Most celebrities get rich after they get famous. But for some Hollywood stars, it was the exact opposite.
Most of these big name movie stars and TV personalities are talented, in some form or fashion. And they’ve all achieved a lot in their careers as a result.
But we bet you didn’t know that each one of them had a pile of cash with his or her name on it, whether they hit it big or not.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, more commonly known as Lady Gaga, is a megastar. And apparently her music career wasn’t enough. She’s now an Oscar nominated actress (A Star is Born).
Gaga’s net worth is greater than it’s ever been. But did you know she had money from the outset?
Attending private school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Gaga had accomplished parents. Mom Cynthia Louise was a business executive, and dad Joseph Germanotta an Internet entrepreneur, owning and operating a number of businesses.
Currently, Gaga’s father works on her management team, and sits on the board of her charitable organization. He provided for her, now she’s returning the favor.
Before he was churning out intense performances in ‘90s classics like American History X and Fight Club, Edward Norton was doing quite well for himself.
Norton’s father was an environmental lawyer who also worked as a federal prosecutor. But Norton’s money goes even further back.
His maternal grandfather was real estate developer James Rouse, who founded The Rouse Company. And what did they do? Well, they invented shopping malls!
The Rouse Company sold in 2004 for a whopping $7.2-billion. Coming from that kind of money, Norton may have had a few advantages growing up.
Known for her roles in House and Tron: Legacy, actress Olivia Wilde didn’t struggle much before making it big.
Wilde attended Georgetown Day School, a private school in D.C., followed by Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts. She even got to travel, spending her summers in Ireland. How, you might ask?
Well, her parents had a bit of money. Wilde’s father is producer Andrew Cockburn, who comes from an upper class British family.
Her American born mother, Leslie Cockburn, is also a producer and writer. It pays to have parents in the business. And parents with money, to boot.
He was one of the great comedians of our time – a legend on the stage and the screen. There will never be another Robin Williams.
You know of his funniest movie performances, and probably his best dramatic ones as well. But did you know he was a rich kid?
Williams’s father was a senior executive in the Lincoln-Mercury Division at the Ford Motor Company. His mother Laurie was a model. Even his great-great grandfather had money – he was a Mississippi governor.
Robin attended a private day school outside of Detroit, where his parents raised him on a forty-room farmhouse that sat on twenty acres. Not bad, Mork!
If you made a list of young stars oozing with talent, Ariana Grande would have to fall on it somewhere. She’s been demonstrating her singing and acting abilities for a decade now, after being cast in a Nickelodeon show before she could drive a car.
Before that? She was growing up with money.
Grande is the daughter of two successful parents. Her mother Joan Grande was CEO of manufacturing company Hose-McCann Communications. Her father Edward owned a graphic design firm in Florida.
Her parents’ notoriety helped Grande get gigs performing with orchestras and on cruise ships. She even sang the National Anthem before a Florida Panthers game.
Bradley Cooper is a four-time Academy Award nominated actor. And now he’s a nominated director and screenwriter, thanks to A Star is Born.
You don’t get to the top of the A-list without talent. In Cooper’s case, he had some advantages early in life.
Cooper often makes reference to his Philadelphia roots. He’s not as public about his education. His stockbroker father’s salary was enough to send Bradley to Germantown Academy, an exclusive Philadelphia private school.
For college, Cooper enrolled at Villanova, then Georgetown. Which means his folks spent a ton of money on tuition! Fortunately, he makes enough now to pay his parents back tenfold.
You may know actress Rooney Mara from her Academy Award nominated performance in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s been a highly sought after star ever since.
But she didn’t come from nowhere. There’s a reason her name seems so familiar, especially if you’re a fan of pro football.
The Carol star’s family comes from not one, but two storied NFL franchises. Her paternal great-grandfather was Tim Mara, founder of the New York Giants. And her maternal great-grandfather was Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers!
That’s a lot of football money for she and sister Kate (also an actress) to kick around.
You don’t have to be a Maroon 5 fan to know Adam Levine. His work as a judge on The Voice introduced him to an even wider audience.
He’s got a fragrance line, too. And a record label. And a production company. As a child, you guessed it, he had money.
Levine grew up in the upscale Brentwood area of Los Angeles. His father Fred owned and operated M.Frederic, a popular retail chain.
Of course, wealth doesn’t equal happiness. Levine’s parents divorced when he was just a boy. All the money in the world can’t replace what was lost there, but Levine seems to have bounced back pretty well.
Carly Simon is an icon of American music. The singer-songwriter’s mega hit “You’re So Vain” will always be a mega hit. She’s collected two Grammys over her career, and landed twenty-four singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
And, as a kid, she was part of the “one percent.”
Carly’s dad is Richard L. Simon. Nope, not a recognizable name. But Simon & Schuster sure is. That’s right, Carly Simon’s father was the co-founder of one of the most profitable publishing companies the world has ever known.
With such affluence all her life, it’s no wonder Carly hung around some pretty vain folks.
Anderson Cooper’s work anchoring his CNN show has made him a household name. But had the silver haired newsman’s TV career never taken off, we’re pretty confident he would have made out okay.
Thanks to his mother.
Cooper’s mom was Gloria Vanderbilt, of the Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilts were, for a time, the wealthiest family in the United States.
Fashion designer and heiress Gloria had a net worth of over $200-million. Her son has done pretty well for himself, but it helps when you’ve got a pedigree like he does.
Emma Stone is one of those actresses who makes everything she’s in better. She’s beloved by audiences and the Academy alike. Her Best Actress win for La La Land cemented that.
Financial struggles are something she’s never known. Even as a youth, Stone had more advantages than most.
A theater actress as a child in Arizona, her mother moved with her to Los Angeles to help launch her acting career. But it was Stone’s father who made that possible.
The multi-millionaire president and CEO of a commercial construction company, he financially supported Emma’s Hollywood dreams. Thankfully, Emma doesn’t need his help these days.
If you’ve seen critically acclaimed movies such as Zero Dark Thirty, Her, or American Hustle, you’ve seen the work of Megan Ellison. She founded Annapurna Pictures in 2011 at the age of 25, where she produced those films.
So how’d she accomplish that feat at such a young age?
Her father is Larry Ellison, the billionaire chairman of the tech company Oracle Corporation. He’s currently listed as the seventh wealthiest person in the world.
Making Time’s list of the 100 most influential people isn’t easy to do (Megan did it in 2014), but you’ve got a better shot when your dad has that kind of cash lying around.
Remember Paris Hilton? She hasn’t been in the public eye with regularity of late, but she’s still pretty rich. And she never wasn’t rich.
Before the infamous sex tape, followed by the infamous reality show (The Simple Life), Paris led an ordinary existence. Just with a whole bunch of money.
Her great-grandfather was Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton. Her father is the chairman and co-founder of a real estate brokerage firm in Beverly Hills (Hilton & Hyland).
Paris was forced to move a lot as a child, which isn’t always easy. But the Hamptons and Beverly Hills and swanky Manhattan hotels probably made things more comfortable.
Aside from possessing one of the most intimidating names on the planet, Armie Hammer also has a pretty nice Hollywood career going for him.
He would have been all right no matter what he chose as a career. His family’s fortune has a lot to do with that.
So where’d they get all their money? Well, Hammer’s great-grandfather was Armand Hammer. That’s Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum. He was a billionaire.
Armie’s dad isn’t an oil mogul, but he does oversee the Hammer International Foundation. He also runs several businesses. After three generations of wealth, Armie appears to have kept the streak alive.
The assumption is that every cast member of The Real Housewives shows did very little to earn their money. The title alone suggests they married into their fortunes.
But Tinsley Mortimer, The Real Housewives of New York star, has had success as clothing and handbag designer. And she was rich from birth.
Mortimer’s father, George Riley Mercer Jr., amassed a fortune as a real-estate investor. Her mother, Dale Mercer, was no slouch either, making a name for herself as an interior designer.
Tinsley’s only ever known wealth. She’ll probably never know it any other way.
Fans of HBO’s Girls know Allison Williams’s work. She took things to the next level with her impressive turn in the 2017 horror phenomenon, Get Out.
A surname like Williams is as common as they come. So her family’s identity may not be obvious. This Williams, however, has a very famous father.
Allison’s dad is former Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Once considered among the most trusted voices in news, Brian was suspended and then demoted in 2015 for fudging the facts while covering the Iraq war in 2003.
Still, he’d accumulated enough wealth to give Allison an affluent upbringing in New Canaan, Connecticut. She’s even richer now.
After hitting it big on Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus hit it big again with HBO’s Veep, hilariously playing a blundering vice president.
Though her stepfather was dean of George Washington University Medical School, it was her biological father’s affluence that lands Julia on this list.
Gérard Louis-Dreyfus was the chair of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. Forbes estimated his net worth at $3.4 billion in 2006.
Julia’s great-great grandfather was Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, whose family was one of the five wealthiest in France. This enabled him in 1851 to found the Louis Dreyfus Group, a shipping conglomerate. That’s even better than Seinfeld money.
If you don’t know Nick Kroll’s name, you might know his face. If you don’t know his face, just trust us, he’s been around a lot lately.
An actor, comedian, and writer, Kroll found his broadest audience in a recurring role on Parks and Recreation. And as a youth, he had money. More than enough of it.
Nick is the son of Lynn and Jules Kroll. Jules founded corporate investigations and risk consulting firm Kroll Inc. And Kroll Inc. made the family a fortune. It sold in 2004 for a massive $1.9-billion.
Who knows, maybe having a dad worth over a billion dollars is great fodder for comedy?
Maybe you’re tired of hearing about this family in the headlines. It began way back in 1994, when attorney Robert Kardashian made waves as O.J. Simpson’s close friend and supporter following the murders.
A sex tape, a reality show and a Kanye later, the Kardashians are an empire. So what’s so special about Kylie Jenner?
Kim’s half sister has undoubtedly benefited from the Kardashian brand. But she’s achieved an even greater wealth in her own right.
With a cosmetics line, a clothing company, her social media influence, and a spin-off show, Kylie is the world’s youngest billionaire. And she couldn’t even buy alcohol a year ago.
Brooke Shields has been in the public consciousness as long as we can remember. She’s been acting since she was a teenager. Before that, she was a model.
How does one begin life with so much success? Well, do you know who her parents were?
Brooke’s mother Teri was an actress and a model. Her father Frank worked on Wall Street before becoming a sales and marketing executive at Revlon and Estee Lauder. He would later start his own real estate firm in Florida.
When Brooke was just an infant, Teri vowed to help her with her career. Without all that money, it wouldn’t have been possible.
Giada De Laurentiis
Before she was making delectable dishes on the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis was raised in Rome, enjoying some of the finest meals in the world.
De Laurentiis moved to the posh Bel Air area of Los Angeles with her mother following her parents’ divorce. And her family of entertainers made that possible.
Italian actress Veronica De Laurentiis is Giada’s mother. Her father was a film producer. Her grandmother was famed Italian actress Silvana Mangano. Even Giada’s stepfather is a film producer.
So the next time you see Giada on The Today Show, talented though she is, remember that a family history in the movies helped paved the way for her.
If you’re a fan of The Office or Parks and Recreation – and who isn’t? – you probably love Rashida Jones. With an ordinary last name like that, her pedigree may not be obvious.
Both of Rashida’s parents were very accomplished by the time she was born. And very rich.
Rashida’s mother was Peggy Lipton, star of the hit TV show The Mod Squad. Her father? He’s even bigger.
Legendary record producer and musician Quincy Jones is Rashida’s dad. A winner of twenty-eight Grammys, Quincy produced records for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. Where would Rashida be today without mom and dad?
Renowned for her turn as the titular Frida Kahlo in Frida (and the way more fun Desperado), Salma Hayek is one of the most successful actresses to ever come out of Mexico.
But did you know she was extremely wealthy before all that?
Salma’s father is Sami Hayek Dominguez, a Mexican oil company executive and industrial equipment firm owner. What did that mean for Salma? It meant she could have whatever she wanted, pets included.
As a girl, Salma owned three tigers. Two died, and Salma had to give the last one away due to its temper. If she hadn’t, would we have ever known the name of Salma Hayek?
Few accomplish so much in life before their 30th birthdays. Not the case with Cara Delevingne.
A two-time Model of the Year winner, she’s also got a music career going. And a movie career. Living in excess is nothing new.
Her father is property developer Charles Hamar Delevingne. He’s founded one massive real estate agency, and has been a partner and director of others. The guy’s got money to his name.
As a result, Cara grew up in the affluent London district of Belgravia. She could afford to drop out of school to pursue modeling. In this case, it worked out.
Love her or hate her, Gwyneth Paltrow has had a nice career. She’s starred in a wide range of cherished films, from Shakespeare in Love to Iron Man.
Before she was in the movies, and way before that much maligned natural health company she runs, she was just another rich kid in L.A.
Actress Blythe Danner is Gwyneth’s mom. And she had a nice career going herself when Gwyneth was little. As for her father, well he was Bruce Paltrow, producer of the TV series St. Elsewhere.
Needless to say, Gwyneth didn’t have to work hard to get started in the “biz.”
She’s a journalist, a Peabody Award winner, and a sometimes contributor to NBC’s The Today Show. She was also married to Arnold Schwarzenegger for a quarter century.
Maria Shriver has done a lot as an adult. It helped that she comes from a famous family. American royalty, in fact.
Born in Chicago, she’s the daughter of Sargent Shriver, a diplomat who worked in three presidential administrations. Maria’s mother was Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Yes, that Kennedy.
Maria is the niece of our 35th president. And you don’t have to be a Kennedy family historian to know that they’ve got exorbitant wealth.
Actress Zoë Kravitz is everywhere you look these days, starring in productions like Mad Max: Fury Road, and HBO’s Big Little Lies.
For some actors, it takes years of blood, sweat and tears to break out. For others, a phone call from mom and dad will do.
Kravitz is the daughter of rock star Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet. Growing up, Zoë attended the private Miami Country Day School. She later graduated from Manhattan’s prestigious Rudolf Steiner School.
She was cast in 2007’s No Reservations immediately thereafter at the age of seventeen, and her career’s been going strong ever since. Easy as that.
If she’s not a household name yet, she may be soon. Actress Riley Keough has starred in the TV series The Girlfriend Experience, and also appeared in Mad Max: Fury Road.
But why is she on this list? You may have heard of her mother. And definitely her grandfather.
Riley is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley (and musician Danny Keough). Lisa Marie, of course, had a dad named Elvis. He was kind of a big deal.
Riley admits she grew up privileged, thanks to her mother’s celebrity. We’ll see if she can escape the Presley shadow and become known for her work alone.
A darling of independent cinema, Zoe Kazan has starred in the Oscar-nominated The Big Sick, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, from the Coen Brothers.
She’s also a writer, with two critically acclaimed feature films under her belt. But she’s not the only screenwriter in her family.
Zoe’s mother Robin Swicord wrote Little Women, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale. Her father Nicholas Kazan wrote Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams. How about Zoe’s grandfather?
He was Elia Kazan, famed director of On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire. Zoe got a private school education before making movies. Good thing her family had made them, too.
Maybe his first name doesn’t ring a bell, but his last name should. Actor and producer Balthazar Getty got an early start in Hollywood, starring as the lead in the 1990 remake of Lord of the Flies.
But he wasn’t some obscure kid whose raw talent led to that big break.
Getty comes from a lot of money. A whole lot. His great-grandfather, J. Paul Getty, was among the richest men in the world. Founder of Getty Oil, that fortune continued through the generations.
The family’s wealth (and hardships) was also the subject of the 2018 FX series, Trust.
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