Is Andie MacDowell Related To Malcolm McDowell?

We all like to think of ourselves as unique. But the world is a large, large place, and chances are you might one day run into someone with exactly the same name as you. While this isn't news to the Jane and Joe Smiths of the world, you can imagine how encountering another Fifibelle Stardust might be a tad disconcerting. And if your career hinges on name recognition, as with actors and musicians, you'd rather be the only one showing up in Google searches, thank you very much.

While unions like SAG exist to prevent two performers from using the same name, some overlap will always occur. And when actors share a last name, it's usually obvious whether they're related or not. (We doubt anyone thinks Kristen Stewart is Martha Stewart's secret love child, or that Matthew Perry and Katy Perry are long-lost twins.) But, in cases like Andie MacDowell and Malcolm McDowell, the possible connection is more ambiguous. After all, they're both award-winning actors — maybe dramatic talent runs in the family?

So, is the M[a]cDowells' connection due to clan or coincidence? Keep reading to find out!

What's the link between Andie MacDowell and Malcolm McDowell?

We'll get it out of the way immediately: Andie MacDowell and Malcolm McDowell are not related by blood or marriage. After all, he's British-born, while she hails from South Carolina — and, in case you didn't notice, they even spell their surnames differently! But there does exist a tenuous (and hilarious) connection between the two.

Way back in 1978, Malcolm met another gorgeous brunette actor: Mary Steenburgen, his co-star in "Time After Time" (via People). Despite Malcolm being married to Margot Bennet at the time, the pair fell in love and wed as soon as they could, welcoming daughter Lilly and son Charlie not long after.

Okay, but what does any of this have to do with Andie? Well, this is where things get interesting. Charlie McDowell, the aforementioned son of Malcolm and Steenburgen, grew up to be not only a filmmaker, but a prankster, too — with a particular fondness for teasing his poor mother. As outlined by Honey, nearly every year since 2014, "The One I Love" director posts a heartwarming social media tribute to "the woman who gave birth to me" — except, the woman pictured is never Steenburgen, his actual mother, but Andie, who almost certainly had nothing to do with his birth.

Andie MacDowell and Malcolm McDowell's connection became a running joke

While Andie MacDowell and Malcolm McDowell may not be related, their similar surnames have provided endless entertainment to Charlie's social media followers — except perhaps for poor Mary Steenburgen. Commenting: "WHAT AM I???? CHOPPED LIVER??" on one of Charlie's tributes to Andie, the "Melvin and Howard" actor has expressed everything from faux outrage to exasperation at her son's continued erasure of her role in his birth. 

Even Andie's actual daughter, actor Margaret Qualley, joined in on the fun, commenting: "Oh brother ... Dual meaning" on a 2018 Instagram picture of Andie, supposedly meant to honor Steenburgen's birthday.

However, the joke might soon be on Charlie himself. In September, the up-and-coming director married "Emily in Paris" star Lily Collins (via People), who also has a famous father in Genesis musician Phil Collins. And, despite his obviously keen sense of humor, we're betting Charlie won't be too pleased if their potential future kids post heart-warming Father's Day messages to "Supernatural" actor Misha Collins instead.