It's been so often it's basically a cliche: becoming successful in Hollywood is more about who you know than how well you can actually perform. Of course, that surely can't be true about everyone who's hit it big in Hollywood, but the more you dig into the background of some of your favorite stars, the more you realize how many of your fave celebs are all just one big happy family.
Sometimes these successful actors are actually siblings or half-siblings. Sometimes they are close cousins who practically grew up in the same house. And sometimes they are long-lost relatives who never really knew each other when they were younger. There are plenty of parent and child relationships in the industry. And, of course, it only makes sense that when so many high-profile stars work together on such a frequent basis, that some of them marry, creating mini Hollywood dynasties of their own.
From Parks and Recreation's Rashida Jones' iconic bloodline to American Horror Story's Emma Roberts growing up on the set of Julia Roberts' films to Mike Colter and Viola Davis bringing together the DCEU and the MCU, Hollywood is surprisingly inter-connected.
Here are 20 TV Stars Who Are Actually Related.
20 Alanna Masterson And Danny Masterson Are Half Brother And Sister
The entire Masterson family has enjoyed massive success in the entertainment industry, but they have all had their fair share of controversy, as well.
The Walking Dead's Alanna Masterson plays a beloved character in one of cable's most successful shows of all time, but she has also been forced to face backlash and trolling over her weight gain when she was pregnant with daughter Marlowe. The entire family has dealt with criticism over allegedly being involved with the Church of Scientology. Their father has accused the church from keeping them from his children, saying they were not allowed to contact him, per the church's orders. Additionally, Alanna's half-brother, Danny Masterson, lost his role in Netflix's The Ranch after being accused of assault.
Alanna and Danny are likely the most recognizable members of the Masterson family, but they aren't the only actors in the bunch.
Danny is brother to Chris Masterson, who appeared alongside his brother as Jackie Burkhart's boss, the Cheese Guy on That '70s Show. Chris also enjoyed a prominent role in Malcolm In The Middle. The two are related to Alanna through their mother, along with Jordan Masterson. Jordan starred in Last Man Standing along with Tim Allen.
19 Julia Roberts Is Emma Roberts’ Aunt
Julia Roberts is one of the biggest movie stars to ever walk the planet. Pretty Woman, Ocean's Eleven, Hook -- the actress has a never-ending list of high-profile roles in some of the biggest movies ever filmed. But she isn't stopping there. Roberts has recently set her sights on television and can be seen in the Amazon spy thriller Homecoming.
Julia is aunt to Emma Roberts, who definitely has a strong footing in the television industry already. Emma has starred in multiple Ryan Murphy projects, including American Horror Story and Scream Queens.
Emma directly credits her aunt for her inspiring her to become an actress.
She says she spent time on film sets while growing up, watching her aunt work. She would hide at bedtime and try to stay on the set longer. When Emma landed the part of Madison Montgomery in American Horror Story: Coven, Julia was right there by her side, freaking out and dancing around the living room - quietly, of course, as Emma was still on the phone.
AHS showrunner Murphy has worked with both Roberts ladies in the past. Along with his TV experiences working with Emma, he directed Julia in 2010's Eat Pray Love, three years before Coven.
18 Elizabeth Olsen And Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen Are Sisters
Two of the most iconic TV siblings of all time probably have to be Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They were cute, sassy, and talented. They totally stole the show when they played Michelle Tanner in Full House. The twins kind of went into seclusion for a bit, and who can blame them? As two of the most successful adolescents of all time, they deserve a break. But the spotlight isn't finished with the Olsen family, because they have another talented sister with ties to an even bigger pop culture machine: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Elizabeth Olsen stars as the Scarlet Witch in the MCU, first appearing in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and most recently co-starring in Avengers: Infinity War. She is also dipping her toes in the waters of television acting. Elizabeth will star in the dark comedy Facebook series Sorry for Your Loss as a young widow recovering from the loss of her husband.
Elizabeth is much more open in interviews than her two famously private sisters. The three of them discussed the parameters of Elizabeth sharing private information in her own interviews, causing her to realize she would rather share her own stories with the public than everyone else's.
17 Stephen And Robbie Amell Are Cousins
The DCU is somewhat controversial. Though most people love Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman, most claim that ensemble films like Suicide Squad and Justice League are a frenetic mess. But basically, everyone agrees that the Arrowverse, the TV series populating much of The CW's roster, are some of the funniest shows on television right now. The Flash has consistently led the DC/CW pack, boasting popular actors, emotional moments, and hilarious asides. Arrow has had less consistent reception, sometimes catching flak for its lackluster writing. Still, the show did start this whole superhero TV crossover trend off with a bang, and that's worth noting.
Two of The CW's DC-related superhero shows starred two cousins at one point in time.
Stephen Amell stars on Arrow as the Green Arrow himself, Oliver Queen. Stephen famously shaded the DCU for recasting Ezra Miller as The Flash, rather than incorporating The CW's Grant Gustin. Robbie Amell co-starred with Gustin in The Flash, playing Robbie Raymond, one half of the original Firestorm.
Thanks to the network's penchant for crossing over their DC shows, the two cousins have been able to perform together on occasion. Robbie also starred in the canceled The CW superhero series The Tomorrow People.
16 Emily Deschanel And Zooey Deschanel Are Sisters
Much of the time, one celebrity sibling will skyrocket to fame, while the other focuses on indie projects or bit parts. Or perhaps they have longterm, low-key success in TV series but they don't exactly command crazy paparazzi levels of fame.
For the Deschanel sisters, both ladies have been able to secure roles in long-running, well-loved television series that have helped them to build a steady fanbase over the years.
Zooey Deschanel starred as the quirky and adorable Jess in the situational roommate comedy, New Girl. Emily Deschanel starred as the titular Temperance "Bones" Brennan, in Bones. The two sisters have always shown support for each other, and Zooey has even put in an appearance on Bones. Because they both filmed on the same lot, they would often visit each other in their downtime, as well.
Things weren't always so easygoing for these sisters. Zoeey revealed that Emily, who is four years older than her, would terrorize her as they were growing up. Emily pretended to be an alien who had replaced Zooey's real sister. This, sadly, made Zooey cry. The girls' father would try to put Zooey at ease over Emily's tricks, but this would usually just result in making Emily laugh.
15 Melissa McCarthy And Jenny McCarthy Are Cousins
Melissa McCarthy is a well-loved comedian in Hollywood, in both movies and television. The actress has starred in many funny films like Spy and the rebooted Ghostbusters franchise. Along with that blockbuster success, Melissa starred in the long-running relationship comedy Mike and Molly.
Melissa owes part of her success to her favorite cousin, Jenny McCarthy, who helped her to secure her first job in the business in the late '90s.
Jenny McCarthy has been a staple in television for decades. The actress has appeared in and/or hosted many popular shows like Singled Out, MTV's Spring Break series, and Two and a Half Men.
The two cousins have always supported each other and have not fallen victim to family feuds. Jenny spoke out against a critic who body-shamed Melissa for her weight in 2013. The nasty review called Melissa an obnoxious gimmick. But despite that camaraderie, the cousins don't exactly spend a lot of time together when they aren't working, either. They don't make public appearances together and Melissa did not attend Jenny's wedding to Donnie Wahlberg in 2014. Melissa claimed that she and Jenny were basically in "opposite worlds" at the time.
Jenny has occasionally posted throwback photos of herself and Melissa from their childhood days.
14 David Cassidy And Katie Cassidy Are Father And Daughter
Of the Cassidy family, young people are only likely to recognize the younger of this father and daughter duo, Katie Cassidy. Katie played Laurel Lance, AKA the Black Canary, on The CW's Arrow. Laurel's passing angered viewers who felt she was being written off to make way for Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak's relationship. While Katie has certainly earned her stardom, it wouldn't be a stretch to say her father was an even bigger pop culture phenomenon back in the day.
David Cassidy played Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family in the '70s. He went on to appear in many popular TV shows for bit parts and had several following series that found some level of success. Ironically, David appeared in the '90s era version of The Flash as Sam Scudder.
David did not actually consider himself to be Katie's father as she was raised by her step-father and mother, but he did consider himself her friend and they were both happy with the level of intimacy they were able to achieve because of their unique relationship. David passed away due to organ failure late last year. According to Katie, her father's last words were, "So much wasted time" - a sentiment she says she has learned from.
13 Zoey Deutch And Lea Thompson Are Mother And Daughter
Lea Thompson is a little more known for films than her TV career. Cult sci-fi hits like Back to the Future and Howard the Duck are naturally going to be hard to top. Still, she's had a long-running career in television, as well. Along with her 1990s era starring vehicle Caroline in the City, Thompson has also been featured in Switched at Birth and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero.
Thompson has a famous daughter that has been seen in many recent television shows, too. Zoey Deutch's first long-running role was as Maya Bennett alongside Cole and Dylan Sprouse in The Suite Life on Deck. From there, she went on to star in Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar. She has also been seen in Why Him? and Dirty Grandpa.
The mother and daughter, along with sister Madelyn Deutch, get gussied up in fancy outfits and head out for date night from time to time. Thompson once happily described this tradition as "playing dress-up."
Madelyn wrote the recent film The Year of Spectacular Men, which co-starred Madelyn and her sister Zoey and was directed by Thompson herself. The proud mother revealed that Madelyn used her own disastrous dating life as inspiration for the indie script.
12 Mike Colter And Viola Davis Are Cousins
Both of these famous cousins boast prominent roles in two of the biggest comic book franchises to ever exist. Viola Davis stars as the ambitious (and cold) Amanda Waller in the DCEU's Suicide Squad, while her cousin, Mike Colter, shot to pop culture fame as Luke Cage in the Marvel/Netflix series of the same name.
While Luke Cage was definitely the series that made Colter a household name, he's actually been in the business for a long time now, having previously appeared in many TV shows such as Ringer, American Horror Story, and The Good Wife.
Davis has her own success in the television industry, most significantly starring in the popular How To Get Away With Murder. By all means, this was not her TV debut, the actress was previously seen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The United States of Tara among other things. Her performance as the confident Annalise Keating was what really cemented her TV superstar status, though her Oscar win for Fences really took her to the nextt level.
The two cousins did not share much of a childhood, as Davis is about ten years older than her cousin and had moved away from their birthplace, St. Matthews, South Carolina, by the time he was born.
11 Peggy Lipton And Rashida Jones Are Mother And Daughter
Rashida Jones is basically Hollywood royalty. She is daughter to Peggy Lipton, one of the stars of the cult classic murder mystery series, Twin Peaks. Lipton also appeared on Mod Squad and in the Twin Peaks 2017 revival.
Jones has had huge success as the confident yet sweet girl-next-door type in hit comedies like The Office and Parks and Recreation. Jones would go on to re-team with her Office co-star, Steve Carell in the police comedy series he and wife Nancy Carell developed together entitled, Angie Tribeca. The mother and daughter had the pleasure of working together on Tribeca, in which Lipton played the mother of Jones' titular character.
Along with her cult icon mom, Jones' father is a well-respected name in a different field of entertainment: legendary musician and music producer Quincy Jones.
Due to her heritage, Jones has, unfortunately, had to face awkward micro-transgressions against her mixed race - on the red carpet in particular. While attending the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2015 a reporter commented on Jones' "tan" skin and wondered how she got such a "tropical" look. Jones' response? I'm ethnic." Jones has continued that outspokenness, speaking up about her experience as a minority writer working for Pixar.
10 Kelly Ripa And Mark Consuelos Are Married
Odds are you know who Kelly Ripa is. She first made waves in 2001 when she replaced Kathy Lee Gifford and joined Regis Philbin for Live With Regis and Kelly. Some fans thought she was too perky and blonde to fill Gifford's shoes. Other loved her attitude and outgoing nature. Regardless, Ripa has proven her staying power, taking over the show when Philbin left and transforming it into what it is today, Live With Kelly and Ryan with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest joining Ripa as co-host.
You may not be as familiar with her husband, but you should be. He's Mark Consuelos, AKA the infamous Hiram Lodge, the cause of all the drama taking place on The CW's hit teen show Riverdale. They both met while filming a screening test for a soap opera.
Consuelos and Ripa are both 47, but, the internet being what it is, she has had to face trolling over her body. When Consuelos posted a photo of his wife wearing a bikini, many commenters seemed to think she was too old for the swimsuit and should have switched to a one-piece. The actor defended his wife, saying she looked amazing and he found the criticism to be confusing and senseless.
9 Ernie Lively And Blake Lively Are Father And Daughter
Everybody knows who Blake Lively is. She starred in the hugely popular teen drama Gossip Girl and, oh, yeah, she's only married to freaking Ryan Reynolds, funniest superhero alive.
Along with her impressive TV success, Blake also co-starred in the heartwarming film, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which fans are constantly begging for a sequel. Not all of Blake's films have been so well received, however. She starred in Green Lantern alongside Reynolds before they grew close, so at least something positive came out of their experience with that film.
Blake's father, Ernie Lively, may not spark instant recognition in the minds of the TV watching public, but maybe he should.
Ernie has been in many, many iconic television shows over the years, including The Dukes Of Hazzard, Murder, She Wrote, and The West Wing. Ernie was recently victim to a severe car accident that landed him in the hospital earlier this year. Thankfully, his family was happy to report that he was fine and was going to make a full recovery.
This wasn't the first time Ernie's life had been in danger. Ernie had another health scare in 2003 when he suffered a massive heart attack. That incident resulted in a groundbreaking, and successful, procedure.
8 Kevin James And Gary Valentine Are Brothers
You may not recognize the name of Gary Valentine, but you definitely should know who Kevin James is. And it turns out, Valentine and James are actually brothers, and they have both shared multiple popular sitcoms together over their time in the industry, s well as a few feature films.
Valentine played Karl Eisendorf in the controversial, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, in which his brother played Larry Valentine. He also played a karaoke singer in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, in which James played the titular character.
For these brothers, though, their tandem Hollywood careers began with King Of Queens in the late '90s. James started his run on the show in 1998, while Valentine joined his brother on the hit show one year later. Valentine did go on to be featured in other iconic shows, including the mystery series, Fargo.
James and Valentine teamed up again in 2016 on the, again, sort of controversial series Kevin Can Wait. Writers of the series caused a bit of outrage when they unceremoniously wrote the demise of Kevin's wife into the series to make room for Leah Remini.
James can next be heard as the voice of Frank in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, as Kevin Can Wait was recently canceled.
7 Liev Schreiber And Pablo Schreiber Are Half-Brothers
Liev Schreiber has been a staple in Hollywood for a long time now. He was the convicted criminal, later redeemed in the meta-horror franchise, Scream. He co-starred in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and starred as Ray Donovan in the series of the same name for five years. And, of course, everyone will recognize Liev as Wolverine's nemesis, adapted as Logan's brother in the X-Men films: Sabretooth.
Pablo Schreiber has co-starred in many, many TV series over the years, including The Wire, Weeds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and American Gods. One of his most iconic roles was that of the prison warden George Mendez in Netflix's edgy original series, Orange is the New Black.
Pablo has gone on record expressing his interest in playing Wolverine now that Hugh Jackman has hung up his adamantium mantle.
Pablo joked about rebooting his half-brother's character, but he doubted that Liev would be interested in returning to the role. Pablo also revealed that Liev had been interested in appearing in Jackman's final Wolverine film, Logan, but his schedule simply didn't line up with filming. There was a scene deleted from the film in which Logan informs Bobby that Sabretooth was not just a legend, but a real person.
6 Finn And Joe Cole Are Brothers
Peaky Blinders follows gangs and soldiers in the Depression era, and it features a mega-famous cast of actors to boot. Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Sam Neill are just a handful of the high-profile stars who have been featured in the show. Along with this impressive cast are Joe Cole and Finn Cole, who also both happen to be brothers.
Joe Cole started playing John Shelby in 2013. The character has two brothers in the show, Thomas and Arthur Jr., and neither of them are actually played by his real-life brother Finn.
Finn joined the series in 2014 as Michael Gray, a cousin to the Shelby family. Joe's character, John Shelby, lost his life in a firefight in season 4. This was the conclusion of a cliffhanger that left viewers wondering whether or not John or Michael survive - only one brother's character made it out alive.
At the time, showrunners revealed that Joe's busy career had put a damper on his future in the series. This wasn't meant to be done out of malice, however, they didn't want Joe to feel tied down to one job. Peaky Blinders marks the second time Joe and Finn worked together, having both appeared in 2012's Offender.
5 David Tennant And Peter Davison Are Related By Marriage
What do you if you're like, the biggest Doctor Who fan in the world? You grow up, become the Tenth Doctor, and then marry the daughter of the Fifth Doctor who also happened to play your clone on Doctor Who. Yes, this is exactly what David Tennant, AKA the horrifying Purple Man of Jessica Jones, did.
Tennant played the Tenth Doctor from 2005-2013. Peter Davison was the fifth Doctor from 1982-1984. Davison's daughter, Georgia Moffett, appeared on the show in a single episode as Jenny, the Doctor's clone daughter, in 2008.
Basically, Tennant married the real-life daughter of the first man to play his own role.
She also happened to pretend to be his own daughter in an episode one time. Imagine the stories coming out of that household around the holidays.
Tennant and Moffett married three years after her time on the show. The couple wed in December 2011, throwing an epic New Year's bash to celebrate their marriage. Famous British names were in attendance, like the dearly beloved Sir Patrick Stewart and Stephen Fry, along with then British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. At the time of their wedding, Tennant and Moffett shared an 8-month-old daughter, Olive.
4 David Hornsby And Emily Deschanel Are Married
Emily Deschanel starred as Temperance "Bones" Brennan in the long-running crime series, Bones. Her husband, David Hornsby, appeared as Matthew "Rickety Cricket" Mara in the bizarre, acerbic comed, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. He also wrote for the series. Hornsby has also performed voice in cartoon series and made an appearance alongside sister-in-law Zooey Deschanel in New Girl. Hornsby played the head of a school council, who was somewhat at odds with Zooey's character, Jess.
Deschanel and Hornsby married in 2010, with Zooey and Deschanel's Bones castmates, including David Boreanaz, in attendance. The couple, along with their family and friends, celebrated the affair with a casual brunch the next day. The couple share two sons, one of these two pregnancies were written into Bones to accommodate Deschanel.
By contrast, when Deschanel's sister became pregnant, she was hidden behind a jury duty bench to keep her pregnant belly under wraps. Deschanel had to face backlash over her nutritional choices while she was pregnant. Deschanel is a vegan and worked with a nutritionist to form a vegan diet that would provide the proper nutrition while pregnant, but some found this to be risky and controversial, stating that the baby's needs should come before the mother's preferences.
3 Blake Lively And Robyn Lively Are Sisters
As previously established, Blake Lively shot to fame as Serena van der Woodsen in the teen drama Gossip Girl. She also just happens to be wife to one of the most popular superheroes in the world right now, Deadpool's Ryan Reynolds.
Blake's sister, Robyn Lively, was present at the wedding, where she and brother Eric Lively performed the "love dance" from Teen Witch, the series Robyn starred in in 1989. Along with these successful sisters is an equally successful father. Ernie Lively has been in the business for decades, starring in many high-profile TV shows.
Robyn has also starred in many other hugely popular series over her many years working in the entertainment industry. Just a few of these titles include the cult mystery Twin Peaks, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Chicago Hope.
Blake and Robyn recently hit the red carpet together in March of this year. They joined their mother, Elaine, at the Lorraine Schwartz Eye Bangles Collection debut at Delilah in West Hollywood. The Livelys said they considered Schwartz to be like family and they were there to support the designer. Blake has been getting into the fashion industry, she reportedly helped to design the earrings she wore to the event.
2 Patrick Cassidy Is Katie Cassidy's Uncle
David Cassidy became one of pop culture's first huge teen stars when he played Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family, but his brother enjoyed his own TV success, too. Patrick Cassidy starred in lots of well-known series, including Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville. He also played Johnny Castle in the TV adaptation of Dirty Dancing.
There are more ties to the DC world through the Cassidy family.
While Uncle Patrick worked on multiple Superman shows over the years, Katie Cassidy, David's daughter, has been a part of the Arrowverse from its premiere episode. She first appeared as Laurel Lance in season 1 of Arrow but was written off, before being written back in. Both David and Patrick worked together in the 2009 TV series Ruby & the Rockits. David played David Gallagher, while Patrick played Patrick Gallagher.
When David passed away, his The Partridge Family co-star Shirly Jones Ingels expressed her sympathies for the family, including Patrick and Katie. The actress was David's step-mother before they starred together in the teen musical series. Another brother, Shaun, reminisced about his time with David, saying that his brother would orchestrate pillow fights whenever he came around.
1 Patrick Wilson And Scott Foley Are Brothers-In-Law
Patrick Wilson is a successful TV and movie star. He's starred in The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and was the voice of the President of the United States in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Along with that film success, he appeared in Fargo as former police officer and coffee shop owner, Lou Solverson.
Scott Foley has had an equally long and respectable career in the entertainment industry. He starred as Cliff Elliot in the popular teen drama, Dawson's Creek. He also starred in Felicity, Scrubs, Gray's Anatomy, and True Blood.
Foley married Polish actress Marika Dominczyk in 2007. The actress also co-starred in Gray's Anatomy and was seen in The 40-Year-Old Virgin along with comedy powerhouse, Steve Carell. Wilson had previously married Marika's sister, Dagmara Dominczyk in 2005. Dagmara has had many guest roles in a variety of popular series like The Good Wife, Suits, Boardwalk Empire, and 24.
The family teamed up to work on a comedy film in 2013 entitled Ward's Wife. The film starred Donald Faison, who the family considered to be very close after he worked with Foley on Scrubs. The Dominczyk sisters were also featured in the film, which had been written by Foley himself.
Did we miss any TV relations? Let us know in the comments!
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