Anna Kay Faris,

Paternal 25th cousin, 1x removed

When I started piecing together my family tree I made a concerted effort to add not only my immediate ancestors such as my grandparents, but also to add in aunts, uncles, cousins and their spouses. Some people only go back in a straight line on their family trees, and I think that they are missing out on a lot of very interesting ancestors!

I've been fortunate that my paternal lineage is well documented, due in large part to the myriad of well-known family members, and the fact that more than a few of my ancestors were nobility, who had the means to fully document their lives and those of their children. It is through that so-called noble lineage that I found yet another famous distant cousin, actress, podcaster and author, Anna Faris.

I am related to Anna through my paternal lineage, and she to me through her maternal lineage. Anna's mother, Karen Bathurst, is my 24th cousin and Anna and her brother, Robert, are my 25th cousins, once removed. 

Our shared story goes back to Henry Plantagenet, who would become King Henry II of England. Henry was my 25th great-grandfather and Anna's 24th great-grandfather on her mother's side. Although we both share King Henry as a grandfather, we differ with great-grandmother's as Henry's wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was my grandmother while Anna's was Ida de Tosny, one of Henry's many mistresses (sorry Anna!). 

Although Anna was born in Baltimore, Maryland, her mother's family had called Washington state home since the early 1900's. Prior to that, like many families that I have researched, the family slowly transitioned from England to New England and then slowly moved west. In fact, some of Anna's relatives lived in Connecticut in the 1600's, as mine did, so there may be more than one familial link in our tree. 

Anna's family tree also includes some Dudley family members who may also be related to Guildford Dudley's family. Guildford Dudley was the unfortunate son of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and the husband of my 4th cousin, Lady Jane Grey. However, a definitive link between Anna's Thomas Dudley and Guildford Dudley has not yet been established.

I was happy to find that Anna and I were distantly related as I see Anna almost every day in my living room - she was, up until this season (2021), one of the main characters on the TV show "Mom", which I enjoy. However, I first saw Anna acting in her roles in the "Scary Movie" franchise which I also enjoyed (except for one, in which Anna didn't appear). The Scary Movie franchise was, IMHO, a great mix of slapstick comedy and dark comedy. On the TV show "Mom", Anna continued her to show her ability as a great comedic actor, but has also shown us some serious moments. In both comedic and serious scenes, Anna, along with her cast mates, make "Mom" one of my favorite TV shows as they give me a break from reality and sometimes make me stop and think about life's challenges and how we all handle obstacles - and successes - differently. 

Although I have watched Anna acting for years now, I really had never taken the time to learn more about her. So, when I found out that we were distant cousins, I took some time to find out more about this very talented lady.

As with my other famous comedienne cousin, Lucille Ball, Anna only plays the role of sometimes bemused women, she is actually not at all like the characters I have seen her play. In addition to being an actress, Anna has hosted a podcast since 2015 call "Unqualified" which is part talk show and part advice show. I have only had the chance to listen to one podcast so far (getting the time around my house that is quiet enough to listen to a podcast before Hemingway starts barking at me is almost impossible!), but I will be checking out more episodes in the near future.

Anna is also an author, and not just any author like yours truly, but a New York Times Bestselling author! According to what I have read, Anna's book, "Unqualified" (the same title as her podcast), is part memoir and part humor. I haven't read her book yet, but I plan to in the near future.

Anna has been married twice: first to actor Ben Indra in 2004 and secondly to actor Chris Pratt. Anna and Chris had a son, Jack, in 2012. Anna and Chris divorced in 2018 but remain amicable from what I have seen reported, and continue to co-parent their son.

Anna left the hit show "Mom" at the end of its 7th season, and now the show continues without her character, Christy. The show is still entertaining and funny, but without Christy and her knack for getting into interesting situations, it's not quite the same. Anna's ability to express almost any emotion to perfection with her body language and facial expressions just can't be replaced.

Anna Faris - actor, comedian, podcast host, author, mom...and another branch that I was more than happy to add to the Taylor Family Tree.

© 2023 by William B. Taylor

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