November 7, 2010

Cuckoo's Egg

I hadn't realized before that Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), the leading French painter of the Romantic Era, was perhaps the illegitimate son of Talleyrand, the most glamorous name in the history of diplomacy. Wikipedia says:
There is reason to believe that his father, Charles-François Delacroix, was infertile at the time of Eugène's conception and that his real father was Talleyrand, who was a friend of the family and successor of Charles Delacroix as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and whom the adult Eugène resembled in appearance and character.[5] Throughout his career as a painter, he was protected by Talleyrand, who served successively the Restoration and king Louis-Philippe, and ultimately as ambassador of France in Great Britain, and later by Talleyrand's grandson, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, duc de Morny, half-brother of Napoleon III and speaker of the French House of Commons.

Are there other likely examples of one famous person being the secret child of another?

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

No one seems to know who Alexander Hamilton's father was [there seem to be about three different candidates, one of whom was a Jew].

Simon Sebag-Montefiore catalogues about three different candidates for Stalin's father.

There's some ambiguity about who Grothendieck's father was [one candidate is a Jew].

The only thing we know for certain about Bill Clinton's biological father is that he could not have been William Jefferson Blyth, who was stationed with the US Army, in Italy, when Virginia Kelley was impregnated.

And the most famous recent example would be Adolph Hitler, or, more specifically, his father, Alois Schicklgruber "Hiedler", who was almost certainly the bastard son of a Jew, named Leopold Frankenberger:


Hitler 'had Jewish and African roots', DNA tests show
By Heidi Blake
Published: 24 Aug 2010
telegraph.co.uk

Saliva samples taken from 39 relatives of the Nazi leader show he may have had biological links to the “subhuman” races that he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust...

A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in their samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews...


Hans Frank
en.wikipedia.org

...He studied law, passing the final state examination in 1926, and rose to become Adolf Hitler's personal legal adviser. In this capacity he was privy to personal details of Hitler's life. In his memoirs, written shortly before his execution, Frank made the sensational claim that he had investigated Hitler's family in 1930 after a "blackmail letter" had been received from Hitler's nephew, William Patrick Hitler, who allegedly threatened to reveal embarrassing facts about his uncle's ancestry. Frank claimed to have uncovered evidence that Maria Schicklgruber, Hitler's paternal grandmother, had been working as a cook in the household of a Jewish family named Leopold Frankenberger before she gave birth to Hitler's father, Alois, out of wedlock. According to Frank, Hitler told him that his grandmother had merely extorted money from Frankenberger by threatening to claim his paternity of her illegitimate child. Frank accepted this explanation, but added that it was still just possible that Hitler had some Jewish ancestry... Recent DNA test indicate that this may be true...

Anonymous said...

Chelsea Clinton and Webster Hubbell? Juanita Broaddrick claims Bill Clinton told her he was sterile from childhood mumps.

James said...

There's a young model who is a cuckoo's egg, the cuckoo being Gavin Rossdale of Bush. Daisy Lowe is her name. Her mother is famous too I guess; Pearl Lowe.

RWF said...

A famous British TV presenter of the 80s and 90s- Paula Yates- discovered that her real father was another famous TV presenter from the 60s called Hughie Green. The man she had believed was her father was a producer on Green's show.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Michael "Transformers" Bay supposed to be son of another movie director John Frankenheimer?
JF admitted hooking up with Bay mere on a one-night-stand.

Anonymous said...

I have a suspicion that pop star Kesha is, but no idea who her father would be.

elvisd said...

One of my favorite poets, Guillaume Apollinaire.

"Born Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky and raised speaking French, among other languages, he emigrated to France and adopted the name Guillaume Apollinaire. His mother, born Angelica Kostrowicka, was a Polish noblewoman born near Navahrudak (now in Belarus). Apollinaire's father is unknown but may have been Francesco Flugi d'Aspermont, a Swiss Italian aristocrat who disappeared early from Apollinaire's life."

I also remember once reading that a powerful church cardinal might have been his father.

I assume you're looking more for examples of one raised with a father who secretly isn't his, which of course makes it all more intriguing, but I couldn't resist with this one.

coldequation said...

Not quite the same thing, but Courtney Love's biological great-grandma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsie_Fox

Courtney's mother, who was adopted, said ""They [Paul and Elsie] were wild ... I think what's fascinating is that Courtney has this showbiz life inside her that emerged with no knowledge that it was in her background."

Anonymous said...

Michael Bay and John Frankenheimer. Yeah, I went there.

Liv Tyler growing up thinking she was Todd Rundgren's daughter, only to look in the mirror and realize her giant, pillowy lips belonged to bio-dad Steven Tyler.

Oh, and director Matthew Vaughn grew up thinking that he was the son of man from UNCLE Robert Vaughn. But genetic tests proved that his party girl mom had been sleeping around and his real dad was notorious aristocrat George De Vere Drummond.

Baloo said...

Well, Bill Clinton and JFK, of course, and the lesser-known FDR-Jimmy Carter relationship.

Anonymous said...

You mean like Edward III being the son of William Wallace?

Albertosaurus

Big bill said...

C'mon, Steve. It has been the eternal right of women to fornicate with whoever they choose and then pick the father (or fathers) that will best provide.

Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Talleyrand appears to have been persuaded he was the father.

It is, after all, a wise man whom knows his father.

Anonymous said...

what happened to Strom Thurmond's mixed-race illegitimate child?

Anonymous said...

Here is what happens to Sherman McCoy in real life:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327323/

LarryT said...

A slightly different situation is Steve Jobs and Mona Simpson. Biologically brother and sister, they both became prominent despite being brought up completely separately.

MSG said...

The plot of Gore Vidal's novel Burr makes much of the speculation that Martin Van Buren was the illegitimate son of Aaron Burr.

kudzu bob said...

I don't know how likely the claim is, but Gore Vidal says that Aaron Burr sired Martin Van Buren.

SFG said...

Does anyone have a cite for the story that Talleyrand supposedly advised Napoleon against the Louisiana purchase, fearing the formation of a future American colossus that would overshadow Europe?

Napoleon apparently believed him but didn't care about what would happen in 150 years....

Heh heh. Fun story.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually more struck that the Duc du Morny, Napoleon III's half-brother and the organizer of the 1851 coup, was Talleyrand's (illegitimate) grandson.

MSG said...

There was also speculation, vaguely supported by Plutarch, that Brutus was the natural son of Julius Caesar.

Anonymous said...

Prince Harry looks very different from Prince Charles. When you see Prince William next to his father too, it only exentuates the difference.

Anonymous said...

General Weygand, supreme French commander in the later half of the WWII Battle of France, was variously thought to be the offspring of Empress Carlota of Mexico, King Leopold II, and a daughter of Metternich, depending on who was telling the tale.

One of the Flashman books by George MacDonald Fraiser rather slyly has Flashy as the father, while never calling attention to the future career of the offspring. It's a hilarious but very obscure throw-away joke.

Anonymous said...

Smithson of the smithonian was a bastard child of a duke...not sure how big a deal the duke was

http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/documents/smithson.htm

Karl said...

There were rumors about Julius Caesar and young Brutus.

Dutch Boy said...

Hans Christian Anderson was reputed to be am illegitimate son of the Danish royal family.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic: Associated Press news title: "Surprise winners, newcomers take NYC Marathon titles".

Yep, huge surprise. Ethiopian man and Kenyan woman are winners.

wmhde said...

There have been some rumors that Brendan Bracken was Churchill's illegitimate son.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Bracken,_1st_Viscount_Bracken

James Kabala said...

There have been rumors that John C. Calhoun was the father of Abraham Lincoln, but I don't think any reputable historian credits them.

Seventeenth-century English playwright William Davenant apparently used to insinuate that he was the son of William Shakespeare, but again historians are skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8: "Here's what happens to Sherman McCoy in real life."

More accurately, here's what happens to Sherman McCoy when the victim is white.

Anonymous said...

We still don't know the full story of just how exactly it was that Barack Hussein Barry Soetoro Dunham Obama came into this world.

We do know that his ostensible birth was on August 4, 1961, in Hawaii.

But we also know that about ten days later, Stanley Ann Dunham was living in Seattle, Washington, as a single mother, enrolled in the University of Washington.

How she pushed out a baby in Hawaii, jumped a series of [probably propeller-driven] aircraft to cross the Pacific and land in Seattle, find herself an apartment, and get enrolled in the University, with a little newborn baby in tow, all in about ten days - is at least as great a mystery as how Virginia Kelley, in Arkansas, got knocked up by a man who was stationed in Italy with the US Army.

Personally, I find it really, really odd that no one seems to give a damn about any of this stuff.

Or maybe the Inner Party really is as powerful as the tinhats believe it to be.

PS: Jack Cashill's conjecture, that Barry might actual be the biological child of Stanley Armour Dunham by some negro woman now forgotten to history, and that little baby Barry was foisted upon his big sister, Stanley Ann, to raise as her own, is certainly intriguing.

Anonymous said...

"...who was almost certainly the bastard son of a Jew, named Leopold Frankenberger."

That's been pretty well debunked. And Hitler's supposed DNA is spread across southern Europe so that doesn't really prove anything either.

Pop Tart said...

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Also, probably lots of NBA players.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Fischer and Paul Felix Nemenyi, a Jewish Hungarian physicist.

Jonathan said...

In 2008, it was revealed that the real father of Carla Bruni, the First Lady of France, is Brazilian magnate Maurizio Remmert.

Dutch Boy said...

John Toland investigated the Jewish grandfather theory about Hitler and concluded it was likely not true (in his biography of Der Fuehrer).

josh said...

Brutus?

Anonymous said...

I've read up on the recent DNA testing of Hitler's relatives, and it seems to me that it actually undermines the Jewish grandfather (Frankenberger) theory. The newspaper obtained the DNA of Hitler's American half-great nephew. The great-nephew's grandfather was Hitler's half brother in that they were both sons of Alois Schicklgruber Hitler. This DNA matched the DNA of an Austrian farmer who is supposed to be a cousin of Hitler. However, the whole point of the Frankenberger story is that Alois in fact wasn't a Hitler by ancestry and was instead Jewish. Therefore, a Hitler relative would not have the same DNA as the great-nephew unless the farmer was also a descendant of Alois, which would make him a very close rather than distant relative, and that does not seem to be the case. Therefore, Hitler was not descended from Frankenberger but was related to gentile Austrians, who happened to have DNA that is common in southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that Clinton's biological father was a doctor in Hope, Arkansas that his mother worked with. Supposedly this is well known locally and there was a strong resemblance.

Anonymous said...

the question wasnt famous bastards, it was famous bastards of famous sires. hitlers supposed father and clintons are wrong responses.

-self appointed sob

Ray Sawhill said...

Semi-related.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Chelsea Clinton and Webster Hubbell? Juanita Broaddrick claims Bill Clinton told her he was sterile from childhood mumps.

Without a doubt. This came up on iSteve a while ago. Young Chelsea looks like Webster, poor thing.

Prince Harry looks very different from Prince Charles. When you see Prince William next to his father too, it only exentuates the difference.

B-b-but they did DNA testing when Charles and Di split up!

No way in hell Harry came from Charles. His personality is too different, in addition to his looks.

I am Lugash.

Stanley Ann said...

No wonder Barry smokes on the Down Low. An enterprising Belgian journalist might grab his butt and mitotype the saliva off of it.

Anonymous said...

"No way in hell Harry came from Charles. His personality is too different, in addition to his looks."

Prince Harry resembles James Hewitt, with whom Diana had an affair, more closely than he resembles Prince Charles:

http://tinyurl.com/2v22cu6

http://tinyurl.com/26nezbm

Diana's brother also has red hair, so maybe Harry's coloring comes from his mother's side. But even leaving that aside the resemblance between Harry and Hewitt seems strong to me.

Felix said...

a bit off topic but ...

This peasant goes to deliver wood to the palace. The king sees him and is struck by how closely they resemble each other.

"Did your mother work here at the palace", asks His Majesty.

"No sire" says the peasant. "But my father did."

DavidB said...

The great French mathematician D'Alembert was a foundling, but reputed to be the illegitimate son of an aristocratic writer.

Anonymous said...

Julius Caesar was NOT my father.

Dad was a carpenter in the Jerusalem district...

Brutus

Anonymous said...

Stanley Ann: No wonder Barry smokes on the Down Low. An enterprising Belgian journalist might grab his butt and mitotype the saliva off of it.

That's actually how they got some of the Hitler DNA:


Hitler's 'black & Jewish DNA'
23 Aug 2010
thesun.co.uk

...A journalist working for a magazine in Brussels managed to get hold of a sample from Alexander Stuart-Houston, 61, a grand-nephew of Hitler living in America, after picking up a serviette he had dropped...


Along those lines, there was some conjecture that the reason that Danny Williams's DNA didn't match Slick Willie's was because the Secret Service ordered Kenneth Starr to report [intentionally] fabricated DNA results for Clinton, so as to serve as a bulwark against any possible Manchurian Candidate shenanigans [over the course of the remainder of Clinton's presidency].

neil craig said...

One that has stuck me is that the Duke of Berwick, one of the best generals on the Franco/Spanish side of the War of the Spanish Succession 1701-14, winning the battle of Almanza, was the illegitimate son of James II, the Stuart king who was deposed in Britain's Glorious Revolution & fled to France.

His mother was the sister of the Duke of Marlborough, who first rose to prominence through her efforts & in due course became the greatest general on the anti French side winning the battle of Blenheim & being an ancestor to Churchill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_FitzJames,_1st_Duke_of_Berwick

I find it interesting that neither can have benefitted from the relationship in their joint rises to the top on opposite sides in the same unusual profession.

Anonymous said...

When Prince Charles and his sons were looking at flowers left for Diana in 1997, they were filmed from behind for a while. I had just seen a documentary on Edward & Mrs. Simpson, so Royal Family images were still fresh in my mind. I remember noting that young Harry looked -- from behind -- like his great uncle, Edward VII, so I guessed it was a look that ran in the family. It was the shape of the head, the fall of the hair, the shape of the neck, all from behind. OK---it's not the definitive, but the resemblance was, for me, a striking instance of how resemblances can skip generations. Caroline Kennedy's oldest daughter looks more like Jackie than did Caroline herself. Just the way the genes come together.
Also, the fall of the hairr and the way it spirals out from the scalp, is a method of determining genetic relationship.
The Royals have not left this to conjecture though. I have heard that they (they're a sort of company really) have secured DNA samples from all their relatives, esp. the princes, and they know who's who.

Anonymous said...

Josh Hartnett/ Leonard Nimoy

keypusher said...

Cleopatra is in vogue at the moment. Given all the issues with the latter generations of the Ptolemies (after centuries of incest) I would be surprised if there weren't a number of cuckoo's eggs in the family.

Anonymous said...

Gustav Meyrink, the author of "The Golem," was the illegitimate son of Karl Freiherr von Varnbüler von und zu Hemmingen, a minister of state to the king of Württemburg.

Bill Patten, author of "My Three Fathers," was not the son of the man to whom his mother was married, but rather of Alfred Duff Cooper, first Viscount Norwich, a British diplomat and politician, member of the Chamberlain and Churchill cabinets.

Going backward in the Norwich line, Lord Norwich was descended illegitimately from king William IV and his mistress Dorothy Jordan. Going forward, John Julius Norwich (Duff Cooper's only legitimate son, half-brother to Bill Patten) is the father of the author and publisher Allegra Huston via his liaison with Enrica Soma Huston, wife of the film director John Huston.

Both the painter Peter Paul Rubens and the scholar/publisher Christopher Plantin were supposedly the illegitimate children of noblemen prominent in their era, though the claimed lineages are not clearly established.

travis said...

In Norman Mailer's "The Executioner's Song", Mailer suggests the possibility that the murderer Gary Gilmore might have been the grandson of Harry Houdini:

"Fay [Gilmore's grandmother on his father's side] and Frank [Gilmore's father] talked about the man, however, like they knew him intimately. Listening to their conversation, Betty [Gilmore's mother, usually called Bessie] had to conclude that Houdini had given Fay the money to send Frank to private school. Then she remembered that Houdini was killed by a boy who hit him in the stomach with a baseball bat, and Frank had told her that his Jewish father, whose name was Weiss, had been killed by a blow to the belly. Then she learned that Houdini's original name was Weiss, and he was Jewish too."

Anonymous said...

self appointed sob: the question wasnt famous bastards, it was famous bastards of famous sires. hitlers supposed father and clintons are wrong responses.

Are you familiar with Prince Tudor theory?

It's really fascinating stuff.

There's a movie coming out soon, called Anonymous, which embraces PTT, although it's not clear from the Wikipedia summary whether it embraces PTT-I or PTT-II or [God forbid] some hideous Oedipal combination of both PTT-I & PTT-II.

And Hank Whittemores's PTT-I theory of the Sonnets, if it's true - and, granted, it's a big "IF" - but if it's true, would be the greatest discovery in literary theory, since, well, since literary theory was invented in the first place.

It's certainly the only candidate for an explanation of the Sonnets that I've ever seen which makes any sense whatsoever.

The Stratfordians, for a measly 400 years now, have been at a complete loss to offer any cogent, coherent, concise explanation of the Sonnets.

PS: Whittemore also offers an intricate renaissance/baroque STRUCTURE to the sonnets which I've never seen before - the kind of thing that would have appealed to Bach, in writing Die Kunst, or to Beethoven, in approaching the liturgy for the Missa Solemnis.

We tend to forget nowadays - having been inundated our entire lives in the pointless, formless, anti-structure of the modern world - that questions of structure were once supremely important to artists and artisans.

Almost to the point that folks attached a certain mysticism to questions of structure.

Newton, for instance, who flourished a century after de Vere, spent a great deal of time searching for hidden patterns in biblical apocrypha.

Anonymous said...

PS: Jack Cashill's conjecture, that Barry might actual be the biological child of Stanley Armour Dunham by some negro woman now forgotten to history, and that little baby Barry was foisted upon his big sister, Stanley Ann, to raise as her own, is certainly intriguing.

-------

Obama clearly has East African features. Small chance that would come from a random Hawaiian Black woman.

Anonymous said...

Some people believe that the writer B.Traven was the son of German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Steve Sailer said...

Murderer Gary Gilmore's brother Mikal Gilmore is a talented rock music critic and he won some major book awards for his memoir of his troubled family.

Anonymous said...

John F. Kennedy Jr. and Gianni Agnelli.

brooklyn bagel said...

"John F. Kennedy Jr. and Gianni Agnelli.."

My goodness. The Lone Gunmen have gotten personal.
Saw the Hunk in person (more than once in the 90s.) JFK Jr. looked exactly like JKF Sr. through the jawline, shape of the head, and at certain angles, the outer, downward slant of the eyes. He looked more like JFK Sr. in movement than in still photos, where he looked sharper featured for some reason.
The body build and movement was unmistakably like his dad, but heavier. There's a picture of Jack Sr. as a young guy, maybe college age, on the web--looks like a high school or college yearbook picture, but not the usual one they show. It's hard to find. His hair looks a little Bart Simpsonish or maybe Kramer. One thing I noticed was the shape of the face, skull, jawline, was exactly like his son's as a boy; the light eyebrows and something fragile about him, made him look like a faded out version of John Jr. John Jr. had his mother's dark, convergent eyebrows and her shape of forehead. He resembled her through the middle of the face, longer nose, but like his father in the skeletal shape (except for the forehead) and the outline of the face and jaw.
Resemblances fascinate me. (once did a thesis on the possibility that Anna Anderson was Anastasia; not sure but powerful evidence, not all having to do with physical resemblances.)
I often find they play out that way--a child will inherit the general bone structure of one parent and the features of another.

Reading some of these commments, people really need to look closely or they might get sued for libel or just look foolish. Study child pictures, different angles, take account of difference in coloring, etc. Some of the examples you're talking about, I've never heard of or am not familiar with pictures. But considering how some have just repeated gossip or jumped to conclusions over a generalized look, I wouldn't trust too many of you.
Last year, during a bored interval, I refuted apparently blind persons who claimed Michael Jackson's kids looked just like him. Yeah, they've got eyes, ears and a nose. Look at MJ, age 12, before his face-transplant, and then tell me how much his Mark Lester-as-Oliver look-alike kids resemble him. POC ladies seemed to be the most adamant that the kids looked like Michael. Not sure what that was about except that artifice confuses with reality more for women than for men, I think.

Anonymous said...

One would hope that a biological descendant of a family of engineers, like the Agnellis, wouldn't be stupid enough to attempt a night flight without "instruments only" certification - that some shard of biological common sense, deeply embedded in his DNA, would have spoken up, and said, "Uhh, dude, this might not be such a bright idea."

On the other hand, don't kid yourself: The Kennedy clan [starting with Ol' Joe himself] was indulging in a perversity of sexual deviancy the likes of which would have shocked and horrified the American public which went to the polls in November of 1960 [had that American public been alerted to what was really transpiring behind the scenes].

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, don't kid yourself: The Kennedy clan [starting with Ol' Joe himself]"

That's not my point. I don't care who does what with who as long as they are consenting adults. The Kennedy's have been more scrutinized and told about more than any other figures in 20th century American history. They ain't got nothin' on the Bushes (who I know about.)
I am not defending their honor.
My point was family resemblance and that was all.