Benedict Cumberbatch is actually related to Alan Turing, genealogists claim

The actor, who plays the famous mathematician who cracked the Enigma code in the Second World War, is also his 17th cousin

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The Independent Online

Benedict Cumberbatch will likely find his name in the running for an Academy Award for his uncanny portrayal of Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

But it appears he might have a biological advantage over his potential competition.

According to family history website Ancestry, the pair are actually 17th cousins with lineage that can be traced back to the 14th century.

The genealogists claim that the pair are both related to the first Earl of Somerset John Beaufort, born in 1373 and traceable through their paternal lines.

Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Other surprises in the Cumberbatch family history include his third cousin twice removed, Noel Carlisle Rees, who was a member of the British Military Intelligence who aided the escape of thousands of allied soldiers out of Greece during the Second World War.

He also has a random family connection to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, too, who is apparently his sixth cousin.


“It would seem that there is a flair for espionage and bravery that has descended down multiple generations of Benedict Cumberbatch’s family tree,” Miriam Silverman, UK content manager for Ancestry, said.

“It’s amazing to think that when stepping into the role of Alan Turing, he would not only be portraying a world class code breaker but a real life relation.”

Cumberbatch recently announced his engagement to director Sophie Hunter in a fittingly old-fashioned way – the classified section of The Times newspaper.


It’s what I would have done if I wasn’t famous,” he told USA Today.

“It’s a normal thing to do in my country. It was a way of telling our friends who we hadn’t been able to tell before (they saw) some grainy shot of a ring on her finger.”