Liv Tyler and her famous father, Steven Tyler, share a last name, but there was initially another man listed as her father on her birth certificate. Liv discovered her true parentage when she was 11, and while watching an Aerosmith concert, her mom, Bebe Buell, confirmed her suspicions — needless to say, she was overcome with emotion.
It was a moment that she has recalled as being “almost spiritual," and noted how there was a “very strong” connection between herself and Steven, even before she learned he was her dad. Liv’s childhood was so unconventional that it almost reads like a movie script, and her upbringing remains a topic of great interest, which is why she is asked about it in almost every interview she gives.
People want to know what it was like growing up with a famous father, and a mother who was well-connected (this is a woman who spent her 21st birthday with Mick Jagger and John Lennon). Her mother, a model who had been influenced by the rock and roll scene at the time, was just 23 when she gave birth to her daughter, and together with her own mother and Liv’s aunt, raising her was a collaborative effort. Liv's upbringing has influenced her life in many ways, and below are 20 little-known details about it.
20 Liv Tyler Grew Up Thinking Her Father Was Todd Rundgren, And He Even Signed Her Birth Certificate
Most people are aware that Liv Tyler’s father is musician Steven Tyler (after all, they share the same last name) but her paternity was not always certain. Liv grew up with her mother, Bebe Buell, and believed that her father was singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren — she told Wonderland magazine that he had signed her birth certificate. Although Rundgren and Buell were not together at the time, Liv would visit him in Woodstock and described him to The Guardian as “always a very stable, loving force in my life.”
The Guardian notes that Steven was one of Buell’s friends, but it was not until later in Liv’s childhood that she found out who her biological father was.
19 Her Mom, Bebe Buell, Finally Told Her The Truth When She Was 11 (She Adjusted To The News Pretty Well)
Despite initially thinking that Todd Rundgren was her father, Liv Tyler learned the truth about her parentage when she was 11, and Harper’s Bazaar notes that this happened when she was attending an Aerosmith show. Backstage, she met her half-sister Mia (the daughter of Steven Tyler and his ex-wife, Cyrinda Foxe) and the resemblance between them was uncanny. And when Bebe Buell confirmed that Tyler was Liv’s dad, she was overcome with emotion.
She adjusted to the news well though, and changed her last name to Tyler, telling The Guardian, “You get used to things when you're young."
18 She Was Raised By Her Grandma, Her Aunt, And Her Mom
Liv Tyler wasn’t raised by a solo mom, rather she was surrounded by strong women who all had a hand in caring for her. "My mother, grandmother, and my aunt all mothered me," Liv told Harper’s Bazaar. "So sometimes when we're all together now, they try to be the parent, and I have to say, 'Back.'"
Her mom, Bebe Buell, acknowledges that raising Liv was a “collaborative effort," and her daughter spent her time living between Maine and D.C. Liv can remember living with her aunt in Maine, and told Wonderland magazine “it really feels like home to me..."
17 But Liv's Lack Of Father Figure Has Made Men Feel Like ‘Visitors’ In Her Life
Liv Tyler’s childhood was interesting and complicated, and as such, she is often asked about it in interviews. Although she has spoken about how grateful she is to Todd Rundgren for taking on the role of her father in the early years, she was mostly raised by the women in her life.
She told Net-a-Porter’s The Edit (via SheKnows) that being raised by women has made her “incredibly strong and resilient. I’ve always been able to support myself and my family on my own.” But her unusual childhood did have a lasting impact because it made men feel like “a bit of mystery” to her. She added, “[Men] are visitors. They visit my life. I am always surprised when there is one around.”
16 She Felt An Unexplainable Connection When She Met Steven Tyler
Finding out that your father is a famous musician, while he is performing on stage, must have resulted in a flood of emotions for Liv Tyler. And it is a moment she still remembers clearly because of the way she felt.
“When I realized that Steven [Tyler, Aerosmith vocalist] was my father, it was a moment that was bigger than me, it was almost spiritual,” she told The Guardian.
“When you meet kin, there is an energy and sparkle between your bodies. It must be chemical somehow — DNA and genes. I felt a connection in a very strong way when I met him as a little girl and I didn’t know why at first, but I figured it out rather quickly.”
The father and daughter also look incredibly similar, and Liv notes that they have similar mannerisms.
15 Now, She Has A Wonderful Relationship With Her Famous Parents — Although She’s Still Reluctant To Share Too Much
Liv Tyler has forged her own path; she started off as a model, and later transitioned into acting, but her famous parents and her well-known last name have ensured that there would always be media interest in her, regardless of whether she decided to work in the entertainment industry or not.
Liv’s childhood is unique, and she is asked about it in almost every interview that she gives, however, she is reluctant to share too much about it. In an interview with The Guardian, she was asked whether she was bored with talking about her parents, to which she replied, "No, not at all. ... It's just interviews are weird, because there's always going to be stuff I'm never going to talk about in public. Because it's really nobody's business..."
14 Liv Met A Lot Of Famous People Growing Up, Including Bowie And Iggy Pop
Liv Tyler’s mom was a model, she was also involved in the rock and roll scene, with Harper’s Bazaar noting that she spent her 21st birthday with Mick Jagger, and had John Lennon singing happy birthday to her — basically, the stuff dreams are made of. Needless to say, her mom was well-connected, and then so is her father, Steven Tyler, so there were many interesting characters in Liv’s life.
Liv told The Guardian that she feels lucky to have been able to meet so many different, and influential people, including Bowie, Iggy Pop, Keith Richard, and Joey Ramone.
13 Liv Says She Found It Hard As A Kid, And There Were Times When She Felt Sad And Angry
Some children may have looked at Liv Tyler’s life, and the glamor that seemed to come with it, and wished that their childhood was less traditional and had more rock and roll, but her unconventional upbringing wasn’t always perfect. Her mother, Bebe Buell, was 23 when she had her, and raising her daughter was a collaborative effort between Buell, Liv's grandmother, and her aunt.
When asked if she feels any resentment towards her mom, Liv told Wonderland magazine: “It was hard for me as a kid, because I was definitely sad and angry that I didn’t have this Perfect Mommy thing. But now I have a lot of empathy for her. I mean going through everything that I’ve been going through the last couple of years, I really understand…”
12 She Didn’t Exactly Have A Normal Childhood, And Became A Model At 14 — She Didn’t Like School That Much, Anyway
There is something about Liv Tyler appearance that is unique, which made her the perfect model. She started modeling at 14, The Guardian notes, and she left school to pursue this dream. When asked whether she felt like she had missed out on her youth (considering she has been working from such a young age) she explained that she did not. In fact, choosing to model as a teen worked in her favor.
“It was good for me, because I always had a really hard time at school,” she said. “Basically, I had a really bad attention deficit. I used to fall asleep all the time in class, and get kicked out. And when I started acting, it gave me a lot of self-esteem, because although most of what I did at school left me confused, it turned out I could really focus on acting…”
11 This Is Something She Shares In Common With Her Mom, Who Also Choose Modeling Over College
Bebe Buell was in her early 20s when she became a mom, and she did not have Liv Tyler’s father to help raise her, she did, however, have the help of the women in her life.
Buell’s mother, Dorothea, described her to Harper’s Bazaar as a girl who "people would stop and stare at," and this later translated into her becoming a model after Dorothea sent a photo of her to a modeling agent in 1972. “Bebe did not want to go to college. So I thought, 'What is she going to do? Maybe modeling,’” Dorothea explained, and this is a path that Buell’s daughter, Liv, followed because she also became a model.
10 Liv Grew Up With A Grandmother Who Is An Etiquette Consultant
Having good manners can get you far in life. It benefitted Bebe Buell when it came to her famous connections, as she told Harper’s Bazaar that Mick Jagger invited her to places and she was always included.
"Because I had really good manners, Mick would take me with him to very nice events that probably he wouldn't have taken another girl to," she said.
Buell (and Liv) were taught etiquette by her mother Dorothea Johnson, who is an expert on the topic. In an interview with The Guardian, Liv told the publication that her grandmother is an “etiquette consultant.” She owns her own company and puts on seminars to teach people how to interact with others properly.
9 Having Famous Parents Is Not All That Glamorous
Liv Tyler’s childhood is so unusual and unconventional that it reads like the script of a movie, and we wouldn’t be surprised if one day it was made into one. And although having famous parents gave her opportunities, it’s not as glamorous as everyone thinks it is, and she acknowledged this in an interview with Wonderland magazine.
“You look at people’s lives from the outside, and everything seems a certain way,” she said of how people seem to focus on the glamour of being a celebrity’s daughter. But things are not always what they seem.
8 As Far As Her Love Of Fashion Goes, She Has Been Influenced By The People In Her Childhood
Clothing and the fashion industry have played a big part in Liv Tyler’s life, and both she and her mom have worked as models. Liv’s personal taste and style is something that interests fans, and the inspiration for what she wears has been influenced by her childhood.
“I was definitely influenced by my childhood, but then throughout my life, fashion, film, images, photographs, real people and so many things inspire me,” she told Buro. “When I see something that I love it kind of sticks with me. I'm always seeing things that inspire me. I definitely have certain friends and people that I have learned a lot from and that I admire, but it's not about fashion — it's about what they radiate.”
7 When She Was 16, She Made An Appearance In One Of Her Dad’s Music Videos
From the first time that Liv Tyler met Steven Tyler she felt a connection to him, she couldn’t understand it at the time but later learned that the reason was that he is her father. This first meeting happened a few years before she learned of this detail, and she recalled it in an interview with Wonderland magazine. She was eight, and didn’t have any idea who Aerosmith was, but that her mom called her over to introduce her to Steven.
Around five years after learning that Steven Tyler was her father, Liv Tyler featured in the music video for Aerosmith’s song, “Crazy.” She was 16 at the time, and according to Celebitchy, at the time of its release, the video was controversial.
6 Liv Tyler Pays Attention To Her Children (But This Is Not Something Someone Taught Her How To Do)
Motherhood is different for every woman, but there are certain lessons that we can learn from our parents and our childhoods. One of the biggest lessons Liv Tyler has learned since becoming a mother is apparently the importance of paying attention to her kids.
“I would say the greatest lesson is to pay attention, to look and listen,” she said, according to Buro. “No one taught me that but it's something I remind myself over and over. I would say for any relationship, it's so easy to stress out and get caught up in everything that is going on in our lives. Sometimes when you just stop and put everything down, you really are present with someone and the children — they really need that of you.” She makes a point of paying attention to what her children have to say, and then really listening.
5 Liv Had Dreamed Of Motherhood From A Young Age, But She Also Worried About How Her Childhood Had Affected Her
Liv Tyler is all grown up now, and a mother to three children; she has a son, Milo, from a previous relationship with Royston Langdon, and two children, a son and a daughter, from her current relationship with Dave Gardner. Motherhood is something that she always envisioned for her life, telling Marie Claire (via SheKnows), "It was always a dream of mine to be a mother. I didn't really ever dream of being an actress. I always dreamed of being a mother ever since I was a young girl."
But becoming a mother also made Liv aware of certain aspects of her own childhood, as she noted it had brought up issues and concerns for her about being a mother, and “how much that meant to me based on my childhood and what I went through. Wonderful, beautiful things and difficult things.”
4 She Is Is Proud Of The Man Her Father, Steven Tyler, Is Now
Steven Tyler has been a part of Liv’s life for many years now, and the pair appear to share a close bond. In 2018, Liv took to social media to celebrate her father’s milestone birthday (when he turned 70) and referred to him as her “darling daddy.”
“So proud to walk this earth with you. To be born a part of your wolf pack,” she wrote. "Thank you for teaching me to never take no for an answer. To always ask more questions. To really look and really listen and to really feel everything. To feel joy and gratitude even when things don’t go as planned…” she went on to call him a “true inspiration” and stated that she loved him.
3 She Spent A Lot Of Her Childhood Alone And Always Dreamed Of Having A Twin (She Got Lucky When She Met Her Sister, Mia)
When Liv Tyler learned that Steven Tyler was her dad, she didn’t just get another father figure, she also got a sibling. She met her half-sister Mia and was overcome with joy because she had always wanted to have a companion.
"I was by myself a lot [as a child], so I definitely talked to myself and made up my own games. I used to wish I had a twin really badly. I so wanted a twin,” she told Marie Claire (via SheKnows). “That's so strange. Then I met my twin. Maybe all the time I was missing Mia. But then I met Mia when I was 11 and she looks exactly like me. That is really weird."
2 Liv Describes Her Childhood As Being ‘Family-Rich’ Because Of Everyone Who Played A Part In It
When Bebe Buell gave birth to Liv Tyler she living in New York and working as a model. She was 23 at the time. So, she made the decision she thought was best for her daughter and took her to Maine to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins, Liv also told The Guardian that at times, she would live with her grandparents.
And because there were so many people involved in raising her, she describes her childhood as being “family-rich,” adding, “I learned that you lean into your family, ask for help, and show compassion. My grandmother is still my best friend. It could have been a different road — I could have grown up alone in an apartment with a nanny.”
1 Steven Tyler Was In The Room When She Gave Birth To Her Son, Sailor
When Liv Tyler gave birth to her second child, Sailor Gene (whom she shares with current partner Dave Gardner), it wasn’t his father who was in the delivery room, but Liv’s father, Steven Tyler. This wasn’t planned, rather Sailor arrived six weeks early.
Liv spoke to The Guardian about how she “never expected to give birth with my sister and my dad in the room.” Her partner was on a flight at the time, and Liv says she called Mia, who “came straight to the hospital,” and Mia also called their dad. “He walked into the room moments before Sailor was born, and cut his umbilical cord,” Liv said of her dad being a part of her son’s birth.
Sources: The Guardian, Harper's Bazaar, Wonderland magazine, SheKnows, Buro, Celebitchy.