Not Only Are Kate and Rooney Mara Actors, but They’re Football Royalty, Too
Siblings Kate and Rooney Mara come from an extremely influential family, but their parents aren’t Hollywood royalty, they’re heirs to multibillion-dollar football empires.
Kate and Rooney’s mother is Kathleen Rooney, whose family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, and their father is Christopher Mara, whose family owns the majority of the New York Giants franchise. The Mara family has maintained ownership over the New York Giants since Kate and Rooney’s great-grandfather Tim Mara took control of the newly formed team in 1925. However, a 1991 family feud led to half the family selling their shares, per The Wall Street Journal. Still, Christopher is the senior player personnel executive for the Giants, and his brother, John Mara, is CEO.
Meanwhile, the Rooney family has owned the majority of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1933, per Sports Illustrated, when another one of Kate and Rooney’s great-grandfathers, Art Rooney, launched the team.
Coming from two football dynasties could be a bit overwhelming at times, 40-year-old Kate told Ellen DeGeneres in 2020, per Entertainment Tonight. “If everyone’s winning then it’s really happy,” she said. “It’s a stressful situation constantly, but it’s also really amazing because someone’s most likely going to win. One of the teams is going to win.” Thirty-eight-year-old Rooney, however, has expressed a bit of distaste for the sport in the past. “I had to go to football games on Sundays, and I always found that to be quite annoying,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2011. “We would come from church, I’d have tights on and an uncomfortable dress. I was just like, This is not how I want to spend my Sunday. I want to play outside.” Still, she added that she’s learned to appreciate the sport. “But when my grandfather was passing away, I realized how important [football] was and how special it was to my family,” she said. “It really brought us all together.”
While neither sister chose to pursue a career in sports, both have done outstandingly well in their chosen fields. Up next, Kate is set to star in the sixth season of “Black Mirror,” which hits Netflix on June 15. She appeared in “Class of ’09” in May, and has also starred in “The Martian,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Iron Man 2,” and many more. Meanwhile, you might know her little sister Rooney from “Nightmare Alley,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” or “Women Talking,” to name a few of her many projects.
Apparently, despite frequently appearing in similarly intense movies and TV shows, the sisters do their best to avoid competing for roles. “We would be the last to know,” Kate told The Observer in 2016 of whether she’s competed with her sister for a role. “Our agents would never tell us. So I don’t think it’s happened. But maybe there are producers out there laughing, saying, ‘Haha, it happened yesterday and we hired your sister!'”
In addition to their careers, both sisters have something else in common: motherhood. Kate married Jamie Bell in 2017, and the two have two kids together: a daughter who was born in 2019 and boy who arrived in 2022. Meanwhile, in 2020, Rooney welcomed a son named River with fiancé Joaquin Phoenix.
See photos of the family ahead.