18 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Descendants of Famous People
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree... unless you fast-forward it several generations or make some name changes or have a diverse gene pool, making the apple look like it fell from an orange tree. Genetics sometimes works in mysterious ways—whether it is grandparents, parents or siblings—prompting the occasional “that’s your dad?!” or “you look nothing like your sister” from friends and acquaintances.
Bored Panda has prepared a list of famous people who are related to notable figures in history that many people didn’t know about.
Abraham Lincoln & Tom Hanks
In case you didn't know this yet, Tom Hanks, an actor who's considered to be Hollywood royalty, is related to one of the greatest American presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Hanks is related to Lincoln through the president's mother, making him the third cousin four times removed of the former president.
Charlie Chaplin & Oona Chaplin
Oona Chaplin comes from a family of actors, unsurprisingly she has also chosen this career path. Her mother is actress Geraldine Chaplin and her grandfather is Charlie Chaplin. Oona is best known for her role as Talisa Maegyr in Game of Thrones and appearances in The Crimson Field and the series, Taboo.
Janet Leigh & Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis who firmly established herself as a scream queen following her debut in John Carpenter's horror film Halloween is a daughter of 'glamor girl' Janet Leigh. Leigh, who's also an actress, is probably best remembered for her iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Psycho.
Minnie Riperton & Maya Rudolph
The sensational singer and songwriter Minnie Riperton, known for her 1975 hit single “Lovin’ You” is the mother of actress, voice actor, comedian, and singer Maya Rudolph. She was a part of Saturday Night Live for 7 years, after which she went on to appear in Inherent Vice, Bridesmaids, Away We Go, The Way Way Back, and a number of other films and television shows.
Marlon Brando & Tuki Brando
Marlo Brando, one of the most influential actors of the 20th century is the grandfather of Tuki Brando. However, being a grandchild of a celebrity didn't make Tuki's life easy. His father was murdered right before his birth, his mother killed herself when Tuki was 5 years old and after the passing of his famous grandfather, Tuki was omitted from his will. Despite his struggles in life, Tuki Brando graduated medical school and is making a name for himself as a model who already worked with Versace.
Anne Gwynne & Chris Pine
Chris Pine is an accomplished American actor who followed in the footsteps of his grandmother, Anne Gwynne. Back in the day, Gwynne became one of the first scream queens for acting in numerous horror films. Her grandson Chris Pine is best known for his role in Star Trek, Hell Or High Water, and Wonder Woman.
Jane Austen & Anna Chancellor
Jane Austen, the famous novelist is an eight-times great aunt of actress Anna Chancellor. In 1995, Chancellor starred as Caroline Bingley in Austen's Pride and Prejudice adaptation.
Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher & Billie Lourd
These three lovely ladies are three direct generations of actresses that were a part of history’s most popular films and series. Two of the three actresses, namely Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd, have been cast in the Star Wars movies that many of us know and love, while Debbie Reynolds is best known for her work in Singin’ In the Rain, In & Out, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
Herbert Henry Asquith & Helena Bonham Carter
Herbert Henry Asquith was a prominent figure in English history. He was the First Earl of Oxford and Asquith as well as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 1. Little known fact, he is the great grandfather of eccentric award-winning actress Helena Bonham Carter. She is best known for her role as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Marla Singer in Fight Club, and Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables.
Charles Dickens & Harry Lloyd
Ever read Oliver Twist, one of Charles Dickens’ bestselling novels about an orphan that was sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker? He’s on this list because his great-great-great grandson is Harry Lloyd, an actor best known for his role as Will Scarlet in BBC’s 2006 drama Robin Hood and Viserys Targaryen of Game of Thrones. Lloyd debuted as an actor at the age of 16 by playing James Steerforth in the 1999 David Copperfield.
Nelson Mandela & Zoleka Mandela
Nelson Mandela, who was president of the Republic of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner is the grandfather of Zoleka Mandela. Zoleka is a speaker and writer who became an ambassador of the United Nations road safety collaboration after her daughter tragically passed away in a car accident.
Charlie Chaplin & James Thiérrée
The English comic actor Charlie Chaplin has a grandson James Thiérrée who is a circus performer. It's evident that Chaplin passed on his ability to entertain and make people laugh to his grandson, too. Thiérrée is known for his work on Chocolat, Les illusions, and Vatelis.
Clark Gable & Clark James Gable
Clark Gable, who is best known for his role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, is the grandfather of Clark Gable III. His grandson was an actor, model, entrepreneur, and TV presenter, who hosted the reality show Cheaters.
Gregory Peck & Ethan Peck
Gregory Peck was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s and as it often happens, his grandson Ethan Peck has also become an actor. It seems like Ethan inherited both his grandfather's looks and talent. He is known for his roles in In Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Nothing Left to Fear.
J.D. Salinger & Matt Salinger
The author of Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, is the father of an actor and producer Matthew Robert Salinger. Matthew is known for his roles in the films Revenge of the Nerds and Captain America. Unlike his sister who wrote a memoir called Dream Catcher, Matthew decided to respect his late father's privacy.
Pablo Picasso & Diana Widmaier Picasso
The well-known painter Pablo Picasso is the grandfather of Diana Widmaier Picasso who is, unsurprisingly, an art historian specializing in modern art. Diana has a master's degree in private law and a master's degree in art history. She is the co-founder of a 24-karat jewelry company called Menē.
Winston Churchill & Nicholas Soames
Winston Churchill is one of the best-known politicians of all time who led Britain to victory in the second world war. The famous man is the grandfather to Nicholas Soames who followed his granddad's footsteps and also became a politician. Soames has served as a Member of Parliament since 1997.
Anthony Perkins & Oz Perkins
Anthony Perkins is probably best known for appearing in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The famous actor is the father of Oz Perkins. Oz followed his father's footsteps and became an actor, too. You can probably remember him for his best-known roles in The Blackcoat's Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, and Legally Blonde.