Julia Roberts Just Discovered That Her Real Last Name Is ‘Mitchell’

What would you do if you suddenly realized that your ancestry hid a surprising secret? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Julia Roberts.

julia roberts last name mitchell
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

The Ticket to Paradise star appeared on a recent episode of Finding Your Roots, where she chatted with Henry Louis Gates Jr. about her family tree. Roberts received the shock of a lifetime when she learned that she’s not actually a Roberts. Instead, she’s a Mitchell.

It all started when Gates Jr. noticed a gap within Roberts’s family tree. As it turns out, her great-great-grandfather, Willis, died long before her great-grandfather was born. This means there was another man involved in her lineage.

“Oh, wait,” the actress said. “But am I not a Roberts?”

Gates Jr. proceeded to explain that her great-great-grandmother, Rhoda, must have been with another man after Willis’s passing. And according to the report, that man was Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr.

“So, we’re Mitchells?” Roberts asked. And Gates Jr. confirmed her suspicions, saying, “You’re Julia Mitchell. You are not a Roberts, biologically.”

julia roberts not a roberts mitchell
Gail Schulman/CBS/Getty Images

As expected, Roberts was speechless. “On the one hand, I—truly—my mind is blown,” she said. “And it is fascinating. And on the other hand, there’s part of me that, when I’m calmer, can still wrap my arms around the idea that my family is my family. And I do prefer the name Roberts!”

She added, “This was a very unexpected turn.” Amen to that.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...