Unfortunately, not everyone can be a star, but there are lots of people who are related to them. For a few, life can be so normal that it doesn’t even seem like they know someone who’s famous. But for most, there are certain perks that come with knowing someone who’s a celebrity. They get into places for free, get VIP treatment and even get restaurants shut down so they can eat in private.
But it’s not all great, because it can be pretty annoying too. If you’d like to read about some of the things regular people have been through because of their famous relatives, then keep scrolling.
42. The Legend of All Legends
My stepdad is Rowan Atkinson, the guy who played Mr. Bean. Any time there is a family gathering of any significance, he puts on the suit and shows up as Mr. Bean.
He won’t break character the entire night, and it is impossible to have a conversation with him. He says he does it for the kids, but it’s obvious he enjoys it. I think he misses doing the show.
41. Do the Line! DO THE LINE!
I had an aunt that had a bit role in a commercial. It was for Lifetouch; 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.
40. The Benefits of Being Related to Disney
My grandpa is Walt Disney’s first cousin. We would visit with Walt’s daughter Diane often before she passed away. It usually consisted of going to the Disney museum in San Francisco, getting treated like royalty, and eating amazing food. Oh, and Disneyland gold passes (get into Disneyland/California adventure for free). One of the best benefits of being related is getting random people in for free, although I can’t do it that often.
Last month, I surprised a family of four (who were in line for tickets) with four park hopper tickets for three days. It saved them around $1200. Unfortunately, most of the time, I can only get my family and close friends in for free. I would do it all day if I could. It makes me happy.
39. Publicity is Everything!
One of my friends is an Indian woman who moved here with her family when she was a little kid. When she graduated college, her parents started asking her when she was going to get married, and introducing her to the sons of their friends hoping they’d hit it off. Eventually, it worked; they introduced her to a really nice guy who was also born in India but lived in the same state as us most of the year. She didn’t find out until a month or two into the relationship that he’s a famous Bollywood star that’s just completely unknown in the US. They’re married now, and it seems like such a strange dichotomy. When they’re in the US, they live the same as any other (wealthy) American couple. But, Indian tabloids covered their wedding and interviewed her to see what kind of woman would attract such a star.
When they walk into a restaurant in his hometown in India, the owner will sometimes shut it down so they can eat alone, and will give them the meal for free, because it’s worth it just for the publicity. My friend is pretty quiet and a bit shy, so I think she’s really glad they live in the US most of the time, but it’s definitely an interesting life. Not to mention her parents are very happy.
38. Presley’s Pay-Per-Plate
I’m related (distantly) to Elvis Presley. I went to the Presley family reunion years back and it was SO stupid. Traditionally, family reunions in my area are a potluck type deal, where everyone brings food. The idea of a pay-per-plate idea would be absurd.
Yet, they tried to get me to pay $20 for a plate of food. At a family reunion! I know that in some places that’s fine, but it certainly isn’t the way people typically do it in my neck of the woods.
37. The King of Popcorn
My great grandpa is Orville Redenbacher. I met him various times before he died (in fact there’s a picture of me in his biography) and he set up a fund to pay for a chunk of my college.
He was a very nice and nerdy man and I’m glad to have such a well-liked famous relative. People always ask if I get free popcorn. Not anymore, since they sold the company to Conagra after his death.
36. He’s the Life of the Party
My uncle is Steve Smith A.K.A Red Green, from the Canadian handyman comedy show from the ’90s. We used to gather in the ’90s and 00’s when our generation had a wedding. He was always the life of the party without even trying. If there was a lull in the conversation, he’d pipe in with something hysterical and have the whole table laughing. He never tried; he was just a natural and would never interrupt anyone else. He’s a very kind and wonderful guy.
We’d go to tapings of the show and would howl, not only at the show but at the “countrified” studio audience. It was all in good fun. I think the only effect it had at gatherings were on our very excited SO’s meeting him for the first time. We only gather once in a while now as he’s winding down a bit – he’s in his 70’s now and enjoying semi-retirement (still doing shows). The family tells me we bear a strong resemblance, which is nice.
35. Everything Seemed Normal Until…
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 to the point of puberty, 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 twelve 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 to 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.
34. Chillin’ With Seamus
My ex is related to Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet that is very famous around the world, 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. My ex’s mom kept bringing 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 with him about life.
I only met him once when I stayed at his house for a few days, but I am happy to learn that such a lovely man is loved by so many all over the world. On our last day, Seamus had to attend a wedding, so my ex and I had the house to ourselves. We didn’t know what to do, so we ordered a Dominos and sat in his garden because we were that classy. Before we left, he had given me a poem he had written, on some really nice paper, and he folded it up and put it into a round ‘carrier.
33. The Perks of Professional Wrestler’s Son
My dad is a former (although, not officially retired) professional wrestler. He’s signed to WWE, is in the WWE Hall of Fame, and is good friends with someone on a popular TV show that airs on A&E. My dad’s fame has affected me, and at the same time, it hasn’t. My parents moved us to a very, very rural small town to raise my sister and I as normal as possible. The main difference between me and 90% of the other people that live here is that we are extremely wealthy.
I get cool perks sometimes (movie premieres, backstage to any WWE event, being at parties with more well-known celebs) and I’ve had a few teachers subtly offer me a higher grade for an autograph. I’ve led a pretty normal life for the most part, though. My life is more hectic when we go out with his friends because e has a very distinct look. Even if you’ve never seen the show, you can tell what show he’s on just by looking at him. When he comes to visit he gets bombarded, especially because of where we live (the South), and nobody glances at my dad unless they’re a hardcore wrestling fan. His “glory days” were the late ’80s to late ’90s, but he’s still involved with WWE occasionally.
32. They Want to Be My Friend
I’m cousins with Shay Mitchell and we used to see each other a lot.
Now, she comes for Christmas or Thanksgiving and when people who I don’t even talk to see me on her Snapchat story, they message me asking to hang out.
31. The Legendary Charles Schulz
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 and they really pride themselves on their involvement with them.
30. Crazy Over Defoe
While I was growing up, my family was close to Willem Dafoe and his family. They are really wonderful people, but very private, which is completely understandable. My dad got pretty uncomfortable at family events because our family members were always asking him if he could introduce them to Willem, or worse – borrow money from him.
It got to the point where my family avoided most family events because they valued their working and personal relationship with Willem and Liz more.
29. Burned Bridges
I’m related to Keanu Reeves. We have a Reeve’s ohana gathering every year in Hawaii and he never comes. 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; it’s not in a bitter way or anything, just sometimes the little cousins ask.
I haven’t met all my family in Hawaii 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. It’s so cute.
28. In His Honor
My great great grandfather is Andrew Carnegie; I’m named after his daughter. My mother spent her summers as a child at his castle, Skibo, in Scotland. I’ve visited a couple of times as well, but the castle isn’t in our family anymore (my great grandmother ended up selling it). As most people know, Andrew was a philanthropist. He gave away most of his money and built a bunch of libraries around the world and started many foundations since education was very important to him.
That being said, my family has never been CRAZY rich, but comfortable. I grew up in the suburbs in a small town in a modest house. Andrew did leave all of his descendants (mine being the last generation to receive it) a trust fund specifically for educational purposes. My siblings and I have used that for some of our tuition fees, but now I am paying for my own school. I feel honored to be a Carnegie and am pursuing a career in nursing and public health in hopes of starting my own nonprofit one day.
27. He Always Brings the Best Drinks
Matthew McConaughey is my 2nd cousin. He acts normal with us, but he has yet to deliver me a Buick for the bully I beat up for him 38 years ago.
He always brings the best drinks to parties, though. So, there’s that.
26. Much Ado About Something
My spouse is related to David Tennant. I did not know this until after we were married (spouse was born in America). It has not impacted 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 Tennant and Cathrine Tate after the show.
I have 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. My spouse had a brief chat about mutual acquaintances in the family and then we left.
25. The Drummer Cousin
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 their “In The End” song 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 angry 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 want to look like those family members who would probably want a handout.
24. No One Recognizes Them
I’m related to Kings of Leon through marriage, and they’re a 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.
23. The VIP Treatment
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. I just got back from a vacation with them recently and we went on a Royal Caribbean cruise. At first, Bt 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 said, “sorry, I’m with my family” now.
It’s 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 definitely going to Disney/Universal with him. We got the VIP treatment and skipped every line. We rode dueling dragons probably 5-7 times back to back; three of us barfed, it was great.
22. It’s a Shame What Fame Can Do
My dad is first cousins with Tommy Mottola, (formerly Mr. Mariah Carey). Tommy used to provide free tickets to concerts for the various stars he represented, (Carly Simon, Hall & Oates), but as more and more people had their hands out, the more he retreated.
It’s a shame what fame can do to a person – it’s overwhelming.
21. Xena the Aunt
My aunt is Xena the Warrior Princess. We’ve gotten stopped a couple of 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 pictures. 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!
20. The Band That Brought Us Closer
My cousins are in the band Cage The Elephant. They’re so down to earth that their fame doesn’t really affect our family. We are all so close (even though we live far away) and they invite us to their concerts when they’re in town.
When we plan family reunions, everyone’s first question is, “Will the boys be on tour then?” Of course, this is because everyone wants all the family there and my cousins are usually the busiest out of everyone with schedules that are pretty finite. Overall, it has brought us all closer having such successful people who work hard in our family.
19. Pride or Sorrow?
My ex-wife is related to Richard Ramirez – yes, The Night Stalker. He’d come up at EVERY single family gathering big or small. They would talk about him for hours; the same stories and same reactions. As the years went by, he slowly started to disappear from the conversations. Then he made national news when he died.
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. I can’t tell if it’s pride or sorrow.
18. He Helped Change The World
He’s not really a celebrity, but my uncle is one of the first dozen people Bill Gates hired to start Microsoft. He’s stupid rich now, but he spends his time being super generous with his money to family and advocating for the protection of national parks and a healthy environment. He’s probably the nicest and most down to earth people I’ve ever met. He never buys anything unnecessary if he can help it.
He does all he can to make his house 100% environmentally friendly. He’s pretty awesome and you’d never know that he helped change the world.
17. Barenaked Ladies
My dad is a former member of the Barenaked Ladies. It’s not too weird since it’s been my whole life, so I don’t know anything different. I’m in college now and everyone in my school has slowly figured it out. I’ve never been able to grasp how famous he is or isn’t either which people find very weird.
The strangest part is when other people who I admire mention him or his band. I’m always shocked, like the time when the show ‘Community’ mentioned the Barenaked Ladies- I’m a big fan, so it put a huge smile on my face. Since I want to be a performer too, I don’t want to be known as just his son and he’s always been very supportive of that.
16. All Because of Fame
My dad’s cousin is an actor with a couple hundred IMDB entries and is currently playing a role in one of my favorite TV shows. I’ve met him three times because he lives in LA and every time he comes into town, one of my uncles will throw a dinner party for him and the entire extended family will show up.
It’s really the only thing that can get our family together, which is kind of sad if you think about it. We aren’t coming together for each other; we’re coming together for one person’s fame. He’s a really nice guy though, and a great storyteller.
15. The Cartoonist
My grandpa is a famous cartoonist; his stuff has been in the papers since the ’60s. I know it’s not as exciting as a movie star, but I’ve gotten to meet almost every wildly famous cartoonist/illustrator because of him. These are the kookiest people you’ll ever meet. Every year, they’d gather at my grandpa’s house for a charity auction and one tear, they drank too much and started drawing on his white baby grand piano.
Fifteen some-odd years later, and there isn’t a blank spot left. Every character you could imagine has been drawn by its original creator on that thing. Some of the Simpsons were drawn on the keys, so it’s now off-limits to my playing. I’m so fortunate to have grown up with a piece of that world.
14. The Harry Potter Connection
I’m relatively closely related to JK 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. She just chats with anyone that speaks to her. The biggest reaction I ever get is when someone finds out I’m related to her.
13. I Wasn’t Supposed To See That
My uncle is a retired hall of fame actor in adult films. He’d come to Ohio for Christmas every year and my mom would give him and his girlfriends my room since it was the biggest.
One Christmas morning, my mom had me go in to wake him up and lo and behold, his girlfriend was on my bed, completely naked. I stared for a minute then woke them up. My voice changed three octaves that year.
12. The Tom Hanks Reminder
My wife is a distant relative of Tom Hanks and it doesn’t affect her at all. It affects me because she reminds me of it every time he is mentioned on the TV.
She would tell me every time, “Tom Hanks is my distant relative, you know! Did I tell you that?” Yeah, babe, like a million times!
11. The Last Witch
Apparently, Janet Horne, the last witch to be executed in Britain is my great grandmother, four times removed.
I only recently just found out after her name was scored out of the old family bible (tree); my 105-year-old great grandmother was not allowed to talk about her when she was younger.
10. No Freebies Here
Garrison Keillor who hosts A Prairie Home Companion is a relative of some kind. I’ve met him when I was really little, but I do remember he was awesome at reading children’s books because of his voice.
Apparently, some members of the family don’t like him because he doesn’t hand out freebies (tickets, backstage invitations, etc.) and is generally protective of his work. I have no idea as I haven’t seen him for over 20 years.
9. What Attention Can Do
My stepdad is Professor Brian Cox. Some of his old school friends treat him differently, but that’s probably normal when you’re famous.
My aunt on my mom’s side posts on Facebook about how he’s her brother-in-law pretty often to get attention. Also, my dad directed Snuff Box and Toast of London.
8. The “It” Factor
My first cousin on my father’s side is James Roday. He has always been the type of guy, even as a kid, that you just knew was going to be famous. He just always had that “it” factor. So when he became famous, those of us in the immediate family just saw it as a means to an end. The only uncomfortable thing that happened at a family function was at my grandmother’s funeral. It was obviously a very emotional time, but my brother’s wife at the time didn’t see it as such and was taking any opportunity to snap as many selfies and candid, “Look at me with Sean from Psych” photos as possible.
He was very tactful about it though, and graciously granted her as much as he could handle until my brother made her chill the heck out. Jamie is a good guy and definitely one of the people in my life that I am most proud of because he earned every bit of fame and fortune he has received, all the while staying an incredibly humble person.
7. A More Dramatic Piece
My cousin is Dennis Russell Davies, a multi-grammy award-winning conductor who works with Phillip Glass. When my great aunt died (his mother), he sort of took over as the ‘showrunner’ of the funeral. If you’ve ever heard Phillip Glass, you know some of his pieces can be a bit “ridiculous.” Well, Dennis decided to play some of his more dramatic choir-based pieces for the procession.
I remember as a kid looking over and seeing my mom trying to comfort my aunt, who appeared to be hunched over bawling. Nope, she was laughing her butt off which of course started a chain reaction of laughter through the entire church pew. To this day, I still remember Dennis looking down on our part of the family in disgust. So yeah, he’s kind of pretentious but still an amazing guy.
6. They Acted Like a Regular People
I live in the U.S., but my aunt Konkona Sen Sharma is a very famous Indian actress/upcoming director. My grandmother is a world-recognized director but is much better known in India. I don’t go to India all that often so I’m not very affected by my relation to them, but once when I was there, we were at a coffee place and these two girls came up to my aunt wanting an autograph. I felt really awkward and confused because this has never happened in front of me before.
I was also confused because I’d never gotten the sense that they were celebrities because they acted like regular people- I always thought that celebrities just acted in a different manner than other people. I realized why I thought that after seeing interviews with my aunt and grandmother that my mom watched sometimes. They acted differently, in the way you’d expect celebrities to act during interviews or talk shows.
5. Still Gaudy and Trashy
I have two aunts on the Real Housewives. They were always gaudy and trashy before, and they’re still gaudy and trashy now, so we avoid them as much as possible.
Also, my great uncle (on the other side) was Ernest a la “Ernest Goes To Jail” (Jim Varney). It doesn’t affect me because he passed away a while ago, but it affects my boyfriend because I bring it up every time we see any of his movies.
4. That’s Brotherly Love
My uncle is Hugh Laurie and at family events, you wouldn’t know he’s famous; my dad still tortures him (as a joke) the same as they did when they were kids.
I forget he’s famous until I have lunch with him in public.
3. This Guy Made One of the Classics!
My husband is Jason Rubin, creator of the video game Crash Bandicoot and the company Naughty Dog.
I’m very proud of him because he is a very kind person and also the smartest human I’ve ever met, and he’s also very funny. Sometimes people recognize him and that makes me very proud.
2. An Uncle That I Used to Know
My uncle played for the Toronto Maple Leafs as a goalie in the 80s and 90s, (then other NHL teams a bit later) and he stayed pretty down-to-earth about it. Realistically, he was never incredibly famous; he was just part of our family. He moved to Orlando a while ago and had a falling out with some family, so I haven’t seen him or his daughters in probably a decade or more.
Now, he only comes up because fathers of people I know recognize my unique last name and don’t know why. A few times, people asked right away if my uncle and I are related, but it seems those times have passed.
1. He’s a Family Member
My father’s cousin’s cousin is Thomas Lennon (Dangle from Reno 911). I met him and Robert Garant (Junior, also from Reno 911) at a Christmas party at my father’s cousin’s house. It was totally cool and I made a Ball of Fury joke which didn’t go over too well at all.
But the only way it has affected my family is the fact that I (we) can say that down the line Thomas Lennon is a family member. I just like to tell that story.