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Kevin Bacon Left Baffled After Discovering His Wife Is Actually His Cousin

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are celebrated as one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples. Their love story has spanned over three decades, marked by mutual support, collaboration, and a seemingly unshakeable bond. However, a surprising discovery on a popular ancestry TV show revealed a twist in their tale that left many stunned. As you delve into their fascinating journey, prepare to uncover how a single revelation about their family trees added an unexpected chapter to their already remarkable lives.

A Shocking TV Revelation: How Kevin Bacon Learned About His Family

In a surprising revelation, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick discovered they are distant cousins while participating in the PBS TV series “Finding Your Roots.” The show, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., uses genealogical research and DNA testing to trace the ancestry of its guests. In the 2013 episode featuring Bacon and Sedgwick, Gates revealed that Sedgwick’s ninth cousin once removed was none other than her husband, Kevin Bacon​.

Sedgwick had anticipated this possibility, expressing concerns prior to the reveal. When Gates confirmed the connection, she exclaimed, “See. I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!” However, she also added, “As long as we’re not first cousins, it’s fine”. Her reaction was one of acceptance, as she later commented that she had suspected they might be related due to the nature of genealogical connections among most white people​​.

Kevin Bacon, on the other hand, took the news with a mix of humor and surprise. He humorously remarked, “No kidding. I knew I wasn’t getting enough respect,” upon learning about his other distant relatives, including Brad Pitt and Barack Obama​. Despite the unexpected revelation, Bacon and Sedgwick did not let this discovery affect their relationship. They continued to share a strong bond, celebrating over 35 years of marriage​​.

Hollywood’s Power Couple: Bacon and Sedgwick’s Journey

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick have been a prominent Hollywood couple since they married in 1988. They first met on the set of the television film “Lemon Sky” in 1987, and despite initial impressions, their relationship quickly blossomed. Sedgwick, known for her roles in “The Closer” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and Bacon, famous for his roles in “Footloose,” “Apollo 13,” and “JFK,” have built a life together that has lasted over three decades.

Their relationship has been marked by a deep bond and mutual support, which has seen them through various challenges. The couple shares two children, Travis and Sosie Bacon, both of whom have followed their parents into the entertainment industry. Travis is an actor and musician, while Sosie is an actress known for her role in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”​​.

Sedgwick has often spoken about the strength of their marriage, attributing its success to honesty and open communication. She decided early on to prioritize her family, scaling back her career to be more present for their children. This decision underscores the couple’s commitment to maintaining a strong family unit despite the demands of their careers​.

Kevin Bacon, reflecting on their marriage, has emphasized the importance of focusing on the positives and supporting each other through tough times. This philosophy helped them navigate significant financial losses during the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. They chose to concentrate on their blessings, such as their children and health, which helped them endure and emerge stronger from the ordeal​​.

In addition to their personal lives, Bacon and Sedgwick have continued to collaborate professionally, starring in several films together, including “Pyrates,” “Murder in the First,” and “The Woodsman.” Their shared experiences in both their personal and professional lives have undoubtedly contributed to the strength and longevity of their relationship​.

The Concept of ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’: How It All Started

The “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game originated in the mid-1990s when three students at Albright College in Pennsylvania created it as a playful challenge. The premise of the game is based on the “six degrees of separation” theory, which posits that any two people in the world can be connected through six or fewer social connections. In the case of this game, players attempt to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon through their film roles in six steps or less.

Initially, Kevin Bacon was not a fan of the game. He was “horrified” when he first learned about it, perceiving it as a joke at his expense. Bacon, who aspired to be seen as a serious actor like Dustin Hoffman or Meryl Streep, felt that the game trivialized his career by focusing on his connections rather than his work. He struggled with feelings of imposter syndrome and worried that the game implied he was a “loser” compared to other actors.

Bacon’s perspective on the game evolved over time despite his initial reservations. He eventually embraced the concept, recognizing its enduring popularity and the positive attention it brought. By the time the creators published the book “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in 1996, Bacon had come around to the idea so much that he wrote the book’s introduction. He has since used the game as a platform for charitable work through his SixDegrees.org foundation, which leverages the game’s concept to connect people with charitable causes.

The game’s popularity surged after the students appeared on “The Jon Stewart Show” and later on “The Howard Stern Show” with Bacon himself. These appearances helped catapult the game into mainstream culture, where it remains a beloved trivia challenge among movie buffs.

Bacon has since starred in numerous films and projects, making the game even easier to play. While he is no longer the most “linkable” actor according to the Oracle of Bacon, his legacy in both Hollywood and popular culture is firmly established. The game continues to be a fun way for fans to engage with his extensive filmography and celebrate the interconnected nature of the entertainment industry​.

Kevin Bacon’s Unexpected Ties

In the same episode of “Finding Your Roots” where Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick discovered they were distant cousins, other fascinating familial connections were revealed. The show, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., delved into the ancestry of the couple, uncovering numerous notable links and significant historical ties.

One of the most striking discoveries was that Kevin Bacon and Brad Pitt are 13th cousins twice removed. This revelation came as a surprise to many, including Bacon himself, who humorously remarked, “No kidding. I knew I wasn’t getting enough respect”​. This connection highlights the intricate web of relationships that many people, especially those in the public eye, might unknowingly share.

It was revealed that Kevin Bacon is also related to former President Barack Obama. They share a common ancestor named Anthony Woolhouse, making Bacon and Obama 12th cousins three times removed. This revelation further underscores the interconnected nature of genealogies and how historical ties can span continents and centuries​.

Kyra Sedgwick’s ancestry also brought to light significant historical connections. One of her ancestors, Theodore Sedgwick, was a prominent figure in American history who argued the freedom case of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as “Mumbet.” This case was pivotal in ending slavery in Massachusetts in 1781. This connection not only adds a layer of historical significance to Sedgwick’s family history but also highlights her ancestral roots in the fight for civil rights.

Moreover, the show revealed that both Bacon and Sedgwick have ancestors who were early opponents of slavery. Bacon’s Quaker ancestors repudiated slavery as early as 1780, long before it became a widespread movement in the United States. These discoveries added a profound historical context to their personal stories, showing how their ancestors played roles in significant historical events​.

How Did Fans React to Kevin Bacon’s Family News?

The revelation that Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are distant cousins sparked widespread interest and amusement among the public and media. When the news first broke on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” the couple’s reaction was a mix of surprise and humor. Kyra Sedgwick, in particular, took the news in stride, saying, “I figured I was going to be related to Kevin Bacon — I mean, most white people are related, ultimately”​​.

Kevin Bacon’s initial reaction was one of humor and light-heartedness. He jokingly commented that learning about his connection to other celebrities like Brad Pitt and Barack Obama made him realize he wasn’t getting enough respect. This playful attitude helped the couple handle the surprising news with grace​​.

The public’s reaction was largely positive and filled with amusement. Many people found the situation humorous, especially given the longstanding game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” which connects actors to Bacon through their film roles in six steps or fewer. This discovery added a real-life twist to the popular game, making the connection even more intriguing and entertaining for fans​​.

Media coverage highlighted the light-hearted nature of the discovery and the couple’s strong relationship, emphasizing their ability to laugh off the news. Articles and social media posts celebrated the couple’s resilience and good humor, with many praising their down-to-earth responses to what could have been an awkward situation​​.

Why Ancestry Research Matters

The ancestry discoveries revealed on “Finding Your Roots” not only added a layer of intrigue to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s relationship but also highlighted significant historical contexts. The couple learned that their ancestors played crucial roles in American history, particularly in the fight against slavery.

Kevin Bacon’s Quaker ancestors were early opponents of slavery, repudiating it long before it became a widespread movement in the United States. This opposition dates back to 1780, showcasing a deep-seated commitment to abolitionist principles within Bacon’s lineage​​.

Kyra Sedgwick’s ancestry is equally compelling. One of her ancestors, Theodore Sedgwick, argued the landmark freedom case of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as “Mumbet,” in 1781. This case was pivotal in ending slavery in Massachusetts, highlighting the Sedgwick family’s significant contributions to the abolitionist movement. These revelations provided a profound connection to their heritage and underscored their families’ roles in pivotal moments of American history​​.

These discoveries not only brought a personal touch to the couple’s understanding of their heritage but also offered viewers a glimpse into the broader historical narratives that shaped their ancestors’ lives. The insights gained from the show emphasized the importance of understanding one’s roots and the often surprising connections that can be uncovered through genealogical research.

Furthermore, the show highlighted how interconnected people can be, reinforcing the concept that history is a tapestry of interwoven lives and events. For Bacon and Sedgwick, learning about their ancestors’ significant roles in historical movements added a deeper sense of identity and connection to their past.

Celebrities and Their Unexpected Family Ties

In addition to the fascinating discoveries about Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s ancestry, several other celebrities have uncovered surprising and noteworthy family connections through genealogical research and DNA testing.

  1. George Clooney is distantly related to one of America’s most revered presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Clooney’s lineage traces back to an ancestor who was related to Lincoln’s parents, adding a remarkable historical connection to his family tree​​.
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch found out that he is a direct descendant of King Richard III, specifically his third cousin, sixteen times removed. This regal connection was fitting, as Cumberbatch later portrayed Richard III in the historical drama “The Hollow Crown” and the 2016 television film “Richard III”​.
  3. Danny Trejo experienced an emotional revelation on “Finding Your Roots” when he discovered more about his family’s struggles and resilience. Trejo’s great-grandfather moved from Mexico to Texas in 1918, worked under harsh conditions, and eventually established a home and business. Trejo expressed pride and gratitude for his ancestors’ perseverance and contributions to his family’s history​​.
  4. Eva Longoria, known for her Mexican-American heritage, learned through DNA testing that her ancestry is predominantly European, with a significant portion from Spain, along with African and Indigenous roots. This diverse genetic background enriched her understanding of her heritage beyond her Texan roots​.
  5. Snoop Dogg discovered that his genetic makeup is more varied than he previously thought. While he believed his ancestry was solely Sub-Saharan African, DNA tests revealed that he is also part Native American and European. This newfound knowledge provided a broader perspective on his family history​.

Unlocking Your Past: How to Research Your Family History

Embarking on a journey to uncover your family’s history can be both exciting and rewarding. Here are some practical tips to help you get started and make the most of your genealogical research:

1. Start with Yourself and Work Backwards

Begin your research with the information you know about yourself and your immediate family. This forms the foundation of your family tree. Document names, dates of birth, places of birth, and any other relevant details. Then, work backwards through the generations, methodically adding new information as you go​​.

2. Set Clear Goals

Before diving into databases, it’s crucial to have a clear research goal. Decide whether you want to explore a specific family lore, find out where your ancestors came from, or write a comprehensive family history. Setting specific and realistic goals can help structure your research and make the process more manageable​.

3. Interview Family Members

Older relatives can be invaluable resources for family stories, photographs, and documents. Conduct interviews, ask specific questions, and take detailed notes. These conversations can provide clues that are not found in official records and can help fill in gaps in your family tree​.

4. Utilize Online Resources

The internet offers a wealth of resources for genealogical research. Websites like Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and MyHeritage.com provide access to a vast array of records including census data, birth and death certificates, and immigration records. Joining online genealogy communities can also provide support and additional resources​​.

5. Visit Archives and Libraries

In addition to online databases, local archives and libraries can be treasure troves of information. Many hold unique records such as old newspapers, church records, and local histories that might not be available online. Before visiting, contact the archive to ensure they have the materials you need and understand any access requirements​​.

6. Document Your Sources

As you gather information, it’s important to keep meticulous records of your sources. This ensures that you can verify your findings and provide evidence for your family history. Keeping detailed notes and maintaining a research log can prevent you from retracing your steps and help maintain the credibility of your research​​.

7. Be Patient and Persistent

Genealogical research can be time-consuming and occasionally frustrating. It’s important to be patient and methodical in your approach. Sometimes, the information you need may not be readily available, and you may need to explore different avenues or wait for new records to become accessible​.

An Unexpected Connection

The surprising revelation about Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s distant familial connection adds a fascinating layer to their enduring love story. This discovery, unveiled on “Finding Your Roots,” underscores the importance of understanding one’s ancestry and the intriguing connections that can emerge from such research. It also highlights the couple’s ability to embrace and humorously handle unexpected news, further endearing them to their fans.

Exploring one’s roots can lead to astonishing and meaningful insights, as demonstrated by Bacon and Sedgwick’s experience. Their journey through genealogical research not only deepened their appreciation for their own heritage but also inspired many to delve into their family histories. In the end, their story reminds us of the interconnectedness of our lives and the rich, often surprising tapestry of human history.

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