What's Your Favorite Random Piece of Celebrity Trivia?

Inspired by the thread of similar title, what are some of your favorite pieces of celebrity trivia? Celebrity here can be any person whose name and or likeness are well known.
A few totally trivial factoids:
Esther Rolle, best known for Good Times and Driving Miss Daisy, was one of more than twenty children born to Bahamian immigrants. (Some of the children died in infancy, but at least 16 lived to maturity.) Flip Wilson was from a family almost as large. Enrico Caruso is sometimes listed as the only one of his mother’s 21 children to survive, but in fact he was from a family of no more than six children (his publicists spun myths about him).

As with her fellow iconic Norman Lear affiliated black sitcom wife of the 70s Isabel Sanford (of The Jeffersons), Rolle was old enough to be the mother of the actor who played her husband.

Henry Winkler and Richard Belzer are first cousins.

Rudolph Valentino’s second wife, Natacha Rambova, was born Winifred Kimball to an unwed Mormon mother . She changed her name not just to sound more exotic (and to shed the surname of a stepfather, Shaughnessy, that she despised) but because she was very embarassed by the fact that her great-grandfather Heber Chase Kimball and many of his sons and grandsons were prominent polygamists. (Heber had 65 children by 17 wives.) It was ironic that soon after she came to fame as a dancer and the wife of the most famous matinee idol in the world and thought her family history was behind her, her husband was arrested… for polygamy! (Or actually bigamy- he never divorced his first wife.)

Lisa Kudrow, whose forte is playing ditzy blonde characters, has a degree in psychobiology from Vassar.

Fairly well known but I’ll post it anyway: Loretta Young adopted a baby girl in November 1935, nine months after co-starring with Clark Gable. The girl was named Judy Lewis by her mom and of course eventually discovered she was not adopted but the biological and illegitimate daughter of America’s unmarried sweetheart and her married co-star. (The photo of Ms. Lewis on that page has a stunning resemblance to her father.) When Ms. Lewis ascertained the truth Loretta Young denied it, but later it was proven with DNA from Gable’s posthumous only other child. Loretta admitted maternity on her deathbed but disinherited her daughter for going forward with the story.

Here’s one that I just found out yesterday and it totally shocked me:

Anderson Cooper’s (news guy on CNN) mother is…Gloria Vanderbilt!!! I knew about his father being author Wyatt Cooper but had no idea about Vanderbilt being his mom.

Lisa Kudrow also was the first pick to play ‘Roz’ on Frasier. She was even in the pilot, but after the role was recast her scenes were reshot before airing.

Don S. Davis, General Hammond on Stargate: SG-1, is a gifted artist. You can see some of his work here.

Super Dave Osborne and Albert Brooks are brothers.

“Indie-queen” Parker Posey is an accomplished mandolin player. She is genuinely playing the instrument in A Mighty Wind and has performed on some of her ex-boyfriend Ryan Adams’ recordings.

Both Barbara Eden and Reese Witherspoon are directly descended from founding fathers of the United States of America (Ben Franklin and Declaration signer John Witherspoon).

Jeanette MacDonald and Grandmama Addams from The Addams Family (the TV show, not the movies) were sisters.

The only movie star born on the Philadelphia Main Line was not Grace Kelly, nor Katharine Hepburn–but Jayne Mansfield.

James Arness and Peter Graves are brothers; Peter is the one who changed his last name.

Movie Pie Trivia
The first pie thrown in a silent movie was tossed by Mabel Normand and hit Ben Turpin. Silent pies were blueberry, not cream (it showed up better on camera) and were baked to a uniform size and weight. In silent movies, Buster Keaton never threw a pie (his first attempt was in the sound era). Charlie Chaplin was never hit by a pie.

The two actors who played Henry Blake in MAS*H (Roger Bowen in the movie and Maclean Stevenson in the TV show) died within 24 hours of each other.

And … Albert Brooks’ real name is Albert Einstein (Super Dave’s is Bob Einstein ) !
Bob Einstein/SD was also Officer Judy, the cop who was always harassing Tommy on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour .

C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley continued to receive speaking and publishing offers for years after they died because they both expired on the same day as John F. Kennedy and their obituaries were “buried” in the back of the newspapers and were skipped altogether on most nightly news programs due to the assassination.

Anthony Perkins had sex with a woman for the first time at 39. The woman was Victoria Principal, his costar in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. The next year he married Berry Berenson (sister of CABARET star Marisa Berenson) who died on September 11 when her plane was crashed into the WTC.

Burl Ives left an estate worth more than $20 million. Much of it came from traditional folk songs copyrighted in his name to receive publishing royalties and the rest from investments.

Benny Hill, who lived in a scarcely furnished working class apartment that none of his friends ever entered, left an estate worth between 10-20 million USD. He died intestate and had no immediate family; it was dispersed among cousins, some of whom didn’t even know him.

Bela Lugosi played Christ in a Rumanian Passion Play shortly before fleeing the country.

William Sanderson, bka Larry from Newhart or E.B. Farnum from Deadwood, has something in common with Robert Gant (born Gonzales), the studly professor from Queer as Folk: both are lawyers. (Sanderson never practiced, Gant did until he got his acting break.)

Dawn Wells of Gilligan’s Island owns a company that makes clothing for bedridden patients. It’s called Wishing Wells, is very successful, and she really does design them herself. (The inspiration was when she was caring for dignified invalid relatives and made clothing for them because she couldn’t find “pretty” clothes that would work for them; it was Natalie “Mrs. Howell” Schafer (who was a millionaire in her own right, not just the wife of one, due to real estate investments as a contract player), who she was also caregiver for, who convinced her to start the company.

Sophie Tucker is considered by some fashion historians the celebrity who popularized pantsuits for women. She created a stir wearing them in the 20s, years before Garbo and Dietrich. (Bette Midler was inspired by Sophie and named her daughter for her, though she never met her.) Sophie is also believed to be the originator of the line “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better”, not Pearl Bailey.

Comedian Moms Mabley had two children by the time she was 14 years old. Loretta Lynn became a grandmother in her early 30s (29 by some counts, 31 at others).

Sam Kinison was a Pentecostal minister before becoming a XXX comedian.

Fred G. Sanford was the name of Redd Foxx’s real life brother, the “good kid” in his family who died a middle aged teamster. Redd named the character for him to immortalize him. (The G stood for ‘Glenn’, and his brother really did the "the G stands for ‘gonna beat you up’ stuff.) Foxx was sued for support several times by his mother including at the height of SANFORD & SON, but refused to pay and won the suits. (His mother abandoned him and his brother when they were very small and he felt no moral obligation to care for her.)

“Aunt Esther” Lawanda Page was a stripper at one point and a lifelong friend of Redd’s from childhood on. This is a relatively work safe picture of her as a stripper.

Character actor Harold Gould (bka Rhoda’s dad or Rose’s boyfriend from GOLDEN GIRLS) is one of the best educated actors in the business. He has two MAs and a Ph.D.

I have to say, I’m a fashion historian and have read every word published on Soph, and this is a new one on me. Cite?

McLean Stevenson (of MAS*H) and Adlai Stevenson (two time 1950’s Democratic Presidential Nominee and Ambassador to the United Nations) were 2nd cousins once removed.

Frank Sinatra was offered the chance to appear on television in 1938, when it was strictly experimental. He turned it down because it “wasn’t show business.” At the time, he was hanging around outside ballrooms waiting for band buses to pull in, and helping haul gear in exchange for auditions.

Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors was a pro baseball player with a cup of coffee in the major league. While playing for the Chicago Cubs farm club in Los Angeles, he came to the attention of Hollywood and was cast in a bit part in Pat and Mike with Tracy and Hepburn, starting his movie career.

Paul Robson, one of the great early Black actors (and singers), and best known for his rendition of “Old Man River,” was an All-America football player for Rutgers, and considered one of the best of his era.

I got it from one of the Panati books, but it’s reference on her imdb bio.

And a card carrying member of the Communist Party. He was destroyed financially under McCarthy because even though he was offered huge (for the time) contracts to act and sing in Europe (where he was extremely popular) his passport was revoked and he couldn’t go.

Ernest “Raj” Thomas was the original choice to play the young Kunta Kinte in ROOTS but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. He played a lesser character in the piece because it only required a couple of days of shooting.

Will “Grandpa Walton” Geer was another card carrying Communist as well as a professional and well educated botanist. He was also openly bisexual very early; it’s rumored that a clause in his WALTONS contract forbade him to discuss it in interviews.