Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson Might Be Related, but All of These Stars Really Are

From the siblings flying under the radar to the distant relatives who'll make your jaw drop, check out all of these celebrities who are related to each other.

By Natalie Finn Dec 27, 2023 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Matthew McConaughey Says Woody Harrelson Could Be His ACTUAL Brother

The plot of EDtv has come true in so many ways, but this really was the last thing we were expecting.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson played brothers in the 1999 comedy about a video store clerk who agrees to let his entire life become a reality show. And while countless ordinary people have followed suit since by letting cameras follow them around to entertain the masses, the possibility has now been floated that the brother part of their cinematic scenario might be the realest part of all.

"In Greece a few years ago, we're sitting around talking about how close we are and our families," McConaughey said on Kelly Ripa's Let's Talk Off Camera podcast in April while reflecting on his and Harrelson's 25-year friendship. "And my mom is there, and she says, 'Woody, I knew your dad.' Everyone was aware of the ellipses that my mom left after 'knew.' It was a loaded K-N-E-W."

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TV Co-Stars Who Became BFFs

So, he continued, the actors "did some math" and it turned out that Harrelson's dad, who'd been in and out of jail, was on furlough (and no longer married to the Cheers star's mother) during a time that coincided with McConaughey's parents' second divorce.

Jim and Kay McConaughey remarried and remained so until Jim's death in 1992. Charles Harrelson died in a federal supermax facility in Colorado, where he was serving two life sentences for murder, in 2007.

Mark Davis/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Of his now 91-year-old mom's possible encounter with Harrelson's dad, McConaughey—who was born Nov. 4, 1968—said there could be "receipts and places out in West Texas where there might have been a gathering, or a meeting, or a 'knew' moment."

Yet he and Harrelson, 62, have never taken DNA tests to confirm one way or another, the Oscar winner noting that, at this point, "I got a little more skin in the game."

And Harrelson, no slouch in the acting gene pool with an Emmy and three Oscar nominations, was entertaining the notion.

"I'll just say there is some veracity to that thought," he said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert a few days after McConaughey's interview dropped, noting that the way Kay told the story was particularly suspect.

"It was the ellipses I found a little troubling or interesting," the Cheers alum said. "'I knew your father.'"

But while that mystery continues to percolate, there are lots of celebrities who are definitely related, so scroll on to see the results of all of our true detective work:

Stassi Schroeder & Gypsy Rose Blanchard

Genealogist Dr. Adina Newman, known on Instagram as My Family Genie, revealed Blanchard and the Vanderpump Rules alum are allegedly related on their paternal grandmother's side dating back all the way to the 1600s.

Schroeder, a self-professed true crime fan, commented on Newman's post, "Omg I'm unwell."

Dakota Johnson and Antonio Banderas

The Mask of Zorro star was married to the Fifty Shades of Grey actress' mother Melanie Griffith for 20 years before they ultimately split in 2015, but that doesn't mean the stepfather and daughter's bond has been severed.

Johnson got emotional when she presented an award to Banderas at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards.

"I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky," Johnson, whose dad is actor Don Johnson, said. "I got a bonus dad who I realized that, over time, is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life," she said. "When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light and a whole new world of creativity and culture—and one remarkably magical little sister into our family."

Robyn Lively & Blake Lively

The Teen Witch star and the Gossip Girl alum are half-sisters who share the same mom, talent manager Elaine Lively.

Elle King & Rob Schneider

The "Ex's & Oh's" singer is the SNL vet's daughter, born from his relationship with former model London King.

Ludacris & Monica

The Fast & Furious star is cousins with the R&B singer thanks to her stepfather, Reverend Edward Best, who happens to be the rapper's uncle.

Conan O'Brien & Denis Leary

The late-night host and the Rescue Me creator are third cousins.

Steven Spielberg & Jessica Capshaw

The onetime Grey's Anatomy doc has called the legendary director stepdad ever since he married her mom Kate Capshaw in 1991.

Yara Shahidi & Nas

The Grown-ish star calls the rapper her second cousin. She was even the flower girl in his 2005 wedding with now ex-wife Kelis!

Lea Thompson & Zoey Deutch

The actress is the daughter of the Back to the Future icon.

Kiefer Sutherland & Sarah Sutherland

Not only did the Veep vet make a name for herself playing a famous daughter on the HBO comedy, but she's also a famous daughter in real life. The erstwhile Jack Bauer star is her father.

Phil Collins & Lily Collins

Some Emily in Paris viewers were très shocked to discover Lily is the daughter of the English Grammy winner. 

Amy Schumer & Chuck Schumer

The comedian and the New York Senator are actually related, as he's the first cousin of her father.

Kate Middleton, Dakota Fanning & Elle Fanning

According to a 2014 People interview, a family historian from Ancestry.com claimed that the Fannings and the Princess of Wales are all descendants of King Edward III, who ruled England from 1327 to 1377, making them very distant relatives—21st cousins, to be exact.

Jonah Hill & Beanie Feldstein

The actors are actually brother and sister!

Niecy Nash, Danielle Brooks & Sterling K. Brown

Talent runs in this family, as the Reno 911! alum, Orange Is the New Black actress and This Is Us star are all cousins.

"We are blood related!" Nash wrote on Instagram January 2024, sharing a photo of the trio at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Third Annual Fundraising Gala. "REAL cousins!"

Jason Sudeikis & George Wendt

The SNL alum calls the Cheers icon Uncle George whenever he seems him. At least, we assume he does.

Stephen Dillane & Frank Dillane

Yep, Game of Thrones' Stannis Baratheon is the real-life dad of Fear the Walking Dead's Nick Clark.

Lily Allen & Sam Smith

The brunette beauty and the "Stay With Me" singer are third cousins. During a radio interview, Smith admitted that the pair have never met because their family is "huge."

Liev Schreiber & Pablo Schreiber

The Salt actor and the memorable Law & Order: SVU guest star are half-brothers.

Melissa McCarthy & Jenny McCarthy

You may not have guessed but the Bridesmaids comedian and the former View co-host are cousins.

Julia Roberts & Emma Roberts

The We're the Millers actress has the perfect mentor in the Pretty Woman star, who happens to be her auntie.

Lacey Schwimmer & David Schwimmer

Who knew the stunning Dancing With the Stars pro is second cousins with the Friends alum?

Alexander Skarsgård & Stellan Skarsgård

The True Blood vampire caught the acting bug from his dear old dad who stars in both The Avengers and Thor franchises.

Sofia Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Nicolas Cage & Francis Ford Coppola

The Ghost Rider actor comes from an extremely talented family. One of his cousins directed The Bling Ring, the other starred in Saving Mr. Banks and his uncle directed The Godfather.

Lily Allen& Alfie Allen

The outspoken British singer is the older sister of the Game of Thrones star. She even wrote a song about him titled "Alfie."

 

Brooke Shields & Glenn Close

The Damages star and the Lipstick Jungle actress are second cousins.

Shirley MacLaine & Warren Beatty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty actress originally inspired her baby brother to get into show business.

Rashida Jones & Quincy Jones

The Parks and Recreation actress is the daughter of the legendary music producer.

Tom Cruise & William Mapother

The Lost actor has a very famous cousin in the Mission: Impossible star.

Brandy & Snoop Dogg

The "Drop It Like It's Hot" rapper is first cousins with The Game actress and her brother, Ray J.

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(Originally published April 15, 2023, at 4 a.m. PT)

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