Michael Douglas Discovers He’s Related to Scarlett Johansson: Finding Your Roots

Michael Douglas has discovered a fellow actor is also a distant relative: Scarlett Johansson.

On the PBS series Finding Your Roots, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed that the Black Widow actress is a “DNA cousin” of Douglas, 79.

“Are you kidding?” asked a visibly shocked Douglas on the show. “Oh, that’s amazing. All right. This is cool. This is so cool.”

According to Gates and his “book of life” containing research from professional genealogists, Douglas and Johansson, 39, “share identical branches of DNA on four different chromosomes.”

The two actors’ branches of shared DNA “appear on Scarlett’s maternal lines, which stretch back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe,” Gates explained to Douglas.

“That’s incredible,” responded the Oscar winner. Then he quipped: “Well, I look forward to seeing Scarlett next time!”

Johansson and Douglas both appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest installment, 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, as Natasha Romanoff and Hank Pym, respectively. 

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Michael Douglas on “Finding Your Roots”.


Douglas is the first child of actors Kirk Douglas and Diana Hill. His paternal grandparents were Russian Jews who emigrated to America. The Kominsky Method star, who has three children, has been married to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000. 

The April 2 episode of the series featuring Douglas, the penultimate installment of Finding Your Roots season 10, also includes Lena Dunham. The writer-director-actor similarly learned of an ancestral celebrity connection, sharing “at least one common ancestor” with fellow filmmaker Larry David, according to Gates. 

“This is the hottest information I could have ever gotten,” responded Dunham, 37, in awe. “My husband’s going to freak out!”

Scarlett Johansson in 2023.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Finding Your Roots has since 2012 unveiled genealogical surprises for well-known public figures. Among the series’ many discoveries have been Edward Norton learning that he and Julia Roberts are genetic cousins, Kerry Washington realizing she was conceived through a sperm donor, Bob Odenkirk unearthing ties to King Charles and Nathan Lane, and Viola Davis finding out that she’s related to Anita Hill.

In February, Gates told PEOPLE about how questions about his own lineage sparked his investigations into family trees. “I went into orbit when I found out that DNA could be used to trace your ancestry back 500 years,” he said of his journey to launching the series. “When you spit in that test tube, you never know what’s going to pop out.”

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.

Leonardo DiCaprio Met with Zack Snyder About ‘Batman v Superman’ Role

Leonardo DiCaprio has never strayed into making comic book movies — but that does not mean he has never thought ...

Beyoncé Sends South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley Flowers After NCAA Title Win

Dawn Staley is getting her flowers — including from the “Queen,” herself.On Wednesday, the South Carolina women’s basketball coach shared ...

These are reportedly Travis Kelce’s favorite songs on Taylor Swift’s new album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Travis Kelce has reportedly listened to all the tracks on girlfriend Taylor Swift’s new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” ahead ...

'Murder of domestic cricket', Mohammad Hafeez scolds PCB for selection of Pak team

Pakistan cricket team: A social media post by Mohammad Hafeez, former captain and director of Pakistan cricket team, has created ...

All About Neve and Beckett

Conan O’Brien can find the humor in anything, including parenting his kids: Neve and Beckett. The former late-night host and ...

Jason Kelce Says He Doesn’t Wear Underwear

Jason Kelce is a man who knows what he likes — and what he doesn't. One thing he doesn't like? Underwear ...

India Ready To Take Steps To mitigate impact Due To Iran Israel conflict on its economy Says Nirmala Sitharaman. Finance Minister Sitharaman said, Iran

Iran Israel Conflict: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the Indian government is fully prepared to reduce any impact ...

LSG vs CSK MS Dhoni hit a six on the last ball while hoarding in Lucknow but LSG won the IPL 2024 match

MS Dhoni LSG vs CSK IPL 2024: Chennai Super Kings has performed well in IPL 2024. The team has played ...

Alexia Nepola thanks ‘RHOM’ fans after Todd’s shock divorce filing

Alexia Nepola is getting through her divorce with the “love and support” of her fans. The “Real Housewives of Miami” ...

Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton Says Brain Tumor ‘Ignited My Faith’

Scott Hamilton has faced a myriad of health challenges in his life, from cancer to multiple brain tumors, but he ...

Leave a Comment