You may not realize it, but there are actually a lot of really famous family connections in the entertainment industry. Consider, for instance, brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth, sisters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, mother-daughter Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, and of course, the Kardashians. But there are also a lot of family ties branching out across Hollywood (and the nation) that are lesser known, and those are some of the most interesting. In fact, there are at least 50 celebrities you probably didn’t know were related to each other, so prepare to be surprised.
Imagine Julia Roberts just sitting and having a glass of wine on the back porch with her niece Emma Roberts, of American Horror Story fame. Or Luke and Owen Wilson playing video games on a boring Friday night. Sure, it can be tough to picture the very normal ways that families spend their time, when those families grace our entertainment so frequently. But, in many cases, these people grew up together, have fought and cried with one another, and shared fun and very personal memories. You know, the little things that make up a family.
Here’s a look at a few examples of celebrities that are sometimes friends, sometimes co-workers, but always family.
Shirley Maclaine & Warren Beatty
Before she was the Shirley Maclaine we know so well, she was Shirley McLean Beatty, growing up with her brother Warren, according to Good Housekeeping.
After the 2017 Oscar Best Picture flub, when Beatty was given the wrong envelope and the wrong film was announced as winner, McLaine told USA Today, “I’m concerned with how (Beatty) must have felt being so close to him. I’m three years older and I’m protective.”
Beyoncé & Bianca Lawson
When Beyoncé's mom, Tina Knowles, married Lawson’s father, Richard Lawson, in 2015, it made the two celebs step-sisters. Lawson is best known for her roles on Saved By The Bell: The New Class and Pretty Little Liars.
According to the New York Daily News, Queen Bey isn’t her only connection to A-list celebrity; Lawson’s mother was also the niece of Marvin Gaye’s wife Anna Gordy.
Al Roker & Lenny Kravitz
This is one of those stories that feels like a discovery made over a friendly conversation and some drinks. According to TODAY, the weatherman and singer are apparently related through their grandfathers, who were cousins. That makes them… well let’s just go with distant cousins.
Brandy Norwood & Snoop Dogg
Fans already know that Brandy Norwood has a brother, Ray J, who is also a performer, but not many people know that the siblings have an even more famous relative. As it turns out, according to Entertainment Weekly, Snoop Dogg is a cousin to the pair, and Brandy and Snoop even teamed up for the song “Special” in 2009.
Melissa & Jenny McCarthy
It’s unique enough to have one comedian in the family, but this lucky genetic tree produced two funny ladies. Melissa and Jenny McCarthy grew up close to one another in their Illinois hometown, according to People, and Jenny helped Melissa get her first Hollywood role on the sitcom she was leading, Jenny. They’re not seen together much though, and as Us Weekly reported, Jenny had told Howard Stern that the two are in “opposite worlds”.
Liev & Pablo Schreiber
Though 10 years apart, the half-brothers share a father and remain close, according to O Magazine. Liev is well-known for his small-screen success in Ray Donovan, as well as big-screen turns in films like Wolverine and Spotlight. Pablo is less-instantly recognizable without the facial hair that made him famous as “Pornstache” in Orange Is The New Black.
Jason Sudeikis & George Wendt
Best known as the comfortable and popular Norm on the sitcom Cheers, George Wendt is Jason Sudeikis’s uncle on his mother’s side, according to Good Housekeeping. And that’s not the SNL alum’s only Hollywood connection; Sudeikis has been engaged to actress Olivia Wilde for seven years and the couple shares two children together.
Chuck & Amy Schumer
The New York Democratic senator is the first cousin of Amy’s Schumer father, according to Refinery 29, making them first cousins, once removed. They are close however, and teamed up in 2015 to announce a new initiative to address gun violence, according to Politico. That came after a fatal shooting incident at Amy’s film, Trainwreck.
Emily Blunt & Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt had great chemistry onscreen as flinty magazine employees in The Devil Wears Prada. They got along so well that she invited him to her wedding to John Krasinski, where Tucci met Emily’s sister Felicity. Sparks flew and now Tucci and Blunt aren’t just friends, they’re in-laws, according to Marie Claire.
Francis Ford Coppola & Nicolas Cage
Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter Sofia is well-known, but there’s another famous star in the family. Coppola is the uncle of leading man Nicolas Cage, who was born Nicolas Kim Coppola, according to Biography. The uncle and nephew worked together on the 80s, when Cage had a small part in Rumble Fish and the lead in Peggy Sue Got Married.
Jessica Capshaw & Steven Spielberg
Fans of Grey’s Anatomy fell hard for Jessica Capshaw’s portrayal of a roller-skating pediatric surgeon. And of course, even more people have been falling hard for Steven Spielberg’s work for decades. The award-winning director has been Capshaw’s step-father ever since he married her mother Kate Capshaw in 1991, according to InStyle.
Hallie & Jesse Eisenberg
You might be forgiven if you don’t recognize Hallie’s name right off the bat, but if you watched TV in the 90s, you'd know her from her role in Pepsi commercials. She’s still has that cute dimpled face, but it’s all grown up now and looks remarkably like her brother, actor Jessie Eisenberg. He is of The Social Network and Zombieland fame.
Blake & Robyn Lively
This talented duo are half-sisters and share the same mom. Robyn is best known for her role in Teen Witch while Blake also earned her acting cred playing a teen, Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl. They are notoriously close and Robyn is even godmother to Blake’s daughter James, according to InStyle.
Tom Cruise & William Mapother
Actor Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother and while he didn’t hang on to his last name, his cousin William did. He is an actor best known for his role as Dr. Ethan Rom on Lost and he also showed up on The Mentalist. Mapother has declined to discuss his very famous cousin, according to MSN. During a Reddit AMA he told fans, “I’m not answering any questions about him because I’ve learned that unfortunately, nearly anything I write/say about him gets taken out of context. So it’s easier and safer to say nothing.”
Jonah Hill & Beanie Feldstein
Jonah Hill’s sister Beanie Feldstein made her screen debut way back in 2002, but didn’t act again with any regularity until 2015. It was a breakout role in Lady Bird that put her in the spotlight, and she’s now appearing in What We Do In The Shadows. Hill has been a supportive big brother, as MSN reported, even getting a tattoo reading “Hello, Beanie” to mark her role in Broadway’s Hello, Dolly.
Rob Schneider & Elle King
Though they don’t share a last name, Rob Schneider is the blues-rock singer’s father. Elle King told ABC News in 2015, “I wanted to be myself. I am my own person. It’s not that I wanted to be a famous person. I wanted to be a performer. But I worked really hard and I did everything myself and I took a name that…is my mother’s name…I took that name because I wanted to be myself.”
Prince Charles & Ralph Fiennes
The future king and the Harry Potter actor are eighth cousins, and both men can trace their lineage back to James II of Scotland, who ruled in the mid-15th century, according to BBC America. I wonder if that warrants special invites to the castle for Lord Voldemort?
Denis Leary & Conan O'Brien
If you look closely, there’s definitely a passing resemblance between the actor and comedian. According to Us Weekly, the pair are third cousins, and Conan O’Brien once got Denis Leary to admit that he gave the shortest graduation speech ever when he was presented his doctorate from Emerson College.
Quincy Jones & Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones was beloved as Leslie Knope’s sweet friend Ann on Parks and Recreation, and her dad Quincy Jones has been churning out musical genius for more than seven decades, according to Good Housekeeping. The younger Jones told the magazine in 2017, “My dad tells me to make decisions out of love and not fear.” Good advice for any career, TBH.
Gwyneth Paltrow & Kate Moennig
The two cousins don’t share much more than their career choice and a family tree. Gwyneth Paltrow is, of course, famous for films like The Avengers, for her lifestyle company Goop, and for consciously uncoupling from Coldplay singer Chris Martin.
Kate Moennig made a name for herself in roles on The L Word and Ray Donovan. But Moennig told the Observer that’s where the comparison stops: “I think that people would be able to point out the differences a lot more easily than they’d be able to point out the similarities. I like that people don’t actually make the comparison. And I want no one judging me solely on the fact that I am her cousin.”
Jason Momoa & Zoe Kravitz
Zoe Kravitz already has two very famous parents, her father is musician Lenny Kravitz and mom is actress Lisa Bonet. But when Bonet married Jason Momoa, he officially became Kravitz’s stepdad. They had a close father-daughter bond long before that though, since Bonet and Momoa had already been together for 12 years, according to MSN, when they decided to tie the knot in 2018.
Denzel & John David Washington
John David Washington grew up in an acting family, so it’s little wonder that he was bit by the performing bug too. According to TODAY, his father is the very famous Denzel Washington while mom is singer/actress Pauletta Washington. John David was recently celebrated with a Golden Globe for his role in Oscar nominated film BlacKkKlansman.
Tracee Ellis & Diana Ross
This mother-daughter duo is uber-famous for their respective singing and acting careers, but there’s a lot more talent in the branches of this family tree. According to InStyle, Tracee’s brother Chudney is an author while sister Rhonda is also a singer. Diana’s youngest son, Evan is married to Ashlee Simpson and the two recently released an album together.
Keifer & Sarah Sutherland
Sarah Sutherland was offered two early acting jobs by her father, Keifer, according to W Magazine. But determined to forge her own path, she turned them down and went to work auditioning, the publication reported. One of those landed her on Veep, in the role of Catherine Meyer, the put-upon daughter. In an interview with W Magazine, she credited Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus with launching her career.
Yara Shahidi & Nasir (Nas) Jones
The Grownish star and rapper are second cousins and have remained close as their careers have taken off. Yara Shahidi once told InStyle that her mother grew up with the singer and she herself was a flower girl in his wedding.