List of Celebrities Who Were Born Rich
The path to stardom is different for everyone. There are celebrities who had to pull themselves from the bootstraps to get to where they are and there are others whose climb was a bit easier and set with a silver spoon. Today, we’re taking a look at 20 celebrities who had a comfortable start from birth.
#20 NICK KROLL
Nick Kroll is a comedian and best-known for his zany personality that always shines through the screen. He's the star of Comedy Central's Kroll Show. Most recently, he was the voice of Nick Birch, Maury the Hormone Monster, and Coach Steve Steve on the animated series The Big Mouth. He's also the voice of Uncle Fester in the 2019 remake of The Addams Family.
Kroll is the son of businessman Jules Kroll who founded Kroll, Inc. The business assists other companies in finding flaws in their operations through data recovery, background screening, and security consulting. The company was sold to Marsh & McLennan Companies who bought it for a whopping $1.9 billion. Now that's a big number!
#19 ADAM LEVINE
We all know Adam Levine as the frontman for pop/rock band Maroon 5. He's definitely found his own success with his radio-hit churning band, but that's all due in part by his bandmates, Mickey Madden and Jesse Carmichael. They all met while attending Brentwood School, a private school in Los Angeles, California.
Adam is the son of Fred Levine, the founder of M.Fredric, a luxury boutique clothing retailer based in southern California. Fred and his sister, Mardi, founded the shop in 1979. The store started by focusing on contemporary clothes for adults but once they were expecting, they opened up a kids section. Adam was rocking some designer baby clothes!
#18 MILEY CYRUS
This one should come to no surprise, but Miley Cyrus is the child of Billy Ray Cyrus so she definitely had quite a footing in the music industry. However, Miley has put in the work to create her own space as a singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. Her Happy Hippie Foundation has assisted homeless LGBTQ youth throughout Los Angeles since 2014.
It's estimated that Billy Ray Cyrus is worth $20 million. He has released 16 studio albums in his catalog and 53 singles, including his best-known number one song "Achy Breaky Heart". His debut album Some Gave All broke records charting at number one on the Billboard Top County Albums list and is a certified 9x Multi-Platinum in the United States.
#17 JAMIE LEE CURTIS
Jamie Lee Curtis was dubbed a "scream queen" in her memorable screen debut in the iconic horror film by John Carpenter, Halloween. You probably remember her switching bodies with Lindsay Lohan in the 2003 comedy Freaky Friday. It's only right that she joined the cast of Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens where she earned her 7th nomination for a Golden Globe award.
Jamie Lee is the daughter of actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. From Janet's screen debut on The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947) to Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), her career spanned over 5 decades. Janet was also the lead in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Tony was very popular in the 50s and 60s including his role in The Boston Strangler (1968).
#16 JENNIFER ANISTON
It's estimated that Jennifer Anniston has a net worth of $200 million, and that's due to her incredible career. You might be surprised to know that before she received her first official acting credit, she was a Nutrisystem spokesmodel on The Howard Stern Show. Since her iconic performance as Rachel in Friends, she's continued her film success, and started producing!
Jennifer Anniston is the only daughter of actor John Aniston and late actress Nancy Dow. Dow starred in western TV series The Wild Wild West and the rural sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies as Athena. John is best remembered for his performance as antagonist Victor Kiriakis on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives for which he won 2 Soap Opera Digest Awards.
#15 BELLA AND GIGI HADID
The Hadid sisters are both talented models who have both walked as Angels for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. When Bella was 16 years old, she signed to IMG Models, a well-established international modeling agency. Gigi started modeling for the clothing brand Guess when she was just 2 years old and then made a successful return in 2011.
The sisters' parents are real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid and former model Yolanda Hadid. Mohamed has developed multi-million dollar homes throughout Beverly Hill. Yolanda was a star on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and New York City. She's also made guest appearances on Vanderpump Rules and Project Runway and later hosted the TV competition Making a Model with Yolanda Hadid.
#14 RASHIDA JONES
Rashida Jones made her first screen appearance in a 1997 mini-series called The Last Don. Her 26 appearances on Boston Public earned her 26 NAACP Image Award nominations. She's starred in the Michael Schur's comedy series The Office and Parks and Recreation. In early 2020, she began her role as matriarch Joya Barris on Netflix's BlackAF.
Rashida was born in 1976 to actress Peggy Lipton and world-renowned singer-songwriter/producer Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. Peggy was a staple actress throughout the 60s, specifically with her hippie role on the crime drama The Mod Squad. Quincy's incredible music career has spanned over 6 decades and has had 80 Grammy Award nominations with 28 wins. In 1992, Quincy earned the Grammy Living Legend Award.
#13 JORDIN SPARKS
Who could forget Jordin Sparks win on American Idol? She was only 17 years old and became the youngest winner in Idol history! Since her win, Sparks' success has skyrocketed with certified platinum albums and Billboard hits. Her film debut came with her role in the 2012 film Sparkle. In 2019, she played the lead in Broadway's Waitress.
Jordin's father is Phillippi Sparks, a former professional American football player. Phillippi studied at Arizona State University and was eventually drafted into the New York Giants in the 1992 NFL Draft where he played cornerback for six years. In 2000, he signed to the Dallas Cowboys and retired the following year. Her brother, PJ Sparks, Jr. followed in their fathers' footsteps.
#12 NICOLE RICHIE
Or should we say Nikki Fre$h? Nicole Richie has gone through quite a fascinating career as a television personality. Of course, she got her television start alongside socialite Paris Hilton with their reality TV show The Simple Life which ran for 5 years. Quibi just released the mockumentary comedy series "Nikki Fre$h" starring Nicole.
From his leading start with The Commodores to his Grammy-winning discography, it's no secret how Lionel Richie's career has brought him nothing but great success. Nicole actually starred in her dad's 2006 music video for "I Call It Love". Would you believe Lionel almost became a priest? Before becoming a singer-songwriter, he considered studying divinity at an Episcopal Church.
#11 EDWARD NORTON
Norton is best known for his role in the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club starring Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton was 8 years old when he made his professional debut in Toby's Dinner Theatre for the musical Annie Get Your Gun. He won the 1997 Golden Globe Award for his supporting role in Primal Fear.
Edward's grandfather is James Rouse, the founder of The Rouse Company. The urban planning corporation is known for developing popular shopping malls including The Shops at National Place in Washington, D.C. and Bayside Marketplace in Miami, FL. Edward's father is an environmental lawyer and a conservation advocate in Asia. He served as a federal prosecutor during the Carter Administration.
#10 LADY GAGA
Lady Gaga's versatile career is a true testament to her talents. We all remember her soloist days shocking everybody with her colorful fashion pieces and dance-pop anthems. Since her public entrance into the music industry, she's also established her acting career with her lead in American Horror Story: Hotel and her Oscar-winning performance in A Star Is Born (2018).
Born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga is a New York native who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and attended Sacred Heart prep school. Her father Joseph Germanotta is the president of Guest WiFi, which provides wifi to hotels and other hospitality businesses. Her mother Cynthia Louise worked in telecommunication sales for Verizon.
#9 TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor first entered the music scene as a country singer singing about Tim McGraw and teardrops on her guitar. Eventually with each album, she expanded her music style into acoustic and dance-pop anthems. Swift has won 10 Grammy Awards and 29 American Music Awards, and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Taylor grew up in West Reading, Pennsylvania, and is the daughter of stockbroker Scott Kingsley Swift and former marketing executive turned homemaker Andrea Gardner Swift. Her father Scott works for Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America division for investing and wealth management. Taylor attended The Wyndcroft School, a private day school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
#8 ROONEY AND KATE MARA
Both Rooney and Kate have really established themselves. Rooney has had a long list of acting credits including Dream Boy (2008), The Social Network (2010), and is set to appear in Guillermo Del Toro's Nightmare Alley. Kate's roles as Zoe Barnes in Netflix's House of Cards and Hayden McClaine in American Horror Story are some of her best performances.
The Mara sisters were born into a major sports family. Their father Timothy Christopher Mara was an NFL scout and New York Giants' vice president. Their great-grandfathers, Tim Mara (paternal) and Art Rooney, Sr. (maternal) founded the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. Their first cousin (once removed), Art Rooney II, is the Steelers current President and co-owner.
#7 BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD
Bryce Dallas Howard has gained wide recognition as Claire Dearing in Jurassic World and its 2018 sequel. You may remember her leading role in the Black Mirror season 3 premiere "Nosedive" which was written by Michael Schur and Rashida Jones. She also starred in the ensemble cast of The Help (2011) as Two Slice Hilly.
Bryce followed in her father’s footsteps. Ron Howard is a famous actor and Oscar-winning director. You might remember Howard as Opie Talor on The Andy Griffith Show. He made his directorial debut in the 1977 film Grand Theft Auto. His dedicated career in entertainment has earned him two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
#6 JAKE AND MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL
Jake's most notable performances in Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Nightcrawler (2014). One of his biggest breakout roles was in the 2001 psychological thriller film Donnie Darko which aptly starred Maggie as his older sister. Maggie is an acclaimed actress both on and off the screen with her award-winning role in Secretary and her Broadway performances.
Both Jake and Maggie were born to entertain! Their mother Naomi Foner is a producer and Golden Globe-winning screenwriter best known for her feature films Running on Empty (1988) and Bee Season (2005). Their father Stephen Gyllenhaal is a film director who earned two nominations for Golden Globe Awards for Family of Spies (1990).
#5 BROOKE SHIELDS
Brooke Shields is an American icon. Her modeling career began with Ivory Soap when she was 11 months old. She made her debut acting appearance in the controversial role of the lead in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (1978). Brooke continued acting in her teens for The Blue Lagoon (1980) and Endless Love (1981).
Brooke has a long lineage that goes back to the Italian nobility. Her paternal grandma Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi was the daughter of an Italian prince and was an Italian noblewoman. Her father Frank Shields is an executive for the multinational beauty and care company Revlon, Inc. In 1989, he started his own real estate business located in Palm Beach.
#4 ARIANA GRANDE
Ariana is a Grammy Award-winning soloist who first became widely recognized as Kat in Nickelodeon's Victorious. Her performance career began in 2008 with her cheerleader role in the Broadway musical 13. In 2016 and 2019, Time named Ariana one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2018, Billboard named her "Woman of the Year" for her accomplishments.
Born in Boca Raton, Ariana is the daughter of Joan Grande and Edward Butera. Her mother Joan was born in Brooklyn and is currently the President and CEO of Hose-McCann Communications, a leading provider of communication devices. Her father Edward is a graphic designer in Boca Raton and they were estranged for years until they recently reunited this past Thanksgiving.
#3 ANDERSON COOPER
Anderson Cooper is an internationally-recognized anchor and host delivering some of the world's biggest news to wide audiences. He was a primary CNN anchor and correspondent for 60 Minutes. He later became the host of his own shows, Anderson Cooper 360° and Anderson Live. Cooper actually interned for the Central Intelligence Agency while studying political science at Yale University.
Cooper was born and raised in Manhattan, New York and is the son of Wyatt Emory Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. With a last name like Vanderbilt, you probably already recognize his family's wealth. His mother was an artist, fashion designer, writer, and descendent of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the famous railroad tycoon.
#2 JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
You either know Julia Louis-Dreyfus from her widely recognized role as Elaine Benes in the critically-acclaimed sitcom Seinfeld or her most recent leading role in Veep. Her performance in Seinfeld earned her 7 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2018.
Julia's mother, Judith, was a tutor for people with special needs and her father Gérard Louis-Dreyfus was a billionaire who worked as a chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services, a division of the Louis Dreyfus Company founded by his great-grandfather in 1851. After her parents divorced, Julia moved to Washington, D.C. with her mother.
#1 ED SHEERAN
Last but definitely not least is the English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran! He first grew in recognition for his single "The A Team" from his debut album "+", pronounced "plus". His second studio album "x", or "multiply" contained his Grammy-award winning single "Thinking Out Loud". In 2015, he started his own record label, Gingerbread Man Records, under Warner Music Group.
Ed Sheeran grew up in Framlingham in Suffolk where his parents were successful artists. From 1990 to 2010, his parents, Imogen and John, operated an independent art consultancy called Sheeran Lock. John is an art curator and lecturer. His mom was a culture publicist and now a well-known jewelry designer.
While these celebrities were born into wealthy families, it doesn’t separate themselves from the hard work they’ve put in to develop their own success. They might be born rich, but it still takes a lot to keep it in their names. Were you surprised to see any of these celebrities on the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!