It turns out that Hollywood actually might run in a person’s veins. Family trees are very complex and confusing things as they continue to grow throughout time. So, while it is known who your immediate family is, you could really be related to anyone.
While only a select few make it big in Hollywood, it turns out that there are some surprising relatives who fall within this category. Stage names and personas make it more difficult to suspect, but these celebrities were shocked to find out that Hollywood might be a family business.
Conan O’Brien and Denis Leary
Conan O’Brien is the hilarious late night talk show host with an infectious laugh and his trademark ginger hair. It turns out that crude standup comic and actor Dennis Leary is his third cousin by marriage.
As red-headed funny men who both hail from Boston with American-Irish heritage, it is a little more obvious that they are related. The two often refer to one another as “cuz” when they cross paths on talk shows and at events.
Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
It might have not been noticeable as Shirley MacLaine changed her name from Shirley MacLean Beatty, but actor Warren Beatty is actually her brother. Warren only changed the spelling of his surname, so many didn’t put two and two together.
The siblings have two Oscars between them and aren’t slowing down with work in their 80s. Despite growing up in Hollywood together, they have never co-starred in a film, other than both appearing in the 1999 documentary Forever Hollywood.
Nicolas Cage and Francis Ford Coppola
At just 17-years-old, Nicolas Cage landed a small appearance Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but his name in the credits was not the name we see in his movies now. Instead, he was billed under Nicolas Coppola, with his uncle being the winemaker-filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
When Cage was in his teens, he went on to change his name to Cage in order to make his own success and not use nepotism to rise to the top.
Jason Schwartzman and Sofia Coppola
It isn’t just Nicolas Cage and Francis Ford Coppola from their family who found success in Hollywood as Coppola’s daughter, Sofia, is a director and has directed films including Lost In Translation.
In addition, Francis’ sister is Rocky star Talia Shire who is the mother of Rushmore actor Jason Schwartzman. Between acting and directing, there seems to be plenty of talent within the Coppola family and they have all racked up a number of different awards.
Rashida Jones and Peggy Lipton
Peggy Lipton was a much loved actress and was best known for her role on famous American drama series The Mod Squad. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer at the age of 72, but her legacy lives on through her daughter, Rashida Jones.
With her most famous role being on the hit show Park and Recreation, Jones went on to become a singer and producer as well. Her musical abilities came from her father Quincy Jones.
Quincy Jones and Tupac Shakur
The Jones family extended to one of the most famous and talked about rappers of all time, Tupac Shakur. They are related as Quincy Jones’ other daughter with Peggy Lipton was Kadida Jones who was engaged to the late rapper Tupac at the time he was murdered.
At just 25-years-old, Tupac was critically shot on the Las Vegas strip in 1996. To this day, Kadida Jones still refers to him as the love of her life and she intended to live out her life with him.
Kate Spade and David Spade
Kate Spade was the late-designer who committed suicide last year. The handbag and accessories designer was hailed for her major accomplishments and building a billion dollar brand from scratch. Her brother-in-law is none other than funny man David Spade, the comedian and actor.
Spade has been in plenty of movies including Grown Ups and has a TV show on Comedy Central called Lights Out. The two are related as Kate was married to David’s brother for 24 years before ending her own life.
Bruce Dern and Laura Dern
Laura Dern is often seen on the silver screen starring alongside her mother, actress Diane Ladd, but still hasn’t appeared in a movie with her father Bruce Dern. Most recently, Bruce appeared in the brand new hit Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
His daughter, Laura has been winning the hearts of audiences and critics in Big Little Lies. Over all, success and talent seems to be a running theme in the Dern family.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh
Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the actresses who changed their last name for their career so it wasn’t obvious that Janet Leigh was her mother. Curtis changed the spelling of her mother’s maiden name to carve her own career in Hollywood.
Leigh was the actress who appeared in the infamous shower scene in thriller Psycho and years later, Jamie Lee Curtis played victim Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise. Like mother like daughter.
Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson
In the 80s, Melanie Griffith wasn’t afraid of baring it all in the 1984 Brian De Palma hit Body Double. In similar fashion, 31-years later, her daughter Dakota Johnson was cast as Anastasia in 50 Shades of Grey, appearing totally nude on-screen in some provocative scenes with her co-star Jamie Dornan.
Acting seems to run in the family as Melanie Griffith’s mother Tippi Hedren appeared in Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” making it three generations of fame.
Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy
While McCarthy is actually quite a common name, it turns out that Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy are cousins. The hilarious Bridesmaids actress and the Two and a Half Men and former The View co-host seem to cross paths a lot at events and red carpets in Hollywood.
As family, it was reported that Jenny helped her cousin land a role on her short-lived sitcom, even though it didn’t do well it was still a nice gesture.
Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci
You might recognize these two as starring opposite one another in hit movie The Devil Wears Prada, acting as fashion fiends working under Miranda Priestly for Runway magazine.
In real life the two are related, Tucci is married to Emily’s sister Felicity Blunt who is a literary agent, taking a different route in life than her sister. Tucci’s wife Felicity stepped up for her husband and his three children after their mother lost her battle to breast cancer in 2009.
Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein
Jonah Hill is best known for his roles in Superbad, The Wolf Of Wall Street and 21 Jump Street, but his surname is actually Feldstein and he changed it for his acting career.
It turns out that his little sister Beanie Feldstein decided to keep her surname as she ventured into her brother’s industry, appearing as the best friend in Lady Bird. The siblings’ older brother, Jordan, was briefly married to Clint Eastwood’s daughter Francesca.
Jason Patric and Jackie Gleason
American film, television and stage actor Jason Patric is best known for his roles in The Lost Boys, Rush, Sleepers, Geronimo: An American Legend, among others. Jason’s father was actor/playwright Jason Miller who was a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner.
In addition, his grandfather was The Honeymooners star Jackie Gleason who also has a successful music career. Patric’s father Jason Miller married Jackie Gleason’s daughter Linda Miller. Success and talent seems to run in this famous family.
Mariska Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield was known as the blond bombshell who was a pin up of mid-century cinema. In her hay day, she was truly an it-girl and was popping up in some of the biggest films each year.
In 1964, she had daughter Mariska Hargitay who inherited her mother’s beauty and talent. Mariska ended up being a long-running star on Law and Order: SVU. Sadly, Mansfield died in a car accident when Mariska was just three years old.
Bonnie Bedelia and Macaulay Culkin
It turns out that Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone fame wasn’t just a random child actor that producers found in a casting call. Culkin actually comes from an acting background as his mother was Bonnie Bedelia who starred opposite Bruce Willis in hit movie Die Hard.
Ironically, both mother and son have starred in hugely successful Christmas movies. Home Alone ended up becoming one of the top-grossing Christmas movie of all time and Macauley a famous child star.
Bono and Eve Hewson
Eve Hewson stars on American television drama series The Knick and if you thought you saw a resemblance between the actress and a famous singer/songwriter, you were correct and they are related. It turns out that the actress’ father is none other than U2 frontman Bono.
Bono has been married to his wife Ali Hewson since 1982 and together they had four children, with Eve following her father into the limelight. The Irish actress was recently cast in a Netflix psychological thriller, Behind Her Eyes.
Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore
Hollywood can often be a lonely place, so it is a welcome surprise you have family there with you. This was the case for Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore as the Oscar winners found out they are related and are cousins on the PBS show Finding your roots.
Before finding out about their family history on the show, the two both starred in the 2011 film Crazy, Stupid, Love, with Moore acting as Steve Carell’s estranged wife and Marisa his fling.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
It turns out that the close bond between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck isn’t just due to their mutual interests and care for one another. The Oscar-winning co-writers of Good Willing Hunting, actually have a family tree that goes way back.
The two Boston natives can trace their heritage back to a English bricklayer named William Knowlton who emigrated from England to the colonies in the 1600s. That talent must run in the veins of their whole family.
Rob Schneider and Elle King
The singer of “Ex’s and Oh’s”, Elle King actually has a very famous father that most people are unaware of. Her birth name was Tanner Elle Schneider and her father is funny man Rob Schneider. She was born while Rob was a regular on Saturday Night Live, prior to his feud with the late film critic Roger Ebert.
Elle got her stage name from her mother, London King who is a former model. Perhaps she didn’t want to be associated with her father?
Steven Spielberg and Jessica Capshaw
In 1991, Oscar-winning director Steven Speilberg fell in love with the lead of Temple of Doom, Kate Capshaw. The two ended up getting married and Steven got himself a step daughter Jessica Capshaw.
With her mother being an actress and step father being one of the most celebrated directors of all time, it was only right that Jessica went into the industry herself. She became a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy for a lengthy amount of time.
Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz
Worlds collided when it was revealed that the much-loved TV anchor, Al Roker, and guitar genius Lenny Kravitz are actually distant cousins. When Lenny appeared on The Today Show back in 2011, the two were joking about their relations of being second cousins.
It turns out that Lenny Kravitz’ mother was named Roxie Roker, a last name with the same origins as the TV anchor, Al. Roxie became famous for playing Helen on The Jeffersons.
George Wendt and Jason Sudeikis
George Wendt was most well known for playing beer-guzzling “Norm” on the hit ‘80s/’90s sitcom Cheers. Growing up, his nephew, Jason Sudeikis used to tag along with his uncle to try and get autographs from his favorite celebrities.
Years later, Jason made a name for himself in the industry and became a comedian and actor, starring in plenty of notable movies. His most famous movies include Horrible Bosses, We’re The Millers and the Angry Birds movies.
Riley Keough and Elvis Presley
Being a descendant of The King, Elvis Presley, is pretty cool to say the least. American actress, model, and producer Riley Keough might have a last name that throws you off, but it turns out that Elvis was her grandfather.
They are related through Riley’s mother who is none other that Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ daughter and even though he passed in 1977 and Riley never got to meet him, she still has some incredible and iconic heritage.
Christian Bale and Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem is known for being the feminist thinker and activist while Christian Bale is known for playing Batman, and being controversial at the best of times.
In a complete clash of worlds, Gloria became related as Christian’s stepmom when she married his father David Bale in 2000. The two were married for three years until David died in 2003. Despite his stepmother’s occupation, Christian Bale has been known to go on some unfavorable rants which ended up on audio.
Barbra Streisand and Josh Brolin
When you think of being related to Barbra Streisand, you immediately think of her role in Meet The Fockers and how hilarious yet outrageous she would be in your family. Well, she isn’t exactly like this in real life and someone who can attest to that is her stepson, Josh Brolin.
The Avengers bad guy is the son of James Brolin and Barbra has been married to him since 1998. Acting runs in this family.
Snoop Dogg and Brandy
When people hear about Brandy and her family, they automatically think of her brother, singer Ray J. But it turns out that both Randy and Ray J have another very famous family member who might just be more famous than the both of them.
It turns out that Snoop Doggy Dogg is related as their first cousin, and even though the secret was kept for years, they finally outed themselves, with Snoop saying “We never really told the world because we weren’t trippin’ off of that, but that’s my family.”
Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard
Director Ron Howard became a very embarrassing father to his daughter Bryce Dallas when he continuously reminded her that her middle name paid homage to the place she was conceived in.
Having a prominent director as a father has seriously paid off for the actress as she has been cast in successful movies including Jurassic World and The Help. Funnily enough, Ron Howard mistook actress Jessica Chastain for his own daughter at a press event.
Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson
Despite their differing last names, you may have seen these two out and about or on red carpets together. This is because they are actually mother and daughter.
Actress Goldie Hawn was married to Bill Hudson from 1976 until 1982 and the couple had two children together during this time. One of them was actress Kate Hudson. Since her divorce, Goldie has been with Kurt Russell for a few decades, but the two never married.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross
Being the daughter of Diana Ross is bound to give you some of her incredible talent. Tracee Ellis Ross has done very well in her own right as she became the star in Golden Globe winning show Black-ish.
Diana has often been seen supporting her daughter at award shows and events and a few years ago, Tracee returned the favor and joined her mother on stage during one of her shows in Las Vegas.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Katherine Moennig
American actress Katherine Moenning is best known for her role as Shane McCutcheon on The L Word. It seems as though acting runs in the family as her paternal cousin is none other than award-winning actress and GOOP founder, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Between the two successful women, they have done incredible things in the entertainment business beyond. Additionally, Moennig is set to reprise her famous role on the Showtime revival of The L Word: Generation Q.
Kiefer Sutherland and Sarah Sutherland
It seems that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Sutherland family. Keifer Sutherland got into acting from his father, Donald Sutherland, whose acting career spanned more than five decades.
In continuing the legacy, Keifer’s daughter, Sarah, also went into the family business and has appeared in Veep and is set to star in the 2020 Drama Like a House on Fire. Keifer named his daughter after fellow Brat Pack-era star Sarah Jessica Parker.
Alexander Skarsgard and Stellan Skarsgard
The Skarsgard family were clearly blessed with huge amount of acting success. Stellan Skarsgard has been hailed for his roles in Breaking the Waves and Good Will Hunting, later taking on a large role in Marvel franchise movie Thor.
Similarly, his son Alexander is following in his footsteps and has won large roles in HBO shows True Blood and Big Little Lies. It doesn’t stop there for the Skarsgard’s as the youngest son Bill took on the eerie role of the Dancing Clown in horror movie It.
Alfie Allen and Lily Allen
With their mother, Alison Owen, one of the biggest English film producers, and their father actor, Keith Allen, both Lily and Alfie had a big head start in entertainment.
Lily Allen is a prominent singer in the UK, belting out hits including Smile and The Fear and naming a song after her brother, earning Grammy nominations. Her brother, Alfie, followed in his parents footsteps and got the coveted role of Theon Greyjoy in the smash hit HBO series Game of Thrones.
Scott Foley and Patrick Wilson
Sometimes you don’t realise how interconnected Hollywood actually is. It turns out that Scott Foley and Patrick Wilson are related as brothers-in-law. The Watchmen and Insidious actor is married to Polish-born actress Dagmara Dominczyk and her sister, Marika was married to Foley in 2007 after he divorced Jennifer Garner.
Between the two families, they have five children who look to have a lot of success with all of that acting blood running through their veins.
Blake Lively and Robin Lively
Despite having the same last name, it generally isn’t known that Gossip Girl and the A Simple Favor actress Blake Lively is half-sisters with the Teen Witch actress Robin.
Their mom is Elaine Lively and Robin played quite the part at Blake’s wedding to actor Ryan Reynolds. Robin revealed that she re-created the Teen Witch dance, explaining, “I got a blue dress, a blue tutu and the music comes on. I had the necklace remade. I took it off and threw it to her.”
Justin Bieber and Ryan Gosling
It turns out that two of the biggest heartthrobs in music and acting are related. Justin Bieber took to Instagram to show off his family tree and show that he is 11th cousins with Gosling, once removed.
In an even stranger turn of events, singer Avril Lavigne was added into the mix as she is Bieber’s 12th cousin. Upon finding out about his famous relatives, Bieber wrote “This is the best day of my life, I’ll host Christmas dinner this year.”
Dakota Fanning and the Duchess of Cambridge
With the invention of genetics and ancestry software, you realize you could be related to literally anyone. This was the case for Twilight actress Dakota Fanning when she found out that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was her cousin.
The two are both distant relatives of King Edward I, which makes Dakota related to both historical and modern day royalty. Interestingly, Kate Middleton appeared to already have royal heritage before she married Prince William.
Prince Charles and Ralph Fiennes
Imagine finding out you are related to royalty. Ralph Feinnes might be a hugely successful actor in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster hits including the Harry Potter franchise, James Bond and The Grand Budapest Hotel, but he is also distantly related to Prince Charles, the first in line to the British throne.
It was reported that the the Prince and actor are eighth cousins and their heritage can be traced back to King James II of Scotland.