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Michael Douglas Has 3-Word Reaction After Learning He's Related To An Avenger

Michael Douglas just learned he’s related to another actor — and fellow Marvel star at that.

The Oscar winner was already impressed when the revelation landed on Tuesday’s episode of “Finding Your Roots,” as historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. uncovered parts of his lineage Douglas never knew, before the host delivered his most effective discovery.

“Your DNA cousin is the actor Scarlett Johansson,” Gates told Douglas during the episode.

Douglas and Johansson are both part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The two stars appeared in “Avengers: Endgame” (2019) as Hank Pym and Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff, respectively.

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Douglas was visibly shocked by the news.

“Are you kidding?” he asked. “Oh, that’s amazing. All right. This is cool. This is so cool.”

The engrossing PBS series is currently in its 10th season. In it, Gates, who also heads the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, traces the lineages of actors, singers and other notable figures — often to quite visceral reactions.

“Michael and Scarlett share identical stretches of DNA on four different chromosomes,” Gates explained during Tuesday’s episode after surprising Douglas, “all of which appear on Scarlett’s maternal lines, which stretch back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.”

Douglas is no stranger to famous relatives as his father, Kirk Douglas, was one of the most renowned actors of the 20th century. The “Ant-Man” (2015) star has been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000, and his son Cameron is a working actor, too.

Johansson’s “maternal lines ... stretch back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.”
Johansson’s “maternal lines ... stretch back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.” Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Douglas wasn’t sure he wanted to become an actor himself, however, until he went to college.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” he told Gates. “I must say, God bless my father who then, as busy as he had been, made almost every single production that I was in up there, at school … one of the first productions I ever had, I was a messenger in ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’”

Douglas has since starred in more than 60 films including “Fatal Attraction” (1987), “The Game” (1997) and “Romancing the Stone” (1984). He won an acting Oscar for “Wall Street” (1987) and the Best Picture award for producing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975).

While his distant relative wasn’t present for Tuesday’s news, Douglas is sure to tell her.

“That’s incredible,” he told Gates. “Well, I look forward to seeing Scarlett next time!”

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