Celebrities' Children: Hollywood's Hottest Trophies

Why an Apple is Worth More Than an Oscar

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Hollywood trophies Oscar and Willow

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Hollywood trophies Oscar and Willow

Despite her rocketing roles in "Black Swan" and "No Strings Attached," the biggest buzz about Natalie Portman is not about her acting chops or Oscar odds, but her pregnancy. That's because in Hollywood these days, the most glittering trophy an actress can receive is not an 8 ½ pound gold plated statue named Oscar, but an adorable child named Apple or Banjo (children of Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachel Griffiths, respectively). From Suri Cruise to the Brangelina brood, children of celebrities are a reflection of their famous parents, casting a warm golden glow on their celebrity image.

Suri Cruise, Pint-sized pet of the paparazzi set: Called the "most photographed little girl on Earth" by TMZ, Suri Cruise epitomizes the celebrity trophy child. All Suri has to do is appear in public with lipstick or kitten heels, and the paparrazi pounce like foxes. Meanwhile, fan speculation about the paradoxical Suri has become a parlor game. Are her parents allowing her to grow up too fast, or are they infantilizing her [at the ripe age of four, Suri has been photographed being carried around by her A-list mom (Katie Holmes) and dad (Tom Cruise) and drinking from a baby bottle]? Despite her parents' flip-flopping film careers, Suri functions faithfully as paparazzi fly paper, keeping Holmes and Cruise relevant in the fickle world of celebrydom.

Willow Smith, Talented tween or just a lucky lass?: With MTV's Rapfix reporting Willow Smith will be the new Annie in rapper Jay-Z's and parents' Will Smith's and Jada Pinkett Smith's remake of the 1982 movie, "Annie," some wonder whether Willow Smith's popularity is due more to her parents' talent genes or their A-list connections. If Willow Smith were an orphan like Annie, chances are she would be just another wanna be popsterette. Still, with her recent music video hit, "Whip My Hair," and the upcoming "21st Century Girl," Willow watching has become as popular in certain circles as bird watching. The charismatic Willow has become a big feather in the caps of her proud mama and papa, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.

The Brangelina children, "We are the world": Angelina and Brad's brood of six—Maddox from Cambodia; Zahara from Ethiopia; Pax from Vietnam; and biological children Shiloh and the twins, Knox and Vivienne—are a source of riveting fascination to the public, partly because of their exotic mixed heritage. A mini-United Nations in a mini-van, the family is photographed wherever they go. Even a recent outing to Benihana's caused cameras to flash out of control. A photo of the Jolie-Pitt parents chaueffering the children ala Mr. and Mrs. Smith (seen here on Perez Hilton was splashed all over the web as if they were the Obamas. The curiosity factor of their unusual family herded around the world like junior ambassadors may heighten the already mysterious cachet of mega-stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, adding to the couple's alluring mystique.

Hollywood children have come a long way from being hindrances that had to be hidden away, such as in the days of Joan Crawford, whose daughter, Christina Crawford, wrote the scathing memoir "Mommie Dearest." In contrast, celebrities' children today are hotter accessories than their mommy's Coach purses, their cuteness quotient a sunny reflection on their publicity-conscious parents.

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