barrymore- Drew Barrymore's mother

Drew Barrymore's struggles with addiction in her younger years has been well-documented, but most people saw her mother has directly responsible for her child's reckless behavior. After all, her mother had wanted to be an actress her entire life, and she wasted little time in giving Drew the life she always wanted, and at just 11 months old, Drew had her first acting credit in a dog food commercial.

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At age 5, she had made her film debut, and after landing more high-profile gigs, including the lead role in Steven Spielberg's "E.T.", Barrymore began partying to the extreme, all whilst being with her mother, who encouraged such hedonism. 

3. Emmanuel Agassi- Andre Agassi's father

While Andre Aggasi may not be an actor or musician, he was raised by a parent intent on seeing him become the best tennis player in the world, and instead of cradling toys in his cot, Emmanuel would replace them with tennis balls. 

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And it worked, because Agassi became one of the sports' greatest ever players, winning every grand slam and a host of other tournaments. But because of his father's strict discipline, the tennis ace admitted in his brilliant autobiography "Open" that he never liked the sport and at times, despised his father's obsession with it.

4. Gertrude Temple- Shirley Temple's mother

While some stage mothers ease their children into the business, others prime them for stardom the moment they are in the womb, just like Gertrude Temple. Apparently, she was so captivated with having her child succeed that she played music to Shirley while pregnant.

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From a young age, she was also forcing Shirley to memorize lyrics for songs, while her trademark ringlets were orchestrated by her mother, whose strict styling routine of exactly 56 curls took hours each morning. 

5. Ethel Gumm- Judy Garland's mother 

Judy Garland got her first taste of public performing at the tender age of three after impressing on the vaudeville circuit. Performing alongside her two sisters, their act became known as “The Gumm Sisters” and it was Ethel Gumm, Garland's mother, who made sure they didn't put a foot wrong.

Eric Carpenter for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer via Wikimedia Commons

It was this kind of militant discipline, however, that also spawned Judy’s long history of addiction, after her mother often gave her various stimulants to give her more energy for auditions. Garland famously described her mother as “the real Wicked Witch of the West.”

6. Sara Sothern- Elizabeth Taylor's mother

A silver screen icon, Elizabeth Taylor's mother Sara Sothern was also a famous actress but retired when she married Taylor's father and wanted her only child to have even more of a stellar acting career than she did.

Studio via Wikimedia Commons

And she wasted little time in making sure her daughter reached the top. In fact, she eve trained her to cry on cue and created a bidding war between MGM and Universal for her services when she was only eight years old.

However, Taylor rebelled as a teenager, and demanded she lead the life of a “regular child," to which her mother responded, "But you’re not a regular child, and thank God for that.”

7. Joe Jackson- Michael Jackson's father

Because of Joe Jackson's ruthless approach to seeing the most talented kid from the Jackson 5 achieve global fame, Michael Jackson craved to be a normal child, so much so that he reverted back to one later on his life, spending most of his days hosting parties for disadvantaged children at his Neverland ranch in California. 


Recalling his father's actions in later interviews, Michael often recalled the fear he would feel every day his father drove up the driveway of the family home, while one wrong dance move would lead to harsh beatings.

8. Terri Shields- Brooke Shield's mother

Terri Shields was a fierce protector of daughter Brooke and gained a reputation for being someone you wouldn't want to cross on set. However, she attracted much criticism after she allowed her then-12-year-old daughter to play the role of a child prostitute in the film "Pretty Baby", a role which required she be nude in one scene.

Shutterstock/ Joe Seer

However, Terri has defended her actions. Speaking to People, she said. "The press has referred to me as a stage mother, a frustrated actress living through Brooke and even a one-woman film-wrecking crew. They can say what they want about me. But Brooke can't fight back. That's why I'm here. I'm not a stage mother. I'm Brooke's mother.”

Terri's clingy, yet protective approach to her daughter's career was praised by fellow stage mom Caroline Stellar, whose son, the ’70s teen heartthrob Leif Garrett, experienced many problems. “Brooke Shields’s mom, I take my hat off to you. Because nobody messed with her kid. But they messed with mine."

9. Kit Culkin- Macaulay Culkin's father

An actor himself, Kit Culkin managed to land his son his first acting gig at 4-years-old, and understanding the fickle nature of the business, he encouraged his son to memorize the hardest parts of the scripts so he would always shine in auditions. A natural, Culkin absorbed his father's words and won himself a string of movie roles, including Home Alone, a film which would propel him to superstardom.

Shutterstock/ Everett Collection

However, after amassing millions of dollars, and at risk of burning himself out with the number of roles he was taking on, a fierce custody battle broke out between his parents, and it eventually led to him gaining direct control of his fortune at the age of just 14.
Now estranged from his father, Macaulay retired from the acting world at 14, just a few short years after bursting onto the scene.

10. Kris Jenner- The Kardashian's mother (and manager)

The Kardashians are not your average reality tv family. They are a global business empire, with fragrances, clothing, and a host of other enterprises making them one of the wealthiest families in Hollywood, and that's mostly down to the business prowess of the mother, Kris Jenner.

Shutterstock/ Tinseltown

The self-confessed "momager" and brains behind their recent, $150m deal with E!, Kris was accused of encouraging daughter Kim Kardashian to release her sex tape with the rapper Ray-J that led her to become the public figure she now is, though she has always denied this. 

Others have also criticized her role as manager for seeing her children as commodities rather than blood, yet despite this, daughter Kim remains convinced that her mother's role as "momager" is better than hiring someone else. "First of all, we have to hire a manager,” Kim said. “And no one will fight harder for you than your own mother.”

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