Everybody Has a Long Lost Something

Oprah Winfrey’s announcement that she has a long-lost half-sister naturally got me thinking about other TV characters who have long-lost siblings. There are a lot of them. The ones who immediately came to mind were the Fonz, Hank Hill, and above all Homer Simpson, whose brother led a charmed life “until he found out he was a Simpson” (and until he was dumb enough to let Homer design a car). But other people reminded me or told me about others:

Simon Cowell reconciled with his half-brother last year; there were long-lost siblings on that Lost island, Sydney Bristow had one as did Kristen on The O.C.; Boy Meets World created a long-lost half-brother to shoehorn a Lawrence Brother into the show, and Charmed came up with a long-lost half-sister to replace Shannen Doherty (much as Aaron Spelling, bless his low-integrity soul, conveniently replaced Farrah Fawcett with a previously-unknown sister on Charlie’s Angels). Fox Mulder acquired a half-brother almost as late in the series as The Fonz did, and Lex Luthor on Smallville got a couple of them. And this is to say nothing of all the daytime soap opera characters.

My point is, of course Oprah has a long-lost half-sibling. She’s on TV.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.