Some of us love our families, some of us wish we could pick different people to be related to. Still, more of us don’t even have the slightest clue of their lineage and heritage. Some people are even rumored to be related to some of history’s greatest monsters. While not on this list – movie vampire, Robert Pattinson is rumored to be related to the real deal himself, Vlad the Impaler!
In the entertainment community however, relationships are all over the place and sometimes, even the most ardent fans have no idea who’s related to who. This list is for you guys. Royals, singers, and actors of all kinds. Even when family members don’t trade in on their famous name, or more famous relatives’ celebrity, the men and women on this list have all achieved a modicum of success in their own right.
It’s time to get out your family trees and start attaching branches…maybe we can add your name and family to the names on this list – 17 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Related.
17. Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith
What would you do if your daughter got cast in the movie version of the best selling BDSM romance novel, Fifty Shades of Grey? If you’re a fellow actress who was and is still pretty easy on the eyes in her own right and married to not one but two of Hollywood’s best leading men, you probably would still not say a whole lot and maybe not even see the movie.
It’s the girl’s mother, Melanie Griffith for crying out loud.
Dakota Johnson, one of Hollywood’s It girls at the moment was cast as Anastasia Steele in the highly erotic film series, but don’t expect mom or dad, Don Johnson to watch the movie anytime soon, Griffith thinks the content of the movie is “inappropriate,” but according to Dakota, her parents do support her.
16. Tom Cruise and William Mapother
One of them is arguably the biggest movie star in the world, albeit a divisive one. The other was one of the sinister Others on Lost. Not to mention a frequent “hey, I know that guy” character actor who’s probably been in more movies and TV shows than you might think.
Kentucky native, William Mapother has been in movies like Born on the 4th of July, Magnolia, Mission Impossible II, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, and a whole heap of other films. But did you notice a pattern with the aforementioned films? They all-star another member of the Mapother family – Thomas Mapother IV, better known in Hollywood as Tom Cruise.
The two are cousins and even share that patented ginormous Tom Cruise grin. According to info from IMDb, William has said “I have never really worried about it. As I’ve amassed a body of work, the questions about Tom have gone away. I figured that if I did good work, I’d be seen for what I am.”
15. Kate Middleton and The Fanning Sisters
Older sister Dakota has been wowing audiences with her ability since I Am Sam and younger sister Elle has already played a princess when she starred in Maleficent and she and big sister Dakota are heralded and sought after for all kinds of roles are indeed related to King Edward III through their mom, Heather Joy. Kate of course is related by marriage, becoming the Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince William.
Technically there would be quite the Game of Thrones style conundrum if the Fannings ever got the itch to rule over England. Luckily for the current royal family, they’re all probably very confident that the petite sisters are just fine rising to the ranks of Hollywood royalty.
14. Drew Barrymore and Steven Spielberg
Even at 42 years old, Drew Barrymore still looks around 25, and has created a global brand for herself as of course an actress and as producer of movies like Whip It. While the phrase Hollywood royalty does get tossed around (and in this article), she really is!! Her great-grandfather, Maurice was a stage actor in the late-1800s.
When a young Drew auditioned for the Steven Spielberg produced Poltergeist, he instead thought she’d be better suited for a role in his upcoming E.T. and the two forged among ever since. When she was spiralling out of control a few years later, he became her godfather and helped her out when she checked into rehab.
According to legend, after Drew revealed everything in a 1995 Playboy spread, the director had made a quilt for her and sent it along with a note that said “Cover Up,” and the issue with all of her pics digitally altered to his goddaughter clothed.
13. Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt
We have Satan himself, or herself in this case to thank for this familial relation. The Devil Wears Prada to be precise. The not-so-inconspicuous dig at Vogue editor, Anna Wintour had starred the incomparable Glenn Close as Wintour and Anne Hathaway as her meek assistant, Andy Sachs.
The film co-starred Stanley Tucci as the magazine’s art director, Nigel and Emily Blunt as Wintour’s other assistant, Emily Charlton. The two must have hit it off and became pretty good friends since Blunt thought Tucci would be a good match for her sister, Felicity. She agreed and the pair married in 2012.
Combine the Tucci and Blunt names with Emily’s endearing hubby, John Krasinski and you have one powerhouse Hollywood dynasty in the making, all thanks to Blunt’s breakout role and chance meeting with her co-star.
12. Ethan Suplee and Juliette Lewis
Neither Ethan Suplee and Juliette Lewis are strangers to big time dramatic and controversial roles. Suplee once starred as a violent skinhead in American History X and Lewis’ most memorable performance would have to be psychotic Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers. Both have been acting for years and yet their paths have only crossed once onscreen – in an episode of Suplee’s old sitcom My Name is Earl, where Lewis played a bounty hunter who happens to be one of Earl’s (Jason Lee) jilted exes.
Lewis’s sister Brandy works as her assistant on plenty of her projects and here was no different, but it was also on the show that she got to see her sister work with her husband. Suplee has been married to Brandy since 2006 and have two children together and Suplee is step-father to Brandy’s other two children and the pair have also been one of Hollywood’s more successful weight loss stories as well.
11. Snoop Dogg and Sasha Banks
We already know that legendary rapper, Snoop Dogg is related to pop star, Brandy and her brother, Ray J. But did you know that as far as family relationships go, the lifelong wrestling fan who even got to share the ring at one time with Hulk Hogan himself is actually related to one of the top and most beloved superstars of the modern era, male of female – the Boss, Sasha Banks.
The two are first cousins, and perhaps will both be together in the WWE Hall of Fame one day. Snoop was inducted into the celebrity wing of the Hall in 2016, a night before the Boss’ big WrestleMania debut, which if you didn’t know was the most anticipated women’s match ever at the big event. Snoop even performed his lil’ cuz’s theme song as she came to the ring.
10. Blake and Robin Lively
Robyn Lively first captured fan’s hearts as Daniel Larusso’s girlfriend (and conscience) in the Karate Kid III. As a frequent character actor, she has been steadily working for years in various roles all over TV and movies, like Teen Witch.
Her half-sister, Blake Lively was only two years old when her older sister’s two biggest roles were happening. A star in her own right, Blake Lively has held her own onscreen with the likes of Alexis Bledel, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, and Ryan Reynolds, who she married in 2012.
While over a decade apart in age, the sisters who have the same mom, are very close and Robyn is godmother to Blake’s children and Robyn’s youngest child has her aunt’s name as his middle name (Wyatt Blake). Robyn even recreated her dance from Teen Witch at her sister’s wedding – blue dress, necklace, and all.
9. Elizabeth, Mary-Kate, and Ashley Olsen
Since the inception of Full House, those two little cutie pies who played Michelle, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have risen to the ranks of Hollywood elite, tabloid fodder, and all points in between. Thanks to their combined portrayal of the cutest toddler television ever saw, they have crafted a media empire, Dual Star.
They’ve also been able to open doors for their younger sister, Elizabeth. The youngest Olsen sister has smashed those doors down proving that while her older sisters made bank being the saccharine Michelle Tanner, she tackles and owns roles in dramas like Marcy Martha May Marlene, manic pixie dream girls in Liberal Arts, and superheroes in The Avengers movies.
The twins might have given up on acting to focus on their fashion empire, but we do have them to thank for introducing Elizabeth to acting, her career has been steadily growing and with several meaty roles already under her belt, there’s definitely a whole lot more to come from the littlest Olsen.
8. Melissa and Jenny McCarthy
One family – two funny ladies. Oh, did you only thought Jenny McCarthy was famous for being one of the hottest women of the nineties? Go watch an old MTV show Singled Out, where she and now-president of Geekdom, Chris Hardwick both got their start on a pretty crazy dating game show.
Sookie St. James herself, Melissa McCarthy got her start on Jenny’s short lived sitcom and her star was slowly on the rise ever since until her role on Gilmore Girls and then we were off to the races. In fact, Melissa’s stock in Hollywood might be even higher than Jenny’s at this point.
7. Prince Charles and Ralph Fiennes
You know the British media must have a field day with this one. Actors Joseph Fiennes and his slightly more accomplished brother Ralph are related to Prince Charles. Ralph, who has made his bones playing some of the most evil men onscreen – Frances Dollarhyde in Red Dragon, Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List, and of course Voldemort in the Harry Potter saga can lay a distant claim to the British crown.
The Prince of Wales and the acting brothers are eighth cousins, and the Fiennes family is actually no stranger to royalty – their father, Mark Fiennes was knighted for his contributions to British engineering. The two share lineage to former ruler James II of Scotland who ruled from 1437-1460.
6. Zooey and Emily Deschanel
One has played the brainy but socially inept Dr. Temperance Brennan on Bones. Emily Deschanel played TV’s female, dramatic version of the Big Bang’s Sheldon Cooper for 12 seasons, collecting a pretty large fan base in the process.
The other has played the sweet natured but social awkward Jessica Day on New Girl for the past six years. The sitcom has amassed a cult following and even a drinking game among its fans – “the floor is lava!”
Oddly enough, even with the same last name and their shows being on the same channel, more people tend to focus on trying to tell Zooey Deschanel apart from lookalikes like Katy Perry and Emily Blunt to actually realize that the girl playing brainy Bones and the girl playing ditsy Day are actually lookalikes, because they’re sisters. The two have seldom shared the screen, except for one episode of Bones, playing cousins (a big stretch) in “The Goop on the Girl.”
5. Lily and Alfie Allen
Alfie Allen has been showing his acting chops for the past six years on Game of Thrones as Theon Greyjoy, Ward and eventual betrayer and unfortunate tortured prisoner of the North. His character’s journey is out of control and heartbreaking all at the same time and Allen; along with the rest of his cast mates have made the show one of the most popular on TV.
But he still has an older sister out there to bring him back down to Earth and comment on how lazy she thinks he is. “Alfie,” one of the debut singles on older sister Lily Allen’s Alright, Still which is Lily’s account of growing up with her brother, who she really loves and wants him to do something with his life as opposed to being stuck in his room and playing video games and smoking pot.
4. Rob Schneider and Elle King
Thanks in part to a few bit roles in mid-nineties Stallone movies like Demolition Man and Judge Dredd and having at the very least a bit part in just about everything Adam Sandler had ever done, Rob Schneider has been allowed to stay entertaining people for nearly twenty years – even after complete bombs like The Hot Chick and not one but two godawful Deuce Bigalow flicks.
Perhaps that’s the reason that it isn’t obvious that the comedian sired the singer of throwback tune, “Exes and Ohs,” Elle King. Born Tanner Elle Schneider, she took her mom’s last name when she started her music career. Why not, mom’s no slouch either – she’s former model, London King.
The reason for the disassociation is actually a fairly noble one – King didn’t want people to open doors for her because of who her dad is. “Yeah, people know who my dad is. But I think that my voice and my music speaks for itself: that I am my own person,” King said in an interview with ABC News.
3. Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson
Alright Hollywood, specifically Disney and Marvel listen up! You gave fans a crazy Easter egg in Guardians of the Galaxy with a little glimpse of Howard the Duck stuck in the Collector’s menagerie on Nowhere. Now that the Duck’s out of the pond so to speak and Marvel is making more gold than Solomon, perhaps they should get real crazy and consider rebooting the godawful George Lucas flick that starred Lea Thompson.
Thompson, of Back to the Future and Caroline in the City fame might be considered too old now to play Bev Switzler, but thankfully, Thompson’s got a little girl who’s making a name for herself, Zoey Deutch would be an inspired casting choice in the hypothetical remake.
Zoey, followed in the footsteps of her mother and was in a comic book movie of her own when she appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man, her scene was cut but it does appear as a deleted scene on the DVD. More high profiles for the daughter include Suite Life, Vampire Academy, and Dirty Grandpa.
2. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
How’s this for a wicked pissah’?! Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, lifelong friends who broke into Hollywood together, won a writing Oscar for Good Will Hunting, starred in movies like School Ties and Dogma together, and had both pretty much dominated Tinseltown since breaking in are actually related.
According to the New England Genealogical Society, the life long Beantown besties are 10th cousins, both descendants of a bricklayer names William Knowlton, an Englishman who immigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1630. Affleck has even more famous relatives. Besides brother Casey and by marriage to Joaquin and Summer Phoenix, the current Batman is related to not one but 11 former presidents, including Barack Obama.
1. Beck and Giovanni Ribisi
For over twenty years now Beck has been rocking fans worldwide with his unique musical styling – the guy’s breakthrough and most enduring hit is called “Loser,” after all. While certainly not the only Scientologist on this list, he and wife Marisa Ribisi are both practicing Scientologists.
Marisa, an actress who worked mostly in the mid-nineties in movies like The Brady Bunch Movie, Pleasantville, and Dazed and Confused is not as prolific as her twin brother Giovanni is known for playing haunted sleezebags in dramas and comedies like The Gift, Boiler Room, and both Ted movies.
Oddly enough, Beck’s mother, Bibbi Hansen, a musician who worked with Andy Warhol actually delivered her future daughter-in-law and her twin brother. Apparently, Scientologists are a more insular group than you might think, and help deliver babies within their community.
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