Blood is thicker than water, the old saying goes, and nowhere is the cliché more true than in the world of celebrities. While we all would like to believe that if you just work hard and follow your dreams, you too can become a rich and famous star, the reality is, family ties run deep among the entertainment industry elite.
And while another popular cliché goes something like, “it’s who you know,” it may be more accurate to say, “it’s who you know that you’re related to.”
This video by our friends at BuzzFeed reveals several celebrity relatives who are sure to surprise you. We don’t want to give away too many of the celeb genetic pairings before you watch the video, but here’s just one.
Even though they are both named “McCarthy,” we’d bet that you never would have guessed that Mike and Molly and Bridesmaids star Melissa and Playboy playmate Jenny are first cousins. In fact, one of Melissa’s early big breaks in Hollywood was a small part on Jenny’s short-lived, self-titled sitcom.
But nepotism is the lifeblood of Hollywood. Did you know that Law and Order:SVU star Mariska Hartigay is the daughter of 1950s Hollywood “blonde bombshell” Jayne Mansfield? Or that Martha Plimpton of Raising Hope comes from the famous Carradine family?
Martha’s dad is Deadwood star Keith Carradine, her uncles are Robert Carradine of Revenge of the Nerds, and the late David Carradine who was best known for the classic 1970s TV series Kung Fu. Her grandfather, John Carradine, was one of the most prolific movie actors of all time, appearing in almost 250 films between 1930 and 1990.
Rashida Jones, who has appeared in numerous films as well as the sitcom Parks and Recreation is the daughter of music industry legend Quincy Jones, producer of — among hundreds of other great albums — Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Dakota Johnson of the Fox sitcom Ben and Kate and the upcoming movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, has two famous parents: actress Melanie Griffith and Miami Vice star Don Johnson. For that matter, her grandmother — Melanie Griffith’s mom — is Tippi Hendren who is best known as the star of two Alfred Hitchcock classics, The Birds and Marnie.
Lost fans will remember William Mapother, one of the original “Others” on the hit show. Even this hard-working character actor has a famous relative. You may have hear of his first cousin, a guy who calls himself Tom Cruise. Yes, Tom’s real name is Thomas Mapother IV.
That’s just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of celebrities who are related to other celebrities. Now watch the video and be surprised by these related celebrities once again.