Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Oscar Nominees Danielle Brooks and Sterling K. Brown Are Cousins! News Delivered on “Finding Your Roots”


Celebrities always discover unknown relatives on PBS’s “Finding Your Roots.”

Tonight, Oscar nominee Danielle Brooks got a shock when she was told Oscar nominee Sterling K. Brown is her cousin — 12th cousin, something like that. But the talent and kindness of these two people isn’t all that connects them.

Henry Louis Gates’s pieces on roots and ancestry are mostly comprehensive. But with Dionne Warwick, her piece was really weird. The show completely omitted Dionne’s relationship to Cissy Houston and Whitney Houston. I was a little shocked. Dionne’s mother and Cissy Houston were sisters. Also omitted was Dionne’s famous singing sister, Dee Dee Warwick. Was it intentional?

Dionne’s story was otherwise fascinating, and so was her reaction. The great singer, as she says, is a strong survivor. Her ancestors were slaves, but as Dionne says, they were afraid of nothing. It’s carried on into her own immediate family. Dionne is a remarkable lady. But leaving out Whitney, Cissy, and Dee Dee — bizarre.

So Danielle — nominated for “The Color Purple” — and Sterling — nominated for “American Fiction” — are cousins. She says on the show that they met once and what she liked about him was he reacted to a surprise by exclaiming “Jiminy Christmas!” and not by “cussing.” That registered with Danielle. Sterling has a lot of soul.

Good episode, but strange exceptions!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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