Beloved actress Julia Roberts55, discovered that she is not a Roberts after all during an appearance on PBS’ Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on Jan. 11. Julia’s great-grandfather, John Pendleton Robertswas the son of a woman named Rhoda Suttle, but beyond that, there was a “gap” in her family tree. When looking at Georgia’s 1880s Census, Henry asked Julia if she noticed anyone missing, to which she replied, “A dad?” Later, the TV host revealed to the Notting Hill star that she is actually the descendant of a man named, Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr.and not of Rhoda’s late husband, Willis R. Roberts. The latter died in 1864, over a decade before John was born in 1878, therefore making it “impossible” for Julia to be a biological descendant of Willis.
“Julia, Willis Roberts could not possibly be your great-great-grandfather… he was dead,” Henry said. After hearing the shocking breakdown of her family’s lineage, Julia replied, “Oh, wait — but am I not a Roberts?” The researchers searched Douglas County, GA for records of John’s father but they found “absolutely nothing.” Julia and one of her father’s[Walter Grady Roberts] first cousins agreed to do a DNA test and that led them to a “cluster” of matches to Henry Mitchell. “So we’re Mitchells?”, she asked, to which the host replied, “You’re Julia Mitchell.”
After Henry told the Golden Globe winner that she “is not a Roberts biologically,” Julia could not help but be shocked. “Wow. Is my head still on straight? Am I facing you?,” she joked before adding, “Truly my mind is blown.” The data also revealed that Rhoda likely kept the identity of John’s dad a secret because Henry was actually married to a woman named, Sarah, at the time of John’s birth. They also interestingly lived “a few miles” apart making the story all the more believable. “It is fascinating, and on the other hand there’s part of me that when I’m calmer,” Julia continued… “you know can still wrap my arms around the idea that my family is my family.” Towards the end of the shocking episode, the blonde beauty expressed that she “prefers the name Roberts.”
As many already know, Julia is the aunt of Scream Queens Star Emma Roberts31, who is the daughter of Julia’s brother and actor, Eric Roberts66. The mom-of-three also has two other siblings: actress Lisa Roberts Gillan58, and a late half-sister, Nancy Motes. Julia started her own family in 2004 when she gave birth to twins: Phinnaeus and Hazel Moder18. And just three years later, in 2007, Julia and her husband, Daniel Moder53, welcomed a second son, Henry Daniel Moder15.
When Julia is not busy tracking down her ancestors, she is often working on the set of hit movies and TV shows. Most recently, her film Ticket to Paradise starring George Clooney, 61, was released on Oct. 21, 2022. While promoting the hit movie, George and his co-star told Access Hollywood why they never dated. “To not date each other? I don’t think we needed to state it,” Julia said when asked about a “no dating policy” between her at the 61-year-old. “It just seemed the right thing to do,” she added. “Julia was always in a relationship,” George then answered. “Or I was in a relationship, and we were fast friends right away. And so, it was nothing, it’s been nothing but fun for us. So, I don’t think that was ever really a thing.”
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