"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. . . .