We all love a good rags to riches story, don't we? For example, the life of Academy Award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Sure, he grew up in Hollywood, but he by no means had a silver spoon in his mouth. Raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs, DiCaprio eventually dropped out of high school in his third year. Despite his rough start in life, he is now worth an estimated $245 million.
For other celebrities, the day they came out of the womb, they were the spawns of uber-rich parents. They probably have no idea what it's like to be late paying a phone bill, or what it feels like to have their cable shut off after months of being past due, and they couldn't even imagine what it feels like to drive their car on E until their direct deposit paycheck hits their bank account. They grew up in the most affluent neighborhoods and attended the best private schools. From day one, they had it made, and everything was literally handed to them on a silver platter. Despite coming from rich families, many of these celebrities didn't necessarily depend on their parents to fund their lifestyles as they entered adulthood, and they were able to amass fortunes of their own.
Don't get us wrong, we're definitely not judging these celebrities for being ridiculously rich. Actually, we're secretly a bit jealous (shhh, don't tell anyone). Take a look at this list of 15 celebrities who hit the jackpot when they were born into rich families.
15 Carly Simon
Singer Carly Simon is the daughter of the co-founder of the massive Simon & Schuster publishing empire. The singer grew up living an opulent lifestyle in the heart of New York. She even attended the exclusive Riverdale Country School where tuition today for current students is $40K a year. You can only imagine how much Carly's parents spent on her education back in the day! Thankfully for the Simon family, money was the least of their worries. Simon & Schuster is one of the most profitable publishing houses in the United States with revenue topping out at more than $700 million each and every year. Carly can definitely afford to retire on a private island of her own, but she continues to work and build an empire of her own. Although she’s well known for her string of catch ‘70s tunes, she’s also a published children’s book author.
14 Glenn Close
Glenn Close is one of the most recognizable and successful actresses in the entertainment industry. Who can forget her performance alongside Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction? It definitely solidified her career on the big screen.
Now, at the age of 69, her opportunities in Tinsel Town are slowing down a bit, but she most definitely isn’t stressing about paying her bills. Glenn is the granddaughter of Edward Bennett Close, a stockbroker. He was also the director of the American Hospital Association, an association that aims to promote quality health care provision by hospitals and health care networks. She grew up in the super rich and exclusive city of Greenwich, Connecticut with her father, a very successful doctor, and her mother who was a socialite and philanthropist. Yeah, while your mother brags about being a homemaker, Glenn's mom was a socialite. That right there is the true definition of ballin'.
13 Julian Casablancas
Call it fate, or call it karma, but the lead singer of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas, is living the dream on and off the stage. Julian is the son of John Casablancas, the co-founder of Elite Model Management. Yes, one of the top modeling agencies in the world. The agency has represented some of the most beautiful women in the modeling industry, including Linda Evangelista, Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne. These women are booking modeling and runway gigs left and right, so just imagine how much money Elite is racking in by representing them! Rumor has it, Elite grossed nearly $100 million in annual model bookings during the years that John was at the helm of the company’s day-to-day operations.
Growing up in New York City, Julian attended some of most the priciest prep schools up until his father shipped him off to an exclusive and private Swiss boarding school. Must be nice! Julian now has a net worth of $10 million from his singing career, and we’re pretty sure his father left him a huge chunk of change following his 2013 death.
12 Brooke Shields
It was in the stars for Brooke Shields to be destined for a life of opulence. The actress and model comes from a noble Italian family that is sitting on a goldmine. Brooke's father, Francis Alexander Shields, was one of the top executives at Revlon Cosmetics, and her grandfather was a top-ranking tennis player. Oh, and how many of you can say your grandmother was a princess? No, it doesn't count if your granny wore a plastic crown to her 70th birthday party at the Chinese buffet. We're talking about real royals here, and Brooke's grandma, Donna Marina Torlonia, was an Italian princess... in real life. The maternal side of Brooke’s family made their fortune in the administration of Vatican finances. In other words, they were rolling in the money, and the wealth was passed down through each generation. Brooke is sitting lovely herself, with a net worth of over $25 million. You know what they say, the rich get richer!
11 Rooney Mara
10 Johnny Manziel
Perhaps the disgraced football player couldn't care less about his career in the NFL because he can always fall back on his super rich parents when times get rough. Manziel's great-grandfather, Bobby, hit it big in the East Texas oil industry in the '30s. Bobby borrowed $400 to drill for oil on the grounds of the Negro New Hope Baptist Church in Gladewater, TX. He struck oil, and the rest is history! The family’s fortune has been passed down from generation to generation, and Johnny's parents are now worth an estimated $50 million. Even if Manziel never steps foot on an NFL field again, we really doubt he'll be struggling to make ends meet anytime soon. Since being booted as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback, Johnny has been spending his time partying and traveling the U.S., and we definitely wouldn't be surprised if his rich parents were the ones footing the bill.
9 Zooey Deschanel
When two people in the entertainment industry get together and have a baby, we all pretty much assume their offspring will follow their career paths. So it definitely makes sense that actress Zooey Deschanel was born to be a Hollywood star. The actress is the daughter of Academy Award-nominated cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel. Both of her parents are still involved in the entertainment industry, and Zooey is making a name for herself outside of her parents’ shadows.
In her early childhood years, Zooey grew up in the heart of Los Angeles where she attended Crossroads, the private prep school that all the Hollywood kids attend. Can you imagine sitting next to Kate Hudson in Biology, sharing notes with Jake Gyllenhaal in Algebra class, and running a mile alongside Jason Ritter in Physical Education? Zooey can, because these actors were just a couple of her super rich and talented classmates!
8 Lady Gaga
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, struck gold when she released her 2008 album Fame. With catchy songs like “Poker Face” and “Just Dance,” the singer toured the world, performed at sold out shows, and increased her net worth to $230 million!
Before making it big in the music industry, Lady Gaga was living it up as one of the rich kids in New York City! The singer was raised in the Upper West Side, and she attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls school with a tuition of $44K a year. Guess who one of her classmates was? Paris Hilton, of course! Lady Gaga's parents only wanted the best for their daughter, and they could definitely afford to give her all the finer things in life. Mommy and daddy were successful entrepreneurs who created a company that provides wi-fi access for hotel chains. Hmmm... we wonder if the Hiltons were one of their top customers?
7 Michelle Williams
Actress Michelle Williams has enjoyed an affluent life since the day she came into this world. Her father, Larry Richard Williams, is a very successful Montana stocks and commodities trader, author, and a two-time Republican Party nominee for the United States Senate. Growing up, Williams had dreams of going to Hollywood and becoming an actress, but she was stuck with her family in San Diego. So she did what any other rich kid would do... she filed for emancipation from her parents and moved to Tinsel Town! Michell has always considered herself to be self-sufficient, so living on her own really wasn’t a big deal. Besides, she had her ridiculously rich ‘rents to help her out if her Hollywood career didn’t pan out. Thankfully, Michelle had what it took to make it on the big screen, and she was able to bump her own net worth up to $8 million. Not too shabby, right?
6 Kristen Stewart
Even if Kristen Stewart didn't land the role of Bella Marie Swan in Twilight, we doubt she would be strapped for cash like the rest of us. The actress grew up in the entertainment industry thanks to her father, John Stewart, a stage manager and producer for Fox and her mother, Jules Mann-Stewart, a director and script supervisor. In her early years, Stewart was raised in the Hollywood Hills in a $1.75 million Alice in Wonderland-themed mansion. Now, that's what we call living in the lap of luxury! Can you imagine waking up and falling down the rabbit hole each and every morning? Kristen can, because she lived it!
When it came to her education, the actress attended various local schools up until the seventh grade. When she became more serious about being an actress, her parents allowed her to focus entirely on her career while completing her education through a distance learning program. Typical rich kid stuff, right?
5 Paul Giamatti
Actor Paul Giamatti definitely doesn't know what it feels like to live paycheck to paycheck like some of us. The actor grew up New Haven, Connecticut, an affluent city with hundreds of millionaires and even a few billionaires. Paul's mother, Toni Marilyn Giamatti, was a homemaker, a school teacher, and a former actress. His father, Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, was a Yale University professor who later became the university's president. A few years later, Angelo was named the seventh commissioner of Major League Baseball. In other words, cha-ching! The amount of his salary was unknown, but former MLB commissioner Bud Selig was raking in $22-$30 million in 2012, so you can only imagine how much money Angelo was bringing home on his paycheck. Let’s just say this, the Giamatti family definitely wasn’t struggling. Paul isn’t solely relying on his parents to fund his lifestyle though, he has a net worth of $25 million of his own.
4 Adam Levine
Adam Levine may have a $35 million net worth of his own, but long before becoming the frontman of Maroon 5 and serenading us with tunes like “She Will Be Loved,” Levine was living the life of a California rich kid.
His father, Fred, made a living as an attorney, but practicing law definitely wasn’t his passion. He had dreams of going into the fashion and retail industry, and with some help from his sister Madi, he created a clothing line called M. Frederic. The company started as a little-known start-up, but now, it is a landmark in the Los Angeles community, and it has become nationally recognized for its bohemian-inspired pieces. Today, the company is worth millions of dollars, and Adam’s parents and his Aunt Madi are still involved in all the day-to-day operations. If he ever needs a job, we are pretty sure they will be right there to hook him up!
3 Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the daughter of French-born billionaire Gérard Louis-Dreyfus. That’s right, we said billionaire! In fact, Julia’s entire bloodline is littered with generational wealth that goes back more than a century. Coming from a family of old money, Julia definitely had it made. She could be sipping martinis off the Amalfi Coast, blowing through thousands of dollars at the finest boutiques, and having her every whim catered to by her hired help, all while her daddy foot the bill!
Instead, the comedic actress decided to make a name for herself rather than living off of her family's fortune. She has now amassed a small empire of her own, although it can't compare to the billions of dollars sitting in her dad's bank accounts. She’s still doing well for herself as she does her part to increase the Louis-Dreyfus’ family wealth. Guess what her net worth is? $3 billion!
2 Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase's family is the definition of "old money" - established, inherited wealth that has been passed down through a wealthy family for many generations. The actor was born into a very prominent New York family with rich ancestors dating back to the early 1600s. Chase grew up in Lower Manhattan and was raised by his father Edward, a prominent Manhattan book editor and magazine writer. His mother, Cathalene, was a concert pianist and librettist. The Chase family acquired their wealth through a Canadian plumbing empire. Yes, that’s right, the Chase’s money comes from the toilet industry. Hold that laugh, because Crane Plumbing is worth billions, and Chevy is an heir to a fortune.
Even though he comes from quite an impressive bloodline, Chevy is anything but pretentious. He was quoted as telling his brother John, “People who defined themselves in terms of their ancestry were like potatoes – the best parts of them were underground,” Oh, to be rich… and humble.
1 Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper is the son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt of the millionaire Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilts made their money in the shipping and railroad industries. They were once listed as America's 7th richest family, but their empire began to crumble when the railroad industry took a blow at the end of World War II.
Despite it all, the family still has Vanderbilt University as its pride and joy. Although the family has generational wealth, it seems like Anderson is out of luck when it comes to inheriting a piece of the pie. According to his mother Gloria, he won’t be inheriting a dime after her death. Many have speculated as to why she would nix her son from the family’s fortune. Maybe she will donate all the money to charity? Who knows. But perhaps Anderson isn’t too concerned with it at this point. Through his career as a journalist, he has built up his own net worth to $100 million.