Most of us believe in the fantasy that everyone in the acting profession is filthy rich. Since we focus so intently on the megastars and see their lavish lifestyles, we assume it’s all like that. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Sure, the A-list celebrities make money hand over fist, but those are the exceptions. Most actors in the industry don’t even make enough to avoid having another job. Then there are the actors we see on big shows. They make enough for a good living, but they never come close to being multimillionaires. When you deal with a list like this, we have put some things in perspective. We wanted to look at actors we know or are familiar with but never expected them to be as rich as they are. Yeah, we knew they were probably rich, but we never imagined they could be as rich as they are. Many of these actors have been in big movies but it’s not like they’re the main draw. Most of these celebs are even richer than the very biggest stars in the world. It’s crazy even just thinking about it.
The reasons for the riches of the stars on this list all vary. Some have successful businesses, partners, or have just been very shrewd with their money. Some have done better than we imagine with their films or TV work. Some have an unexplainable wealth. As we have mentioned, we expected some wealth, but we never imagined they would be this rich. With the lowest net income coming in around $60 million, we’re not dealing with small potatoes here. You may not be able to recognize all their names or even be familiar with them or their acting resume, but you’ll probably know their faces and you’ll be shocked at how much they’re worth. These are the 15 Celebs You Would NEVER Expect to Be Rich.
15. Ellen Barkin – $60 Million
Unlike many of the others on this list, Ellen Barkin‘s wealth comes almost entirely from her life outside of acting. In fact, as much as two-thirds of her $60 million net worth comes from the divorce settlement from her billionaire ex-husband, Ronald Perelman, though the amount has been debated. In all fairness to her, she is a talented actress. She did great in both Switch and Sea of Love, and has appeared in other huge films such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Ocean’s Thirteen. Currently, Barkin is the leading lady of the TV show Animal Kingdom. On top of all that, Barking sold many of her personal diamonds, likely all gifts from her stupidly rich ex-husband, a collection called “the Magnificent Jewels from the Collection of Ellen Barkin.” This collection sold at Christie’s, New York for a jaw-dropping $20 Million. She also sued her ex-husband for over $4 million. Add all that up and it actually makes sense that Barkin is as rich as she is.
14. Jane Seymour – $70 Million
For an actress that hasn’t been in the spotlight for a while, Jane Seymour‘s wealth is astounding. There was a time when she was an A-list celebrity, but that time has long since passed. A certain generation will always know her well and consider as such, especially with her appearances in films like Live and Let Die, East of Eden, and War and Remembrance under her belt. Also, who could ever forget her run as Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman? Still, since 2000, Seymour’s biggest films were Wedding Crashers and…well, that’s about it. She was in the parody 50 Shades of Black, if that’s your kind of thing. Seymour is, however, a successful author and businesswoman. She’s also the face of Kay Jewelers, so the money is coming in from many different streams. That helps to explain her $70 million net worth.
13. Henry Thomas – $82 Million
Back in 1982, we all would have probably predicted that Henry Thomas, the incredibly talented child actor who played Elliot in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, would have been very rich in the future. However, if you asked us 20 years after the release of that film, we might have asked: Who? Thomas started off his career with a bang. If you’ve ever had a chance to watch his audition tape for E.T., you’ll know how this kid just oozed talent from a very young age. After that film, though, he kind of fell off the map. He was in Fire in the Sky, which was good, and Legends of the Fall, which was alright, but no really massive films. The new millennium was even less kind to the one-time megastar. Outside of Gangs of New York, he didn’t really have great roles until Ouija: Origin of Evil in 2016, which most people didn’t even recognize him in. But Thomas must have been smart with his money because a net worth of $82 million is nothing to sneeze at.
12. Alexander Ludwig – $97 Million
You probably know Alexander Ludwig for a few different roles. Early in his career, the young actor slugged it out in the trenches in some straight-to-DVD films, but eventually he broke out, landing parts in Seeker, Race to Witch Mountain, and the big one, Hunger Games. Later, in 2013, Ludwig starred in Lone Survivor and Grown Ups 2. His most recent success came when he got the role of Björn Ironside in Vikings. If you would have told us back in 2009 that the kid from Race to Witch Mountain would be worth nearly $100 million in less than 10 years, we would have though you were mad. Just goes to show what some elbow grease, natural good looks, and an athletic build can do for you.
11. Andrew Shue – $100 Million
For everyone of a certain age, Andrew Shue will always be one of two things. One, he will always be remembered as Billy Campbell from Melrose Place. And two, he will always be known as Elizabeth Shue‘s lesser-known brother. But Shue is more than just an actor. He also played professional soccer for a time and he’s a very successful entrepreneur, founding a couple of websites, including the wildly popular social networking site, CafeMom. With these other revenue streams, Shue has made himself a very rich man, worth over $100 million. Amazingly, even though his sister’s acting career dwarfed his own, Andrew is about 75 million dollars richer.
10. Frances Fisher – $145 Million
Frances Fisher has been in a slew of great films, but she’s not the most familiar name in the industry. With parts in Unforgiven, Titanic, The Kingdom, The Lincoln Lawyer, and The Host, she’s definitely been very successful in choosing roles, but how many of you knew her name? In addition to her film resume, she’s also done very well on television, beginning with the soap operas, The Edge of Night and Guiding Light, then moving onto Roseanne, Strange Luck, Becker and recently, Resurrection. This actress has also guest starred in some of the biggest television shows out there. We know she was rich early on, but it appears that Fisher has been able to maintain her wealth extraordinarily well since her career has tapered off.
9. John Slattery – $145 Million
This is the guy who played Howard Stark, Tony’s dad, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yeah, like the Starks, John Slattery is insanely rich, but why is that? He’s probably best known for playing Roger Sterling in Mad Men, but it’s not like he was the powerhouse there. Slattery was also in the TV show Homefront, and the films Charlie Wilson’s War and Flags of Our Fathers. Again, good films and good performances, but it doesn’t explain how rich he is. Really, Slattery has done some amazing work, but he’s always a secondary character. It’s these kind of actors, the ones who are always around on the periphery of good films, that surprise us when they have such incredible wealth. Slattery’s net worth of $145 million is unexpected to say the least. If you needed something to put this in perspective, Jon Hamm, the star of Mad Men, is worth less than Slattery.
8. Jessica Szohr – $145 Million
Jessica Szohr is one of the most beautiful actresses out there, but who would have guessed she’s also one of the richest? Obviously, her role as Vanessa on Gossip Girl got her started and let her earn a lot of money. After that, Szohr got one of the leading roles in the cult classic Piranha 3D, and the comedy films I Don’t Know How She Does It and The Internship. Her most recent gig is in the show Kingdom. Outside of acting, Szohr is a model and friends with some megastars like Taylor Swift and Nina Dobrev, so maybe she saves up all her money by having those women pay. Truthfully, it’s unclear how Szohr came to be worth almost $150 million. We’re not gold-diggers, but that kind of money has to make her even more desirable.
7. Jorge Garcia – $185 Million
Jorge Garcia is now better known as Hugo from Lost, but he really blew up when he played Hector on Becker. Like some others on this list, Garcia’s wealth is a bit of a mystery. He’s appeared in the films Cooties, The Wedding Ringer, and The Ridiculous 6, and has done a number of shows and guest appearances. But, he’s never been the main star and hasn’t done that much work, especially when compared to some of the others on this list. However, Garcia has an enterprising mind and was able to capitalize on his Lost fame in a few different ways. Garcia is one of those actors who everyone recognizes, though none, except for the big-time Lost fans, know his name. We expect that he will continue making money, but we don’t expect him to ever get any richer than he is today. Besides, with a net worth of $185 million, we’re not sure how it would even be possible for him to build on that.
6. Sasha Alexander – $215 Million
Sasha Alexander may not be the most recognizable actress out there, but she is one of the richest. While she has done well in film and television, Alexander’s whopping net worth of $215 million comes primarily from other business ventures. In terms of her acting, Alexander really rose to prominence playing Pacey’s sister, Gretchen, in Dawson’s Creek. Years later, she got one of the starring roles in Rizzoli & Isles as Dr. Maura Isles and then a recurring part in Shameless. We don’t have the precise breakdown, but Alexander owns some restaurants and is married to Sophia Loren‘s son, director Edoardo Ponti, so that side of the family probably helps increase Alexander’s net worth as well.
5. Peter Stormare – $215 Million
Even though his acting career goes back to 1978, Peter Stormare didn’t become a recognizable actor in North America until he met the Coen brothers. This meeting led to Stormare’s role as Gaear Grimsrud in the 1996 film, Fargo. After that, Stormare reunited with the brothers and did The Big Lebowski. He’s also done Armageddon, Chocolat, Minority Report, Bad Boys II, Prison Break, and more. Stormare is one of those great examples of how hard work can make you rich. You don’t need to be the main star to break the bank, you just have to appear in close to 200 films and TV shows. You would have guessed that Stormare was a wealthy man, but $215 million wealthy? It’s unlikely that anyone saw that coming.
4. Scott Speedman – $245 Million
Depending on what bracket you fall into, you might know Scott Speedman best for the role that made him famous, playing Ben on Felicity. Maybe you know him from the Underworld films, or maybe it’s from his current role on Animal Kingdom. Whatever it is, no one would ever confuse Speedman for an A-list actor, though he has been in several great films such as The Strangers, Barney’s Version and recently, The Monster. But is this filmography an accurate representation of his $245 million net worth? That’s about $230 million more than his Underworld co-star and A-list actress Kate Beckinsale. The math just doesn’t seem to make sense.
3. Paget Brewster – $245 Million
Any fan of Friends was there when Paget Brewster got her start on the screen. She had done some local television in San Francisco before that, but her recurring role as Chandler and Joey’s girlfriend, Kathy, on Friends was her true start. After that, she bounced around for a while until she landed the role of Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds, the role that made her into the star she is now. Even still, unless you’re a major fan of Criminal Minds, it’s unlikely you know Brewster’s name, let alone know about how wealthy this beautiful woman is. Would you believe she’s worth about $245 million? That’s nuts, isn’t it? Brewster was also on Community for a time, but that was in season five when people stopped really paying attention to it.
2. Patrick Wilson – $275 Million
Of all the actors on this list, Patrick Wilson is the biggest name of the bunch. While he’s done some good early work, Wilson’s coming out party was in 2009/2010. In 2009, Wilson did Watchmen, which wasn’t the biggest critical success, but it performed well at the box office. The following year, Wilson teamed up with horror director James Wan and they began a journey with each other that would make them both very rich. First came Insidious, then The Conjuring, and then the sequels to both of those films. Wilson is also set to play a character in the upcoming Aquaman. Yet, while these films are the massive ones we all recall, Wilson has been in plenty of excellent roles. He’s also an incredibly accomplished Broadway performer and really got his career started in film with The Phantom of the Opera. We expected Wilson to be rich, but did anyone ever think this guy could be worth $275 million?
1. Jami Gertz – $2 Billion
Most recently, actress Jami Gertz would be recognized for her roles in the TV shows Still Standing and The Neighbors, but she will always be best known for her early work in Sixteen Candles, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero, and Quicksilver. Surprisingly, not one of her film’s success is the reason that she’s dripping with money, not even her role in Twister could make her that rich. No, the $2 billion that Gertz is worth is mainly because she married the billionaire Antony Ressler. Ressler is the founder of a $40 billion private equity firm and he (and Jami) are part owners of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. They’re so rich that they have a school named after them.