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It's always interesting to find out when a ~regular~ person is related to a celebrity. So my attention was grabbed when I came across a couple of older Reddit threads (this one from six years ago, and this one from three years ago) where people related to celebrities talked about what it's like, and how their relative's fame affected family gatherings and events. Here are their best and top-voted stories:
Note: Obviously, we cannot verify these stories as 100% fact, so take it all on faith!
1."Related to Keanu Reeves. We have a Reeves ohana gathering every year in Hawai'i, and he never comes. Which, I don't blame him at all, his dad was not a good father. So I assume, besides being a busy actor, he doesn't come because that burned the bridges with our family. My dad sometimes mentions Keanu when the reunions happen, about how he doesn't visit. It's not in a bitter way or anything, just sometimes the little cousins ask. I haven't met all my family in Hawai'i yet because I live on the mainland, but I do know at least a few people are salty about it. Other than that, my cousins look up to him and get excited when he's in a movie. Even if the kids aren't allowed to watch because of violence, they see a movie poster and look all awe-struck. So cute."
2."My wife is a distant relative of Tom Hanks. It doesn't affect her at all. It affects me because she reminds me of it every time he is mentioned on the TV."
3."Matt McConaughey is my second cousin. He acts normal with us, but the bastard has yet to deliver me a Buick for the bully I beat up for him 38 years ago... Though he does always bring the best booze to the parties."
4."Okay, technically not a relative, but my wife was childhood friends with family of Viggo Mortensen. She got to hang out with him after he shot Lord of the Rings but before it was released. Said he was a very cool guy, extremely laidback, and fun to have a beer with. Her friend spent her childhood hanging out with him on summer vacations and has yet to have a bad thing to say about him."
5."Megan Fox is my first cousin once removed (her mother and my grandfather are brother and sister). She's six years older than me, so there are plenty of pictures of us playing together while growing up, but once she got older, she quickly shifted into modeling and moved from Tennessee to Florida to pursue it. She then got into movies and, as you know, made it rather big. The last time she was in town to visit was about 12 years ago. She came for Christmas, and everything seemed normal until she whipped out the stack of headshots she had brought to sign for us to take back to our friends and such. She did make it a point to call my grandfather when he had his heart attack back in 2014, so not all is lost in fame. The headshots thing was just a tad comical."
6."I had an aunt that had a bit role in a commercial. It was for LifeCall; she was the old lady lying on the ground who said 'I've fallen and I can't get up!' She was a scream and must have done that line a thousand times during our family dinners. Even though everybody in North America has seen that commercial dozens of times, she only got recognized a couple of times. She was once recognized in a mall and laid down on the floor and said the line; people were cheering and clapping."
7."Spouse is related to David Tennant. I did not know this until after we were married (my spouse was born in America). Has not impacted my life at all except I got to meet him during my first trip to London. Their family scored us tickets to Much Ado About Nothing, and we saw David and Catherine Tate after the show. Nothing bad to say about either of them; they were both lovely and effusive, and Tennant gave us both a hug even though neither of us had ever met him before. Spouse had a brief chat about mutual acquaintances in the family, and then we left."
8."My uncle is Sinbad (the comedian/actor). He is married to my biological aunt on my dad's side, so I am not his blood relation, but his kids and wife are blood-related to me. We go on vacations with them every summer and have for the past six or so years. We didn't for a while when he and my aunt were separated, but after they got back together, we now see that family at least once a year. At first, it was a little annoying having to stop every couple of minutes because someone asked for a picture, but eventually, he stopped posing for pictures while with us. He just says, 'Sorry, I'm with my family' now. Nothing terribly exciting, but he has been famous since I was born, so I didn't get a before-and-after experience. The coolest thing was going to Disney/Universal with him. We got the VIP treatment and skipped every line."
9."My third cousin on my mom's side is Rob Bourdon, drummer of Linkin Park. I met him ONCE in 2001 at a family party, literally right before 'In the End' got big. I was, like, 5, but he was so nice to me, especially since it was shortly after our grandfather's death and I was taking it pretty hard. Unfortunately, a lot of the more Catholic folks in my family got pretty pissy at him because he announced an interest in Judaism, and I haven't spoken to him since. I would love to talk to him, but I don't wanna look like those family members who would probably want a handout. The memories my cousins and I have of him were of a goofy, cool dude who is very talented."
10."I'm related to J.K. Rowling, and to be honest, it doesn't affect family gatherings at all. Either people whisper about her from afar or go up and have a conversation with her. Most people don't make a big deal of it, and she does the same and just chats to anyone that speaks to her. The biggest reaction I ever get is when someone finds out I'm related to her haha!"
11."Related to Kings of Leon through marriage, pretty cool group of guys. We have a family reunion every May and hang out and play horseshoes etc., just like everyone else. It's kind of funny because even here in my tiny little town, they still act like they're going to be bombarded by fans, but literally no one recognizes them."
12."My grandfather was Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts (Charlie Brown). I don't really know how it affected my family gatherings because my family hasn't been together for a long time for other reasons. But I do know that for a few members of the family, the comics are really important to them, and they really pride themselves in their involvement with them."
13."My aunt is Xena the Warrior Princess (Lucy Lawless) and absolutely nothing at family gatherings. She is just our aunt. We got stopped a couple times in New Orleans by people who recognized her. Back in New Zealand when her show was going on, some little girls would come up and want to take pics. She's one of the nicest people to talk to and never acts like a celebrity. I have gotten to do some very cool stuff in my life which I'll never take for granted because of her kindness! Hey Lucy! I'll let you guess which one of us it is if you're out there!"
14."I'm related (distantly) to Elvis Presley. Went to the Presley family reunion years back. It was fucking stupid. Tried to get me to pay $20 for a plate of food. At a family reunion! FWIW, traditionally, family reunions in my area are a potluck-type deal where everyone brings food, and a pay-per-plate idea would be absurd. We would have brought a dish, but were basically instructed not to and then surprised at the steep, per person, per plate price."
15."I'm a relative of Richard Gere. He's not on the Christmas card list or anything so I can't really speak as to what he's like in person, but I do remember him being at a family gathering a couple of years before Pretty Woman shot him to stardom. He was pretty much just a normal dude eating a burger."
16."Not a relative, but we used to live beside Conor McGregor and his parents for YEARS. He's still a pretty good friend of ours; he and my brother always text each other, and whenever he comes home, he'd come around to the house for dinner or even play Xbox with my brother and me. He's very humble, charitable, and is NOTHING like the asshole he portrays himself to be."
17."My ex was related to Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet that was very famous in Ireland, from what I understand. We stayed at his house a few years ago, and I had never heard of him. He was just lovely, like a grandpa you would love to have. Very humble and normal house. Ex's mum kept bigging him up, but Seamus and his wife were just normal people. The weird thing was walking into bookstores and seeing his face everywhere, then going back home to have lunch with him or chat to him about life."
18."My uncle is Dr. Demento. He's a really cool guy. Insanely knowledgeable about music and music history. He is totally cool at family gatherings."
19."My cousin is Rowan Atkinson. I forget how we are related, but I think my dad is either his uncle or grand-uncle. I only really met him when I was a baby... I'm 25 now and can't remember much, but my dad told me he used to visit my uncle's farm regularly. I wish it could be more exciting than it is ha!"
20."My uncle is Steve Smith, aka Red Green, the Canadian handyman comedy show from the '90s. We used to all gather in the '90s and '00s when our generation had wedding season. He was always the life of the party without ever trying. If there was a lull in conversation, he'd pipe in with something hysterical and have the whole table laughing. Never tried, he was just a natural and would never interrupt anyone else. He's a very kind and wonderful guy."
21.And finally, one that is not a "celebrity," but certainly someone famous: "My ex-wife is related to Richard Ramirez, yes, 'The Night Stalker.' He came up at EVERY single family gathering big or small. They would talk about him for hours. Same stories, same reactions. As the years went by, he slowly started to disappear from the conversations. Then he goes and makes national news when he dies. We were already divorced when it happened, but that did not stop her family from reaching out to me and telling me, in detail, all about his life and death. It still comes up every time I come across any of them. Can't tell if it's pride or sorrow."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.