People within the celebrity world, which encompasses many different industries, have their own very special connections. Whether they’ve gained fame and fortune and have become celebrity figures due to their acting feats, because they’re singing sensations, or because they’re just famous for being famous, all have experienced time in the limelight, and when you’re living in that celeb world, living that whole lifestyle, going to award ceremonies and what not, you tend to brush shoulders with like-minded people. By doing this, rather than just having that celebrity connection, friendships are formed, relationships could develop, and love could blossom.
It’s like any other industry, or any other place of work. If you’re around the same people day in and day out, people doing the same things you’re doing, you’re in the same line of work, chill together, and have the same interests, you’re likely to develop relationships with those people. Romance could then develop into something more substantial, kids are born, they follow in your footsteps, get into the same industry, meet someone within that industry, have kids, they grow up…you get the picture. That’s why people often joke about the celebrity world being one big family; if you trace things back, look at family trees, look at who has married who, step-siblings, friendships and what not, most of the celebrity world is interconnected in some way or another. It’s kind of freaky, all those connections. There are a lot of connections within the celebrity world you probably know about, but these are 15 family connections that may end up surprising you.
15. Cameron Diaz – Nicole Richie
Cameron Diaz, one of the hottest and most well-known actresses in Hollywood, is renowned for being a versatile actresses who’s acted opposite some of the biggest names in the industry and who always manages to shine onscreen. Nicole’s career has been very different. She’s a prime example of someone who’s regarded as being famous just for being famous. She rose to fame in her younger days because of her antics with socialite Paris Hilton, but her career in the limelight has been a little bit up and down since.
So, how on earth are these two, two figures at different ends of the celebrity spectrum, related? Well, in 2010, Nicole got hitched to singer Joel Madden. That made the equally-famous Madden twin Benji her brother-in-law.
Nicole and Cameron have always actually been pretty good pals. One day when the gal pals were out and about, Nicole decided to introduce Cameron to her brother-in-law, and the two really hit it off, and subsequently tied the knot. Nicole and Cameron are now more than just friends, they’re also family!
14. Hugh Hefner – George W. Bush
Ok, so here comes a really weird connection, a connection that probably even irks them both out when they think about it.
Hugh Hefner – well, I don’t really need to give him an intro. Plenty of people despise him, call his profession sleazy, among other things, and yet tons of people, guys in particular, admire the hell out of him and want to be him. The Playboy mogul is still going strong, even at the age of 90, whereas his cousin – distant cousin, but still cousin – former President George W. Bush has eased into life post-presidency, and is enjoying a bit more of a quieter existence. Yes, they’re ninth cousins, that’s a long way to trace back down the family tree, but if and when you do it, you will find that connection. Hugh’s actually more closely related to Sen. John Kerry, just a tad. He’s his ninth cousin once removed, as opposed to being a cousin twice removed to George.
13. Ryan Gosling – Justin Bieber
This isn’t like I’ve paired these two together because they’re Canadian, but you might think that when you learn they’re related, and everyone else Justin’s related to too. It seems farfetched that these two, who as far as we’re aware haven’t really crossed paths, are actually eleventh cousins once removed. It’s a long way to go back and trace family history, but thankfully, the experts have done it all and have found some common relatives. Their family connection was established way back in the 1600s in the Canadian province of Quebec, and can be traced back to two French couples.
If you’re willing to work everything out, you’ll find that Justin Bieber and Ryan Gosling are eleventh cousins. Justin’s also related to Céline Dion and Avril Lavigne; he’s Céline’s tenth cousin, three times removed, and Avril’s twelfth cousin. They all have relatives that can be traced back to a French couple, Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Bire, who emigrated to Quebec many centuries ago. Little did they know that they’d have many superstar relatives down the line.
12. Emily Blunt – Stanley Tucci
British-American film and stage actress Emily Blunt has been killing it in the movie industry pretty much since 2001 when she starred opposite Dame Judi Dench. Since those early years, her career has just gone from strength to strength, and consequently, today she’s one of the most recognizable actresses in the world.
Emily’s not someone who comes from an acting family, but that doesn’t mean some of her family aren’t well known in their respective industries. In fact, quite a few of her family members are famous, and others have built pretty good careers for themselves without finding fame. Her older sister falls into that category. Felicity Blunt is a literary agent, but that’s not what propelled her into the limelight. When Emily got married in 2010, Felicity met Stanley Tucci, actor, writer, producer, and director, at her wedding, and things just blossomed from there until they got hitched themselves a couple of years later, making Stanley Emily’s brother-in-law.
11. Ozzy Osbourne – Jesse James
Jesse James has been gone a long time now, but if he was around today, he’d certainly be classified as a celebrity. The amount of times his name’s been used in stories, in films and what not, there’s actually no doubt about it, he is a celebrity. He’s a celeb but for all the wrong reasons, but these bad asses always tend to get a kind of cult following. American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer – Jesse was badass to the core.
Ozzy Osbourne is in a different category, but he’s still crazy as hell. He has a wild personality that’s been exacerbated over the years due to the consumption of cocktails of alcohol and drugs. He’s spent the majority of his life living that true hardcore rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, and some of his antics – such as him biting off the heads of various live winged animals – have led many people to believe he’s got a screw loose. After everything Ozzy’s done, everything he’s subjected his body to, it’s remarkable that he’s still alive and kicking. That’s because, as he expected, he’s got some pretty tough members in his family tree, including Jesse James. His blood and genetic code were actually analyzed, and it was found he’s connected, albeit very distantly, to the famous outlaw, Jesse James.
10. Ellen DeGeneres – Kate Middleton
Most people deem Ellen DeGeneres to be television royalty. Well, she does actually have a royal family connection so that means, technically, if you think about it and connect the dots, she is -without having an actual title – royalty. Amazingly, she’s connected to the English royal family, by way of being cousins with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Don’t get too excited all you Ellen fans! Their parents aren’t siblings or anything like that – she’s not going to be in line to the throne! She and Kate are actually fifteenth cousins – sure, that’s stretching it a bit, but it means that they are related. They share a common ancestor, Sir Thomas Fairfax, which is enough of a connection for Ellen to get excited. She’s been very vocal about wanting to hang out with her royal cousin, go shopping, chill out in Buckingham Palace, meet the Queen and all her royal subjects – if you didn’t know, Ellen is a comedian – although we’re yet to hear if Kate wants to get acquainted with her American cuz.
9. Gigi Hadid – Kendall Jenner
Gigi Hadid is an American fashion model. Still at the tender age of 21, she’s risen to become one of the best. If you don’t keep up to date with the latest goings on in the modeling world, but you like to keep up to date with all your celeb gossip, chances are you’ve heard of Gigi because of her relationship with British singer and songwriter and former One Direction star, Zayn Malik. Another reason you may have heard of Gigi, is because of the people she hangs out with in the modeling industry. She’s frequently seen getting up to all sorts of fun with fellow fashion model, Kendall Jenner.
But what many of you didn’t know is that the two young women are more than just friends – they have a family connection. There’s a tangled web of divorced marriages that connects the two. Get this: Gigi’s mom Yolanda was married to David Foster and he was once married to Linda Jenner who was married to Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner. Then of course Bruce married Kris and they had Kendall and Kylie. So, although they’re not blood-related, they have a family connection – they’re kind of ex-step siblings and both have had Brody Jenner as a brother. Confused? Not to worry, even Gigi was in a pickle when asked to explain the connection.
8. Drew Barrymore – Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg – a man whose films smash box office records and someone who’s responsible for pioneering the so-called New Hollywood era – is undoubtedly one of the greatest directors and producers of all time. He’s incredibly popular, not only in Hollywood, but amongst his fans who marvel at what he’s able to produce onscreen. Many actors are close to him, having had the privilege to work with him plenty of times, but one person who shares a special connection with him is Drew Barrymore. The legendary actress started out acting as a child, and in just her second film, she’d already had the pleasure of working with Steven. He directed E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, but what many people probably didn’t know is that Steven was working with his goddaughter. He must have certainly had his hands full, not only looking out for the wild-child that was Drew, but also having another actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, as a goddaughter.
7. Dwayne Johnson – Roman Reigns
Dwayne Johnson is arguably the biggest superstars in the world right now. He has not just conquered two industries, he’s climbed to the top of both of them, and has shone, gaining a tremendous fan following the world over in the process. It is truly remarkable what he’s managed to achieve.
Those of you who don’t know your movies (there can’t be many of you who don’t know Dwayne and his feats in the movie industry!) will probably know him as “The Rock” from the world of wrestling. He’s a member of the famous – and probably the biggest family in wrestling – Anoaʻi family. That makes him, in a way related, to a ton of former and current athletes on the roster of some of the world’s major promotions. One of those is WWE superstar Roman Reigns, who’s tipped to be the next big thing in the industry.
6. Dakota Johnson – Antonio Banderas
Dakota Johnson is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood right now. She was propelled into the limelight due to her performance as the submissive in Fifty Shades of Grey, but she’s actually from a film family and has been acting for quite some time. In fact, she began at the tender age of ten, when she starred in the movie Crazy in Alabama, and that production ended up being a real family affair; talking about the cast in this movie will explain a lot of her family connections. In the movie, her role was as the daughter to her real-life mom, Melanie Griffith. Dakota’s half-sister, Stella Banderas, was her sister in the movie, and the whole thing was directed and put together by none other than Antonio Banderas who is – as you can guess by the surname – Stella’s dad and was Dakota’s step-dad at the time, due to him being hitched to Melanie.
5. Ray J – Snoop Dogg
Singer, songwriter, television personality, and actor, Ray J has been in the limelight quite a bit. He’s recently being doing more and more reality TV while keeping up with his acting gigs and singing and songwriting endeavors. He’s juggling a lot, but he’s gradually rising to become more of a prominent celebrity figure. His sister is singer Brandy Norwood, who has had plenty of her own fame over the years, but compare their accomplishments and level of fame to their cousin – first cousin this time, not tenth cousin or anything like that! – and it all pales in comparison.
Snoop Dogg, yes, the legendary Snoop D-O-double G, is Ray J and Brandy’s first cousin. They don’t really shout about the fact they’re related from the rooftops and have kept that family connection on the down-low – perhaps because they each want to be known for their own work and not for being so-and-so’s cuz – but they are related, and quite closely at that too.
4. Madonna – Lady Gaga
When Lady Gaga burst onto the scene all those years ago, she became an instant hit. Those loud outfits, her personality, and of course her singing, has meant that she’s somewhat unique in her profession. However, there have always been comparisons made between her and the original queen of pop: Madonna.
They’ve had an up and down relationship throughout the years, with Gaga being accused of producing songs that have been deemed to be very similar to some of Madonna’s. There’s been some back and forth between the two, and the saga between Madonna and Lady Gaga doesn’t appear to be dying down any time soon. There may be some bad blood between the two, but they’re actually distant cousins, ninth cousins once removed, due to them sharing a relative of French-Canadian ancestry. At the moment things are quite frosty between the two, so it doesn’t look like they’ll be forming a family bond any time soon.
3. Taylor Swift – Katy Perry
Taylor Swift is arguably one of the biggest singing sensations on the planet. She’s amassed a massive fan following, is famous the world over, and knows how to get herself out there, market herself to the masses. Now here comes something that a lot of you probably weren’t aware of: she’s related to a ton of celebs, what seems like half the celebrities working out of America. It’s amazing to think that she’s got connections to a ton of different stars; she’s related to actors, such as Johnny Depp and Matt Damon, comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres and – going back a bit – Charlie Chaplin, and a ton of star names in the music industry, such as Janet Jackson, James Taylor, Marie Osmond, and Katy Perry, who is Taylor’s eleventh cousin. So, when people say being a celebrity is like being part of one big family, that certainly holds true for Taylor!
2. Melissa McCarthy – Mark Wahlberg
The Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch singer has done a lot since his bad boy hip-hop days and has risen to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Mark Wahlberg has morphed himself into a versatile actor and has slowly shunned that rough tough rowdy guy persona to star in a number of high-profile films. In 2010, he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and that just about says it all in terms of his accomplishments and what he’s achieved in the industry.
Melissa McCarthy is pretty much at the same level. She’s one of Hollywood top stars, and one of the highest-paid actresses, and has been killing it pretty much since the mid-90s. Jenny McCarthy, Melissa’s cousin, is also an actress. In 2014, she got hitched to Donnie Wahlberg, Mark’s brother if you hadn’t guessed and incidentally also an actor, making Jenny and Mark siblings-in-law, and Mark and Melissa cousins-in-law.
1. Jessica Simpson – Diana Ross
Singer, actress, and businesswoman Jessica Simpson, is related to the Ross’s through her younger sis, Ashlee Simpson. Ashlee, who followed in her famous sister’s footsteps, began seeing Evan Ross in 2013, and the couple tied the knot a year later. Who’s Evan Ross? He’s an actor and musician, but is most famous for – as you’ve probably established from his surname – being a part of the famous Ross family, which was made famous because of Diana Ross. She’s the 28-year-old’s mom, and is (as if she needs any introduction) an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer whose voice has stood the test of time. I’m not sure calling Diana a celebrity is really doing her justice. She’s in a class of her own after all she’s achieved. Anyway, because of that connection through Ashlee, it means that Jessica and Diana are in-laws.