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Mary Steenburgen’s 2 Children: All About Lilly Walton and Charlie McDowell

Mary Steenburgen passed on her love of film to her kids

<p>Vince Bucci/Getty</p> Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen pose with their son Charlie McDowell and daughter Lilly McDowell at the premiere of the short film "Bye Bye Benjamin" on June 5, 2006.

Vince Bucci/Getty

Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen pose with their son Charlie McDowell and daughter Lilly McDowell at the premiere of the short film "Bye Bye Benjamin" on June 5, 2006.

Mary Steenburgen didn’t take a break from her busy acting career when she was pregnant with her and Malcolm McDowell’s children, Lilly Walton and Charlie McDowell.

While speaking with PEOPLE in August 1989, the Happiest Season star recalled, “Both my pregnancies are documented on film: Lilly in Ragtime and Charlie in Little Red Riding Hood.”

Steenburgen welcomed Lilly just two and a half months before she won an Oscar for her supporting role in 1980’s Melvin and Howard.

Although the actress and the A Clockwork Orange actor eventually got divorced, she maintained a strong co-parenting relationship with him. Steenburgen explained to Saga in January 2014, “He’s a very special, wonderful, bigger-than-life magical being, and we’re so lucky that we managed to remember we loved each other.”

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Mary Steenburgen, Malcolm McDowell, Charlie McDowell and Lily McDowell.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Mary Steenburgen, Malcolm McDowell, Charlie McDowell and Lily McDowell.

She added, “I just thought, ‘This is my children’s daddy, there’s no way I can hate him.’ ” (Steenburgen got remarried to fellow actor Ted Danson in 1995.)

Lilly and Charlie grew up to love the world of television and film, just like their parents and stepfather. Steenburgen’s son is a prolific writer and director, and her daughter acted in a variety of movies and series before branching out and starting her own interior design company.

Their mother isn’t shy about expressing her love and pride for them, frequently praising them on social media.

Here’s everything to know about Mary Steenburgen’s children: Lilly Walton and Charlie McDowell.

Lilly Walton, 43

<p>Angela Weiss/Getty</p> Lilly McDowell and Mary Steenburgen arrive to the Young Storytellers Foundation's 2nd Annual Benefit 'The Biggest Show' on December 11, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.

Angela Weiss/Getty

Lilly McDowell and Mary Steenburgen arrive to the Young Storytellers Foundation's 2nd Annual Benefit 'The Biggest Show' on December 11, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.

Steenburgen and McDowell welcomed Lilly on January 22, 1981, in Los Angeles. She started out following in her famous parents’ footsteps and appeared in movies and shows like The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Made of Honor (2008) and Sons of Anarchy (2008).

In 2019, Lilly realized her passion for interior design and pivoted, launching her own company, Lilly Walton Design. Her studio, based in Ojai, California, “focuses on creating warm, inviting spaces filled with beauty and function,” and she offers thorough remodels as well as “simple room refreshes.”

Lilly and her husband, Charlie Walton, had a Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, wedding in September 2010, per the Martha’s Vineyard Island Weddings site. They tied the knot at Steenburgen and Danson’s home there.

According to the designer’s Instagram bio and website, she’s the mother of three daughters: Clementine, Goldie and Vera.

<p>Mary Steenburgen Instagram</p> Mary Steenburegn with her daughter Lilly and grandchildren.

Mary Steenburgen Instagram

Mary Steenburegn with her daughter Lilly and grandchildren.

In December 2019, Steenburgen and Lilly were featured on the cover of Ojai Quarterly.

“So sweet to be on the cover of @ojaiquarterly with my beautiful mama @marysteenburgen,” the former actress wrote on Instagram, sharing the cover. “In the article I talk about landing back in Ojai after having kids, and embarking on a new path starting my own interior design business. It feels like a long time coming yet, looking back, I wouldn’t have timed it any other way ❤️.”

Steenburgen shared a sweet glimpse into her relationship with Lilly in a May 2020 Mother’s Day Instagram post for her daughter.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Lilly,” she wrote alongside a photo of the entrepreneur smiling. “One of the many joys of being a grandmother is watching the grace and beauty and patience that defines YOU as a mother.”

Charlie McDowell, 40

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Mary Steenburgen and Charlie McDowell arrive to the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" on August 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Mary Steenburgen and Charlie McDowell arrive to the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" on August 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Steenburgen and McDowell celebrated the arrival of Charlie on July 10, 1983, in L.A. He's passionate about film and television like his family, but he prefers working behind the camera as a writer and director.

For his 2014 feature film directorial debut, The One I Love, he directed his stepfather Danson, and his mother starred in The Discovery (2017), which he co-wrote and directed too. Some of Charlie’s other notable projects include Silicon Valley (2016), Dear White People (2017-2018) and On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019).

The filmmaker married actress Lily Collins on Sept. 4, 2021, and his mom couldn’t have been more thrilled. She shared an Instagram photo of the couple on their wedding day and celebrated the milestone occasion in her caption.

“Charlie, my son, and Lily, my daughter-in-law!!!” Steenburgen wrote. “Thank you for letting us all bask in the sheer beauty of your love for each other. My heart is overflowing and it almost feels like the last few days were some sort of beautiful dream. But it is all real, and I feel like the luckiest mother in the world.”

<p>Charley Gallay/Getty</p> Charlie McDowell, Lily Collins, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson attend the "Windfall" Los Angeles Special Screening on March 11, 2022.

Charley Gallay/Getty

Charlie McDowell, Lily Collins, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson attend the "Windfall" Los Angeles Special Screening on March 11, 2022.

Charlie and Collins previously worked together on the 2021 crime thriller film, Windfall. The following year, they launched their production company, Case Study Films. At the time, the Emily in Paris star shared in a statement for Variety, “We approach our relationships from all aspects of the filmmaking process — fostering an idea from conception to release — alongside both established talent and new, exciting voices.”

In addition to his work in the entertainment space, Charlie published a book in 2013 titled Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story. According to his website for the book, the project was inspired by open letters he wrote to women who used to live in the apartment above him.

Charlie, who has a similar last name to actress Andie MacDowell, has a running joke on Instagram that she is his actual mother.

In May 2023, he shared the Book Club: The Next Chapter movie poster on Instagram — but with Andie’s face photoshopped over Steenburgen’s. “Don’t forget to get your tickets to Book Club: the Next Chapter where you’ll see my mom, Andie (obviously!), act with some of our greatest on screen legends,” he quipped in his caption.

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