Hollywood Dynasties: Actors Who Have Relatives in Showbiz
Ever heard of the expression "it's a small world"? Well, it turns out Hollywood is even smaller. Some of your favorite actors are actual relatives. From first-cousins to siblings and relatives by law, you'll be totally amazed by which famous thespians have family ties. Read more as we uncover the connections!
1. JENNY MCCARTHY, MELISSA MCCARTHY, AND DONNIE WAHLBERG
Our first introduction to Melissa McCarthy was in her role of Sookie in Gilmore Girls and we know Jenny McCarthy as a jack of all trades, from her acting and most recently, serving as a judge on The Masked Singer. But did you know that these two stars are in fact cousins?
Jenny made this interesting revelation when she posted a throwback picture with her sister and cousin Melissa. Jenny appears to be seated on the right, while Melissa is in the middle. In 2014, rumors were circulating of a feud between the cousins and Jenny shut the rumors down in an interview with People.
"She has accomplished everything she has accomplished through hard work and her extraordinary talent, and I've only ever encouraged and supported and wished her the very best," the TV star shared.
Jenny's family ties run deeper in Hollywood since she's married to Blue Bloods actor, Donnie Wahlberg. Donnie's younger brother is, of course, Mark Wahlberg, and the brothers frequently appeared on the reality TV show Wahlburgers. It was centered around their restaurant business that is run by their older brother Paul. The show was canceled last year.
2. RILEY KEOUGH AND ELVIS PRESLEY
Riley is the eldest grandchild of the icon rock n roll star Elvis Presley. She is the daughter of the late rocker's daughter, Lisa-Marie Presley. Keough earned her stardom through modeling in highly acclaimed campaigns and acting. Fans might recognize the actress from her starring role in Mad Max: Fury Road. But when did she realize she wanted to be an actress?
"I was 12 and I was like, 'Wow, I want to be Nicole Kidman, she made me feel so sad!' I remember thinking how fulfilling it would be to do that, which is a big concept for a kid," Keough said.
3. MEG RYAN AND JACK QUAID
For a while, Meg held on tight to "the queen of the romantic film" title. She's starred in some favorites including Sleepless in Seattle and City of Angels. Her son with the actor Dennis Quaid is certainly taking after his parents by putting himself in the spotlight.
Jack is a star in the series The Boys and he's also set to star in the fifth sequel of Scream. When asked about comparisons between him and his parents, Jack doesn't take it too hard. “People think I’m a solid half and half I think,” says the 27-year-old actor. “Some people see Mom, some people see Dad. It’s kind of like an optical illusion."
Just like his famous folks, Quaid has a super cute rom-com on his resume too. It's called 'Plus-One'. Of course, since his family lineage is so rich in romance, he's been asked whether he's watched his mother on When Harry Met Sally.
He said: “I watched the movie because I’m doing a rom-com, I have to watch the rom-com, and the movie’s so much more than that scene,” he admitted. “I was so unbelievably proud of my mom — I called her sobbing, like ‘I’m so proud of you!’ and she like ‘Ah, cool!’ "
Being the son of two Hollywood stars – Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid – Jack has always been determined to forge his own path. Although Jack’s parents were never against the idea of him becoming an actor, Quaid didn’t want to use his privilege to climb the showbiz ladder. He even thought of changing his name at one point!
4. GLORIA STEINEM AND CHRISTIAN BALE
This is one of those twists in Hollywood circles you certainly wouldn't expect. The journalist and activist became Bale's stepmom when she married his father, David Bale, in 2000. The two were married until the animal rights activist succumbed to cancer in 2003.
5. STEVEN SPIELBERG AND JESSICA CAPSHAW
The actress Jessica Capshaw, well-known for her role in Grey's Anatomy, is the step-daughter of the famous director Steven Spielberg. Capshaw's mother, Kate Capshaw, is also an actress, and she and Spielberg got married when Jessica was 15-years-old. The couple met on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984.
Even though Jessica has a hefty Hollywood family tie, she was determined to create her own success in the entertainment industry through her own merit. She studied the acting craft at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and from there she began acting in small roles in various shows like ER and Private Practice before landing her big break on Grey's Anatomy.
6. KATE MARA, ROONEY MARA, AND JOAQUIN PHOENIX
These Hollywood sisters have blossoming acting careers. The siblings are 2 years apart and Kate started her acting career first at the age of 14. Rooney followed suit a few years later when she turned 18. The one and only time they ever acted together was in a community stage play during their younger years.
Some of Kate's most impactful projects include American Horror Story and House of Cards while sister Rooney has left her mark in films such as Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network. She's also been nominated for two Oscars.
The sisters have another common mission - to protect the Earth's environment. Rooney owns her own cruelty-free fashion line called Hiraeth and Kate is an animal rights activist who uses her influence to help protect wildlife. They also participated in Jane Fonda's environmental protests in February.
Rooney attended the event with her beau, Academy-award winner Joaquin Phoenix. The couple met on the set of the movie Her and developed a friendship via email. Their very private romance began in 2016 and as of last year, the duo confirmed their engagement.
The engaged couple has gotten a head start on building their family together. Joaquin and Rooney are now parents to a bouncing baby boy named River. The couple named their little boy Phoenix, after the late actor River Phoenix. He also happens to be Joaquin's brother.
7. SARAH SUTHERLAND AND DONALD SUTHERLAND
Sarah certainly has a strong acting lineage in her family, the Veep actress's father is Kiefer Sutherland and her grandfather is Donald Sutherland. But, she doesn't let the name go to her head, she was willing to roll up her sleeves and work at her career like anybody else.
"I was very adamant that I wanted to arrive at navigating the industry in my own right without help from them," Sutherland shared with The Cut. Her father Kiefer totally backed this up by revealing that he has no clue what her agent's name is. Also, whenever he tried to offer her a role, she always declined. Quite impressive, we must say.
8. VANESSA PARADIS AND LILY-ROSE DEPP
Vanessa is something like a jack of all trades. She's blazed her way in music, the film industry, and modeling. Her daughter Lily-Rose certainly takes after her with regards to the sheer ambition. Lily-Rose has a rich Hollywood heritage since her father is the incomparable Johnny Depp.
But she shares a lot more similarities with her star mom. The mother and daughter duo have both worked with the fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld and are Chanel muses. They've earned various fashion campaigns and walked the runways of Paris Fashion Week.