Celebrities You Had No Idea Were Related To Politicians

Interestingly, celebrities and politics often go hand in hand. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger for example. The actor is just as well known for his stint as the governor of California as he is for his role in "The Terminator" franchise. Donald Trump, the businessman and reality TV star who went on to become the 45th president of the U.S., is arguably one of the most infamous examples of what can happen when celebrities and politics collide.

Although these celebrity politicians are often polarizing, Schwarzenegger argued that he and Trump appeal to those who aren't fans of traditional politicians. "Why did I get elected?" the former California governor asked while speaking with The New York Times in 2021. "Why did Trump get elected? Because people were dissatisfied with the politicians. They hate the politicians. They can't trust them. This is the overriding story." While celebs like Schwarzenegger and Trump are directly involved in the world of politics, other stars are involved through lineage.

Here are a few celebrities you had no idea were related to politicians.

Steven Ford

Steven Ford, the actor known for his roles in "The Young and the Restless" and "When Harry Met Sally," is the son of the late former U.S. President Gerald Ford. Steven is making sure his father's legacy lives on through a 2016 documentary about his life and the Gerald R. Ford Foundation. The actor spoke about the documentary, titled "Gerald R. Ford: A Test of Character," during an interview with The Washington Post. He pointed out that the film was being released on the heels of the 2016 presidential election. "I have to laugh about the timing, because there couldn't be a bigger difference between what's going on today and when Dad ran against Reagan and Carter — he knew how to disagree with someone without being disagreeable," Steven told the outlet.

As for Steven's work with the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, he serves as their Trustee and Chairman. The non-profit corporation promotes historical literacy and education through its Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum and other efforts.

During an interview for the Gerald R. Ford Oral History Project, Steven spoke more about his father's approach to politics. The actor said that Gerald was easily able to find common ground even with those he disagreed with. "And I think that goes back to why he could reach across the aisle in Congress and work with Democrats and Republicans both so well," he said.

Jenna Bush Hager

These days, Jenna Bush Hager is most widely recognized for appearing on our TV screens each morning on the "Today" show. However, she is also the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush. Of course, this means that she's also the granddaughter of the late former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. It might be safe to say the TV personality absorbed a lot of knowledge over the years, given she grew up so close to two former presidents. During an episode of the "Today" show, Jenna shared some of the lessons she learned from her mom and dad. When asked about how she's able to cope with criticism, Hager said "It's 'cause of my parents. I watched as my parents took on stuff and would say to us 'Baby, it didn't matter. We know we're not like that. We know we're not that person.'" 

She went on to share that her father had quite a sense of humor even when insults were thrown his way. "We were like, 'Dad, we saw the best bumper sticker,'" Jenna said, reminiscing on a time when she decided to poke fun at her dad. "It said 'A village in Texas is missing its idiot!' and he laughed hysterically because he knows who he is." On "Today with Hoda & Jenna," Jenna spoke on the guidance she received from her late grandfather, sharing that he lived by a list of rules that she now follows.

Kate Upton

It seems that a wide range of talent exists within Kate Upton's family, because the model isn't the only Upton that makes headlines. Her uncle is former Michigan congressman Fred Upton. Fred and Kate appear to be close because the former congressman once gave the model a tour around the U.S. Capitol. Kate also visited Washington D.C. as part of her 21st birthday celebration, which was documented by U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy via social media.

Fred spoke about the Upton family's reaction to Kate's Sports Illustrated cover during an interview with Fox News in 2012. "She's a great gal," he said. "It's been fun to watch her grow up. She is only 19, but we're all proud of Kate." He went on to share that colleagues poked fun at his and his niece's lack of resemblance. "I get a lot of my colleagues asking if I was adopted," Fred joked. Kate also discussed her family's reaction to the magazine cover that helped her career skyrocket during an interview with "Fox & Friends" (via Politico). "My family's always been into sports and so Sports Illustrated has always been in our house," the model said. "So now to be on the cover of the swimsuit issue is such an accomplishment."

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, ran for a spot in the U.S. House representing South Carolina in 2013. The "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" host publicly supported his sister during her campaign. During an interview with CNN, he admitted that this was his first time being involved with an election. "She's my sister," the comedian said at the time. "And I'm willing to, you know, break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her." Stephen went on to seemingly suggest that his involvement with his sister's campaign could draw criticism from fans, but he didn't mind taking that risk for her. 

Unfortunately for the Colbert family, Elizabeth lost to Mark Sanford, who was previously the governor of South Carolina. Colbert addressed his sister's loss on "The Colbert Report" (via The Hollywood Reporter). As you might have guessed, he took a comical approach. "Tonight, I am angry," the comedian joked. "And, for once, that doesn't make me happy. My sister lost. How could this happen? I was so sure Lulu had won because CNN called it for Sanford."

Robin Thede

Comedian and sketch writer Robin Thede of "A Black Lady Sketch Show" is the daughter of Phyllis Thede, who serves in the Iowa House of Representatives. Phyllis has held this position since 2009, so it is perhaps no surprise that her role in politics has impacted her daughter's career. Robin was asked about whether her mom's job inspires her material during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "That's something that only helped me, because my early career was as a journeyman writer and comic — a pilot here and a pilot there, but no one knew who the f*** I was," the comedian said. "Nothing popped off until 'The Nightly Show.' When I interviewed with Larry Wilmore for the head writer job, I got to tell him the story of my mom in politics. I think that helped him know that I was the right fit for that show."

The comedian may have repaid her mother for the career boost because she revealed during an appearance on "The Real" that she paid off her parents' mortgage. "For me, it was just the ultimate dream to be able to do that for my parents," Robin said on the talk show. She also made it clear that she won't be following in Phyllis' footsteps by becoming a politician any time soon.

Larry David

Larry David had no idea that he and Bernie Sanders (who some have said is his doppelgänger) are cousins until they both appeared on the PBS show "Finding Your Roots." In two separate settings on the show, David and Sanders were seated at a table and told it was discovered they had a relative they didn't know about. Both were handed a binder containing a photo of one another, revealing that they're cousins. "People say to me — they talk about Larry David, and they say he does a better Bernie Sanders than I do," Sanders said of Larry, who portrayed him in "Saturday Night Live" skits.

David and Sanders spoke in person during an episode of the "Today" show, and they were all jokes. Al Roker asked David how he'd feel if Sanders became president (he was running for president during the 2020 U.S. election at the time). "As I said before, it's great for the country, terrible for me,” David quipped. "I have to fly in. To do him. Every week. It wouldn't be pleasant, I must tell you." Sanders then replied, "I'm giving you a good job for four years, and you're complaining."

Katie Couric

Jenna Bush Hager isn't the only "Today" show host with a politician in the family. Katie Couric's late sister, Emily Couric, was a Virginia senator. Emily died of pancreatic cancer in 2001, but she worked in politics even after she was first diagnosed. However, her illness sadly ended her career early. "Clearly my health is my first priority," Emily said after announcing her diagnosis, per Wired. "Pancreatic cancer is not, as my sister says, the cancer of choice. It's a tough one."

Katie continues to honor her late sister. In 2017, she shared an Instagram post with a heartfelt caption in remembrance of Emily. "As I've watched so many women decide to run for office and get into public service, it's made me think of my sister, who as a state Senator loved representing the people of Charlottesville and all of Albemarle County," the former "Today" host wrote in part. "Emily would be so proud of the many women who want to 'be the change they wish to see.'" Emily was Katie's second family member to die of cancer. When the TV personality's husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer, Emily worked to pass legislation to help Virginia residents get diagnosed earlier. Katie revealed that these laws require insurance companies to cover colonoscopies for those 50 and over.

Olympia Dukakis

The late Oscar-winning actor Olympia Dukakis is related to former governor of Massachusetts and presidential nominee Michael Dukakis – the two are cousins. It seems that they were close because Olympia shined the spotlight on Michael during her acceptance speech after winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1987 film "Moonstruck." She shouted, "OK, Michael, let's go!" in reference to the fact that her cousin was running for president at the time. 

According to AP News, Olympia also helped Michael out by speaking about his life in a prerecorded video shown to audiences at the Democratic National Convention. "Like our fathers before us, Mike believes that in America, anything is possible,″ the actor said in the clip. ″We all know that many Americans have come to this country with nothing, nothing but hope. Well, today one of their sons stands before you with the opportunity to be president of the United States." The star went on to detail Michael's high school years and explain that her own father migrated from to the United States from Greece. Clearly Olympia wasn't quiet about her support for her cousin prior to her death. She passed away at age 89 in 2021. The star was married to fellow actor Louis Zorich, and the two had three children.

Amy Schumer

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is actor Amy Schumer's cousin. Not only has this duo posed for Instagram selfies together, but Amy has also come to Chuck's defense after he faced backlash from former U.S. President Donald Trump. Things unfolded after Trump signed an executive order that led to restrictive immigration policies. Chuck responded to Trump's decision with an emotional speech. He even shed tears while delivering his message. "We're saying no to misguided executive orders because they're bad for America, bad for our national security, bad for the humanitarian nature that America has always been," the politician said during his speech. 

Chuck's speech apparently upset Trump because the former president later took to Twitter to share, "Nancy Pelosi and Fake Tears Chuck Schumer held a rally at the steps of The Supreme Court and mic did not work (a mess)-just like Dem party!" This is when Amy — who isn't afraid to speak her mind — chimed in via a lengthy message shared to Instagram (via Page Six). "I know Chuck Schumer and HE CANNOT act trust me," she wrote in part in the since-deleted post. "He can barely smile on cue. He can't help but be transparent and genuine. He was hurt for those people and all the people facing such unconstitutional injustice."