One of the most acclaimed TV series of the late 1980s was The Wonder Years, which offered baby-boomer nostalgia and family-friendly drama. The Arnold family and their friends captured the imagination of the viewing public, but the cast had their own famous relatives. This week, see if you can recognize all seven of these cast member connections, without a little help from your friends.



Henry Stern

publication date: Saturday, April 11, 2020

category: Government

clue: The first millennial in California's state senate is proud to represent the district where so many famous television shows have been filmed.

explanation: Stern, son of Daniel Stern (narrator of The Wonder Years), represents parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler


Crystal McKellar

publication date: Friday, April 10, 2020

category: Television

clue: Having a sister in the cast of The Wonder Years made it easy for this child actress to secure her breakout part in The Wonder Years.

explanation: Crystal McKellar was a finalist for the role of Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, which ultimately went to her sister Danica McKellar. The showrunners liked Crystal so much that they created the role of Becky Slater for her instead. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler


Thomas Jane

publication date: Thursday, April 9, 2020

category: Movies

clue: On-screen, he has battled genetically-engineered sharks, Lovecraftian creatures emerging from a fog, Marvel's seedy criminal underworld, an alien hunter-predator, and Roger Maris.

explanation: Jane, who was engaged to Olivia d'Abo (Karen Arnold in The Wonder Years), starred in Deep Blue Sea, The Mist, The Punisher, The Predator, and 61*. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, and Richard Slominsky


Marissa Ribisi

publication date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020

category: Movies

clue: While her twin brother enjoys some sneaky success in Hollywood to this day, she ended her grown-up acting career twenty years ago after projects about dazed confusion, pleasant villages, and truthful crime.

explanation: Ribisi is the twin sister of Sneaky Pete star Giovanni Ribisi (Jeff Billings in The Wonder Years). She starred in Grown Ups, Dazed and Confused, Pleasantville, and True Crime. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler


Julian Lennon

publication date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

category: Family

clue: Hey, dude: Being the offspring of one of Britain's most beloved songwriters is bound to overshadow your own music career.

explanation: Lennon, who was engaged to Olivia d'Abo (Karen Arnold in The Wonder Years), was the son of John Lennon and the inspiration for Paul McCartney's "Hey Jude." more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler


Orson Bean

publication date: Monday, April 6, 2020

category: Theater

clue: His many appearances on shows like To Tell the Truth and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as well as his acting in productions like Being John Malkovich, The Hobbit, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, did not diminish his love for the theater.

explanation: Bean, husband of actress Alley Mills (Norma Arnold in The Wonder Years), remained a champion of small local theaters long after a career in Broadway and Hollywood. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler


Ben Savage

publication date: Sunday, April 5, 2020

category: Television

clue: When this boy met the world, his older brother Fred was already a successful child star. After appearing with him in a monstrous little movie, he went on to sitcom success of his own.

explanation: Alongside his brother Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years), Savage made his acting debut in Little Monsters. He later starred in the long-running show Boy Meets World. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, and Chris Lemler