One of the perks of being a big Hollywood star is that you have oodles of money at your disposal to do as you please with it. Of course, whether you use it wisely or thoughtlessly is a whole other matter. Some celebrities are smart enough to put their money to good use by donating it to charity or investing in businesses that are guaranteed to make their money grow. Some choose to save their earnings for a rainy day. Then there are those who make purchases that border on extravagant, such as acquiring private islands.
It seems that buying your own island is a thing nowadays. It’s the ultimate status symbol, apart from designer clothes, flashy cars, and fancy houses. Owning a private island seems to indicate that you’ve reached the pinnacle of your success. Of course, there are some people on this list who have made an investment out of their purchases, by turning the island into a means of profit. Here’s a rundown of celebs who own their own beautiful private havens.
12. Nicolas Cage (Leaf Cay, Bahamas)
Nicolas Cage is notorious for being one of Hollywood’s biggest spenders, to the point of almost going bankrupt. It’s no surprise that apart from the many luxurious objects he’s purchased throughout the years, a beautiful island is one of them. Cage purchased Leaf Cay in the Bahamas in 2006 for a hefty $3 million. Cage was drawn to the island’s lush palm trees, powdery beaches, and clear blue waters, not to mention its beautiful marine habitat.
11. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Goat Cay, Bahamas)
With their combined net worth, country music’s power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were easily able to afford their own private island. Located in the group of islands in the Exuma Cays, Goat Cay is the couple’s prized possession. No amount was ever disclosed on how much they bought it, but it’s said to be a fully developed piece of land. Like many of the surrounding islands, it contains breathtaking beaches and natural hiking trails with lovely scenery.
10. Eddie Murphy (Rooster Cay, Bahamas)
He starred in quite a number of box office hits during his heyday and this brought him quite the fortune that he continues to enjoy today. Eddie Murphy is one of the handful of Hollywood personalities that owns an island. He bought Rooster Cay in the Bahamas back in 2007 for a cool $15 million. His precious piece of paradise is virtually untouched, which further enhances its beauty and mystery. It’s so private that no one really knows what the actor’s plans are for the property.
9. Mel Gibson (Mago Island, Fiji)
His divorce made him $400 million poorer, which is a testament to how colossal Mel Gibson’s net worth is. It’s no surprise that someone of his stature owns his own little haven, a piece of land in Fiji. Gibson reportedly purchased Mago Island in 2005 for $15 million and this 5,400-acre piece of land is reportedly one of the largest privately owned islands in the world. It’s reported that Gibson has no plans to turn his island into a luxury resort, preferring to keep it private and secluded, to be used only by himself, his family and close friends.
8. Johnny Depp (Little Halls Pond Cay, Bahamas)
It’s fitting that Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame would own his own island. Rather, his alter-ego Johnny Depp does. Depp purchased 45 acres of paradise in the southern portion of the Bahamas and it left him $3.6 million poorer. He’s by no means poor, his net worth providing more than enough for him to indulge in luxuries like island-buying. It’s said that he was attracted to the island’s coral reefs, which is said to be some of the most picturesque in the world.
7. Leonardo DiCaprio (Blackadore Caye, Belize)
Perhaps he fell in love with the beauty of clear waters and fine sands when he was filming The Beach in Thailand, which is why Leonardo DiCaprio bought his very own private island. The famed actor purchased Blackadore Caye in Belize for $1.75 million, which is peanuts for someone with his net worth. Aside from the white sand beaches, what drew DiCaprio to the little piece of heaven was its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Being a staunch environmentalist, there’s talk that DiCaprio is making plans to build a solar-powered eco-resort with private villas on the island.
6. Celine Dion (Ile Gagnon, Quebec, Canada)
Celine Dion is undoubtedly one of the most successful figures in the music industry, having sold millions of albums and topped the music charts numerous times. It comes as no surprise that she owns an island in her native Canada, a quaint piece of land called Ile Gagnon in the province of Quebec. The island lies along the Iles River, providing a spectacular view from the French chateau that Dion built along its banks. The river divides the area between the main island and the portion where the mansion is built and affords the family the privacy they always seek. As of 2014 The Telegraph UK reported that the star had listed this luxurious home for $25.4 million.
5. David Copperfield (Musha Cay and three other islands, Bahamas)
David Copperfield’s prowess in magic has certainly made him one of the richest celebrities in the world. It’s no surprise that he has not one, but four islands in the Bahamas, costing him a grand total of $50 million. But out of the four islands, it’s only Musha Cay that is commercially developed. A 150-acre piece of heaven with a mile-long beach, Musha Cay is an exclusive island resort for the rich and richer. Copperfield rents it out to anyone willing and able to pay a hefty $37,500 a day.
4. Ricky Martin (Island in Angra Dos Reis, Brazil)
Back in 2008, Ricky Martin used his hard-earned money to purchase a luxury island for $8 million. He decided to lay in the lap of luxury by taking an island in the stylish and exclusive resort region of Angra Dos Reis in Brazil. And the island was given a hefty price tag for good reason, as the area has some of the most spectacular beaches in the continent of South America. A testament to the islands being a playground of the rich and famous is the fact that Martin’s neighboring island even hosts a plastic surgery clinic.
3. Steven Spielberg (Island in the Madeira Archipelago, Portugal)
Of course Steven Spielberg can afford his own private island—probably 10 if he were more extravagant. The renowned director didn’t jump on the bandwagon and buy an island in the Bahamas, like so many of his colleagues in Hollywood. Rather, he chose one that was quite far from his native United States: an island in the Madeira Archipelago in Portugal. The island is actually two islands melded into one and is uninhabited. It’s unknown if Spielberg intends to develop it or retain its untouched nature.
2. Shakira (Bonds Cay, Bahamas)
Shakira always had a good head on her shoulders. Her business acumen, coupled with her outrageously high IQ have resulted in teaming up with two other stars in the music industry and collectively purchasing a private island in the Bahamas for investment purposes. Costing a whopping $16 million, the trio has developed the 700-acre island into a seat of luxurious hotels and condos, art galleries, and a golf-course, all fronting the beautiful beaches. They plan to further expand development and position it as an artist’s retreat destination.
1. Robin Williams (Island in the Pender Harbor, British Columbia, Canada)
The late comedian Robin Williams was never one to go with convention. While he went with the flow by purchasing himself a private island just like many of his colleagues had done, he didn’t favor a retreat in a tropical paradise. Instead, his island was in Canada’s Pender Harbor in British Columbia, where the weather is gloomy almost all year-round, but the air is fresh and waters are pristine. It was another testament to the actor’s need for privacy, ensuring that crowds wouldn’t descend on his private haven.