Benedict Cumberbatch Is Related to ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Star of PBS’ “Sherlock” and author who created the character were 16th cousins, twice removed, researchers claim

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Here’s a true-life twist that would likely be improbable even  for the mystery books.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the series “Sherlock,” is distantly related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the character, the Associated Press reports.

The not-so-elementary conclusion was reached by researchers for the genealogy website, who determined that Cumberbatch and Doyle were 16th cousins, twice removed.

The actor and the author, who died in 1930, share a common ancestor in 14th century duke John of Gaunt, who in addition to being the fourth son of England’s King Edward III was also Doyle’s 15th great-grandfather and Cumberbatch’s 17th great-grandfather. spokesman Dallin Hatch said that the site’s researchers embarked on their genealogy research independently, being fans of the series.

The actor reportedly hasn’t been informed of the connection.

“Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve,” Ancestry family historian Lisa Elzey said of the find.

“Sherlock,” which returns to PBS for a fourth season on Sunday, stars Cumberbatch as the titular sleuth and Martin Freeman as his partner-in-crimesolving, Dr. John Watson.