35 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Born Rich

Laura Woods

Many celebrities have a relatable rags-to-riches story, but others were born into the good life. Some of these stars have had wealth in their bloodline for generations, while others were raised by seriously successful parents.

Either way, these stars have used their talents to pave their own road to riches. But to see who already had some wealth in their family, take a closer look at these celebrities who come from families with money.

Last updated: April 27, 2020

Jake Gyllenhaal

  • Net worth: $65 million

He’s a major movie star, but Hollywood is nothing new to the Gyllenhaal family. Jake Gyllenhaal’s father, Stephen, is a director and his mother is screenwriter Naomi Foner.

Stephen’s directing career dates back to 1978. In recent years, he’s directed episodes of “Bosch” and “Billions,” just to name a few of his projects. Foner’s writing credits start in 1977 and include the films “Very Good Girls,” “A Dangerous Woman” and “Running on Empty.”

Acting since he was a child in the early 1990s, Jake has more than 50 credits on his resume. Some of his most well-known films include “Nightcrawler,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Donnie Darko.”

Also an actor, Jake’s sister, Maggie, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 for her work on “Crazy Heart.” Her net worth is $15 million.

Taylor Swift

  • Net worth: $400 million

She earns a lot of money, but thankfully Taylor Swift has someone very trustworthy to manage it. Her father, Scott Swift, is the founder of The Swift Group, a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Group.

Swift has been a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for more than 40 years, according to his firm’s website. Taylor turned 30 in December 2019, so her father has held this prestigious job her entire life.

For her part, the “Shake It Off” singer has realized five No.1 hits on the Billboard charts and a seriously impressive 25 Top 10 hits. Her Reputation Stadium Tour broke the record for the highest-grossing U.S. tour in 2018, grossing $266.1 million, according to Billboard.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

  • Net worth: $250 million

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ great-great-grandfather founded French commodities and shipping conglomerate the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851. Her father Gerard Louis-Dreyfus eventually took the reins of the company, leading from 1969 to 2006.

When he died in 2016, her father had a net worth of $4 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. However, the actress disputed this in a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, saying he was actually far from ever being a billionaire.

Hugely successful in her own right, the actress is best known as Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld,” where she reportedly earned around $600,000 per episode, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She also brought in a reported $250,000 per episode for her work as Selina Meyer on “Veep,” according to Variety.

Bradley Cooper

  • Net worth: $100 million

His father, Charles Cooper, was a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch, which afforded the movie star a comfortable life growing up. In fact, he attended the prestigious private school Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

A multitalented actor, producer and director, Cooper has a slew of hits on his resume, including “A Star is Born,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.” He has been honored with eight Academy Award nominations throughout his career.

Lady Gaga

  • Net worth: $320 million

Once upon a time, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was a kid growing up in a duplex on New York City’s Upper West Side. Her father Joe Germanotta earned such a comfortable living in the hotel Wi-Fi business that she was also able to attend private school.

Still working hard, her parents opened Italian restaurant Joanne Trattoria on New York City’s Upper West Side in 2012. Worth noting, Lady Gaga does not own the restaurant, according to The New York Times, and her father said the family could’ve afforded to open it even without her success.

Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas residency Enigma made its debut on Dec. 28, 2018, at Park MGM resort’s Park Theater and grossed $16 million during its first 11-date run, according to Billboard. Also an actress, she starred in the reboot of “A Star is Born,” and in 2019, her hit “Shallow” won the Academy Award for best original song.

Ariana Grande

  • Net worth: $100 million

Ariana Grande’s father, Edward Butera, is the founder and creative head of Ibi Designs, a full-service creative studio in Florida. The firm has some seriously prestigious clients, including Eddie Murphy and FAO Schwartz.

The “Thank U, Next” singer appears to have inherited her father’s ambition, as five of her albums have been certified Platinum by the RIAA. She’s also scored 14 Top 10 Billboard hits, including two No. 1 spots.

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Anderson Cooper

  • Net worth: $200 million

He’s one of the most famous newscasters on television, but many people don’t realize Anderson Cooper hails from the esteemed Vanderbilt family. His mother is the late child heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, who also made her own name as an actress, artist, author and fashion designer.

At the time of her death in 2019, Vanderbilt’s estate was worth approximately $1.5 million, which she left to Cooper, according to Page Six. The value of her estate was a surprise to some, as she was born with a $2.5 million trust fund — equal to $35 million today — and had a denim brand in the 1970s worth a reported $100 million.

Regardless, Cooper clearly doesn’t need the money, as he earns a reported $12 million per year as a CNN anchor, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Edward Norton

  • Net worth: $300 million

Edward Norton’s grandfather, James Rouse, invented the modern enclosed shopping mall. The developer is also known for financing low-income housing, in addition to designing Boston’s famed Faneuil Hall and the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

A three-time Academy Award nominee, Norton has a multitude of hit films to his name, including “Birdman,” “American History X” and “Fight Club.” Also a businessman, Norton has co-founded several companies, including CrowdRise and EDO. He was also an early investor in Uber, according to The New York Times.

Michelle Williams

  • Net worth: $30 million

She’s enjoyed massive success in the arts, but Michelle Williams’ father is a famed commodities trader. Larry Williams won the World Cup Championship of Futures Trading in 1987, and he’s written several books on trading.

Larry offers a couple of financial courses on his website, deemed the Larry Williams University. His website showcases many instances of giving back to the community, including The Larry R Williams Scholarship endowment.

The four-time Academy Award-nominated actress got her start as Jen Lindley on the television series “Dawson’s Creek.” Since then, she’s become a household name with starring roles in films like “Manchester by the Sea” and “My Week With Marilyn.”

Ed Sheeran

  • Net worth: $160 million

A family committed to the arts, Ed Sheeran’s father, John, is an art lecturer and his mother, Imogen, has a jewelry company. His father was a museum curator in the 1980s, and in 1990, the couple founded Sheeran Lock, their own independent art consultancy.

For 20 years, Sheeran Lock created prestigious art exhibitions, including the official 50th Birthday Exhibition of The Prince of Wales at Hampton Court Palace and the United Nations Millennium Exhibition in New York, according to Suffolk Magazine.

The “Thinking Out Loud” singer has secured seven top 10 hits on the Billboard charts, including two No. 1 spots. In August 2019, he set the record for the highest-grossing tour of all time, bringing in $775.6 million over 255 performances in 2 1/2 years, according to Pollstar.

Jonah Hill

  • Net worth: $50 million

Hollywood just might be in Jonah Hill’s DNA. His mother, Sharon Feldstein, is a costume designer and his father, Richard, is a Hollywood business manager who was an accountant for Guns N’ Roses.

A two-time Academy Award nominee, Hill has made a name for himself in the industry as an actor, producer, writer and director. Some of his top films include “21 Jump Street,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Moneyball.”

Kristen Stewart

  • Net worth: $70 million

She might be the most famous name in the family, but Kristen Stewart’s parents are Hollywood veterans. Her father, John, is a stage manager and her mother, Jules, is a script supervisor, editor and director.

Some of her mother’s film credits include “Mortal Combat,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Jingle All the Way.” An award show regular, some of her father’s more recent projects include the 2016 “Grammy Red Carpet Live” event and the “2016 Golden Globe Arrivals Special.”

Kristen rose to fame as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” saga. Since then, she’s starred in several other films, including “Charlie’s Angels” and “Snow White and the Huntsmen.”

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Adam Levine

  • Net worth: $120 million

He’s a major music star, but Adam Levine comes from a fashion family. His father, Fred, and aunt Mardi founded Los Angeles-based apparel chain M. Frederic in 1979. Along with his stepmother, Lisa, the trio still runs the company.

The lead singer of Maroon 5 has built his own fortune crooning out hits like “One More Night” and “This Love.” Six of the band’s albums have been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Armie Hammer

  • Net worth: $16 million

He’s known to the world as Armie Hammer, but the actor’s given name is Armand, after his uber-successful great-grandfather. Armand Sr. took the helm of Occidental Petroleum in 1957 and grew it into one of the most successful oil companies in the U.S., according to GQ.

Consequently, Armie enjoyed a comfortable life as a child, including spending several years living in the Cayman Islands. His father was inspired to make the move after seeing the movie “The Firm,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In an interview with GQ, Armie revealed he doesn’t take any money from his family. Instead, he supports his family with paychecks from hit films like “The Lone Ranger” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Olivia Wilde

  • Net worth: $20 million

Olivia Wilde’s parents, Leslie and Andrew Cockburn, are journalists who have created documentaries for PBS’ “Frontline,” ABC News and “60 Minutes.” Her mother was also part of the second class of women allowed to attend Yale, according to Marie Claire.

Some of the couple’s joint projects include the documentaries “American Casino,” “The Peacemaker” and “Maternal Instinct.”

Successful in her own right, Wilde is an actress, producer and director with nearly five dozen credits to her name. A few of her most well-known projects include “TRON: Legacy,” “Drinking Buddies” and “The Lazarus Effect.”

Kyra Sedgwick

  • Net worth: $45 million

Born and raised in Manhattan, Kyra Sedgwick’s father was a venture capitalist. Her parents divorced when she was young, but her mother — an educational and family therapist — remarried an art dealer, according to Good Housekeeping.

She attended private school in New York City, but her great-grandfather Endicott Peabody founded elite boarding academy the Groton School in Massachusetts. Her other great-grandfather Henry Dwight Sedgwick was a historian and biographer. Finally, her grandfather James B. Rosenwald was a securities analyst and senior advisor.

Sedgwick is best known for her work as Brenda Leigh Johnson on “The Closer,” where she earned a reported $350,000 per episode.

Chevy Chase

  • Net worth: $50 million

Born Cornelius Crane Chase, Chevy Chase’s mother was a pluming heiress. His grandfather inherited the Crane Valve Co, but Chase told the Baltimore Sun that his grandfather left the family fortune to his new wife when he died. His mother was a pianist and his father, an editor and writer, married into the Folgers coffee family after his parents divorced.

A massively successful actor, Chase is best known for his work on the television series “Community” and several “National Lampoon’s” films.

Carly Simon

  • Net worth: $65 million

You know her as the voice behind “You’re So Vain,” but you might not know Carly Simon grew up in publishing. Her father, Richard L. Simon, was the co-founder of famed publishing house Simon & Schuster.

As a child, Simon split her time between a Greenwich Village townhome and a massive estate in Stamford, Connecticut, according to Rolling Stone. Her father’s money and connections afforded her a life surrounded by celebrities, including Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Robinson.

Of course, Simon became a massive success in her own right, with five top 10 hits on the Billboard charts, including “Nobody Does It Better.” She also has five albums certified Platinum and three certified Gold by the RIAA.

Nick Kroll

  • Net worth: $13 million

He rose to fame as a funnyman, but Nick Kroll’s dad, Jules, is all business. The elder Kroll is the chairman and co-founder of K2 Intelligence and the founder of Kroll, Inc.

Seriously accomplished, Jules is known as the “pioneer of the modern investigations, intelligence and corporate security industry,” according to the K2 Intelligence website. All this success has allowed him to accumulate a net worth of $2 billion.

It would be hard to match his dad’s fortune, but Nick has accumulated an impressive net worth of his own by starring in television shows like “The League” and films including “Adult Beginners” and “Sausage Party.”

Giada De Laurentiis

  • Net worth: $30 million

Fame runs in the family of celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. Her mother is Italian actress Veronica De Laurentiis and her father is actor and producer Alex De Benedetti. That’s not all — her maternal grandfather is film producer Dino De Laurentiis.

Seriously accomplished in her own right, Giada is a Food Network star, New York Times bestselling author and restauranteur. She also helms the lifestyle platform Giadzy.com, where she shares everything from new recipes to travel tips with readers.

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Sigourney Weaver

  • Net worth: $50 million

Born into Hollywood, Sigourney Weaver’s late-father is Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., former president and chairman of NBC. His illustrious career included helping create “Today” and championing hits like “Meet the Press.”

The actress has certainly made her own name in the entertainment industry, with nearly 90 credits to her name. In recent years, she’s best known as Dr. Grace Augustine in the “Avatar” franchise, but some of her other classics include the “Alien” and “Ghostbuster” films from the 1980s and ’90s.

Spike Jonze

  • Net worth: $50 million

He’s known to the public as Spike Jonze, but the filmmaker’s real name is Adam Spiegel, of the Spiegel catalogue business. The Spiegel Group filed bankruptcy in 2003, but was previously a thriving business with nearly $3 billion in annual sales, according to The New York Times.

Jonze has more than 100 producing, directing and writing credits to his name, but some of his most well-known works include “Her,” “Being John Malkovich” and “Three Kings.”

Paul Giamatti

  • Net worth: $25 million

Actor Paul Giamatti has enjoyed a seriously successful career, but so did his father. A. Bartlett Giamatti was a professor of English renaissance literature and eventually the president of Yale University. After achieving those milestones, Paul’s seriously talented father pivoted to sports administration, becoming a Major League Baseball commissioner.

He clearly inherited his father’s work ethic, as Giamatti has been continuously employed as an actor for three decades. Currently starring as Chuck Rhoades on “Billions,” he’s also known for several hit films, including “Cinderella Man,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Sideways.”

Kate Mara

  • Net worth: $14 million

She’s best known for her serious acting skills, but Kate Mara comes from a sports dynasty. Her great-grandfathers are Tim Mara — founding owner of the New York Giants — and Art Rooney, Sr. — founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An actress with more than two decades of credits, Mara has found success in both film and television. Some of her biggest hits include the series “House of Cards” and “Pose” and the films “Brokeback Mountain,” “Shooter” and the “Fantastic Four.”

Lindsay Lohan

  • Net worth: $800,000

When Lindsay Lohan’s parents married in 1985, her father, Michael, was a Wall Street commodities broker, whose family had a successful pasta business, according to ABC News. Her mother, Dina, was a Radio City Rockette.

In 1986, the starlet was born in New York City and the family settled into an upscale New York suburb. Unfortunately, her father was sentenced to 36 months of jail on charges of defrauding clients in 1990, which is around the time she started working as an actress.

Some of her most memorable acting roles include “The Parent Trap,” “Mean Girls” and “Freaky Friday.”

Ansel Elgort

  • Net worth: $12 million

He’s become a fixture on the silver screen, but you might not realize that Ansel Elgort’s family is also a big deal. His mother, Grethe Barrett Holby, is an opera director and creative producer and his father, Arthur, is one of the best-known fashion photographers in the industry.

Arthur’s work has regularly appeared on the covers and in the spreads of Vogue for more than 40 years, according to his website. Throughout his career, he’s also worked with many other top fashion magazines, on many major ad campaigns and with several high-end fashion houses and luxury brands.

Since his first film “Carrie” debuted in 2013, Ansel has quickly become a Hollywood superstar. Some of his other hit films include “Divergent,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Baby Driver.”

Jordin Sparks

  • Net worth: $10 million

Before Jordin Sparks was famous, her father, Phillippi, was the star of the family. He played nine seasons in the NFL, including eight with the New York Giants and one with the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2007, Jordin became the youngest-ever winner of “American Idol.” The “Battlefield” singer’s self-titled album has sold more than 1 million copies, according to the RIAA.

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Lana Del Rey

  • Net worth: $18 million

She’s known as Lana Del Rey, but the soulful singer’s real name is Lizzie Grant, daughter of millionaire Robert England Grant. Her father founded WebMediaProperties in 1996, a global network of more than 8,000 specialty websites.

Along with his wife, Patricia, he established The Grant Family Foundation, which has gifted more than $1 million to universities, colleges and secondary schools over the past eight years, according to his website.

Successful in her own right, several of Del Rey’s songs have landed on the Billboard charts, including “Summertime Sadness,” which reached No. 6 in 2013. Her album “Born to Die” has sold more than 1 million copies, according to the RIAA.

 

Gigi Hadid

  • Net worth: $29 million

Success runs deep in the Hadid family. Gigi’s father, Mohamed, has helmed high-end real estate firm Hadid Development for more than 30 years.

The firm’s prestigious portfolio includes several Ritz Carlton Hotels and illustrious private residences. His work has allowed him to amass a net worth of $5 million.

A catwalk favorite, Gigi has appeared in fashion shows for countless big names, including Miu Miu, Chanel and Chloe. She’s also been the face of many campaigns for major labels, including Marc Jacobs, Prada, Chanel and Maybelline.

Not to be left out, Gigi’s sister, Bella Hadid, is also a successful model with a net worth of $25 million.

Rose Leslie

  • Net worth: $4 million

Many young girls dream of growing up in a castle, but actress Rose Leslie actually did. She was raised at Lickleyhead Castle, a seven-bedroom home in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, thought to have been built by the Leslie family around 1560.

As if one castle wasn’t enough, the Leslie family also owns Wardhill Castle, where the actress held her 2018 wedding reception to Kit Harrington. The Leslie family has owned the Scottish castle for more than 800 years.

Leslie has nearly two dozen acting credits to her name, including television series “Game of Thrones,” “Downton Abbey” and “The Good Fight.”

Darren Criss

  • Net worth: $3.5 million

Darren Criss’s father, C. William Criss, is a pretty big deal in the banking world. The investment banker has accomplished major feats in his career, including opening the first Chase Bank offices in San Francisco and starting the East West Bank N.A. in Honolulu.

Also a patron of the arts, Criss is the former director of the San Francisco Opera. This may have inspired his musical son, who has both singing and composing credits on his resume.

The younger Criss is likely best known for his work as Blaine Anderson on “Glee.” However, he won a Golden Globe in 2019 for his work on “Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”

Samantha Ronson

  • Net worth: $6 million

Samantha Ronson was born to socialite Ann Dexter-Jones and British real estate heir and band manager Laurence Ronson. When her parents divorced, her mother remarried Mick Jones of Foreigner.

As if being one of the most famous DJs in the world wasn’t enough, Samantha is also a songwriter with her own album “Chasing The Reds.” She’s also part of the electric pop group “Ocean Park Standoff.”

Elle King

  • Net worth: $4 million

Your probably didn’t know it, but soulful crooner Elle King is actor Rob Schneider’s daughter. Born Tanner Elle Schneider, she changed her name to Elle King — her mother is former model London King — when she decided to pursue a music career, according to ABC News.

King’s famous father has a net worth of $15 million. Some of the funnyman’s most well-known films include “The Hot Chick,” “The Animal” and the “Deuce Bigalow” films.

The singer is best known for her hit song “Ex’s & Oh’s,” which peaked at the No. 10 spot on the Billboard charts in November 2015. Her album “Love Stuff” has sold more than 500,000 units, according to the RIAA.

Psy

  • Net worth: $60 million

His hit “Gangnam Style” made Psy the first Korean popstar to top the Apple music download charts, but success is nothing new to the rapper’s family. His father, Park Won-ho, is the chairman and controlling shareholder of the South Korean semiconductor company D.I. Corp.

Psy’s mother is also the owner of Korean restaurant Modern Bapsang in Seoul, South Korea.

“Gangham Style” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 2012. That same year, the song’s music video became the first to hit 2 billion views on YouTube, according to Forbes. Since then, it has nearly doubled to 3.6 billion views.

Nicola Peltz

  • Net worth: $50 million

You might recognize Nicola Peltz from “Bates Motel,” but you probably didn’t know she’s the daughter of a billionaire. Her father is investor Nelson Peltz, the CEO and founding partner of Trian Partners.

The billionaire businessman is also the nonexecutive chairman of The Wendy’s Company and a director of The Procter & Gamble Company, Sysco Corporation, Legg Mason, Inc. and The Madison Square Garden Company. He has an estimated net worth of $1.79 billion.

Making a name for herself, Nicola has several recent film credits to her name, including “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson,” “Our House” and “Back Roads.”

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All net worth information was provided by Celebrity Net Worth unless otherwise noted.

 

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 35 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Born Rich