When a regular person’s claim to fame involves even the most minor interaction with a celebrity in some way, what kind of claim is it when a celebrity has a physical family connection to... yet another celebrity? Unfair as it may seem that the gene pool can reach out from history and spice up the lives of those who already have everything they could need, as you’ll see, this doesn't always have the power to strengthen modern bonds and family kinship- but blood is always thicker than water.
Many of today’s hottest celebrities were born great, others have achieved their own greatness, yet others still have had that greatness thrust upon them. The celebs in this list tick more than one of these boxes, not only having made a reputable career for themselves, but also having family ties to other great and famous names in history – and also ones alive today!
This list brings to you 9 of the least known celebrity bloodline match-ups around, linking hot hotel heiresses to Hollywood heartthrobs, travelling back to the Magna Carta years in some cases to unveil hidden historical connections between today’s celebs. You’ll also be enlightened to discover one famous musical father and son pairing who have tried to keep their relationship relatively quiet in recent years to avoid public speculation.
9 Macaulay Culkin & Bonnie Bedelia
Ranked as one of the greatest child stars to grace our screens in the 90’s thanks to classic family films such as My Girl, Richie Rich and Home alone, Macaulay Culkin is the nephew of Bonnie Bedelia- Emmy Award winning actress who portrayed Bruce Willis’ spouse for Die Hard I and its sequel.
Bonnie’s brother, Kit Culkin, is Macaulay’s father, so she is also aunt to his other actor brothers Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, 2010) and Rory Culkin (Scream 4, 2011). Nowadays, Bonnie stars in the TV series Parenthood, while Macaulay has focused his attentions on playing music gigs with his group ‘The Pizza Underground’.
8 Justin Bieber & Celine Dion
Her heart may go on, but her bloodlines extend even further. Yes, the Titanic songstress and Las Vegas legend Celine Dion is related to none other than Baby, Baby Justin Bieber! Both of Canadian descent, their link comes from a French family who settled in Quebec over 400 years ago, making them cousins, three times removed tenth cousins, but cousins nonetheless!
What’s more, around the same century, the Biebers were also getting busy making other famous connections; now Justin Bieber can boast historical Canadian relations to both punk rocker Avril Lavigne (12th cousins) and hunky actor Ryan Gosling (once removed 11th cousins).
7 Ellen DeGeneres & Kate Middleton
Both beloved by their adoring fans, this demure Duchess and the American show host have more in common than just their likability factor. A recent study by a US genealogy service determined that both women are related to each other, via a 16th century couple named Thomas Fairfax and Agnes Gascoigne - making them 15th cousins.
When Ellen found out, she jokingly suggested organizing Kate’s hen party, stating she’d found some appropriately shaped straws for the raunchy event! She was also positive the wedding invite was on the way thanks to the revelation, but she never made it to Westminster Abbey in the end.
6 Matthew Perry & Keith Morrison
One sixth of the wacky New York gang of F.R.I.E.N.D.S that tickled ribs for over 10 years, Matthew Perry is the stepson of long-standing Dateline presenter Keith Morrison. Perry’s mother, Suzanne, met Keith in Canada when she was working for Pierre Trudeau – the then Canadian PM – as a journalist in 1981.
The couple have had four further children giving Matthew a whole host of younger new brothers and sisters to grow up with. Although he was nearly into his teenage years when Keith came on the scene, they are quite close, with Keith Tweeting during an NBC Q&A session a few years ago that he was ‘incredibly proud’ of Matthew.
5 Barack Obama & Uma Thurman
Even though there has been much dispute over the issue of President Obama having a valid Hawaiian birth certificate, it seems like there were no major problems in tracing the Commander-in-Chief’s bloodline right back to an ancient king of England- Edward the First.
Sharing the connection to Edward, talented Kill Bill actress Uma Thurman’s family line has also been traced to the king who oversaw the reconstruction of London’s Westminster Abbey. Barack and Uma clearly show strong leadership skills in their roles today, perhaps it was a crucial trait that was present in some of England’s earliest kings.
4 Hilary Duff & Jake Gyllenhaal
A Cinderella Story it may well be, as Hilary Duff discovered when she was informed that she has far-reaching family connections all the way back to King Edward the Third. In the same royal vein, sibling acting duo Jake and Maggie Gyllenhall can also call themselves descendants from the 14th century king, confirmed by historical analysis.
The Gyllenhall’s have their father’s line to thank for the connection, and Hilary’s link comes via Edward’s great-grandson Officer Spotswood of the 18th century British Army. It makes her the king’s tenth great-granddaughter, and 18th cousins with none other than Her Majesty the Queen.
3 Mariah Carey & Ashley Cole
All she wanted for Christmas was to be related to the jazz singer Nat King Cole (after all, her grandmother used to be a Cole) but Mariah came to realize she was more closely related to British football player Ashley Cole. Ashley’s relatives were traced back to Alabama, as were Mariah’s, and they stem from the same part of America’s ‘Deep South'.
Ashley Cole was married to Girls Aloud singer and UK X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole for 4 years, before their marriage ended when he cheated on her. Mariah has also had her own cheating experiences, although the shoe was on the other foot when she accused her hubby Nick Cannon of doing the dirty on her.
2 Redfoo & Berry Gordy Jr.
Having written songs for bands like The Jackson 5 and The Supremes, and also being the face and founder of Motown Records, it’s no surprise that Berry Gordy Jr.’s musical genius flowed straight into his children- including his youngest son, Stefan Gordy, AKA Redfoo from the funky band LMFAO.
From a large family with such an influential father as Berry Gordy Jr., Stefan has been able to create a unique mix of urban beats that have landed him multi-platinum albums and worldwide top ten chart places. Come to think of it, the rockin’ summer sounds of LMFAO did seem to explode onto our airwaves rather quickly- and now we know why!
1 Brad Pitt & Paris Hilton
She’s got the bucks and the looks of a princess, but Paris Hilton is also (rather annoyingly) related to the 12th century king Henry II, via Rick Hilton, her hotel magnate father. Also holding a strong connection to the same English king is Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt, being the 25th cousin on his mother’s side of the 800 year old monarch.
There’s definitely been some good physical genes passed down from Britain’s ancient king to the lucky pair, and it’s an extra coincidence that Brad’s wife Angelina is also blue-blooded thanks to historic ties with King Philip II of France.