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Sibling Actors with Different Last Names

Updated on April 12, 2013

I Didn't Know They Were Siblings!

I am a fanatic about checking the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) after watching an especially good movie or television show. Often I go on tangents once on the Web site looking at an actor's IMDb page, and sometimes seeing who their siblings are is a shocker. It makes me say, "I didn't know they were siblings!"

I watched "The Heiress" the other night on AMC with Olivia de Havilland and looked up the movie on IMDb. That's when I saw the bit of trivia that prompted me to write this lens--Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were sisters. Fascinating!

Of course, the most widely known two actors who have different last names is probably Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estivez.

Photo of Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon in a still from the movie The Apartment. (They are not siblings... keep reading to see who her sibling is.)

Source: Photo in the public domain on wikipedia.

Sibling Actors with Different Last Names - Who knew?

These siblings have different last names:

  • Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen
  • James Arness and Peter Graves
  • Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
  • Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland
  • Emilio Estivez and Charlies Sheen
  • Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan, identical twins
  • Leif Garrett and Dawn Lyn

Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine - Sisters -- Actresses

Did you know that Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland are sisters! Who knew? Not me. I watched "The Heiress" the other night on AMC with Olivia de Havilland and looked up the movie on IMDb then saw that bit of trivia. Fascinating!

Joan Fontaine was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland. Olivia Marie de Havilland is her sister.

Good Girls

"Playing good girls in the 30s was difficult,

when the fad was to play bad girls.

Actually I think playing bad girls is a bore;

I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress."

~ Olivia De Havilland

Peter Graves and James Arness - Brothers -- Actors

"Matt Dillon was the kind of guy who's low-key but stands for what is right, ... And he goes about seeing that things turn out that way - with, of course, a lot of people suffering along the way."

~ James Arness

Charlie Sheen and Emelio Estévez - Do you know Charlie's real name?

Martin Sheen, born Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez, and Janet Sheen are Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez's parents. Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estevez. His brother Emelio Estevez kept his birth name, saying he liked how the two Es making his initials were "pretty." Charlie changed his last name, taking his mother's last name, to match his father's last name.

"You can't process me

with a normal brain."

~ Charlie Sheen

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty - Sibling Actors

Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty and Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty. They both changed their names.

Love Affair
Love Affair

Warren Beatty stars in Love Affair with spouse Annette Benning.

In Her Shoes
In Her Shoes

Shirley MacLaine is the grandmother of two granddaughters played by Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz.


"I've made so many movies playing a hooker

that they don't pay me in the regular way

anymore. They leave it on the dresser."

~ Shirley MacLaine

Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen - Sibling Actresses

Phylicia Ayers-Allen and Deborrah Kaye Allen are sisters. Phyicia changed her name to Rashad when she married Ahmad Rashad in 1985. They have since divorced. Before 1985, she used her birth name Phylicia Ayers-Allen.

"What I love about being an actress is being

able to really look into myself and

understand another human being."

~ Phylicia Rashad

Leif Garrett and Dawn Lyn - Siblings -- Actors

Leif Garrett was born Leif Per Nervik. His sister was born Dawn Lyn Nervik.

Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan - Twins and Actors

Nicholas Brendon Schultz and Kelly Donovan Schulz are identical twins who simply dropped their last name to stand apart. Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan starred in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Nicholas currently acts in Criminal Minds. Kelly is also a stunt man in movies and television.

Did you know about these sibling actors with different last names?

Which pair of siblings were you most surprised to read about?

See results

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Do you know any other sibling actors with different last names?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very interesting lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting lens! I'm glad to learn that there's someone else who runs to IMDB immediately after seeing a movie.

    • SquidooPower profile image


      6 years ago

      Smart idea for a lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @anonymous: Thanks for the info!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dana Andrews and Steve Forrest are sibling actors with different last names.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens ... I could spend hours on IMDb!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      How fun to know who's related! The quotes are great.

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @Virginia Allain: Yes, I knew AC is the son of GV but don't know his father. Interesting!

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @anonymous: Yes, you're right, Olivia and Joan are 95 and 94, respectively. I didn't know about Dana Andrews and Steve Forest. Will add them! Thanks.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      It is odd to discover some of these. For instance, most people don't realize that Anderson Cooper (news) is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt (designer/heiress) and Wyatt Cooper (writer).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You forgot Dana Andrews and Steve Forest. I knew about Olivia and Joan. They hate each other. Both nominated the same year for an Academy Award only made things worst. Their name is De Havilland. as in the aerospace company, they are family. Each of them, separately of course, came up several times to the De Havilland plant near Toronto to christen new planes. Joan was a pilot. Fontaine was their step-fathers name. Anyway they must both be in their 90s now.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fun lens, Peggy! So inventive. You're really good at this Squidoo stuff.


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