Sometimes, talent is something that you can learn with years and years of hard work and practice. Other times, it just naturally runs in the bloodline, and the whole family ends up being successful. A lot of the musicians and actors in Hollywood today are actually related to other celebrities, reinforcing how that aptitude for the arts really can be passed down the line.
While same surnames and striking resemblances can sometimes give away which celebrities are related to each other, there are some relatives in Hollywood that most people don’t even know are related! Some are mothers and daughters, cousins, aunts, sisters, or even related to each other through marriage. Keep reading to find out which 20 famous women you probably forgot were related.
20 Jenny McCarthy And Melissa McCarthy
Another case where the same surname really isn’t a coincidence! We don’t see these two comediennes stepping out together very often, but according to Country Living, Jenny McCarthy (of The Masked Singer) and Melissa McCarthy (of Bridesmaids fame) are cousins. This photo shows them as young girls before either had made it in Hollywood.
19 Beyoncé And Bianca Lawson
We all know that Beyoncé has one sister, Solange, but she’s also related to the Pretty Little Liars actress Bianca Lawson. They may not related by blood, but they are very much related by law! Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles, married Richard Lawson, Bianca’s dad. That makes Bianca and B step-sisters!
18 Blake Lively And Robyn Lively
The same surname is the giveaway here because these two siblings don’t exactly look like twins (even though they're both beautiful!). Blake Lively and Roby Lively are sisters. While Blake found fame on the TV series Gossip Girl as Serena van der Woodsen, Robyn rose to the spotlight in the successful ‘80s movie, Teen Witch.
17 Kate Middleton And The Fanning Sisters
Even if they’ve never met, The Duchess of Cambridge and the Fanning sisters are distantly related. At least, according to a historian at Ancestry.com. Dakota and Elle Fanning are related to King Edward III, as is Kate Middleton’s mother, Carole Middleton. That means that these ladies are very distant relatives: 21st cousins, to be exact.
16 Whitney Houston And Dionne Warwick
Here’s another family where the talent runs strongly in the veins. Although they didn’t share the same last name, the late Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick were cousins. There were even a few times when the two stepped on stage together to perform duets. Tragically, Houston made headlines for the last time when she passed away in 2012.
15 Kelly Clarkson And Reba McEntire
It’s always easier when you get along with your mother-in-law. Former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson won the mother-in-law jackpot in 2013 when she married Brandon Blackstock, who is the step-son of country music legend Reba McEntire. On occasion, Kelly and Reba have teamed up to perform country duets on stage.
14 Maya Rudolph And Minnie Riperton
The late Minnie Riperton was a hugely successful singer and songwriter throughout the 1970s. It’s no wonder that her daughter, Maya Rudolph, grew up to achieve great things too. Maya is a frequent performer of Saturday Night Live and also made us laugh in Bridesmaids alongside Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.
13 Vanessa Redgrave And Natasha Richardson
Vanessa Redgrave is another film legend. It’s clear that talent runs in her family since all three of her children went on to have stellar careers in the arts. Vanessa is the mother of the late Natasha Richardson, who sadly passed away in 2009 following a skiing accident. Her other daughter, Joely Richardson, is also an actress.
12 Kim Basinger And Ireland Baldwin
Actress Kim Basinger has stepped out of the spotlight in recent years, but her name has still landed in the headlines thanks to her now-famous daughter Ireland Baldwin, whose father is actor Alec Baldwin. The two sometimes communicate on social media and genuinely resemble any other mother and daughter relationship!
11 Melanie Griffith And Dakota Johnson
Melanie Griffith knows what it’s like to star in a movie (or a few movies) that nobody can stop talking about after her performance in Working Girl. Now, it’s her daughter Dakota Johnson’s turn to get acquainted with tabloid culture after starring as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
10 Jamie Lee Curtis And Janet Leigh
Jamie Lee Curtis was one of the biggest stars of the ‘80s and is known today as a Hollywood legend. It comes as no surprise that acting talent runs in her family since her mom is Janet Leigh, the late actress and singer. Both Jamie Lee and Janet appeared in horror films: Halloween and Psycho, respectively.
9 Tracee Ellis Ross And Diana Ross
It’s hard to forget that Tracee Elis Ross and Diana Ross are related, thanks to their striking resemblance and their shared last name. Tracee looks just like her mother, and even if they didn’t share that iconic curly hair, they both have flawless style and talent. Tracee paid tribute to her to at the AMAs in 2017.
8 Elizabeth Olsen And The Olsen Twins
They have the same last name, but people often forget that Elizabeth Olsen and the Olsen twins are related. People tend to think of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as such a package that they forget there are actually other members of the family too! They also have an older brother, Trent, as well as a half-brother and half-sister.
7 Meryl Streep And Mamie & Grace Gummer
Meryl Streep may be one of the world’s most celebrated actresses, but she does all she can to keep her family life as private as possible. That’s why you might not have realized at first that Mamie and Grace Gummer are actually Meryl’s daughters with husband Don Gummer! Meryl also has another daughter called Louisa Gummer.
6 Dolly Parton And Miley Cyrus
Okay, so these two aren’t technically related by blood, but they are still connected by a special bond. Dolly Parton, one of the most legendary country singers of all time, is Miley Cyrus’s godmother. How do you wind up with such a cool godparent? Having a father who works in the industry helps!
5 Julia Roberts And Emma Roberts
Roberts may be a common last name, but this time, it’s no coincidence! Emma Roberts really is the niece of screen legend Julia Roberts, who brought us classics like Pretty Woman and Notting Hill. Emma is the daughter of Julia’s brother, who is also an actor. Acting talent definitely runs in this family!
4 Gwyneth Paltrow And Blythe Danner
If you look at Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner side by side, it’s easy to see the resemblance between this mother and daughter team. It’s no wonder that Gwyneth grew up to have such acting talent with a mom like Blythe Danner raising her. Gwyneth’s first cousin is also The L Word actress Katherine Moennig.
3 Mariska Hargitay And Jayne Mansfield
If you’ve ever watched Law and Order: SVU, you would be very familiar with Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Benson. But not all of her fans know that she is the daughter of Jayne Mansfield, an iconic actress, singer, and Playboy playmate who tragically passed away in 1967. Aside from the hair color, the two did look alike!
2 Kate Hudson And Goldie Hawn
They don’t have the same surname, so you’d be forgiven for not realizing that these two actresses are actually related. But when you look at their comedic talents and even their similar facial features, it’s quite easy to see the uncanny resemblance between Goldie Hawn and her daughter Kate Hudson.
1 Vera Farmiga And Taissa Farmiga
Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga share a last name, and they also look a lot like each other. Still, most fans don’t realize straight away that they’re sisters due to their age difference. While Vera is 46 years old, Taissa is 25. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not super close!
Sources: Insider, People, The Independent