There are a whole lot of famous people in Hollywood, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of everyone. Can you tell the difference between Matt Damon and Brad Pitt? What about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen? Oh, and now their younger sister Elizabeth Olsen is on the Hollywood scene, so don’t forget her either. Hollywood siblings and family members may not be as rare as you previously thought. After all, we have Dakota and Elle Fanning, Julia and Emma Roberts, and Liam and Chris Hemsworth. BUT! You probably don’t know about the famous family relationships featured on our list of 15 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Related. Get ready to realize all of the embarrassing brain farts you’ve made by not realizing that certain actors and artists were family!
Sometimes you can notice the family resemblance in terms of physical attributes, such as hair and eye color, or even facial structure and body shape. Or there could be similarities in mannerisms and career paths. And then there are times when you don’t even realize that two celebrities with the same last name are related! It’s crazy! There really are too many people on our planet, and seeing all of the similarities and connections in Tinsel Town will definitely make your head spin. And get this: there is even a celeb on our list who has connections to the royal family in England! Yes, we’re serious! If you have ever played the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, then you will know that you can find connections between just about anyone. Yet this list will give you a total brain freeze with its family revelations.
15. Ron Howard & Bryce Dallas Howard
The red hair, the light-colored eyes, the same last name – why didn’t we see this before? Jurassic World actress Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of film director and Happy Days actor Ron Howard. Many people probably didn’t make the connection because Happy Days is a decades-old TV show and Bryce is a hot young 35-year-old Hollywood actress. Yet the two gingers are daughter and father, and they have a very close and healthy relationship. Bryce says that she is totally thankful that her dad encouraged creativity and he inspired her to follow her dream of acting. Now Bryce has children of her own, and says that her dad has been a positive influence on her young son, who gets to come onto the sets and watch both his grandfather and his mother honing their crafts. How utterly sweet is that? Remember the name Theodore Norman Howard-Gabel…he could be a great actor or director someday!
14. James Franco & Dave Franco
Pretty much everyone has heard of James Franco, but what about…Dave Franco? Dave is the younger brother of James, and like his big bro, Dave is also in the acting scene. Maybe there is only room for one Franco in Hollywood, because poor Dave has had trouble breaking out into film and TV roles. While James has starred in hits such as 127 Hours, The Interview, and Pineapple Express, Dave managed some cameo appearances and a supporting role in 21 Jump Street. Dave admitted that in the past, he did feel some resentment that his older brother was more famous and successful than he was. However, now he is fully matured and he realizes that they both have their own life paths. Dave will continue doing what he loves, and if he never reaches the same level of fame as James, that’s A-OK. We personally wish Dave all the luck in the world!
13. Jake Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgaard
It would be so awesome to be related to Jake Gyllenhaal, wouldn’t it? Well, maybe not, at least not if you ask Peter Sarsgaard. You see, Jake’s sister is Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Maggie is married to actor Peter Sarsgaard. That makes Jake and Peter brothers in law. Jake doesn’t have any kids, but he is an uncle to Maggie and Peter’s two children. In fact, Jake says that he relates the relationship between Maggie’s two daughters to the relationship he and Maggie had when they were growing up. It’s quite cute, really. Jake wouldn’t be surprised if his nieces, Gloria Ray and Ramona, went into the acting business as well. We wonder if Jake will tell his nieces about the ups and downs of being Hollywood famous. Like when he and Peter Sarsgaard fought while filming Jarhead. Things got heated and tensions were high from all the work and a macho fight broke out.
12. Jessica Capshaw & Steven Spielberg
Many people do not realize that Steven Spielberg married Jessica’s mother, Kate Capshaw, making Jessica Steven’s step-daughter. Jessica was only 15 when her mother got remarried, and she took to Steven very well. Who wouldn’t? Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest storytellers of all time – ALL TIME. Come to think of it, that probably created a bit of pressure for Jessica. After all, her mom was already an actress, so having a stepfather who was also known in Hollywood may have been a bit of a drag. Even so, being related to Steven Spielberg definitely helped Jessica snag some acting gigs, although now she can get film and TV projects based on her own merit. Jessica actually said that at times, she felt that she had to excel in everything she did because she came from such a successful family. These are just the struggles of the rich and famous.
11. Snoop Dogg & Brandy
Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, whatever you call him… he’s related to Brandy! The two music icons are first cousins. Snoop is about 8 years older than Brandy, making him the older, more mature cousin – maybe! His childhood nickname was “Snoopy” which eventually led to his stage name. Another difference between Snoop and Brandy was that he was born in California, and she was born all the way on the other side of the country in Mississippi. When Brandy was just a young girl, her family moved to California, where she attended a performing arts high school. Both Snoop and Brandy branched out in the early 1990s, with Snoop releasing singles and Brandy pursuing her music career and acting on Moesha. Both cousins have also participated in fundraisers and philanthropy work. We don’t usually see them together in public, but they are definitely on good terms with each other and fully support each other!
10. Jason Schwartzman & Nicolas Cage
Well, this is interesting. Nicolas Cage is said to be a weird Hollywood vampire (really) but it turns out that he is actually the cousin of Jason Schwartzman. Both men are Hollywood actors, and if you think about it, they both have interesting facial features. You know what we mean? Their faces are…different-looking atypical. It turns out that weird faces are not the only thing that Jason and Nick have in common. They have extensive acting resumes and they have another famous cousin: Sofia Coppola. In fact, Nicolas Cage’s given name was Nicolas Kim Coppola, and while that last name may have helped him get more attention from directors and producers, he actually had the acting chops to follow through of his projects. He changed his name to Nicolas Cage after being inspired by Marvel’s Luke Cage. Other famous family connections to Cage include Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Carmine, and Italia Pennino.
9. Jason Sudeikis & George Wendt
Cheers to that! It turns out that Cheers actor George Wendt is the uncle of actor Jason Sudeikis. Who knew? Well, they did, but many other people didn’t. After all, George Wendt is kind of crusty and stout, while Jason Sudeikis is long and lean and significantly younger. And yet, uncle and nephew share a close bond, and they regularly hang out with each other. Jason spoke up about his family relationship with George, saying that he was an uncle who encouraged his acting pursuits, and because George was a successful comedic actor, he was inspirational to Jason, who soon became a star in his own right. That being said, they weren’t particularly close during their younger days, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t on good terms with each other. We personally think that this unlikely pairing is really adorable. And while George is a famous uncle, Jason is now a famous new daddy.
8. Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon
Have you ever heard of the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It was actually invented by some college kids in western Pennsylvania, but if you give this game a try, it will always work! Basically, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon helps you name a person (a celebrity, yourself, etc.) and then a person that you know, and then a person that that person knows, until you go through six people. And that will land you at Kevin Bacon, making the original person just six people away from knowing Kevin Bacon! Well, for kicks, Kevin and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick decided to give this game a try with each other, and it turned out that the husband and wife are related….like, blood related. Ew! Turns out that both Kevin and Kyra had relatives who were related to each other some 300 years ago, back when the abolitionists were in full force and the Declaration of Independence was being signed.
7. Kate Hudson & Goldie Hawn
Well, when you really think about it, the family resemblance is definitely there. It isn’t hard to see that Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn are related. In fact, they’re daughter and mother! Both blonde and bubbly, it is almost a crime that more people didn’t know that these two celebs were related. Even at 70 years of age, Goldie Hawn is still dewy and glowing, with tanned skin, a million-watt smile, and iconic beachy waves that make her look like a true California babe. And Kate Hudson has always been absolutely gorgeous – the girl next door with the bright blue eyes and the kissable lips. Kate and Goldie are so cute together, and they actually spend a lot of time together in mother-daughter bonding time. They go on vacation together, they bring their families together, and they support each other in their business endeavors. It really is so freaking adorable!
6. Al Roker & Lenny Kravitz
If Lenny Kravitz wants to “get away,” then his cousin Al Roker can let him know what the weather forecast is looking like. It turns out that their grandfathers were cousins, which makes the singer and the newscaster related! Al actually spoke about his relation to Lenny on NBC’s Today Show in 2011. Al explained that he and Lenny share the same last name thanks to their grandfathers. Plus, being related to Lenny Kravitz is “cool,” as Al simply puts it. In case you were wondering, Lenny gave his personal OK about this as well. Lenny said that his grandfather was Albert Roker, and his mom was Roxie Roker. So there you have it! So does that mean that Lenny’s daughter Zoe Kravitz is related to Al Roker as well? We guess so. The 27-year-old actress, singer, and model can boast about that, if she wants. But she probably doesn’t want to.
5. Lily Allen & Alfie Allen
Did you know that Lily Allen actually wrote a song about her brother, Alfie? It’s called – get this – “Alfie,” and the lyrics description the brother-sister relationship. Actually, it’s sort of a depressing song about how Alfie struggled with weed and would waste the days away just smoking and watching TV. “Oh I only say it cos I care / So please can you stop pulling my hair / Now, now there’s no need to swear / Please don’t despair my dear mon frere.” To be fair, Alfie has gotten his act together…by acting. You might recognize him as the guy who played Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones. Yup, that was Lily Allen’s brother! Lily may have been jealous of Alfie’s new gig, because she started a rumor that she was offered the role of Yara Greyjoy (she wasn’t.) That caused Alfie to ban Lily from talking about Game of Thrones at all.
4. Tom Cruise & William Mapother
Question: would you want to be related to Tom Cruise or not? William Mapother doesn’t have a choice, he is legit cousins with the wacky actor. In fact, Tom’s original last name is Mapother as well, but Cruise has more of a ring to it, don’t you think? While Tom Cruise has an extensive acting portfolio and loads of financial assets (and an angry wife,) William Mapother is much more understated. He has starred in the hit TV series Lost, most of William’s acting gigs have been in low-budget or C-list movies. That’s okay because the 51-year-old is doing quite well for himself. In 2007, he joined the Screen Actors Guild’s National Board of Directors. So now he can have a say in Tom’s movies. Ha! Really though, Tom and William have a positive relationship. Tom has even helped William snag some acting roles in the past, pointing scouts and directors towards his cousin. Aw.
3. Shirley MacLaine & Warren Beatty
These celebrities are so old that it seems a bit sad that we didn’t realize this earlier. Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty are siblings! Who knew? These celebs have been a presence in Hollywood for like 60 years, and yet we had no idea that they were family. Whoops. Shirley is three years older than Warren, and they grew up with their parents in Virginia. Even though they were sister and brother, they were very different, and there were people who worked with them who didn’t even realize they were related. Well, we feel a bit better now. Warren became a well-known actor and filmmaker with 14 award nods, while Shirley had a pivotal career as an actress, dancer, singer, and theatre performer. She was also an activist and became a New Age proponent. Shirley and Warren are still working, too, in Wild Oats and Rules Don’t Apply, respectively. Impressive!
2. Kate Middleton & Dakota Fanning
Sure, Dakota Fanning has always been somewhat Hollywood royalty (she was the youngest actress to win an Academy Award,) but we didn’t know that Dakota (and her sister Elle Fanning) have actual royal blood in their veins! Sort of. It turns out that Dakota is related to Kate Middleton, as the two women are 21st cousins. Yes, 21st cousins, which is a bit messy, but hey. Any connection you can get to British royalty you’ll take, right? According to an ancestry database, Dakota is related to King Edward III, dating back about 700 years, when King Edward III ruled over Britain in the 14th century. It turns out that Dakota and her sister Elle are maternal grandchildren to the former King, all thanks to their mother, Heather Joy (Arrington.) Man, even her maiden name sounds royal. The long-ago ancestors of the Fannings are related to those of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, but we don’t know if the women have gotten together yet.
1. Jenny McCarthy & Melissa McCarthy
Last summer, Jenny McCarthy posted a photo to her social media account to honor her good ol’ cousin, Melissa McCarthy. Wait, you didn’t know that they were first cousins? Well, neither did a lot of people. Jenny’s post dated back to the 1970s, in which she and cousin Melissa were posing in their disco-era fabulousness. If you really look, you can see there is some family resemblance between Jenny and Melissa, plus being hilarious must run in the genes. Both Jenny and Melissa have made successful careers out of their comedic chops and wit. Both celebs are the same age and grew up in Illinois, plus they both starred in sitcoms and achieved a similar level of fame. Even though they rarely make public appearances together, they are still close cousins and they keep in touch. Jenny’s throwback Thursday snapshot was a sentimental reminder that the two ladies will always care about each other.