Louis Theroux's famous family - from lookalike TV star brother to actor cousin (2024)

Journalist and documentary maker Louis Theroux has a very talented family dotted across the world - including one cousin who is a famous American actor and screenwriter

Louis Theroux is one of the most recognisable faces on TV - and has some pretty famous relatives.

The BAFTA-winning documentarian and journalist has been on our screens for decades, but fans might not know much about his family. His older brother Marcel Theroux is also a successful filmmaker and recently investigated a series of brutal unsolved murders from the seventies for ITV's series The Playboy Bunny Murder.

The sibling duo, who have previously described themselves as 'chalk and cheese', are also related to a Hollywood star who married Friends actress, Jennifer Aniston, and their father led the way in the spotlight as a well-known writer. Here, we take a look at the TV dynasty and their relationships with each other...

Marcel, 55, is best known for writing novels, though has fronted many documentaries for Channel 4. He reportedly has two children and is two years older than his only sibling, Louis. While his brother's series tends to explore the weird and wonderful, Marcel prefers to address political and current affairs. He has previously covered topics from Islamic extremism to climate change and modern-day slavery for Unreported World.

The pair have said it is easy to differentiate them both professionally and personally, with Marcel joking, "We never have any problems telling ourselves apart". In 2017, he told Radio Times: "Louis and I are like chalk and cheese", going on to explain their unmistakably different interviewing styles. "For one, Louis gets to spend more time doing his documentaries and I think they're more participatory - there's more of Louis in them. I think mine are more straight-up current affairs films," he explained.

Marcel went on to add that he regards Louis as "the talent of the family as far as documentaries are concerned". Though, he did admit there's some competitiveness between the two - and he's still determined to beat his brother in every game of Monopoly. But that wouldn't stop them from collaborating on a production in the future.

In an early interview with The Independent, Marcel touched on their rivalry, explaining: "We grew up in a very competitive, ambitious family, and there was a premium placed on succeeding, so of course Louis and I did compete. But that's by no means the whole story of our relationship, because actually, we're very close." Marcel added that Louis got his big break into presenting before he did, which was "quite annoying, in an abstract way".

While Marcel was eventually taken on by C4 as a documentarian, he fell in love with writing and has written novels in between his films. He has followed in the footsteps of his father, Paul, 82, who is best known for travelogue The Great Railway Bazaar. Touching on his decision to become a writer, Marcel told the publication: "The worst thing that could happen would be to not write because my dad is a writer. Then the shadow would have really hung over me and stopped me doing something that might feel risky, but is what I really want to do."

Two of Paul's brothers, Alexander Theroux and Peter Theroux, are also well-respected authors, while his third brother, Eugene Theroux, is a lawyer. Eugene's son, Justin Theroux, is an American actor and screenwriter and has starred in films such as Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Zoolander. He is perhaps best known for being Jennifer Aniston's husband for several years. Speaking about their relationship at the time, Louis told the Mirror: "Jen is a nice person. She's a really nice person."

The couple married in 2015 and split in 2017, though reportedly remain friends. In 2021, Justin featured as a guest on Grounded with Louis Theroux and they talked about growing up together - despite living far apart in the US and the UK. The cousins even disagreed on how to pronounce their surnames. "You go by 'ther-oo' and I go by 'ther-oh'," Justin said. "Or to put it another way," Louis responded, "I use the correct pronunciation, and you use some weird, incorrect one."

  • Louis Theroux Interviews Bear Grylls airs on repeat tonight on BBC Two at 9.45pm.
Louis Theroux's famous family - from lookalike TV star brother to actor cousin (2024)


Are Paul and Louis Theroux related? ›

Louis Theroux's famous father

Louis' father is travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux, who is perhaps best known for his travelogue The Great Railway Bazaar, which was released in 1975. From there, he went on to publish a number of other travel books.

Who is Louis Theroux's brother? ›

Marcel Theroux is a screenwriter, a broadcaster and novelist. He is the son of travel writer Paul Theroux and brother of acclaimed film maker Louis Theroux. He was born in Kampala, Uganda, in 1968.

Are Marcel and Louis Theroux related? ›

Marcel Theroux and Louis Theroux are brothers, but they have different professional pursuits. Marcel is a British novelist and broadcaster, known for his work in literature and journalism. Louis, on the other hand, is a documentary filmmaker and journalist, recognized for his investigative documentaries.

Does Justin Theroux have a twin brother? ›

Who is Louis Theroux cousin? ›

He is the nephew of novelist Alexander Theroux and writer Peter Theroux. His older brother, Marcel, is a writer and television presenter. His cousin, Justin, is an actor and screenwriter. Theroux moved with his family to England when he was one year old, and was raised in the Catford area of south London.

How are Justin and Louis Theroux related? ›

Justin and Louis are cousins (their dads are brothers) and spent a lot of time together growing up, often when Louis's family would visit America.

Who are Louis Theroux's parents? ›

Louis Theroux grew up in south London. His father, novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux, is from Massachusetts, and his mother is the British journalist, therapist and writer Anne Theroux.

Where did Louis Theroux come from? ›

Theroux was born in Singapore and is a dual citizen. He moved to London when he was a year old. He was educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford where he gained a degree in history. In 2013, he moved to Los Angeles.

How many children does Louis Theroux have? ›

He is a podcaster and writer, known for When Louis Met... Jimmy (2000), My Scientology Movie (2015) and Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998) He has been married to Nancy Strang since 7 July 2012. They have three children.

Did Louis Theroux meet Jennifer Aniston? ›

The Friends actress, 54, was married to Louis' actor cousin Justin Theroux for three years between 2015 and 2017, after they began dating in 2011. It is likely that Louis and Jennifer crossed paths during this time or met on the celebrity circuit, but Louis didn't go into detail about their first meeting.

Why does Louis Theroux have a French name? ›

His French last name originates from the region around Sarthe and Yonne in France. It is quite common in Francophone countries and is originally spelled Théroux. His American-born father is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent.

Why did Jennifer and Justin divorce? ›

Ultimately, leading very different lives resulted in a split, though they really did love each other. “They really were a great couple. And they cared a lot about each other. Justin was always really protective of her,” the source said.

Does Jennifer Aniston have a partner? ›

Aniston began a relationship with actor, director, and screenwriter Justin Theroux in May 2011. The following January, they purchased a home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles for roughly $22 million. They became engaged on August 10, 2012 and were married on August 5, 2015, at their estate.

Does Jennifer Aniston have kids? ›

For years now, people have prodded her on why she hasn't decided to have children, despite her enduring two very public divorces which played out heavily in the media.

Is Paul Theroux Louis Theroux's dad? ›

He is the father of English-American authors and documentary filmmakers Marcel and Louis Theroux, the brother of authors Alexander Theroux and Peter Theroux, and uncle of the American actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux.

Who is Paul Theroux related to? ›

He is the father of Marcel and Louis Theroux, and the brother of Alexander and Peter. Justin Theroux is his nephew.

Is Justin Theroux related to Henry David Thoreau? ›

Is Justin Theroux related to Henry David Thoreau? No. Eh. Because this is spelled Differently.

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