Lena Dunham Learns She’s Related to Larry David on ‘Finding Your Roots’

Lena Dunham received one of the biggest surprises of her life when she discovered her familial connection to Larry David.

During this week’s episode of Finding Your Roots, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed to Dunham that David, who appeared on the PBS docuseries’ fourth season, is her cousin on her mother’s side. The Girls creator expressed shock and joy upon learning the news.

“My husband’s going to freak out! It’s Larry David! The other L.D.!” she exclaimed, adding, “This is the hottest information I could have ever gotten.”

Gates explained that, based on the show’s DNA analysis of its guests, the Curb Your Enthusiasm creator shares “multiple long identical segments of DNA” with Dunham and her mom, Laurie Simmons.

“This means that you share at least one common ancestor somewhere on your mother’s side of your family tree,” he continued.

Still stunned, Dunham said she couldn’t have been more “delighted,” adding, “This is incredible. You saved the best for last.”

Lena Dunham on ‘Finding Your Roots.’.


Dunham’s ties to David are the latest in a long list of revelations on Finding Your Roots. Since debuting in 2012, the docuseries has uncovered the genealogies of many celebrities. 

Edward Norton discovered that he and Julia Roberts are genetic cousins, and Kerry Washington learned she was conceived through a sperm donor. Meanwhile, this season alone, Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk found out King Charles is his 11th cousin and Ciara realized Derek Jeter is a relative.

While many of Finding Your Roots’ guests have been grateful, a few have been less-than-enthused by the show’s reveals, including Ben Affleck, who requested that one detail — the discovery he was descended from slave owners — be omitted from his episode in the third season. Affleck later apologized in April 2015, expressing “regret” in a statement shared on his Facebook page.

“When you spit in that test tube, you never know what’s going to pop out,” Gates acknowledged to PEOPLE in February.

For its season finale, airing April 9, Finding Your Roots will take a different approach by hosting three non-famous guests — a first for the show. The idea stemmed from Gates, who previously told PEOPLE that viewers now stop him at the airport for selfies and have asked to have their own family trees explored.

“It turns out that the stories of non-celebrities are just as riveting, just as emotional and just as challenging,” Gates says.

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Finding Your Roots airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on PBS

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