These Celebrities Were Rich Well Before They Were Famous
Some celebrities are entirely self-made. They use their talents to pull themselves out of dire financial situations and then they become way too rich for their own good. These celebs have a different story. They grew up with money. They were in a privileged position before they ever stepped in front of a camera.
Both Jake and his sister Maggie grew up with money. His father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, is a film director, and his mother, Naomi Foner, is a film producer and screenwriter. Jake and Maggie were basically born into the business.
The Gyllenhaal family is Jewish, and when it was time for Jake to celebrate his bar mitzvah, his parents had him volunteer at a local homeless shelter so he could gain some perspective on his privileged lifestyle. His parents always insisted that he have summer jobs. I guess they were worried about him becoming a spoiled rich kid.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus knew a thing or two about money before she landed a lead role on the iconic show Seinfeld. Julia’s father, Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, was the chair of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services.
He is estimated to be worth 3.4 billion dollars. Julia comes from a long line of successful businessmen. Her great-grandfather is Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, the founder of the Louis Dreyfus Group established in 1851.
Taylor Swift grew up in Redding, Pensylvania. Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a financial advisor who made quite a healthy living. When Taylor decided that she wanted to pursue music as a full-time career, her parents were able to take her to Nashville multiple times to meet with major record labels.
Eventually, the family relocated to Nashville so that Taylor could live out her dream.
Paul Giamatti’s father, A. Bartlett Giamatti (Angelo Bartlett Giamatti), was a Yale University professor who later became president of Yale and the commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Obviously, Paul went to Yale University where he was active in the undergraduate theatre scene. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. This guy definitely had friends in high places.
Edward Norton studied at Yale around the same time as Paul Giamatti. They even acted in some of the same university plays. Edward Norton’s father, Edward Mower Norton Jr., served in Vietnam as a Marine lieutenant before he became an environmental lawyer and conservation advocate.
He worked in Asia, and he was a federal prosecutor in the Carter administration. Norton’s maternal grandfather, James Rouse, was the founder of The Rouse Company.
Both Rooney and her sister, Kate Mara, grew up with a hefty fortune. Their mother’s family, the Rooney’s, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her father’s family, the Mara’s, founded the New York Giants.
Their father, Timothy Christopher Mara, is still the vice president of player evaluation for the New York Giants. I wonder if there were any rivalries between the families while these girls were growing up?
While Ariana Grande’s parents aren’t exactly famous, they definitely have some money to their name. Joan Grande, Ariana’s mother, is the chief executive officer of Hose-McCann Communications, a marine communications equipment company. Her father, Edward Butera, is a graphic designer and the CEO of Ibi Designs, Inc. in Boca Raton.
Ariana’s brother, Frankie Grande, became a very successful entertainer and producer. It’s fair to say that these kids got a pretty good head start in life.
Nick Kroll is the son of Lynn and Jules Kroll. His father is the founder of Kroll Inc., a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in New York. In 2004, Jules Kroll sold the firm for 1.9 billion dollars.
In 2009, Jules founded two more firms, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) and K2 Intelligence. Nick Kroll has three siblings who all enjoyed a very financially comfortable childhood.
Armie Hammer was born in Santa Monica, California to Dru Ann Hammer and Michael Armand Hammer. His mother is a former bank loan officer and his father owns several businesses.
Some of his father’s businesses include Knoedler Publishing and Armand Hammer Productions (a film/television production company). Armie’s father’s father was an oil tycoon and a philanthropist. Having parents with money gave Armie a lot of advantages in life. However, his parents basically disowned him when he decided to leave school and pursue acting full time. Now that Armie has achieved success in acting, his parents are proud of him and supportive of his work.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, I’m here to let you know that Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of filmmaker Ron Howard— you know, the guy who won an Academy Award for directing A Beautiful Mind.
His net worth is estimated at 140 million dollars. Now Bryce has got some big movie money of her own. Her role in the Jurassic World series has certainly paid off in a very literal way.
Brooke Shields is the daughter of actress and model Teri Shields and businessman Frank Shields. After working for Estée Lauder and Revlon, Frank formed his own real estate business, Frank Shields Associates.
Her paternal grandparents were pretty wealthy people. Her grandfather was a top-ranking tennis player, and her grandmother was an Italian princess whose family got rich through the administration of Vatican finances.
Jordin Sparks’ father is former professional football player Philippi Sparks. Philippi played for the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. He retired in 2001 after playing for nine seasons.
It wasn’t Philippi’s football money that helped Jordin get her start in the music industry. Jordin auditioned for American Idol, and then made it all the way to the very end. I’m sure the football money was nice to have, though.
Anderson Cooper’s mother is heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. Gloria was the only daughter of millionaire equestrian Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt.
Anderson’s great-great-great-grandfather was Cornelius Vanderbilt, who founded the Vanderbilt shipping and railroad fortune. This family’s history is super interesting and full of both money and tragedy. Anderson was definitely rich long before he became our country’s most recognizable newscaster.
Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis was born in Rome, Italy to actress Veronica De Laurentiis and actor-producer Alex De Benedetti. Gaida’s maternal grandfather was film producer Dino De Laurentiis.
She’s also the granddaughter of Italian actress Silvana Mangano. Basically, Giada’s ancestry perfectly set her up to be both a public persona and a lover of food. Nobody does food better than the Italians. Gida may have grown up with money, but her cooking career is all her own.
Chevy Chase and Anderson Cooper actually have a family connection. Chevy Chases’s mother, Cathlene, was adopted by her stepfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, heir to The Crane Company. Chevy Chase and Anderson Cooper are distant cousins. Also, Chevy’s father’s second wife was a member of the Folgers coffee family.
Chevy’s full name is actually Cornelius Crane Chase after his grandfather. Chevy’s family history is super fascinating. A lot of his ancestors were heavily involved in music and the arts.
Adam Levine’s father, Fredric Levine, is the founder of the retail chain M. Fredric. M. Fredric has been in business for over thirty-five years. The chain has a number of chic boutique style stores in Southern California.
Levine has said that his family is very musical. Their interest in music probably contributed to Adam’s talent and success. I bet their emotional support was as helpful to him as their financial support.
Rashida Jones is the daughter of The Mod Squad actress Peggy Lipton and record producer Quincy Jones. Qunicy Jones’ net worth is estimated to be somewhere close to 310 million dollars.
Rashida went to Harvard University where she became involved with several university theatre productions. Her parents could easily afford to send her to Harvard, which should give you a good idea of just how much money she grew up with.
Kyra Sedgwick has family ties to some very important people. On her father’s side, she is related to Judge Theodore Sedgwick, Endicott Peabody (the founder of the Groton School), William Ellery (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), Samuel Appleton, Jand ohn Lathrop (an American minister).
She is also the great-granddaughter of Henry Dwight Sedgwick III, and therefore the niece of his brother, Ellery Sedgwick, who was the owner and editor of The Atlantic Monthly.
Nicole Ritchie is the adopted daughter of Lionel Ritchie. Nicole’s biological parents were friends with Lionel, and they decided to have him adopt their daughter because they couldn’t care for her financially. Lionel Ritchie’s first album went four-times platinum the year after Nicole was born.
Nicole initially became famous because of her rich upbringing. She starred on the reality show The Simple Life alongside her friend Paris Hilton.
Carly is one of the most iconic figures of ’70s music in America. She got rich in her own right after writing, singing, and producing hit after hit song. Carly was no stranger to money, though.
Carly Simon’s father, Richard L. Simon, was the founder of publishing corporation Simon & Schuster. The publishing company was founded in New York in 1924. Now it publishes two thousand titles every year.
You might recognize Williams for her recent performance in Get Out, but people around the NBC news desk know her as the daughter of anchor Brian Williams. Williams grew up very well off thanks to her father’s news career that has lasted more than 35 years.
Her father’s wealth allowed her to attend private school and Yale University, but it was her acting talent that got her the breakout role as Marnie in HBO’s Girls.
It actually might have been hard for singer Robin Thicke to grow up in the shadow of his famous father, Alan Thicke. Alan starred on the TV show Growing Pains, and his wife Gloria Loring played the character Liz Chandler on Days of our Lives.
Having two famous parents meant that Robin grew up in the limelight with endless possibilities. Both his parents were supportive of his musical talents, and it allowed him to get a foot in the door and recording studios.
Lady Gaga has never been afraid to talk about her Italian roots and family-oriented childhood, but her families wealth was hard-earned. They grew up in the affluent Upper West Side of Manhattan, but her parents were low-class who worked hard to climb the social ladder.
Her mother was an internet entrepreneur that made the family most of its wealth. Lady Gaga attended a private school and had her first years’ rent covered after she decided to drop out of school, and pursue a career in singing.
Paltrow is one of those actresses that you forgot had numerous famous connections in the business. Her mother is Will And Grace actress Blythe Danner and her father is TV producer Bruce Paltrow, so she grew up in the spotlight with lots of money.
If that isn’t enough to convince you of how much money her family has, there’s also the fact that her uncle is opera singer Harry Danner, and her godfather is none other than Steven Speilberg.
Schwartzman seemed to appear on the indie film scene in the in the early 2000s, but he’s been around much longer than that. If you look closely, you can see his resemblance to his mother Talia Rose Coppola, who is the daughter of The Godfather director, Francis Ford Coppola.
Schwartzman was very well off living in Los Angeles as a kid and was handed his first acting role with Wes Anderson when he was only 17.
Lohan starred in The Parent Trap when she was only 11, so she was making piles of cash from a young age, but she also had her father’s wealth to help her out. Lohan grew up in the wealthy Long Island community of Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Her father Michael was a very successful Wall Street trader. His wealth allowed their family to send Lindsay to auditions in Los Angeles and New York.
Stewart’s family money came from her two parents that worked behind the scenes in Hollywood. Her father, John, is a television producer and stage manager, while her Jules has director and script supervision credit.
Even though they worked behind the scenes, they made Hollywood-level money. Her family grew up in a custom-built Alice In Wonderland themed mansion worth $1.75 million.
Bella & Gigi Hadid
These models might have been known for their wealth before they were recognized for their modeling skills. The two are the daughters of former model and Real Housewife of Beverly Hills cast member Yolanda Foster and billionaire real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid.
As if having a rich real-estate dad wasn’t enough, when their parents divorced, Yolanda went on to marry famous music producer David Foster. The two grew up in the spotlight with a constant flow of cash.
Emilio Estevez And Charlie Sheen
Estevez flew under the radar for a long because he didn’t take his father’s last name, but his brother Charlie Sheen did. The two brothers grew up with humble roots in Staten Island, but after their father was cast in Catch-22, they started living the rich and famous lifestyle.
The family moved from Staten Island to New York’s Upper West Side, and the boys transferred out of public school and into a prestigious private academy.
Michelle was born Montana and shared a close bond with her wealthy father, Larry Williams. Larry was a high-profile commodity trader on Wall Street. He’s also an inventor that figured out a way to help traders predict where the numbers will go.
Larry’s trading made the William’s family rich, but his two-time run for Senate made them famous too. The family’s wealth and status allowed Michelle to focus on her acting career when she was only 15-years-old.