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 then she laid down on the floor and said the line. People were actually cheering and clapping for her.
My uncle is the assistant manager at a Wendy's. Sometimes we get a free frosty, but that's very rare.
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 and stuff. It's actually just like everyone else, no different.
The one funny is that 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.
My uncle is Steve Smith, also known as 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. 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 significant others 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 bare a strong resemblance, which is nice.
My spouse is related to David Tennant.
I did not know this until after we were married (my 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.
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.
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 modelling 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.
My aunt is Xena the Warrior Princess 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!
I'm related (distantly) to Elvis Presley. I went to the Presley family reunion years back. 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, the 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.
I'm related to Keanu Reeves. We have a Reeve's ohana gathering every year in Hawai'i 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, 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 cause I live in 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 cause of violence, they see a movie poster and look all awe-struck. So cute.
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. Though he does always bring the best drinks to the parties. So, there's that.
My ex was related to Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet that was very famous in Ireland. 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. It was a very humble and normal house. 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. However, I am happy to learn that such a lovely man was (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.
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'. I think I left it at my ex's when I broke up with him - too bad.
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, I can imagine.
My professor last semester turned out to be Matt Damon's stepdad. School gossip says he cancelled class for J.Lo and Ben Affleck's wedding (and then abruptly un-cancelled it when the wedding didn't work out). So, that's a bit of fun!
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.
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. 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 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.
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. 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. You'd never know that he helped change the world.
My uncle played for the Toronto Maple Leafs as a goalie in the 80s and 90s, (then other NHL teams a bit later).
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 people. 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.
My dad's cousin is an actor with a couple hundred IMDB entries who is currently playing a role in one of my favorite TV shows. I don't want to say his name, because it's the same last name as me.
I've met him 3 times. He lives in LA and every time he comes back to 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.
My grandpa is a famous cartoonist. His stuff has been in the papers since the 60's. I know it's not as exciting as a movie star, but I've gotten to meet almost every wildly famous cartoonist/illustrator. These are the kookiest people you've ever met. Once a year, they'd gather at my grandpa's house for a charity auction. One year 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. Anyway, I love my grandpa and I'm so fortunate to have grown up with a piece of that world.
Okay, I know this isn't exactly "related", but my wife used to take celebrities around to visit kids at the hospital where she worked. Her favorite one by far was Jim Carrey. She's not really into famous people. I offered to help when Anna Kournikova was coming, but all my wife said was, "Who is she? An ice skater?" She wasn't too excited when Carrey was coming, but by the end of the evening, she was a huge fan. Here's why:
He got down on the floor to play with the kids, did his silly voices and movie characters, signed autographs, the whole shebang. There was one teenager who wasn't doing particularly well, and Jim gave the kid's mom his phone number so that they could call when they wanted. At one point, his handlers told him it was time to go to a benefit dinner, but he refused to leave until he finished visiting with some more children. Mind you, there were no camera's rolling or media covering the visit.
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.
My uncle is a retired hall of fame actor... from 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 in the buff. I stared for a minute then woke them up. I was 12. My voice changed three octaves that year.
My cousins are in the band Cage The Elephant. They are so down-to0earth that their fame doesn't really affect our family. We are all so close, (even though we live so far away), and they invite us to their concerts when they're in town. I will say, 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 worked hard in our family.
My dad is very proud of his nephews and is always promoting their music.
Not me, but 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, he'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 that they ate there.
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.
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.
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 town to raise my sister and me as normally as possible. The main difference between me and 90% of the other people that live here is that we are extremely wealthy, though we try not to flaunt it. I get cool perks sometimes (movie premieres, rare, backstage passes 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. My dad got recognized a lot more when I was younger, but I only remember bits and pieces of that. My mom is a substitute teacher in our local school district, so really, when here, she gets recognized more than he does. Distant family calls and asks for stuff occasionally, but I've lead a pretty normal life for the most part.
My life is more hectic when we go out with his friend. He 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, and nobody glances at my dad unless they're a hardcore wrestling fan.
His "glory days" were the late 80's and late 90's, but he's still involved with WWE occasionally.