The truth about Jenny and Melissa McCarthy's relationship

If you have ever wondered about Jenny McCarthy's marriage to Donnie Wahlberg, her friendship with Heather Dubrow, her past relationship with Jim Carrey, or her somewhat less-than-friendly situation with Amy Schumer, then you might have also wondered about her connection to another famous figure in her life. However, this time around, we are not referring to one of Jenny's romantic partners or a bosom buddy, and we are not referring to a celebrity foe or even an industry association. Instead, we are talking about Melissa McCarthy.

As you likely know, Melissa made her name in show business as a comedic star. She won fans over as Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls from 2000 and 2007 and has left countless fans in hysterics thanks to her roles in 2013's The Heat, 2015's Spy, and 2016's Ghostbusters. Beyond that, her career took a serious turn when she appeared in 2018's Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which earned her another Oscar nomination. (Her first came after her hilarious turn in Paul Feig's 2011 comedy Bridesmaids.)

As for Jenny, she has also scored her fair share of acting gigs over the years, and even landed her own show in 1997 aptly called Jenny. Before that, she first broke into the business as a Playboy model, and went on to work as a co-host for MTV's Singled Out, before eventually nabbing a gig as a co-host on The View and showing up as a judge on The Masked Singer. While it's clear that both women are successful Hollywood stars, as their shared last name might suggest, they are also related.

Melissa and Jenny McCarthy have a personal and professional connection

Melissa and Jenny McCarthy are more than just two successful celebrities. Melissa also happens to be Jenny's older cousin. In fact, Jenny took to Instagram in July 2015 to post a throwback photo with the caption, "Me, my sis, and my cousin Melissa. 102 degrees at the zoo, not happy campers." They might not have been thrilled when the pic was taken, but fans loved seeing the two together, with one person writing, "Funniest family ever!"

Jenny and Melissa "grew up in Illinois" and "spent their childhood years together with their expansive family," according to Us Weekly. When they became adults, they both headed off to Hollywood where Jenny apparently found success a little faster. When she landed her own sitcom, Jenny got her cousin a small gig on the show, which was Melissa's very first acting job.

While they both went on to establish themselves in different ways when it comes to their careers, Us noted that they "remain on good terms but are rarely seen in public together." In fact, they may not even interact in private. For instance, when Jenny married Donnie Wahlberg in 2014, Melissa was not one of the guests. That may be because, as Melissa told Howard Stern (via Us), the two were living in "opposite worlds." However, People also pointed out that Jenny has "spoken out against criticism of Melissa on multiple occasions," so maybe these cousins will always have each other's backs when it really matters.