One-time popular American variety show, the Mickey Mouse Club, was a favourite among the kids of the 80’s and 90’s – especially directed towards the “tween” and teen demographic. The show became known for discovering young talent, and many Mouse club alumni have become household names in the 21st century. The original Mickey Mouse Club debuted in 1955 as a way to fund construction for the new Disneyland theme park. The series ended in 1959, but picked back up in the late 80’s and into the 90’s. The revamped, more contemporary show was referred to as The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. The stars of the show would break into song and dance, and participate in sketch comedy. Most of the skits played off of popular movies, musicals, and often attempted to earnestly educate teens on how to handle real-life situations, in that after-school-special way.
Some of the biggest mega stars in TV, music and film today got their start as a young “mouseketeer” on the show – the following are currently the 10 richest of these one-time child stars in the entertainment industry today.
10: Nikki Deloach – $1 Million
Actress Nikki Deloach, best known for her roles in the film Love & Other Drugs and the TV show Awkward, was a “mouseketeer” in her early days. She joined the cast in 1993 and when the show ended she moved to LA to pursue her acting career. Deloach met JC Chasez on the set of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, whom she dated for several years. Deloach dabbled in the music industry and became a member of a girl group called Innosense, but the group called it quits in 2001. Since then, she has stuck with acting, and has an estimated net worth of $1 million.
9: Lisa Whelchel – $3 Million
When Lisa Whelchel was 12 years old and living in Texas, she was recruited by talent scouts working for Disney. The talent scouts were looking for kids interested in becoming a “mouseketeer” for an upcoming show, The Mickey Mouse Club. Whelchel starred in the earlier versions of the Mickey Mouse Club from 1977-1978, and went on to land her most famous role of Blair Warner in the hit 80’s show, The Facts of Life. Along with acting, Whelchel is an author, public speaker, singer, and songwriter. She continues to have appearances on TV, and has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
8: Rhona Bennett – $4 Million
Before Rhona Bennett landed roles in The Jamie Foxx Show and became a member of En Vogue, she was a cast member on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1991-1995. When the show ended, Bennett moved to California to continue her career as an actress. Along with all the singing and dancing she did as a “mouseketeer”, Bennett went on to become a famous entertainer. She continues to act, is an R&B artist, a singer-songwriter, record producer, and has an estimated net worth of $4 million.
7: Keri Russell – $8 Million
At 15 years old, Keri Russell’s dance skills earned her a spot in The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1991-1994. In fact, her first appearance on TV was when she was a “mouseketeer”. After the show ended, Russell moved on to several acting projects, most notably starring as Felicity in the hit TV show Felicity. She continues to act and dance, and has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
6: Annette Funicello – $15 Million
Annette Funicello, best known for her roles in the popular 60’s “beach party” movies with Frankie Avalon, may just be the most notable of all mouseketeer alumni. She began her career as a child performer and got her big break at the age of 12. Funicello was spotted by Walt Disney himself when he saw her perform in a local theatre production of Swan Lake. Once the show aired and gained popularity, Funicello became one of the most popular “mouseketeers” on the original Mickey Mouse Club, and she stayed on with the show until it ended in 1959.
After the show, Funicello went on to become a successful singer and actress, and earned an estimated net worth of $15 million. Funicello died from complications due to multiple sclerosis on April 8, 2013.
5: JC Chasez – $30 Million
Best known for being a part of the popular boyband, N’Sync, JC Chasez got his start in The All-New Mickey Mouse Club like his bandmate Justin Timberlake. He was on the show from 1991-1995, then rose to fame as the band N’Sync became one of the most popular of all time. Once the band split up, Chasez released a solo album, and also became a songwriter, dancer, producer, and actor. He has an estimated net worth of $30 million.
4: Ryan Gosling – $50 Million
Best known for his roles in The Notebook and Remember the Titans, Ryan Gosling actually began his career as a child star in The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. He was part of the Mickey Mouse cast from 1993-1995, and went on to star in other family entertainment shows such as Goosebumps, and Young Hercules. Gosling is now a famous actor, director, producer, and musician with an estimated net worth of $50 million.
3: Christina Aguilera – $100 Million
Christina Aguilera was on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993-1995. A short while later, she returned to Disney to perform a song for the movie Mulan, which helped pave the way to her landing a record deal. In 1999 Aguilera released her self-titled debut album and her career skyrocketed from there. Aguilera has sold over 50 million records worldwide, and has established herself as a prominent singer and actress. She was named on one Times “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013, and has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
2: Justin Timberlake – $150 Million
Justin Timberlake, who first became known in the music industry as lead singer of the boyband N’Sync, starred in The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993-1995. While on the show, Timberlake met future girlfriend Britney Spears, future tourmate Christina Aguilera, and future bandmate JC Chasez. Once his run on the show was over, Timberlake went on to become a powerhouse in the entertainment world. He is now a singer, actor, producer and entertainer with an estimated net worth of $150 million.
1: Britney Spears – $220 Million
This mega star is probably the most well-known of all the “mouseketeers”. At age 8, Spears auditioned for The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, but was turned down due to her age. She tried out again at age 11 and made it. She was on the show from 1993-1995, and soon after hit the music scene. Spears is now one of the most famous artists and entertainers in the world. She was named Billboard’s “sexiest woman in music”, and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time with an estimated net worth of $220 million.