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Surprising Celebrity Relations


OK, I think even the most casual of film fans realizes Michael Douglas is Kirk's son and Jane Fonda is Henry's daughter, but what are some of those less obvious familial relations in Hollywood. And not marriages, as those shift so darn often even the people involved have a hard time keeping 'em straight. Who are some blood relations you maybe didn't realize for years (or until you read this thread)?

  • Even though they have the same last name, Randy and Dennis Quaid are such opposites in the looks department, there are probably many who don't put it together that these two are brothers. To date the only film where they've both appeared is in Walter Hill's The Long Riders (1980) that used real-life brothers to play the various siblings in the James-Younger Gang (James & Stacey Keach as Frank & Jesse James, David, Keith & Robert Carradine played the Youngers, Christopher & Nicholas Guest played Charlie & Bob Ford and the Quaids were the Miller Brothers).
  • Julia and Eric Roberts are brother and sister, though you hardly ever see them together. Eric hasn't traveled in the A-List circles for years, though big brother had an Oscar nomination before Julia had even booked her first movie. Even taking time off to start a family Julia is an Oscar-winning international superstar. They've only appeared in one film together, Blood Red (1989), a straight-to-videoer starring Eric where Julia has a small cameo-sized role, just before she hit it big in Pretty Woman. And now there is a new generation on the screen, as Eric's daughter Emma Roberts has been building a career, first as a child actress in the likes of Aquamarine and Nancy Drew, but transitioning into older roles in We're the Millers, Palo Alto, and "American Horror Story".
  • Oscar winners Warren Beatty & Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister. This will not be a surprise to anybody over the age of forty, but with neither making a whole lot of movies anymore it would be easy for a younger, newer movie fan to have missed the connection of these two Oscar-winning cinema icons with different last names.
  • I mentioned this in my Albert Brooks appreciation thread, but Albert and Bob Einstein (a.k.a. "Super Dave" Osbourne) are brothers. And yes, that does mean Albert's birth name is Albert Einstein. And yes, his parents did have a sense of humor. Dad was Borscht-Belt comic Harry Parke (a.k.a. Parkyakarkus), who literally died on-stage as he had a heart attack while sitting on the dias at a Friar's Club roast. Albert and Bob are in one film together: Bob has a great scene as a sporting goods salesman in Albert’s brilliant Modern Romance (1981). And while neither one of them is exactly a looker in Hollywood terms, the tall, lanky, gravely-voiced Einstein and Albert, much like the Quaids, don’t exactly look much like brothers, either.
  • Isabella Rossellini is the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Italian neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini. This should be clear from the combination of Isabella's last name at the fact that she looks so much like Mom, but again younger filmgoers might never have made the connection (Casablanca and Rome, Open City are not the first things racing through ones mind as you watch say Blue Velvet). There are two really cool projects that highlight Isabella's link to her folks. The first is an episode of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" called "You Murderer", a Bob Zemeckis directed piece years before Forrest Gump that has Isabella basically made up to look like Ingrid as a computer-generated Humphrey Bogart interacts with her (and John Lithgow). The second and even more dead-on is the short film "My Dad is 100-Years-Old", written and conceived by Isabella and directed by Guy Maddin where she has a surreal and really wonderful conversation with her father (represented as a gigantic, talking belly) as well as her Mom and film luminaries such as Hitchcock, Fellini and Charlie Chaplin (all played by Isabella).
  • Melanie Griffith is the daughter of Tippi Hedren, star of Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie. They're both in the thriller Pacific Heights (1990) together, but Tippi has been more or less retired for years, focusing on her work with animal sanctuaries. These days Melanie mostly serves as a cautionary tale of cosmetic surgery run amok, but Dakota Johnson, her daughter with then-husband Don Johnson, is quickly becoming known, having starred on the too-short-lived sitcom "Ben & Kate" and will soon be everywhere as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh is the daughter of Vic Morrow and screenwriter Barbra Turner. Morrow worked steadily from the '50s to the '80s, starring in the TV series "Combat", and the movies The Blackboard Jungle and The Bad News Bears. He was infamously killed on the set of The Twilight Zone: The Movie in the segment directed by John Landis when a helicopter went out of control and decapitated Morrow and two young actors during a scene.
  • Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf in London, After Hours and now a director) is the son of author/TV host Dominick Dunne. Griffin's sister (and Dominick's daughter) was Dominique Dunne, the actress who played the elder daughter in Poltergeist, who was killed months later in real life just as her star was rising by a crazed ex-boyfriend.
  • Miguel Ferrer (RoboCop, Traffic, "Crossing Jordan") is the son of Oscar-winning actor José Ferrer (The Caine Mutiny, Lawrence of Arabia, Cyrano DeBergerac) and singing star Rosemary Clooney. George Clooney is the nephew of Rosemary, which makes Miguel and George cousins.
  • Hopefully this family is pretty well known to most everybody and obvious, but director Francis Ford Coppola is the Uncle of Nic Coppola - who changed his name to Nicolas Cage. And Francis' sister, actress Talia Shire, her son is Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore's Max Fischer). This makes Francis Uncle to him too, and he and Cage are cousins. And of course they're both the cousins of Francis' kids, Sofia and Roman Coppola, who are both now directors themselves.

There are many others, but I'll save them for subsequent posts. So which have you found surprising?

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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Beautiful thread!

I knew some but I didn't know (and was thereby surprised by) about:

Melanie Griffith is the daughter of Tippi Hedren.
Jennifer Jason Leigh is the daughter of Vic Morrow.
Isabella Rossellini is the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Italian neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini.

I was surprised when I found about George Clooney & Miguel Ferrer several years ago.

Griffin, around the chin and mouth, is really looking like his dad these days.

A system of cells interlinked
What I found out that is NOT surprising, is that I am a jack ass. How I missed the connection between Dominique Dunne and my pal Griffin, I don't know, but I did. Not that it was obvious at all. Oh wait...It was completely obvious. I also didn't know Jennifer Jason Leigh was related to Vic Morrow (RIP).
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP

By the way, just to add to one of the relationships established herein, if you caught the summer release of

Nancy Drew

You would have been face to face for a few hours with Eric Robert's daughter Emma (niece of Julia Roberts).

I remember the first time I saw her on a show called "Unfabulous" (which my daughter loves) that her smile looked very familiar to me. It didn't take long to register that she looks a whole lot like her aunt Julia and I had to go ferret her out on IMDB to verify.

I am half agony, half hope.
Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People) is the son of James Hutton (Ellery Queen)

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

Johann von Goethe

Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright
I may be stating an obvious one here, but just in case;

There is Martin Sheen - father to Emilio Estevez (and Charlie Sheen of course)
The Divide by Zero Foundation - Where the real world ends... and mine begins

I had no idea that the brilliant Jason Schwartzman is apart of the brilliant Coppola family. That's very cool.

I didn't know about all the others either, to be honest. That is, of course, apart from the obvious one that Memnon listed...
TOP 100 | "Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

Here are a bunch that seem fairly well known to me, but you never know what people have missed in connecting the celebrity dots, so I'll run them down anyway...

  • Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh (Psycho) and Tony Curtis (Some Like it Hot).
  • Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy, The Goonies) is the son of TV stars Patty Duke and John Astin ("The Addams Family").
  • Carrie Fisher is the daughter of Debbie Reynolds (Singin' in the Rain) and singer Eddie Fisher. Actress Joley Fisher ("Ellen", "'Til Death") is half-sister to Carrie, Eddie's daughter by actress Connie Stevens (Grease 2).
  • Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents) and producer/director Bruce Paltrow ("St. Elsewhere", Duets).
  • Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris, The Bad & the Beautiful). Her half-sister Lorna Luft has had a minor career.
  • Nastassja Kinski is the daughter of the legendary actor/nutball Klaus Kinski.
  • The late River Phoenix's brother is Joaquin, who went by Leaf Phoenix when he was a child actor in movies like Parenthood. Their sisters, Rain and Summer Phoenix, have dabbled in acting, though never broke through like their brothers.
  • And I mentioned them briefly above when I was talking about the Quaids, but to flesh that out classic character actor John Carradine's (The Grapes of Wrath, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula) sons are David ("Kung Fu", Bound for Glory, Kill Bill), Keith (Nashville, The Duellists, Choose Me) and Robert (Revenge of the Nerds, The Big Red One). Michael Bowen (Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, "Breaking Bad") is also one of John's sons. The boys are two sets of half-brothers, actually: Keith and Robert have the same mother, as do David and Michael Bowen. To further complicate things, some of them have offspring in the business, the most successful by far being Keith's daughter Martha Plimpton (The Goonies, Parenthood, "Raising Hope").
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One family that is so obvious they are commonly referred to and grouped together as siblings are the Baldwin Brothers: Alec (The Hunt for Red October, "30 Rock"), Daniel ("Homicide: Life on the Street"), Stephen (The Usual Suspects, Bio-Dome) and Billy (Backdraft, Sliver, The Squid & the Whale).

But in case anyone was confused over the years, actor Adam Baldwin (My Bodyguard, Full Metal Jacket, "Firefly") is not a "Baldwin Brother". Same last name, completely different family.

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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I still like the Larry Hagman (son) /
Mary Martin (mom) connection.

Plus, everybody knows that Olivia de Havilland
and Joan Fontaine
are sisters (and still alive and over 90.)
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Standing in the Sunlight, Laughing
Fun thread, Holden!

I'mna go against the grain and point out two I would have sworn were related, but it turns out they aren't:
Lauren Graham


Anne Miller

I just caught You Can't Take It With You a couple of weeks ago and noticed they have many of the same mannerisms. It's uncanny.
Review: Cabin in the Woods 8/10

  • Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, Cape Fear, Kalifornia) is the daughter of character actor Geoffrey Lewis, best known for his work with Clint Eastwood in the 1970s (Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot). Recently they have both made guest appearances on "My Name is Earl", though in different episodes and not playing characters who are related.
  • Mia Farrow (Rosemary's Baby, Hannah & Her Sisters) is the daughter of actress Maureen O'Sullivan (best known as Jane to Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan) and director John Farrow (Hondo, The Big Clock).
  • Oscar winning actresses Olivia de Havilland (The Snake Pit, The Heiress, Gone with the Wind) and Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Suspicion, Jane Eyre) are sisters.
  • Emmy-winner Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") is the daughter of the buxom cult actress and pin-up Jayne Mansfield (Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?) and bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay. Mariska and her brother were both in the car the night of Jayne's fatal accident, though the legend that Mansfield was beheaded has been explained time and time again that it was only her wig that was seen on the road that night. But the rumor persists - too juicy and bloody to ever fade due to something as insignificant as the truth. A bit of Hollywood Babylon that will never die, despite the facts.

    Her Dad Mickey just passed back in 2006 (he and Jayne had divorced a few years before the auto accident, and he was not in the car that night). He even guest starred on an episode of "Law & Order: SVU" in 2003 (though not playing Mariska's character's father).

    *BTW, there's a 1980 made-for-TV biopic called simply "The Jayne Mansfield Story" starring Loni Anderson as the famously busty Jayne and Arnold Swarzenegger as the muscled Mickey. Sounds like I'm making that up, but it's true.
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  • Eva Amurri (Saved!, The Banger Sisters, "Californication") is Susan Sarandon's daughter. Though the last name should tell you she wasn't conceived by either of her mother's actor partners, Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride) or Tim Robbins, but by writer/director Franco Amurri, with whom Susan had a relationship in the '80s, between leaving Chris and finding Tim.
  • Schuyler Fisk (Orange County, The Baby-Sitter's Club) is the daughter of Oscar-winning actress Sissy Spacek and production designer/director Jack Fisk (Badlands, Mulholland Dr., Raggedy Man).
  • Schuyler's Orange County co-star Colin Hanks, also seen in Peter Jackson's King Kong and the TV series "Roswell", is obviously the son of Tom Hanks ("Bosom Buddies", Bachelor Party, Bonfire of the Vanities). Though he's one of the kid's from Tom's first marriage. Rita Wilson is Colin's stepmom.
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I am half agony, half hope.
David Cassidy (Partridge Family) and Shaun Cassidy (The Hardy Boys) are half brothers. Shirley Jones is Sean's mother, and David's step-mom (I think you need to be *ahem* mature to remember these two fellas. They were popular awhile ago...). They have another brother, Patrick, also.

I can see this thread becoming one of my favorites rather quickly.

I was surprised to find sometime shortly after watching The Sure Thing, that
Joan Cusack

who I loved a few years before in My Bodyguard, is the sister of

John Cusack

..who everyone knows from one movie or another.

  • Jackie Coogan ("The Addams Family", Chaplin's The Kid) is the grandfather of Keith Coogan (Adventures in Babysitting, Hiding Out, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead).
  • Ione Skye (Say Anything..., The Rachel Papers, The River's Edge, Zodiac) is the daughter of '60s pop star Donovan ("Mellow Yellow", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Season of the Witch", "Sunshine Superman"). Ione's brother and Dad's namesake, Donovan Leitch (Jr.), is also a sometimes actor/singer (I Shot Andy Warhol, Glory), though not as successfully as his sister or his poppa.
  • Gabby Hoffman (Uncle Buck, Sleepless in Seattle, 200 Cigarettes) is the daughter of '60s radical icon Abbie Hoffman.
  • John Ritter ("Three's Company", Sling Blade) is the son of recording star "Tex" Ritter ("Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'"). John's son, Jason Ritter, is now forging a career of his own, starring in the TV shows "The Class" and "Joan of Arcadia" and films such as Happy Endings.
  • Sigourney Weaver is the daughter of Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, president of NBC in the '50s and widely acknowledged as one of the forces in the creation of television in its Golden Age, virtually inventing the formats of the morning show (with "The Today Show") and the late night talkshow (with "The Tonight Show"). Pat's brother, Winstead "Doodles" Weaver, was a comedian who was part of Spike Jones' troupe and had his own daily kid's TV show in Los Angeles in the 1950s.
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Originally Posted by Sir Toose
I was surprised to find sometime shortly after watching The Sure Thing that Joan Cusack, who I loved a few years before in My Bodyguard, is the sister of John Cusack, who everyone knows from one movie or another.

Yes, Joan and John are brother and sister, both started as child actors, and they have three other siblings in the business: Ann, Susie and Bill. Though none of them has had anywhere near the kind of success that Joan and John have enjoyed. Ann gets the most work of the other three, mostly TV guest stuff, and the first time I noticed her and said, 'Oh, GOD, she's a Cusack, too' was in Grosse Pointe Blank: she plays the drunken classmate who comes up to John and Minnie Driver in the bar (the night before the reunion). Their father, Dick Cusack, was a Chicago-based actor, playwright, and filmmaker. The Jack Bull, an HBO movie that John starred in, was written by his Dad. In the picture in the bottom left corner above, he's the guy in the glasses.

The fella next to him, pointing with the beard, is Byrne Piven. He is an actor and teacher who is of course the father of Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"). The Cusack brood all studied at the Piven Theatre Workshop, in Evanston, Illinois. So in case you didn't know, that's why John and Jeremy are (or were, if the tabloid rumors of their recent tiff are true) such good friends, and why Jeremy appeared in so many of John's films over the years. Jeremy's sister, Shira, has dabbled in acting and is married to writer/director Adam McKay, a former improv actor who has gone on to success as the head writer of "SNL" before hitting the movies with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and those "controversial" short films for the internet with Will Ferrell being terrorized by a foul-mouthed toddler. That little girl is Pearl McKay, Adam and Shira Piven's daughter and (duh) Jeremy's niece.

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