Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson: Exploring Their Surprising Family Connection

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson: Exploring Their Surprising Family Connection

When it comes to Hollywood celebrities, it’s not uncommon to hear about long-lost relatives or connections that date back to several generations. However, the connection between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson is a lot closer than you’d think. These two actors have been friends for decades and have even worked together on several projects. But did you know that they are actually related? In this article, we’ll explore the surprising family ties between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Who Are Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson?

Before we dive into their family connection, let’s take a brief look at who these two actors are.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey is an American actor, producer, and writer. He first gained fame in the mid-1990s with his breakout role in the film “Dazed and Confused.” Since then, he has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “True Detective,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “Interstellar.” He has won several awards for his performances, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson is also an American actor, as well as a playwright and activist. He gained recognition in the 1980s for his role in the TV series “Cheers.” Since then, he has appeared in a variety of films, including “Natural Born Killers,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “Zombieland.” Like McConaughey, he has won several awards for his work, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

The Family Connection

So, how are these two Hollywood actors related? The answer lies in their shared heritage from the state of Kentucky. Both McConaughey and Harrelson have roots in Kentucky and have traced their family trees back to a common ancestor named Robert Harrelson.

Robert Harrelson

Robert Harrelson was born in South Carolina in the late 1700s and later settled in Kentucky. He had several children, including a son named William Madison Harrelson. William Madison Harrelson, in turn, had a son named Hezekiah William Harrelson. And it was Hezekiah’s son, James Donald Harrelson, who was the grandfather of both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Shared Ancestry

So, what does this mean exactly? It means that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are actually distant cousins. According to genealogy experts, they share a common ancestor in Robert Harrelson, which makes them sixth cousins. While this may not seem like a close family connection, it’s still a surprising revelation given that these two actors have been friends for so many years.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s Friendship

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson first met in the early 1990s and quickly became friends. They have since worked together on several projects, including the hit HBO series “True Detective” and the film “EDtv.” Their on-screen chemistry is often attributed to their real-life friendship and shared sense of humor.

“True Detective”

“True Detective” is perhaps the most well-known project that McConaughey and Harrelson have worked on together. The HBO series premiered in 2014 and was praised for its gritty, atmospheric storytelling and standout performances from its lead actors. McConaughey and Harrelson played two detectives investigating a string of brutal murders in Louisiana. Their performances earned them both critical acclaim and several award nominations.


“EDtv” is a comedy film that was released in 1999. The movie follows the life of a man named Ed Pekurny (played by Matthew McConaughey), who agrees to have his life broadcast on television 24/7. Woody Harrelson plays Ed’s older brother, who is initially skeptical of the idea but eventually becomes a key part of the show. While “EDtv” was not as well-received as “True Detective,” it still showcased McConaughey and Harrelson’s ability to work well together on-screen.


In conclusion, the family connection between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson is an interesting and surprising discovery. While they may be sixth cousins, their friendship and shared history in the entertainment industry make them seem much closer. Fans of these two talented actors can appreciate the unique connection they share and look forward to any future projects they might work on together.

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About the Author: Leah Harper

Leah Harper is the global technology editor for Daily Mid Time, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World. He writes about topics ranging from new products and services from tech giants to the startup economy to how artificial intelligence and other breakthroughs are changing life at work, home, and beyond.