18 Celebs Who Were Rich Before They Were Famous

Had no clue Olivia Wilde’s family hung out with Mick Jagger.


Ariana Grande’s parents were both corporate bigwigs: her mom was the CEO of Hose-McCann Communications, while her dad owned a graphic design firm in Florida. Their connections helped Ariana get her start, landing her gigs performing on cruise ships and singing the National Anthem at sporting events.

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Adam Levine’s family owns Mr. Frederic, an upscale retail chain. He also attended the Brentwood School, an exclusive Los Angeles school, where he met two of his Maroon 5 bandmates.

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While Lady Gaga has previously said that she wouldn’t consider her family wealthy, her father owned a telecommunications company, and her mom was a vice president at Verizon. They were able to send their children to an elite private school on the Upper East Side, and now own Joanne Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in New York City.

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Did you know that Kate and Rooney Mara were actually NFL royalty? Their family, which is worth billions, helped found not one, but two NFL teams: the Pittsburgh Steelers on their mom’s side in 1933, and the New York Giants on their dad’s side in 1925. Rooney told the New York Post that football is ” the glue that holds our family together.” Wonder what it’s like in that house when the Giants and Steelers face off?

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Before Taylor Swift split from Big Machine Records, her father, who was a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, actually bought a 3% stake in the company for a reported $300,000 while Taylor was recording her debut album.

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While it’s pretty safe to assume Julia Louis-Dreyfus is set for life thanks to all of those Seinfeld reruns, she was also born into billions. Her father, Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, is the chairman of the Louis-Dreyfus Group and is worth $4 billion.

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Nick Kroll’s father, Jules B. Kroll, the founder of Kroll, Inc., has a net worth of $2 billion. The investigations company helped uncover corporate schemes and fraud, and evidently netted Kroll some big bucks after he sold the company for $1.9 billion.

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Olivia Wilde’s father is a journalist and an editor for Harper’s Magazine, and her mother is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who is connected to some pretty big names. During her childhood in Washington, DC, her parents frequently invited famous friends like Mick Jagger and Steven Spielberg to their house.

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Ever heard of the Vanderbilt family? Anderson Cooper is a direct Vanderbilt descendant — his great-great-great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt had more money than the entire US Treasury at one point. Cooper recently dug deep into his family’s past and published Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of An American Dynasty.

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Rashida Jones’ father Quincy is one of the world’s most prolific music producers, with a career spanning six decades that netted him an estimated $500 million. He worked with some of music’s biggest names from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson.

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Benedict Cumberbatch comes from a family whose wealth has some unpleasant origins. The family of “merchants and adventurers” owned a sugar plantation in Barbados, and owned slaves. Cumberbatch has spoken out about his family’s legacy, calling it “dodgy.”

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Riley Keough’s mother is Lisa Marie Presley, who, you guessed it, is the daughter of none other than Elvis Presley. When Elvis died in 1977, his estate was only worth about $5 million, despite the fact that the King had earned an estimated $100 million during the span of his career. Once his ex-wife Priscilla Presley took the estate over, she was able to grow its value to over $100 million, which was turned over to her daughter, Lisa Marie, when she turned 25.


Salma Hayek grew up in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, where her father, Sami Hayek Dominguez, was an oil industry executive and owned an industrial-equipment firm. Her father even reportedly bought her three tigers after she begged for them.


If you like going to the mall, then you better thank Edward Norton’s grandfather, James Rouse. Rouse was the real estate developer credited with inventing shopping malls. Rouse went on to develop the entire city of Columbia, Maryland, where Norton was raised. In 1995, Rouse was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his achievements in urban design.

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Carly Simon’s founded father Simon & Schuster, one of the biggest book publishers in the world. He started the company in 1924 with one of his close friends after they noticed a lack of crossword puzzle books on the market. Simon & Schuster recently sold for $2 billion.

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Darren Criss moved to Honolulu as a child, where his investment banker father started EastWest Bank, serving as chairman and CEO. He later became the chairman of the Chase Manhattan Trust Company of California, and was a staple in San Francisco society where he was a director of the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Performances, the Stern Grove Festival, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.


Chevy Chase was born into a prominent New York society family. His father was a successful magazine editor and author, and his mother’s adoptive father was a business mogul who owned the Crane Company, which manufactured bathroom fixtures. After his parents divorced, his father married into the Folgers Coffee family.

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Paul Giamatti’s father not only served as the president of Yale University, but went on to become the commissioner of Major League Baseball with a yearly salary of an estimated $22 million.

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Any other celebs who grew up wealthy come to mind? Let us know in the comments!

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