Many celebrities, like the rest of us, have the same last name despite having no relation to one another. But it’s still confusing when famous people share the same name. It would make sense that a famous sibling or parent would help their family member get into the business. So it’s no wonder many people think celebs who share the same last name, similar last names, or just similar names would be related. When someone asks online about who the most confusingly not-related famous people are, many respondents are unembarrassed to share their previous ignorance.
1. Danny and Donald Glover
Danny Glover has been acting since the late 1970s and became a star in the 1980s when he became one of the two faces of the Lethal Weapon series with Mel Gibson. So it makes perfect sense that many people think comedian, actor, writer, and musician Donald Glover, born in 1983, is Danny’s son who used his father’s credibility to get into the business. In fact, the two aren’t related, and their same last name is even a joke in the first season of Community when a character incorrectly assumes Donald Glover’s character Troy is related to Danny Glover.
2. Audrey and Katharine Hepburn
Two icons of the Classical Hollywood era, Audrey and Katharine Hepburn, are separated by 22 years; Katharine was born in 1907, and Audrey in 1929. That’s just enough time for Katharine to be Audrey’s mother, or maybe aunt, or some other more distant relation. But no, the two beloved Hepburns, who both shared the screen with Cary Grant, are of no relation to one another at all.
3. Diane and Michael Keaton
It’s easy to assume that Diane and Michael Keaton, who are separated by five years, are siblings. But that idea falls apart when you learn that neither is actually named “Keaton.” Diane’s birth name is Diane Hall, and Michael’s is Michael Douglas; they both changed their last name to “Keaton” so that they wouldn’t be confused with actors Diane Hall and Michael Douglas.
4. Gaten and Heather Matarazzo
Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo doesn’t just share a last name with Scream franchise alum Heather Matarazzo, the two also look a bit alike. But despite their similar features and same surname, the two actors aren’t related. The fact that Gaten’s mother is also named Heather makes things even more hilariously confusing.
5. Adam and Adrien Brody
Adrien and Adam Brody have had rather different careers. Adrien regularly works with serious Oscar-winning filmmakers, while Adam has a pop sensibility that made him an iconic TV heartthrob of the 2000s. But their six-year age gap makes it easy to assume they’re brothers in the same business, yet the two Brodys aren’t related.
6. Jesse and Paul McCartney
When a new singer appears on the scene with the same last name as one of the Beatles, it makes sense that some people figure the new star is a relative, if not the son, of that Beatle. But Jesse, who is American, isn’t even distantly related to the British Paul.
7. Taye and Daveed Diggs
Both Taye and Daveed Diggs are talented actors and musicians who have been stars on Broadway as well as on TV and movie screens. But the two multi-hyphenates aren’t brothers, cousins, or any other kind of relative.
8. Rhea and Ron Perlman
Despite their same last name and first initial and somewhat similar features, the actors Rhea and Ron Perlman are not siblings. But Rhea is married to another beloved actor: Danny DeVito.
9. Jack, Domhnall, and Brendan Gleeson
Iconic Irish actor Brendan Gleeson’s sons Domhnall and Brian followed their father into acting. So it’s easy to think that Jack Gleeson, another Irish actor (most famous as Joffrey on Game of Thrones), would be another member of the same Gleeson dynasty. But while Jack may have been inspired by Brendan’s work as a young Irishman, he’s of no relation to the family.
10. Peter Sarsgaard and the Skarsgårds
Scandinavian names can sometimes be difficult for non-Scandinavians to pronounce; they can also make people’s relationships with one another a little confusing. Like Brendan Gleeson and his sons, Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård is the father of four actor children who all share his last name. But the American-born Peter Sarsgaard, who is of Danish descent, is not one of them. In fact, he’s not related to the Skarsgård clan at all.
11. Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney
Moving even farther away from shared last names that may confuse, we’ve got this pair of similarly named actors who are variously confused for being brothers and the same person. But Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney have a great sense of humor about the confusion their names cause. Mulroney appeared in a Saturday Night Live sketch about it, and the two actors joked about it together while picketing.
12. Nas and Lil Nas X
One respondent in the discussion says that they “thought Lil Nas X was Nas’s son.” While that might seem silly to some given that “Nas” is a stage name for both, the two rappers have also recorded and performed a remix of Lil Nas X’s song “Rodeo” together, so it’s not too hard to see why someone might get confused.
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This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.