Wealth and celebrity status go together like peanut butter and jelly — most of the time. George Clooney’s $500 million net worth is staggering, but it’s also expected.
When a low-key celeb that hasn’t crossed your mind in a decade racks up that kind of dough, however, things get interesting.
Click through to discover the surprising fortunes of these under-the-radar celebrities who are among the richest people on the planet.
Bob Saget Net Worth: $100M
Not counting the terribly reviewed Netflix-exclusive “Fuller House” — a sequel to the show that put Bob Saget on the map in the early ’90s — the last time this stand-up comic made a pop-culture splash was as the narrator of “How I Met Your Mother.” Saget’s combo of stand-up and sitcom work, in addition to his hosting “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” netted him an estimated value of $100 million — not the mention the big bucks he brings in from reruns.
Jessica Alba Net Worth: $200M
You expect Jessica Alba to be rich, but not one of the richest actresses of all time. Although Alba hasn’t had a major box-office smash since the 2000s, she has been consistently working in film and TV since she was 13 years old. In addition to steady movie paychecks, Alba co-founded The Honest Company, maker of green household products, which was valued at $1.7 billion in 2015.
PewDiePie Net Worth: $20M
Impressive as it is, $20 million is not a remarkable net worth in the celebrity world. What’s surprising about Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s fame and fortune, however, is the way he made it.
PewDiePie is among the first of the new type of celebrity — he’s the highest-paid YouTube star. And although a handful of arduously trained pro gamers make bank at competitions, PewDiePie makes tons of money by streaming and commentating on games. His fame has recently brought attention to his past racist and anti-Semitic comments, so that good fortune might not last much longer.
Rowan Atkinson Net Worth: $130M
Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean and Johnny English characters were a quirky oddity in America, but they were pop-culture staples across the pond. So was “Blackadder,” a sitcom he appeared in from 1983 to 1989. He’s not at that peak of fame anymore, but Atkinson’s work continues and his net worth has more than doubled since then.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone Net Worth: $500M Each
The creative duo behind the show “South Park” — and the voices of the show’s characters Cartman and Kyle — Trey and Matt are worth $1 billion combined. The ever-relevant humor and media empire of “South Park” is their bread and butter, but Parker and Stone also co-created the Broadway hit “Book of Mormon,” which pulled down more than $500 million worldwide.
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Judge Judy Net Worth: $420M
Judy Sheindlin’s show, “Judge Judy,” doesn’t need high production values to be a hit — it’s already in its 22nd season. Sheindlin’s not only an actual former judge, but she’s also a smart, shrewd and ruthless negotiator — and as of 2016, she was the highest-paid personality on TV, taking home $47 million per year.
Sheindlin described her annual paycheck “negotiations” with CBS bosses in a transcript The Hollywood Reported obtained. She hands them an envelope containing her salary demands and other requests for her crew and production — if CBS doesn’t accept her terms, she walks and produces the show herself. So far, her strategy has worked out pretty well.
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Larry David Net Worth: $400M
Before Larry David starred in the beloved “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” his name was known only to hardcore sitcom fans as one of the creators and writers — and real-life inspiration for George Costanza — on “Seinfeld.” It’s the latter pop-culture phenomenon that accounts for David’s insane wealth — nine years after the show ended, PR Newswire estimated that an unprecedented syndication deal earned the “Seinfeld” alum $3.1 billion. At that time, the same source projected Larry David’s net worth at $900 million.
Two things are certain: Larry David is filthy rich, and wealth hasn’t changed him much. “[Money] gave me something that I didn’t have, but […] it’s not a total transformation. I still, to this day, couldn’t walk up to a woman at a bar and say hello,” he told Charlie Rose in a 2015 “60 Minutes” interview. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” earned four Emmy nominations in 2018 and will be back again for a tenth season on HBO. David’s net worth isn’t done growing — even if his self-confidence is.
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Jimmy Buffett Net Worth: $600M
You might think of Jimmy Buffett as the guy with a Hawaiian shirt whose records your dad always plays during barbecues, but you should also think of him as one of the richest celebrities in America.
Once a busker in New Orleans, Buffett now has nearly 30 records and about 40 live tours under his belt — and he’s a smart investor. In partnership with OSI Restaurant Partners, the book author, casino owner and hotel magnate owns the Cheeseburger in Paradise and Margaritaville restaurant chains.
David Copperfield Net Worth: $1B
David Copperfield is the most commercially successful magician in history, according to Forbes, but how rich can a magician be? The answer is enormously, insanely, ridiculously rich.
At a downright shocking net worth of $1 billion — up from about $930 million in 2017 — Copperfield is now part of the elusive billionaires club. Copperfield made over $60 million before taxes in 2018 — after a jam-packed year that included 670 shows at the MGM Grand Hotel and private shows at his personally owned islands in the Bahamas where guests pay six figures to vacation and watch him perform, according to Forbes.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Net Worth: $200M
Even at $200 million, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ fortune is considerable for someone who dropped out of college and has primarily just acted on television. Her appearance on this list, however, is also due to the fact that her family founded and still owns the Louis-Dreyfus Corporation valued at nearly $5 billion. Her inheritance from her father, who died in 2016, could play a role in her net worth.
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Net Worth: $600M
Hailing from Lansing, Mich., Magic Johnson was a basketball phenom from a young age, winning state championships in high school, the National Championship with Michigan State in 1979 and four NBA titles over his professional career.
The size of his fortune, though, derives primarily from his business acumen. Johnson earned less than $25 million for playing basketball, but he used that to launch Magic Johnson Enterprises, which is worth an estimated $1 billion today.
Dr. Dre Net Worth: $820M
Dr. Dre, born Andre Romelle Young, might be straight outta Compton, but his talent as an entrepreneur over the years is straight outta Wall Street. Although Dr. Dre’s initial rise to prominence came through his skill as a producer and DJ, it was his foray into designer headphones that made him so rich. Apple purchased “Beats by Dre” in 2014 for $2.6 million in cash and $400 million in stock, putting the value of Dre’s 25 percent stake at about $750 million before taxes.
Jay-Z Net Worth: $930M
Born Shawn Corey Carter, Jay-Z, aka Beyonce’s husband, has one of the more successful hip-hop careers ever. But it’s his myriad of other interests, spread out across a vast business empire, which have truly helped get him to the edge of billionaire status. Jay-Z created a joint venture with Live Nation called Roc Nation, launched the clothing line Rocawear and studio Roc-a-Fella Films. The rapper also owns the 40/40 nightclubs, Roc Nation Sports — a sports management division of Roc Nation that represents huge names like Kevin Durant — and the streaming service Tidal. With Jay-Z also touring with his wife Beyonce on their “OTR II” tour, could this be the year Jay-Z reaches billionaire status?
Ralph Lauren Net Worth: $8.2B
It’s not a surprise that fashion designer Ralph Lauren is a wealthy man for his role in founding his eponymous apparel company. What’s surprising is just how rich he is. Worth more than $8 billion, Ralph Lauren is richer than New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone. Apparently, there’s more money in prep-wear than one might think. This year the designer celebrated the iconic brand’s 50th anniversary at New York Fashion Week with a black-tie event that had huge celebrities like Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro, Kanye West and Tony Bennett in attendance.
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Oprah Winfrey Net Worth: $3.2B
Apparently, you can count massive sums of money among Oprah’s favorite things. Her entertainment empire is undeniably impressive in its scope, but her journey from popular talk show host to a multibillionaire — who some people are speculating might make a U.S. presidential run — is what’s really stunning.
Gisele Bundchen Net Worth: $400M
The Brazilian-born supermodel is potentially best known in the U.S. for being a Victoria’s Secret model and marrying New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Even so, maybe her claim to fame should also be for being filthy rich. Gisele has a wildly lucrative career as a spokesmodel for various clothing and beauty lines and is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme.
Victoria Beckham Net Worth: $450M
Victoria Beckham rose to fame as one of the Spice Girls in the late 1990s. But if you’re thinking three pop albums almost 20 years ago will net you close to half a billion dollars, think again. Posh’s net worth has more to do with her successful career in fashion, launching her own fashion line in 2008.
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Gloria Estefan Net Worth: $500M
The rhythm is gonna get you, and, if you’re Gloria Estefan, make you half a billion dollars in the process, apparently. Estefan’s tremendous success as a pop musician in the 1980s gave way to a career in Miami business and real estate that led to the founding of multimedia entertainment company Estefan Enterprises.
P. Diddy Net Worth: $855M
Anyone familiar with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ successful but relatively brief music career in the 1990s might be a little shocked to know that he’s edging in on billionaire status. Diddy has always kept an eye on business, however, from founding music production company Bad Boy Entertainment early in his career to his Sean John clothing line to his lucrative development deal with Ciroc vodka.
Sammy Hagar Net Worth: $120M
How much is it worth to be the second-most popular lead singer of Van Halen? Quite a bit, but certainly not that much. Hagar’s success in music is paired with his Cabo Wabo Cantina restaurant that ultimately gave rise to a Cabo Wabo tequila and a string of other successful eateries.
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Steven Spielberg Net Worth: $3.7B
It’s certainly no surprise that the legendary director of “E.T.,” Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” among others, is incredibly rich. But his net worth in excess of $3.5 billion puts him in extremely rarified air for someone in the entertainment industry. His accumulated wealth is greater than that of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman.
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George Lucas Net Worth: $5.1B
Of course, even Spielberg and Oprah have to crane their necks to get a look at George Lucas, whose sale of Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 paved the way to the wildly popular “Star Wars” sequels as well as a $4 billion payday for Lucas, who was the sole owner. May the dividend check be with him.
Kathy Ireland Net Worth: $500M
A net worth of $500 million is pretty high for someone who arguably wasn’t even the best-known model of the 1980s. But the real story of Ireland’s success actually starts in 1993 when she launched her own line of socks. That would lead to Kathy Ireland Worldwide, which clocks over $1 billion in sales a year on 15,000 different products.
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Celine Dion Net Worth: $800M
Near, far, wherever you are, you might be pretty surprised to learn that Celine Dion is worth almost $1 billion. She has banked most of her fortune through international touring and her extremely lucrative Vegas residencies.
Amitabh Bachchan Net Worth: $400M
Plenty of Americans might underestimate just how popular Indian cinema is globally, but Bollywood is wildly successful throughout the world. Actor Amitabh Bachchan got his start with “angry young man” roles in the 1970s and went on to appear in more than 100 films by the early 1980s. He also founded his own production company, the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, en route to a net worth of $400 million.
Daisy Fuentes Net Worth: $75M
It’s probably a safe bet that Cuban-born Daisy Fuentes is the wealthiest former MTV-VJ by, well, a lot. In addition to being Revlon’s first Latina spokeswoman, Fuentes has launched a successful clothing line and a line of beauty products that are driving hundreds of millions in sales for Kohl’s annually and have pushed her net worth to about $75 million.
Andrew Shue Net Worth: $150M
That’s right, Billy Campbell from “Melrose Place” is worth nine figures. After his career on television, Shue would go on to co-found the popular website CaféMom with childhood friend Michael Sanchez, which rebranded to CafeMedia in 2015 and now boasts some 97 million unique visitors a month to its websites. In addition, CafeMedia has recently ranked as the top site for parenting, food and home by ComScore.
Victoria Principal Net Worth: $250M
Regardless of who shot J.R., Victoria Principal, with a net worth of a quarter-billion dollars, is probably ready to pay for a robust legal defense. Principal would rise to fame as Pamela Barnes Ewing on “Dallas,” but her tremendous wealth has a lot more to do with her status as a best-selling author and a successful line of natural skin care products under her Principal Secret brand.
Reese Witherspoon Net Worth: $150M
Reese Witherspoon might have a long, successful career as an actress, including an Academy Award, but her acumen in business is shaping her career today. She has founded the production company Pacific Standard, digital content company Hello Sunshine and Southern-themed lifestyle brand Draper James. With all her financial success, it seems like Reese “Silverspoon” could be a fitting moniker.
Click through to read more about celebrities who went from rags to riches.
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All net worth figures are provided by Celebrity Net Worth unless noted otherwise.