Steve McQueen bend down to kiss his daughter Terry goodnight before bed in 1963
Hard-boiled action star Steve McQueen kisses his daughter Terry goodnight at their home in Hollywood, CA in 1963.John Dominis—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Steve McQueen bend down to kiss his daughter Terry goodnight before bed in 1963
Sammy Davis Jr. Plays With Son on couch in 1964
Tony Curtis and wife Janet Leigh play with daughters Kelly and Jamie Lee on floor of Beverly Hills home in 1959
John Wayne with kids Ethan, Marissa, and Aissa and wife Pilar at dining table of family home in 1969
Elizabeth Taylor in costume on the Rome set of Cleopatra plays with daughter Liza in 1962
Dean-Paul Martin flexes muscles to father, Dean Martin and brothers Ricci and Craig on couch at home in Beverly Hills in 1958
Shirley MacLaine and daughter Sachi Parker pouts with pearls on head in 1959
Gina Caroline Martin tries on father Dean Martin's shoes as he watches in background at home in Beverly Hills in 1958
Robert Walker rides a tricycle with two sons in 1942
Rita Hayworth, holding newborn daughter Rebecca Welles with Orson Welles in Hollywood home in December 1944
Michael Redgrave, wife Rachel Kempson, and children Corin, Lynn, and Vanessa pose for portrait on the banks of the Thames near their home in 1946
Sophia Loren lifts son Carlo Ponti Jr. in air at home in Rome in 1969
Joan Crawford with daughter Christina Crawford laying on lap in Monterey, California in 1945
Henry Fonda shows a toy plane to son Peter Fonda while daughter Jane Fonda plays with cat, stepdaughter Frances Brokaw and wife Frances watches in yard at home in Connecticut in 1948
Sachi Parker standing screams with mother kneeling Shirley MacLaine in 1959
Steve McQueen plays with son Chad at home in Hollywood in 1963
Hard-boiled action star Steve McQueen kisses his daughter Terry goodnight at their home in Hollywood, CA in 1963.
John Dominis—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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LIFE With Movie Stars and Their Kids

Oct 01, 2014

"The very rich," F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, "are different from you and me." And along those lines, we sometimes assume that, like the very rich, the very famous are another species entirely. Movie stars, for example, can sometimes seem to exist in a more rarefied world than the rest of us—as if worries cease and cares are a memory once one in touched by fame.

It's a silly notion, of course. Most actors and actresses, no matter how rich or well-known, share the same elemental concerns as the rest of us—especially when it comes to their families. They want their kids to be healthy; to feel safe and feel loved; to learn and to grow and (as near as possible) to be happy.

Over the years, LIFE magazine made a point of featuring actors, actresses, musicians, and other pop culture icons with their families—in short, living their lives the same way that "normal" people do. A noble aim, no doubt. But even when LIFE's photographers did manage to capture an unguarded moment between, say, a Steve McQueen clowning with his son, or Sophia Loren lovingly tossing her baby in the air, there's no getting around the fact that, even if they share the same hopes and fears as parents everywhere, some of these stars seem incapable of looking unattractive or awkward.

Okay. So maybe they're different from the rest of us after all. . . .

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