Steven Spielberg has one talented brood.
The Oscar-winning director first became a father with the birth of his son Max, 37, whom he shares with his ex-wife Amy Irving. When Spielberg married actress Kate Capshaw in 1991, he became a father to her daughter Jessica, 46, and son Theo, 34. Spielberg and Capshaw went on to welcome four children together — Sasha, 32, Sawyer, 30, Destry, 26 and Mikaela, 26.
While the iconic director is now a proud father of seven, he didn't always want children. In fact, it was his experience working on E.T. that opened him up to the idea of parenthood.
"I didn't want to have kids because it was not a kind of equation that made sense for me as I went from movie to movie to movie, script to script," Spielberg told Variety at a celebration for the iconic film's 40th anniversary. "It never occurred to me till halfway through E.T.: I was a parent on that film. I was literally feeling like I was very protective of Henry [Thomas] and Mike [McNaughton] and my whole cast, and especially Drew [Barrymore], who was only 6 years old. And I started thinking, 'Well, maybe this could be my real life someday.' It was the first time that it occurred to me that maybe I could be a dad. And maybe in a way, a director is a dad, or a mom … I really felt that that would be my big production."
He added, "I have seven kids and six grandchildren, so E.T. worked for me very well."
Some of Spielberg's kids have even pursued careers in the film industry both in front and behind the camera. Ahead, read everything to know about Steven Spielberg's 7 adult children.
Jessica Capshaw, 46
Jessica Capshaw is Capshaw's daughter from her first marriage to Robert "Bob" Capshaw. Born in Columbia, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 1976, Jessica and her family moved to New York City when she was about 3 years old. After her parents divorced, Jessica eventually moved to Los Angeles with her mom, where she graduated from Harvard-Westlake High School.
Like her mom, Jessica pursued a career in acting. While attending Brown University, Jessica appeared in several plays, per Broadway World, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She also attended London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts during her summer breaks, starring as Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Jessica made her big screen debut when she appeared in The Locusts alongside her mom in 1997. She graduated from Brown with a B.A. in English in 1998 and appeared in the indie drama Denial the same year.
The actress' breakthrough came in 2009 when she starred in Grey's Anatomy as pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins. Originally intended for a multi-episode arc, Jessica was promoted to a series regular in season 6 as a love interest for Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez).
Jessica left Grey's Anatomy in 2018 after 10 years on the show. She said at the time that she appreciated bringing LGBTQ+ representation to primetime network TV, adding, "I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me. I am sad to see her go, but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster."
She has been married to Christopher Gavigan, co-founder of the Honest Company (with Jessica Alba) and founder of Prima, a wellness and skincare brand, since 2004. Gavigan and Jessica are proud parents to son Luke Hudson and daughters Eve Augusta, Poppy James and Josephine Kate.
Max Spielberg, 37
Spielberg's first son with his ex-wife Irving, Max Spielberg, was born on June 13, 1985, in Santa Monica, California. Spielberg and Irving divorced amicably in 1989, per The Los Angeles Times, and shared custody of Max.
Max works in the film industry in a different capacity than his famous parents. He's credited as a graphic designer and in the art department of several video games, including Assassin's Creed: Unity and as a writer, editor, director and producer of a short film called Snap Shot, released in 2012.
In 2011, Max began dating makeup artist and beauty vlogger Valerie LaChance, and they tied the knot on Dec. 19, 2014.
Theo Spielberg, 34
Theo Spielberg was born on Aug. 21, 1988. Capshaw adopted Theo before marrying Spielberg in 1991, who then adopted Theo as well. As a child, Theo shared a bedroom with his little sister Sasha and the two would "sneak out and re-enact The Lion King with our stuffed animals," he told Vanity Fair in 2016.
Theo attended Yale University and has since pursued a career in music. He and Sasha started a band called Wardell — after his middle name and mom Capshaw's nickname — and released their debut single "Opossum" in 2011. Two years later, NBC News reported that they were signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Theo plays all the instruments in the band, while Sasha provides vocals. Per Vanity Fair, Theo's band has toured with Ryan Adams and opened for Vampire Weekend, Grimes and Haim.
The musician has been candid about the impact his father's fame has had on his band's success and makes no bones about being the Oscar winner's son. "We don't know otherwise," he told The New York Times in 2013. "It's not like he's been hustling lots of small rock clubs — 'You've got to see these kids!' Although that would be really funny."
Sasha Spielberg, 32
Spielberg and Capshaw welcomed their daughter, Sasha Spielberg, on May 14, 1990, in L.A.
Sasha has a few things in common with her older sister Jessica: She dabbled in acting (she had walk-on roles as "Woman With Package" in The Post and a "Young Israeli Woman Watching TV" in Munich) and graduated from Brown University.
"A lot of the movies that I played tiny roles in stemmed from me auditioning for a bigger role in the movie, and then the director being like, 'OK, you're not right for this role, but I kind of want to still put you in the movie,' " she told Rolling Stone in 2018. "If you see my IMDb, it's pretty obvious that a lot of them are my dad's movies, and he would always just find these little parts for me, and be like, 'Hey, I need a favor, do you want to be in this little role where you punch Shia LaBeouf?' They were so little — I'd take a day off from high school or middle school to shoot, and I felt so cool. It was just a cute, endearing bonding experience. It's a very specific father-daughter–bonding thing."
In addition to her work with Theo in their band Wardell, Sasha, who described herself to Rolling Stone as "a bit of a chameleon," also releases solo music under the name Buzzy Lee. She has said her solo musical work is a closer representation of who she is, especially in comparison to her acting.
"I haven't auditioned seriously or acted seriously in a really long time," she said. "I've been so, so deep in music. I always do love [acting] when I'm doing it. But in terms of where my heart is, it's always been in music. That's the cheesiest — that's literally like a Celine Dion lyric."
In May 2022, Sasha married artist and designer Harry McNally, son of restaurateur Keith McNally.
Sawyer Spielberg, 30
Spielberg and Capshaw's son Sawyer Spielberg was born on March 10, 1992, in L.A., and is following in his mother's acting footsteps.
Sawyer revealed on The Drew Barrymore Show in April 2021 that Spielberg used his directing skills to keep Sawyer in line when he was growing up.
"When I was a teenager, I had a hard time getting up for school. One morning, he came in and he said, 'OK, I'm a director, you're an actor. I'm going to barge into your room and you have to get up, brush your teeth, get dressed and head down for breakfast,' " he recalled. "Sure enough, he came in, he said 'action,' and I got up, brushed my teeth, came downstairs for breakfast and it worked. His directing skills have worked in both the cinema and at home."
Sawyer made his big-screen acting debut in the 2021 horror film Honeydew. He told Tatler that despite serving as a production assistant on Spielberg's movies (including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) as a teenager, film wasn't his first choice as a line of work. In fact, he said he originally intended to study engineering or open up a restaurant before he first took up theater when he was 17 years old.
"It wasn't until about two or three years ago that I wanted to try doing more film work," he told the magazine in 2021. "I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. As a teenager I was just kind of running around LA skateboarding … For a long time I only imagined myself doing theater."
Theater worked out well in more ways than one: In addition to opening Sawyer up to the idea of acting work, he met his wife, Raye Levine Spielberg, while performing. "We were both taking a class together and it was an immediate connection," he told Tatler. "We've been tied at the hip ever since." They share one daughter together.
Mikaela Spielberg, 26
Spielberg and Capshaw adopted daughter Mikaela Spielberg, who was born on Feb. 28, 1996, at birth. In 2020, Mikaela revealed that she was pursuing a career in adult entertainment as a dancer.
Mikaela told The Sun that she was exposed to grooming and abuse by "predators" as a child, but was quick to clarify that none of the alleged perpetrators were related to her family nor in their circle. She said she struggled with borderline personality disorder, self-esteem and body image issues, as well as other mental health concerns, which only worsened when she went off to a boarding school for troubled teens.
"I came out of there worst [sic] than I was going in — with more anxiety and more attachment issues, more depression and more hatred from my body. I actually developed an eating disorder while I was living there," she recalled to The Sun, adding, "It's not my parents' fault. They couldn't have known."
Mikaela said that she began drinking heavily and only got sober after nearly dying more than once in her early 20s. She also added that while she was nervous to tell her parents about her line of work, they were ultimately supportive of her choice.
"My safety has always been a number one priority for them," she told The Sun. "I'm doing this, not out of an urge to hurt anybody or be spiteful about it, I'm doing this because I want to honor my body in a way that's lucrative. I actually think that once they see how far I've come from the bottom I was at a year and a half ago, they're going to look at this and go, 'Wow, we actually raised are really self-assured, young lady.' "
While Mikaela isn't keen on speaking about her family life, she told The Daily Beast that being raised by a predominantly white family was difficult for her as a biracial young woman, saying, "You could have all the love in the world and still be incredibly lonely."
Destry Allyn Spielberg, 26
Spielberg and Capshaw's youngest child, Destry Allyn Spielberg, was born in L.A. on Dec. 1, 1996.
Already an accomplished equestrian as child, Destry expanded her horizons as an adult. When she was 19 years old, she nabbed a modeling contract with DT Model Management, which also repped Ireland Baldwin (daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin) and Dylan Penn (daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright), among others, at the time.
In July 2020, Destry, who lives in London, got engaged to actor Genc Legrand.
Destry made waves in 2021 when she found herself in the center of a conversation between writer and editor Franklin Leonard and Ben Stiller (son of Jerry Stiller and Jane Meara) about nepotism in Hollywood. Leonard tweeted an article about the film Destry was directing, writing, "Hollywood's a meritocracy, right?" The film stars Hopper Penn (son of Penn and Wright) and was written by Brian D'Arcy James (nephew of the late Blade Runner producer Brian Kelly) and Owen King (son of iconic horror writer Stephen King).
In response, Destry wrote in a since-deleted tweet, "I am just a young aspiring female filmmaker who admires the art of cinema. People can argue nepotism, but I know deep down that I worked hard to get where I am and it wasn't easy. Beyond proud of this film and proud of the team it took to make it." She continued, "I acknowledge that I was born with privilege! I own that through and through! I make it my mission to bring new talent into the industry & give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds. No one should be left out because of the connections they don't have."
On Jan. 16, 2023, Spielberg spoke about Destry's opportunity to direct Four Assassins (And A Funeral) during an episode of the podcast SmartLess. "She was hired based on a short film," he explained. "She made a wonderful short film, which I adored, and the producers behind the John Wick series saw it and gave her a movie — with a respectable budget, too."
He added, "So, it's exciting for the whole family."