Did You Know These Celebrities Were Related?
Of course, we knew that Tom Hanks’ son Colin Hanks is an actor in his own right, having appeared in films like “Orange County,” “Elvis & Nixon” and “Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.” Not only does the junior Hanks look much like his Oscar-winning pop, but his 56 acting credits (so far) on IMDB show that the apple hasn’t fallen very far from the tree when it comes to enjoying Hollywood success.
That’s an easy Hollywood connection, but there are several pairs of famous people who are related, well, perhaps not quite so famously. Makes you wonder who might be in your own gene pool, right?
Conan O’Brien and Denis Leary
Giggly late-night talk-show host Conan O’Brien and potty-mouthed standup comic and actor Denis Leary are, in fact, third cousins by marriage. That actually comes as little surprise since both Irish-American celebs hail from Boston, where entire clans relocated from the old country in the 19th and 20th centuries, often intermarrying with other redheads in the New World.
Leary has appeared on O’Brien’s various talk shows many times, with the pair often greeting one another as “cuz.”
Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
Talent obviously runs strong in the Beatty gene pool. Warren Beatty and sister Shirley — born Shirley MacLean Beaty, and thus altering the spellings of her middle and last names, while her brother modified only their surname’s spelling — have two Oscars between them and continue to work in movies even into their 80s.
Surprisingly, the brother and sister have never worked together in film, although they both appeared briefly as themselves in the 1999 documentary “Forever Hollywood.”
Nicolas Cage and Francis Ford Coppola
If you blinked, you probably missed Nicolas Cage’s tiny part in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” but don’t look for his name in the credits, as the then-17-year-old was billed under his real name, Nicolas Coppola.
Cage’s uncle is none other than winemaker-filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, but he changed his name professionally while still in his teens to forge his own path and avoid charges of nepotism.
Jason Schwartzman and Sofia Coppola
Man, that Coppola clan sure has deep reservoirs of talent. Cage’s famous relatives also include Coppola's daughter, director Sophia Coppola, and Francis’ sister, “Rocky” star Talia Shire, who is the mother of “Rushmore” actor Jason Schwartzman — yet another famous relation!
Not only has Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter, Sophia, become a well-respected director (“Lost in Translation”), but his nephew Jason Schwartzman has been turning in quirky acting performances ever since “Rushmore” was released in 1998.
Rashida Jones and Peggy Lipton
Sadly, we lost “The Mod Squad” actress Peggy Lipton in 2019 to cancer at the age of 72. However, we are happy to report that her legacy lives on in her multi-talented daughter, Rashida Jones.
The singer, producer and actress (of “Parks and Recreation” fame) is also the daughter of music maven Quincy Jones, whom she recently directed a documentary about that debuted on Netflix.
Quincy Jones and Tupac Shakur
Speaking of music producer Quincy Jones, his other daughter with Peggy Lipton, Kadida Jones, was engaged to the late rapper Tupac Shakur at the time of his death. And while Tupac’s life was tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullets on the Las Vegas Strip in 1996 — when he was only 25 — Kadida Jones still refers to the “Keep Ya Head Up” performer and posthumous inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the “love of my life,” according to The Washington Post.
Just imagine what Tupac might have accomplished had he lived long enough for “the Q” to officially become his father-in-law. Oh, what might have been.
Kate Spade and David Spade
Sometimes, people who endure a tragedy choose to put their energies into their work, and that’s exactly what comedian David Spade has done following the suicide of sister-in-law Kate Spade last June. David recently returned to television with “Lights Out” on Comedy Central in the 11:30 p.m. slot — immediately following “The Daily Show.”
Fashion designer Kate was married to David’s brother, Andy, for 24 years before ending her own life.
Bruce Dern and Laura Dern
Laura Dern has appeared in no less than five films with her mother, actress Diane Ladd, but somehow, she has yet to be in a flick with her father, Bruce Dern.
Bruce was most recently seen in another of his great freaked-out performances in Quentin Tarantino's “Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood,” while Laura has been seen smoldering up the small screen this year on Season 2 of “Big Little Lies.” May we suggest the HBO showrunners cast her dad in Season 3? Pretty please?
Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh
“If I could be maternal for a moment…”
Those words were spoken to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) by the matronly Norma, who was played by none other than the original scream queen, Janet Leigh (“Psycho”), in 1998’s “Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later,” which was supposed to be the final “for real this time” follow up to the “Halloween” movie. However, there have since been at least four more in the intervening years — and two with Curtis — but we digress.
Who could forget 1998 theatergoers chuckling knowing that Leigh was, of course, the real-life mother of Curtis (who changed the spelling of her mother’s maiden name when she started acting). And 38 years earlier, Leigh fell victim to the cross-dressing Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his butcher knife in the infamous “shower scene” in “Psycho.” So, it was only natural her daughter would one day find herself also facing off against a masked boogeyman like Michael Myers. Like mother, like daughter.
Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson
The ’80s darling Melanie Griffith came to early prominence in Brian De Palma’s noir-ish “Body Double” in 1984, with Griffith none too shy about showing off some skin for the cameras — ya know, for “art’s sake.” Flash-forward 31 years, and Griffith’s daughter, Dakota Johnson, also bared it all onscreen in the first of the “Fifty Shades” flicks, which somehow made enough money to spawn two sequels. (Her dad is Griffith’s ex, Don Johnson.)
But wait, Johnson is actually a third-generation star! Much like Jamie Lee Curtis, whose mother Janet Leigh worked with Alfred Hitchcock in “Psycho,” Melanie Griffith’s mom, Tippi Hedren, also found herself at the mercy of wicked forces in Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy
Sure, McCarthy isn’t exactly an uncommon surname, but we can report that, in this case, there is a relation between two of Hollywood’s two most-known celebs of that name. Yep, “Two and a Half Men” star and former “The View” co-host Jenny McCarthy is cousin to Melissa McCarthy, she of “Bridesmaids” fame and a recent Oscar nomination for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
People reports that during her tenure on “The View,” Jenny actually helped cuz Melissa land a job on Jenny’s short-lived sitcom. After all, what are famous relatives for anyways?
Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci
Both of these gifted actors starred in “The Devil Wears Prada,” but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Tucci is actually married to Blunt’s sister, Felicity Blunt, who is known as a camera-shy literary agent of exceptional tastes. Marie Claire reports that Felicity has been a loving stepmom to Tucci’s three children, whose mother died in 2009 after losing her battle with breast cancer.
Also of note is that Emily Blunt is married to actor John Krasinski, with whom she starred in the strangely effective horror flick “A Quiet Place,” which her husband also directed.
Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein
Oscar nominee and “Superbad” star Jonah Hill dropped his surname, Feldstein, for his acting career — which, by any measure, has been stellar. Not one to be outdone, little sister Elizabeth “Beanie” Feldstein is also enjoying success in the movies, thanks largely to her best friend role in “Lady Bird.”
And in the so-weird-we-couldn’t-make-it-up department, IMDB reports the Feldsteins were oh so briefly related by marriage to Clint Eastwood, when their older brother, Jordan, married Clint’s daughter, Francesca Eastwood. However, the marriage was annulled.
Jason Patric and Jackie Gleason
The ’80s hunk and Brat Pack mainstay Jason Patric doesn’t have to go “to the moon” to reach famous ancestry, as his grandfather was none other than “The Honeymooners” star Jackie Gleason. Yep, according to IMDB, Jason Patric’s father, the actor Jason Miller (of “The Exorcist” fame) married Gleason’s daughter, Linda Miller, who gave birth to the younger Jason.
This certainly helps explain Jason Patric’s birth name, John Anthony Miller III, but doesn’t at all explain why he agreed to be in “Speed 2: Cruise Control.”
Mariska Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield
Blond bombshell Jayne Mansfield was a sex symbol of mid-century cinema, who lit up movie screens from coast to coast. In 1964, she gave birth to daughter Mariska Hargitay, who would one day grow up to be a mainstay on the police procedural “Law and Order: SVU.”
Sadly, Mansfield never got to see her daughter blossom into a star in her own right, as the screen icon died in a horrible road accident in 1967 at the tender age of 34 — when her daughter was just 3 years old.
Bonnie Bedelia and Macaulay Culkin
The late ’80s and early ’90s were indeed a good time to be of the clan Culkin. In 1988, Bonnie Bedelia — nee Culkin — had a great break when she starred opposite Bruce Willis in the original “Die Hard,” which became the most bizarrely awesome addition to any self-respecting home’s Christmas watch list.
Not long after, her nephew Macaulay made us all grab our cheeks and scream “AAAAHHHH!!!!” when he made home burglars think twice in “Home Alone.” This also popular Christmas flick became the top-grossing movie of the nascent decade, according to Box Office Mojo.
Bono and Eve Hewson
If there’s something vaguely efervescent about “The Knick” actress Eve Hewson, it’s because her dad is one of Ireland’s proudest sons — Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono.
The U2 frontman has been married to activist Ali Hewson (nee Stewart) since 1982, and it’s little wonder that their daughter Eve has followed her famous father into showbiz.
Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore
Believe it or not, Oscar winners Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore are cousins, a fact that was unveiled thanks to PBS’s show, “Finding Your Roots.”
Perhaps it was fate that the two women had been in the same film, 2011’s “Crazy, Stupid Love,” before making the awesome discovery of their mutual bloodline.
Rip Torn and Sissy Spacek
There just must be something to acting talent running in the family. Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek and Oscar nominee Rip Torn are cousins, and the elder Torn helped his cuz Spacek break into the acting game by recommending her to the prestigious Lee Strasberg Actors Studio, reports IMDB.
It’s not exactly nepotism, but there you go.
Prince Charles and Ralph Fiennes
If Ralph Fiennes ever needs to research portraying the next King of England, he needn’t look any further than his relative, Prince Charles.
Us Weekly reports that the two men are eighth cousins, and can both trace their ancestries back to King James II of Scotland, who was met with a rather violent death in 1460 at the age of 29.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck aren’t only BFFs and the Oscar-winning co-writers of “Good Willing Hunting,” they also share a bit of genetic code.
The New England Genealogical Society did some DNA digging and discovered that the two Boston boys can both trace their lines back to a common ancestor, an English bricklayer named William Knowlton, who emigrated from England to the colonies in the 1600s.
Rob Schneider and Elle King
Yep, the “Ex’s and Oh’s” singer was born Tanner Elle Schneider in 1989, during her elastic-voiced father’s lengthy run on “Saturday Night Live.” But that was well before his feud with late film critic Roger Ebert over the notorious stinker “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.”
Elle’s mother is former model London King, from whom she took her stage name … and perhaps to avoid being associated in any way with her dad’s infamous box office bomb.
Steven Spielberg and Jessica Capshaw
Steven Spielberg married his “Temple of Doom” leading lady Kate Capshaw in 1991, and along with his new wife came her then-teenage daughter, Jessica.
Little surprise that Jessica elected a path into show business to emulate both her mother and uber-famous stepfather, including a rather lengthy stint acting on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz
This one is almost too cool to believe, but it’s a fact that jovial TV weatherman Al Roker and guitar shredder Lenny Kravitz are distant cousins.
The two joked about the connection on the “Today” show in 2011, but all kidding aside, the rocker revealed that his mother was named Roxie Roker, which sounds like she should have had a band of her own.
George Wendt and Jason Sudeikis
We’ll leave it for the scientists to determine if there’s a biological component to being funny, but if there is, “Cheers” star George Wendt and “SNL” alum Jason Sudeikis certainly come from the same comedic gene pool.
After all, Sudeikis just happens to be good ol’ Norm’s nephew.
Riley Keough and Elvis Presley
Although the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll left the building permanently in 1977, his genes continue to entertain millions thanks to his famous offspring — and their offspring. “The Girlfriend Experience” actress Riley Keough’s mother is none other than Lisa Marie Presley, whose daddy was, you guessed it, Elvis himself.
Ah thank you, thank you very much.
Christian Bale and Gloria Steinem
With a stepmom like feminist icon Gloria Steinem, perhaps it’s little wonder the whole world was shocked — shocked I tell ya — that Christian Bale let his potty mouth run away with him on the set of “Terminator Salvation.” After the audio leaked, Bale’s expletive-filled rant at a lighting designer quickly became so infamous that it led to a host of memes and was even turned into a dance remix by some rather enterprising musicians.
Tsk tsk. Steinem has preached the gospel of treating everyone with respect for decades, regardless of one’s gender. Ya hear that, Batman?
Barbra Streisand and Josh Brolin
If there’s ever been a funnier mother-in-law than Babwa’s role in “Meet the Fockers,” we don’t want to know about it. But hopefully, unlike fictional son Ben Stiller, Streisand’s real-life stepson Josh Brolin doesn’t have to deal with his stepmom showing off his amputated foreskin, still preserved in a family photo album in the 2004 comedy.
IMDB reports that Streisand has been married to “The Avengers” villain's father, actor James Brolin, since 1998.
Snoop Dogg and Brandy
Hip-hop artists Brandy and Ray J are siblings, but what you didn’t realize is that Brandy is also first cousins with the D-O-double-G himself, Snoop Dogg.
Zimbio reports that Snoop kept their relationship under wraps for years, but now that word is out, the cousins have hit the studio together for rap tracks like “Special.”
Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard
Sometimes, your parents overshare, as is the case for director Ron Howard, who, with wife Cheryl, would never let their daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, forget that she was conceived in — you guessed it — Dallas.
The actress has certainly followed in her dad's footsteps, starring in popular films like "Jurassic World" and "The Help."
Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson
Oscar winner Goldie Hawn was married to sometimes-actor Bill Hudson from 1976-1982, according to IMDB, and the union resulted in two children — one of them Kate Hudson. And although Hawn and her longtime partner Kurt Russell have never married, Russell essentially raised young Kate as if she were his own biological daughter.
Kate was quoted by IMDB saying that, not only does she not mind when people say she looks like her mom, she welcomes the comparison.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross
No doubt that Supremes singer Diana Ross showed a lot of “baby love” to her daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, as the latter grew up to become a star in her own right, even winning a Golden Globe for her role on the hit show “Black-ish.”
The mother-daughter pair once appeared together on stage in Las Vegas, which positively delighted the audience.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Katherine Moennig
“The L Word” is back on TV again, with original star Katherine Moennig returning to the role of Shane McCutcheon on the new iteration of the Showtime show, “The L Word: Generation Q.”
We’re excited to see her bring back the role, originated in the 2004-2009 version, which she was cast for without any apparent help from her more-famous cousin, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Kiefer Sutherland and Sarah Sutherland
Of course, Kiefer Sutherland is the son of Donald Sutherland, but the apple hasn’t fallen far from the acting tree on its third branch, thanks to Kiefer’s own daughter, Sarah Sutherland. The actress was born in 1988 to Kiefer and his then-partner, Camelia Kath, and now that Sarah’s stint on “Veep” has ended, she can look forward to more projects, such as next year’s “Like a House on Fire.”
According to IMDB, Sarah was named after Kiefer’s fellow Brat Pack-era star, Sarah Jessica Parker.
Alexander Skarsgard and Stellan Skarsgard
There must be something in the water in Sweden. Stellan Skarsgard currently has 144 credits to his IMDB resume, while son Alexander has been holding his own as vampire Eric Northman on “True Blood” and then more recently as Perry Wright on “Big Little Lies” — both of which aired on HBO. The father and son duo will be heading to strangeland next year, with Stellan taking on the role of Baron Harkonen in the new version of “Dune” and Alexander joining the cast of “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
Not to be outdone, Stellan’s other son, Bill Skarsgard, returns to creepy top form this fall as the evil clown Pennywise in “It: Chapter Two.”
Alfie Allen and Lily Allen
Now that “Game of Thrones” has ended, English actor Alfie Allen (of that long-running dragon fest) can look forward to more time with his family, including his little sister, singer Lily Allen.
In fact, as Metro reports, Lily’s song, “Alfie,” was about none other than her big bro.
Scott Foley and Patrick Wilson
This one took even us by surprise, but it turns out heartthrobs Scott Foley and Patrick Wilson are actually brothers-in-law! Wilson (of “Watchmen,” “The Conjuring”) is married to Polish-born actress Dagmara Dominczyk, whose sister, Marika, said “I do” to “Felicity” alum Foley in 2007.
The two couples have five children between them.