My Sibling, the Star
updated 09/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Assistant director John Melick, 44 (with the actress and her dad, soap actor John Aniston), says the key to his half sister is her thoughtfulness. "I'd always had the worst luck with cars," says Melick, who used to babysit the Friends star, now 34, when they were living in Manhattan with their mom, former model Nancy (who had John in a previous marriage). "She decided, 'Enough is enough.' " On Christmas Day, says the married father of a daughter, 5, "she told me she had something in the garage and could I help her carry it in. It was a Bronco with a big red ribbon on it. That's Jennifer."
RENEE ZELLWEGER and brother Drew
Drew Zellweger, 36 and living outside Dallas, doesn't broadcast his famous connection. "We've talked about his fence, about the yard," a neighbor says of Drew, a sales executive with the Kendall-Jackson winery. "He's never mentioned his sister. Who is his sister?" Drew has tasted the nasty downside—when his name turned up with Renée's in a tabloid story, "he turned purple and doubled over," the 34-year-old Chicago star told W—but nothing can tarnish her accomplishment in her only sibling's eyes. "I've never been so proud of anybody," he told The Dallas Morning News. "Ever."
JULIA ROBERTS and sister Lisa
With her small roles (including one in Julia's Runaway Bride), actress Lisa Roberts Gillan, 38, isn't in her 35-year-old sis's $20 million league. But they couldn't value each other more. At their Smyrna, Ga., high school, Lisa could be seen fixing Julia's hair in the girls' room. As grownups, Lisa was maid of honor at Julia's first wedding (to Lyle Lovett), and Julia repaid the favor when Lisa married actor Tony Gillan (her present to the couple: a new car). Says Clare White, a close pal to Lisa: "They are best of friends."
COLIN FARRELL, brother Eamon and sister Catherine
Wherever the 27-year-old Dublin-born actor goes, he's likely to be spotted knocking back a drink and generally having a grand time with his siblings: Eamon, 34, a dancer who heads the National Performing Arts School in Ireland (and who was the one who nudged Colin into acting); Catherine, 32, an actress (who held the videocam for Colin's home audition tape for his first big movie, Tigerland); and Claudine, 30 (not pictured here), his personal assistant (that's her voice on a phone message in Daredevil). With family on hand for his L.A. premieres, "we have had real big nights staying in nice hotels and going bananas," Colin said last year. Back home in the relative quiet of Dublin, the brothers "still live just a couple of hundred yards away from each other on the south side," says Niall McCrudden, an optician who's friends with both. "Whenever Colin is in town you will see Eamon driving him about in a Porsche."
JENNIFER LOPEZ and sister Leslie
The oldest Lopez sister, Leslie Scholl, 35, is the one who has traveled the least distance from the old block in the Bronx. Radio DJ Lynda, 32, hosts a style show on E!, and of course Jennifer, 34, is empress of Planet J.Lo. Leslie, the married mother of two, is an elementary-school music teacher in Westchester County, N.Y. With Jen hopping around the world with Ben, the sisters keep up these days mostly by phone. Do they discuss, maybe, weddings? Fabulous real estate down South? "Just sister stuff," says Leslie, who last year told Oprah Winfrey that Jen was always the ringleader in childhood adventures. "She's a famous movie star to all of you, but not to me," she said. "She's still my little pain-in-the-butt sister. So there you go."
KIM CATTRALL and sister Cherry
Cherry Kuss, a Courtenay, B.C., middle-school teacher and married mother of Kate, 16, and Alec, 13, says one of the perks of being big sister to the Sex and the City star is the stream of hip hand-me-downs. "Great purses," says Kuss, 49, one of Kim's three siblings, "and great shoes." During Kuss's most recent trip to New York, she and her 47-year-old sister drove around East Hampton in a Porsche with Eminem blaring on the sound system. "I said to Kim, 'I feel like I'm 16 again.' And Kim responded, 'You should always feel 16.' "
CAMERON DIAZ and sister Chimene
When Diaz, 30, and her only sibling, Chimene Cain, 33, were growing up in Long Beach, Calif., in the '70s, Big Sis was the one who got to play Charlie's Angels with the local girls. "I don't think they even let me be Bosley," Diaz, the star of two Angels films, once recalled. But their father, Emilio, an oil company foreman (mom Billie was an export agent), taught Diaz and her sister, now the married mother of Chloe, 6, the importance of being a team by making them watch football on TV. "Sisters have an incredibly strong bond," Diaz told The New York Daily News. "There's nothing in the world like it."
MATT DAMON and brother Kyle
"We were close growing up and still are," says the actor's sole sibling, 36, who lives in the Boston area with wife Lori and sons Jackson, 6, and Miles, 3. "Matt has been generous with me financially," says the sculptor. "I can send my kids to the schools I want them to go to. They've been to five countries." In fact, they're just back from Prague, where Matt, 32, is filming The Brothers Grimm. But Kyle worries there may be a small price to relative fame: Jackson is old enough that "he's beginning to get that people care about who his uncle is. I'm not sure that's a good thing."
SERENA AND VENUS WILLIAMS and sister Yetunde
Never as handy with a racquet as tennis sensations Serena, 21, and Venus, 23, Yetunde Price, 31, trained to be a nurse. Yet today the oldest of the five Williams girls still serves—as personal assistant to the two courtside stars. "It's exciting," says the divorced mother of three (at right, with Serena), who's also coproprietor of a Lakewood, Calif., hair salon called Headed Your Way. "But we don't get into the fame thing too much when we're together as a family." Except when it involves meeting other celebs, like Michael Jackson. "That was cool," says Yetunde, who has long since given up playing the wise older sibling. "Maybe three or four years ago I'd remind them to stay grounded, but not now. They've both got good heads on their shoulders."
KELLY RIPA and sister Linda
"So far as I can remember, we were always a two-girl show, singing or dressing up," says the star's 30-year-old sister, a divorced mom (to 4-year-old Sergio-Giuseppe) and children's writer who still lives in their hometown in New Jersey. "We are, as my dad likes to say, 'the' and 'end.'" So it went without saying that Kelly, 32, joined a Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign after her only sibling, seven months pregnant with Sergio-Giuseppe, suffered a crushed pelvis and other injuries when a driver ran a red light and struck her car in 1999. Linda has endured seven surgeries since then, but she gains some comfort from the freebies that Kelly—who'll soon be playing half of a pair of sisters in the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith—snags as cohost of Live with Regis and Kelly. "I'm a drag queen at heart," says Linda, "so I get all the makeup."
Reported by: Alison Singh Gee, Steve Helling, Rebecca Paley, Tracie Powell, Lori Rozsa and Declan White