Just why does Benedict Cumberbatch make such a good Sherlock Holmes? It turns out that it’s in his blood.
Yes, in some surprising news, it has been revealed that the actor is distantly related to Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Genealogists at Ancestory.Com discovered that the pair were 16th cousins twice removed.
“We love that through family history we can connect the creator of this brilliant detective and the captivating actor who portrays him,” Ancestry historian Lisa Elzey said. “Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve.”
The shared ancestor who links Cumberbatch and Doyle is John of Gaunt, the medieval Duke of Lancaster and friend of famed The Canterbury Tales author Geoffrey Chaucer. Gaunt was also the fourth son of King Edward III, who also appears on the Cumberbatch and Doyle family trees.
“How rare that an actor in a major series has the chance to play a character created by a relative, especially one as iconic as Sherlock Holmes,” Ancestry historian Jennifer Utley said in a statement. “Imagine our surprise to discover that the connecting link between these two is British royalty. Seems fitting.”
This is actually the second time that Cumberbatch has played a character he is related too. It was previously revealed that he was a distant descendant of Richard III, whom he portrayed in The Hollow Crown TV series.