13/02/2012 15:11 GMT | Updated 14/02/2012 07:06 GMT

Downton Star Elizabeth McGovern Shocked To Learn Grandfather May Have Inspired 'Indiana Jones'

Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern has been left stunned by reports her grandfather was the inspiration for movie adventurer Indiana Jones.

The actress insists there's no "direct correlation" between her ancestor William McGovern and Harrison Ford's movie character - but she can understand why many would find her grandfather's story fascinating.

She tells the Los Angeles Times: "He did have a period in his life where he was an explorer.

"He was reputedly the first white man ever to enter Lhasa. He entered by staining his skin a darker colour and pretending not to be a white man.

"He wrote a book called To Lhasa in Disguise. He was a very fascinating man I didn't know very well.

"He had children and became a professor at Northwestern in Evanston near Chicago, so he had by that time settled down in his life. It is an amazing story."