Bob Odenkirk was left wide-eyed and slack-jawed after the avowed anti-monarchist was told he is related to King Charles III during an appearance on PBS’s Finding Your Roots.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed to Odenkirk that he is the 11th cousin of Britain’s head of state after the actor disavowed monarchies and their role in modern democracies.
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Odenkirk is linked to the King through his fifth great-grandfather Friedrich Carl Steinholz, who was born out of wedlock to the Duke of Plön. Plön was related to the royal families of Europe due to intermarriage, meaning Odenkirk has regal blood.
Gates teased the reveal, initially telling the Better Call Saul actor about Steinholz. “[It makes me feel] like a part of history that I didn’t think I was any part of,” Odenkirk responded. “I’m an American. I’m not a monarchist. I don’t believe in that. You know, I feel like it’s a little twisted.”
He added: “I understand why society built itself around monarchs and leaders, and they passed them down through generations. I understand that goes through every society, every civilization. But I think that we’ve gotten to a better place with democracy and we should keep going down that road.”
Gates then revealed Odenkirk’s connection to King Charles. “Well maybe I’ll change my mind,” he laughed. “Oh, that is crazy. I never even thought about that! Of course that’s true, right?”
Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, and raised in Chicago. His parents were Walter Odenkirk and Barbara Mary, Catholics of German and Irish descent. The Emmy-nominated actor had a heart attack in 2021 on the set of Season 6 of Better Call Saul.
Odenkirk’s full Finding Your Roots episode will air on January 30.
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