Strange Celeb Ancestors That Explain A Lot

Nature versus nurture is a debate that, frankly,
most of us really don’t care about. But every once in awhile, you just have to
wonder whether that craving for corn dogs is learned behavior or due to the genetic
legacy bequeathed to you by one of your ancestors. And the same question holds true for celebrities. The talented, the beautiful, the powerful
— did they become famous simply because they won the genetic lottery? Here’s a look at some of the stranger celebrity
ancestors that explain a lot about their famous descendants. Tom Hanks’ presidential pedigree Hollywood icon Tom Hanks is known for his
upstanding, everyman demeanor. So where does he get his all-American personna
from? Well, it might be because he comes from the
same line as the most American American of all time: Abraham Lincoln. Yes, Lincoln’s mother was Nancy Hanks, making
Honest Abe and the star of Joe Versus the Volcano distant cousins. The resemblance is uncanny. Emma Watson’s witchy woman In Harry Potter, Hermione Granger was often
ridiculed by the forces of He Who Must Not Be Named for having no magic in her bloodline. “How dare you talk to me, you filthy little
mudblood.” But it turns out that’s not quite true. According to an expose, actress
Emma Watson is 14th cousins with a real witch. Well, at least, as far as the English courts
were concerned, since they convicted Watson’s ancestor, Joan Playle of witchcraft, excommunicating
her from the Church of England in the process. Who’s the mudblood now, Draco?! And as it turns out, there’s another interesting
ancestral connection within the world of Harry Potter… J.K. Rowling’s heroic legacy In 2009, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was awarded France’s highest honor,
the Legion d’honneur, for her literary service to the world. But it wasn’t the first time her family had
been singled out for upholding the ideals of France. Rowling’s great-grandfather, Louis Valant,
earned the croix d’e guerre for displaying uncommon bravery at the Battle of Verdun during
World War I. “It’s better. The Croix d’e Guerre is much better than the
Legion d’Honneur.” Now we know just how Rowling was able to craft
those amazing tales of heroism: seems she was drawing on her own family’s legacy. President Obama’s All-American roots His rise from the son of a struggling single
mother to the leader of the free world is the quintessential American story. And it turns out his ancestry is just as uniquely
American. According to genealogists, President Obama
is actually descended from John Bunch, the son of John Punch, one of the first African
slaves in American history. But that’s not all. “John Bunch’s mother was white. And so was his wife. Which means that President Obama descends
from the first known black and white couple that left traceable descendants.” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Katharine Hepburn’s ancient muse All-time great Hollywood actress Katharine
Hepburn is known for playing iconic film roles such as Eleanor of Aquitaine in the classic
film The Lion in Winter. Surprisingly, she had a leg up on her competition:
the real Eleanor of Aquitaine was actually one of her ancestors. That wasn’t her only royal connection to a
part she played, either. She’s also related to James Hepburn, the third
husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, who Katharine Hepburn played in Mary of Scotland. Talk about authenticity… America Ferrera’s revolutionary roots Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants actress
America Ferrera has been breaking down barriers and standing up for her beliefs throughout
her career. And it seems she comes by it naturally. Her great-grandfather, General Gregorio Ferrera,
was a revered rebel leader in Honduras who repeatedly led movements to protect the rights
of the people against the country’s corrupt government regimes. And like his great-granddaughter America,
he also gained his powers via a pair of magic pants. Okay, that part isn’t true, but the rest of
it totally is. Adam Vinatieri’s Last Stand Legendary NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri is renowned
for keeping his cool under fire, helping his teams win four Super Bowls thanks to his clutch
performances. Where did he get that ice water in his veins
from? Probably from his great-great-grandfather,
Felix Vinatieri, who served in the military under the command of General George Armstrong
Custer. Yes, that General Custer. Felix was even slated to accompany Custer
on the mission that would go down in history as Custer’s Last Stand, but Custer ordered
Felix, who was the unit’s band leader, to remain behind with his bandmates and await
their victorious return. And we thought Super Bowl 36 was a close call! Meryl Streep is everything Finally, there’s Meryl Streep, who is widely
acclaimed as one of the greatest actresses of all time. She has so many talents, it’s impossible to
trace them back to just one strange ancestor. But that’s fine, because Streep descended
from a slew of noteworthy forebears. Besides being directly related to a cousin
of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, she is also the descendant of one of the members
of Pennsylvania’s constitutional congress in 1776. Her family arrived in America the old-fashioned
way. During the English Civil War, her ancestors
were thrown out of the country, only to help start another war — King Phillip’s War against
the Native American tribes of Massachusetts — once they arrived in the New World. Is it any wonder Streep is able to bring such
complexity and command to her roles? “We’re so ignorant of our back-history, you
know, we’re very busy with our own lives, and we’re the sum of all the people who lived
before us.” Thanks for watching! Click the Grunge icon to subscribe to our
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