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Top 50 Richest Celebrities Ranked By Overall Net Worth

Jay Dawson October 26th 2016 Entertainment
What would you do with one million dollars? What about $100 million? Or even $1 billion? For most of us, it’s enough of a struggle to get food on the table and clothes on our bodies. But these celebs are living the dream. Through talent, hard work, good looks, and yes, a lot of luck, they’ve found their way into unheard-of riches. Even the poorest person on this list is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so much money that it’s hard to even imagine. If you’re ready to find out what they’re spending their wads and wads of cash on, keep reading!
50. Trey Parker - $400M
Fighting it out with fellow South Park creator at the end of this list is Trey Parker. His net worth is listed as $400 million – the same as Matt Stone’s – but somehow he’s two places below him. We’ll never know what he did differently to Matt. Maybe he upsized at McDonald’s, or paid his credit card bill a couple of days too late.
In all other respects, it looks like he and Matt have been inseparable – even when it comes to money. With the hectic South Park production schedule and all the time they spend together, it’s no surprise that they’re ordering the same takeout. But here’s a tip if you want to jump a few spots, Trey: next time you both head out to a bar, make Matt buy the drinks.
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49. Sylvester Stallone - $400M
Despite repeated (and largely true) insistences that his acting is more wooden than a peg leg, Sylvester Stallone has still earnt far more money than most people would know what to do with. It seems he doesn’t really know what to do with his money, either – he’s still got $400 million of it lying around, gathering dust.
He punched and shot his way into our homes and hearts with Rocky and Rambo, and even with an obvious lack of talent his star has never waned. His work ethic is impeccable, though, and he’s not afraid of suffering for his (supposed) art. With the cost of US healthcare and several on-set hospitalizations, it’s easy to see why he’s not further up this list.
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48. Matt Stone - $400M
Co-creator of South Park, Matt Stone, has made a lucrative career out of mocking every single celebrity on the planet. We’d laugh alongside him, if only he wasn’t so filthy rich himself. While the crudely animated satire is what made his fortune, a whole host of other screenwriting and film credits have bolstered his account to an insane $400 million. Really, we suppose the laughs are on us.
To be fair to the guys, making South Park happen would be endless hard work. A lot of the time, the creators are given only a week to create, animate, and produce each episode. And yet, week-in, week-out, they deliver quality laughs, cutting humor, and plenty of poo jokes. You’ve got to hand it to Matt – all your money, that is.
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47. Johnny Mathis - $400M
Languishing near the bottom of the pile, hit singer-songwriter only has a lowly $400 million to his name. Even at the age of 81, and with 300 million albums sold, he’s just like the rest of us in life – he hasn’t come far. During his Texas childhood, his father kickstarted his future career by buying him a $25 dollar upright piano to start practicing on. Now he can only afford about 16 million of the things.
Maybe if he had pursued his initial talent as a track and field star, he might have made some real money. Instead, he’s slumming it by performing sold out shows across The States and appearing on Jay Leno. “The best ballad singer in the world”? Bah. Show us some monetary proof, Johnny, or we’ll never believe you.
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46. Johnny Depp - $400M
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Johnny Depp so far down on this list. The eccentric but brilliant actor is one of the biggest names in the business, and his salary often reaches $100 million a year. But his current net worth shows a measly $400 million, or only four years’ worth of work. What gives, Johnny? Where’s all your money gone to?
Yes, we know about your six private beaches in the Caribbean, your three mansions, and your lavish yacht. But that can’t be all of it. What else is there? Four separate charity foundations? A vintage gun collection and library stuffed full of rare first editions? Two rooms of hats in your French villa? All of the above? Oh, fair enough then.
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45. Dr. Phil - $400M
Ask any celebrity and they’ll tell you, wistfully, that money breeds unhappiness. Money doesn’t fix problems, just causes them. Luckily, Dr. Phil doesn’t have to worry about all that. He can earn as much money as he likes, then fix all the problems himself. He’s a one-man psychological machine. And through his 15-year run on his hit TV show and countless self-help books, he’s done what most other counsellors have failed to do: make 400 million dollars.
First gaining recognition on Oprah’s show in the 90s, it wasn’t long before he was teasing heart-rending confessions out of most of America. Nowadays he pulls in $70m a year, making him the 15th highest earning celebrity in the world. He’s stayed real though. He’s stayed grounded. When you own a thirty-million-dollar mansion with more security than a Swiss nuclear bunker, it’s kinda hard for the troubles to get to you.
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44. Bill Cosby - $400M
Speaking of controversy, here’s Bill Cosby. While he might be worth $400 million now, a recent run of very serious allegations could mean that he’ll be off this list by next year. And behind bars. Despite our undying love for gossip and scandal, we’re not going to comment on the matter much further. We’ll leave it for the courts.
It just goes to show that even holding all the money in the world does not make someone untouchable. Money can buy you plenty of cars and diamonds, but it doesn’t make you immune to justice. We’ve seen a lot of celebs giving away a lot of money on this list. Why can’t everyone just be as nice as them?
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43. Mel Gibson - $425M
Since a bizarre and controversial 2006, the Australian/American/English/Whatever actor Mel Gibson has been essentially locked out of Hollywood. With a known drinking problem and a string of incidents following him wherever he went, it’s a surprise that Mel Gibson got any work, or made any money at all. And yet we’re here in 2016 and he’s still got $425 million in his pocket.
It’s hard to say how he’s done it. He’s got eight children from various marriages, he’s faced boycotts from civil rights agencies, and the single film that he’s starred in since, Beaver, tanked at the box office. We can only assume that he had far, far more money stashed away somewhere, because like Apocalypto, none of it makes sense to us.
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42. Michael Bay - $430M
The first thing that comes to mind when you’re talking about Michael Bay: the word “big”. Big films, big blockbusters, big names, big budgets, big explosions. Oh, and there’s one other thing: a very big bank balance. At $430 mil, Michael Bay knows how to think big. From Armageddon to the Transformers films, he’s your go-to guy to blow audiences away (and rile up the critics).
Is his life as big as his films? Let’s take a quick look. He owns properties in Los Angeles and Miami – check. He owns a Bentley, a Range Rover, an Escalade, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and two Camaros – check. He owns a $50 million Gulfstream private jet – check. As a kid, Bay donated all his Bar Mitzvah money to a local animal shelter. Looks like karma has been kind to him.
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41. Victoria Beckham - $450M
Here’s just a few of the features that former Spice Girl and current model Victoria Beckham has in her $50m London mansion. If you’re not feeling sick yet, you soon will be. Try four nail bars, four hairdressing stations, a catwalk, a waterfall, a subterranean pool complex, a secret tunnel under the oriental garden, and an actual secret door behind an actual bookcase.
With a net worth of $450 million, “Beckingham Palace” is really just pocket change for Posh Spice. And with a high-end fashion chain and plenty of leftovers from the Spice Girl glory days, her money doesn’t look like it’ll run out anywhere in the near future. Even her philanthropic efforts have failed to take a couple of zeroes off her bank balance. She must be saving it all for her kids.
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40. Tyler Perry - $450M
If there was ever a celeb who embodied the word prolific, it would be Tyler Perry. Just 47 years of age, he’s acted in, produced, directed, and written countless films, theater productions, songs, and TV shows. He’s won, or been nominated for, dozens upon dozens of awards, and everyone from President Obama to Oprah have hailed him as the voice of a generation.
It’s not just talk, either. People are simply throwing money at the New Orleans-born filmmaker. Since 2012 he’s partnered with the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the cash just keeps piling up. At $450 million net worth, he’s still got a little way to go before he cracks the top ten. But with his output and his fans, it won’t take long.
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39. Peter Jackson - $450M
Once upon a time, Peter Jackson was mixing up his own fake blood and working at a newspaper in his native New Zealand. Fast forward two decades, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy has exploded onto screens worldwide. All of a sudden, he’s made it. He’s one of the industry’s most celebrated filmmakers, and he’s worth $450 million.
Peter also knows a good thing when he sees it. He’s made a couple of notable films afterwards, but he really continued to pump the Hollywood money machine with The Hobbit trilogy. Who knows what else he can make from Tolkien’s oeuvre, but if he keeps going the way he is, he’ll be able to buy at least the South Island of New Zealand.
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38. Beyonce Knowles - $450M
What more can we Beyon-say about the queen of R&B? She’s a certified golden goose, laying hit after hit, all the while keeping her integrity and singing about the things that really matter to her. She’s married to one of the most powerful record industry moguls around, but she doesn’t need a bit of his help – her stellar career is shaped and earned by Beyonce, and Beyonce alone.
And what a career. $450 million, she’s worth. As the kids are saying these days, she’s “slaying it”. She’s having fun with her money, too. Private yacht parties, a private jet, gem-encrusted booties for Blue Ivy, and a private island in The Bahamas for the family. A few more records and a little bit of thriftiness (try a low-cost airline sometime, Bey), and she could easily hit the magical one-billion-dollar mark.
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37. James Patterson - $470M
There’s hope for the printed word yet. Browse the thriller section at any airport bookshop in the world, and you’ll one name time and time again: James Patterson. Readers slurp up his psychological, crime, and sci-fi books in droves, and it’s made him a supremely rich man. 147 novels and 300 million sales later, the 69-year old has found himself worth $470 million.
Which, if you do the sums and include film licenses, isn’t a heck of a lot. So where did all the rest of his money go? To a good place, thankfully. Since his start as a novelist, he’s poured millions into universities, colleges, libraries, and independent bookshops, and funded dozens of scholarships and grants to many needy readers. Thanks, James – if it wasn’t for people like you, no-one would be able to read this brilliant list.
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36. Rush Limbaugh - $500M
Despite numerous controversies and countless reports of inaccuracies, there are still enough conservatives in the country to keep Rush Limbaugh rolling in the riches. The radio disc jockey and media personality has $500 million in the bank, and over the last year alone, he reportedly earned almost $80 million. Still, not as much as Howard Stern!
His 65 years and rash of unsavory views doesn’t look like it’ll slow him down anytime soon. With a contract until 2020, he will reach an astonishing 30 years of spouting garbage on air. Maybe he needs the cash for his painkiller addiction or collection of premium cigars. Or maybe his deafness means he doesn’t have to hear himself speak.
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35. Paulo Coelho - $500M
The Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho has made a living from writing allegorical and inspiring tales. While he’s a bit simplistic for some, many others have found profound wisdom in his ramblings. Ironically enough, the book that made him his millions and thrust him on the English-speaking world was called The Alchemist. Somehow, he turned ink into $500 million worth of gold.
With 30 novels under his belt and a devoted following that includes Will Smith, Pharrell Williams, and Madonna, Paulo just keeps earning and earning. Although living in a Swiss mansion can’t be kind on his bank balance. Still, The Alchemist has sold over 83 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages. So if he ever needs another cash injection, he can just pump out a new novel.
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34. Matt Groening - $500M
Before you can complain about how much money a lowly cartoonist is worth, just try to envisage a world where The Simpsons never existed. Where, more than likely, dozens of other animated adult shows like South Park, Family Guy, and King of the Hill never saw the light of the TV tube. What would we say to each other? How would we ever laugh?
The show’s quality may have declined over the years, but there’s no doubt that The Simpsons and Matt Groening deserve every penny and every place in the record books that they’ve got. The man rewrote history. He made it so socially awkward people could communicate entirely through TV quotes. He made billions of people deliriously happy. He made $500 million, and we’d give it to him all over again.
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33. Kathy Ireland - $500M
She may have been a former Sports Illustrated model, but that’s not what brings Kathy Ireland to our list today. Instead, it was her keen business acumen and inner drive that brought her fabulous riches. Thanks to Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a company that she initially created as a brand marketing firm, she’s now reputedly worth close to $500 million.
With billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as friends and business partners (though we suspect that she’s the one that’s advising them), her empire grew from a line of socks into a multi-billion-dollar cash cow, covering almost every possible item you could wear or put in your home. The self-made wonder has a continued determination that will soon see her ruling the world.
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32. Jocelyn Wildenstein - $500M
Not many people will recognize the name of Jocelyn Wildenstein, but the $4 million face is simply… unforgettable. Her life, too, is impossible to overstate. There’s no need for witty comments about it – we’re just going to lay the facts out straight. Born in Switzerland, she became a skilled hunter and pilot in France, before meeting her future husband through a Saudi arms dealer. He was a billionaire, a cat lover (hence, apparently, the strange face) but not entirely faithful. When she walked in on him with a Russian model, divorce proceedings followed swiftly.
From the bitter divorce, Jocelyn secured a $2.5 billion payout, along with $100 million per year for 13 years. After that there was only one direction to go – to become a bored socialite with an opulent lifestyle. After hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain (did we mention the cosmetic surgery?) she’s only left with $500 million. We’re a little bit proud. And a little bit afraid.
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31. Jimmy Buffett - $500M
Tropical country singer, beach bum, busker, writer, and TV personality Jimmy Buffett has (if you’ll excuse the terrible pun) truly fed on the smorgasbord of life. And it’s rewarded him right back, with $500 million to mess around with. Unless you’re one of his dedicated fans, known as “Parrotheads”, you might not be aware of his musical genius. But any time you step into a Margaritaville restaurant, you’re actually lining his pockets.
Not that he’s putting your dollars to waste. Apart from flying all over the Caribbean, for “musical research” (yeah, right), but he puts in big work for many environmental and social causes. He’s so generous, in fact, that at some concerts he’s even been known to pay for every audience member’s beer and margaritas. We wouldn’t mind a ticket to one of those parties.
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30. Gloria Estefan - $500M
With an unforgettable tropical sound and a rhythm that could only come from the streets of Cuba, Gloria Estefan was always destined to be a star. Initially rising to fame through the Miami Sound Machine, she suffered a career setback when she was badly injured in a horrific tour bus accident. But like many of the world’s famous artists, she never let this stop her. Once she returned to studio and stage a year later with Into the Light, her brilliant fate was sealed.
These days, Gloria is cruising along with the occasional album release and TV appearance. While she’s worth an estimated $500 million, her home life in the ritzy Star Island neighborhood of Miami is a quiet affair. Most of her time, she says, is spent with her “first and only boyfriend”, Emilio Estefan, living the romantic life most of us can only dream of. Now that’s one classy lady.
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29. Elton John - $500M
This one’s easy. We know exactly where Elton John’s money goes: into his outrageous wardrobe. Fair enough – when you’re a virtuoso pop icon, a knight of the realm, and have an extremely eclectic fashion sense, there’s only one way to keep surprising the audience. But we suspect that he’s been reusing a few of his outfits, or at least thrift shopping, since he’s still managed to amass a considerable $500 million.
According to the British press, Sir Elton received a report early in 2000 that his extreme lifestyle would soon lead him into financial ruin. With a nose for the white stuff and zany purchases like a $400,000 florist bill, he was looking at a very meager $3 million to play with each year. His response? To tear up the report into tiny pieces. Guess who had the last laugh.
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28. Dolly Parton - $500M
It only makes sense that Dolly and Mariah would be jostling for position on the list. While their genres might be poles apart, there’s a certain stage presence and theatrics to both of their performances. Dolly’s a little bit older, but their rise to fame follows a remarkably similar trajectory to Mariah’s. Two poverty-stricken souls who finally burst into the big time.
Dolly’s just $20 million shy of Mariah, but who’s counting? When you’ve got your own theme park and co-owned the film company that produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer (true story!) you can let a few million slide. Besides, she probably spent it on her Imagination Library, a direct-action project where she sends books to millions of children across four countries. And with a goddaughter like Miley Cyrus, some of it might also have been bail money.
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27. Mariah Carey - $520M
Mariah’s life, looks, and luscious mounds of cash are the stuff of sweet, sweet fantasy. When she got her start, she was scraping together funds from waitressing jobs and passing around a four track demo tape that nobody seemed to want. It was their loss, and after some faith from Columbia Records boss Tommy Mottola, she became an overnight star.
From there she’s never left our hearts, and her higher registers are still ringing in our ears. From success to Glitter then back to success again, she’s come out on top of $520 million and a flawless reputation as one of the industry’s eternal icons. Amongst her multiple charity works, one achievement stands above the rest: she’s singlehandedly kept the sequin industry alive.
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26. Tom Cruise - $525M
He’s jumped on couches, he’s tried to brainwash the masses, he’s bronzed his daughter’s poo, and somewhere along the line he’s made half a billion dollars. He’s Tom Cruise, the actor that everyone pretends to hate while secretly enjoying all of his films. Mission: Impossible, Valkyrie, The Edge of Tomorrow, and Top Gun – it’s hard to deny the quality of Tom’s acting and the way he fleshes out his roles.
The stats don’t lie. For close to a decade he’s been in the top five of highest-paid actors, and his films have grossed, collectively, over $7 billion dollars at the box office. If we all loathe him so much, then why do we keep seeing his films? Honestly, it’s probably more jealousy than hate. When you see a man with a shiny collection of exotic cars, private jets, and luxury yachts, it’s only natural. But let’s face it: he’s earned it.
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25. Simon Cowell - $550M
Love them or hate them, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The X-Factor will probably still be broadcasting well into the next millennium. You can’t escape them. If you ever want to find the man responsible – to either hug him or hit him – then look no further than Simon Cowell. It was his warped British brain that spewed out the original series of all three, and his fault that we ever caught wind of Susan Boyle.
Not that he’s particularly worried about it. With $550 million in his pocket, and an annual salary just shy of $100m, why should he care what you think? His various philanthropic projects and patronage means that he can always feel good about himself. In typical posh British fashion, he’s also part of a thoroughbred horse racing syndicate. Class, money, and attitude – a dangerous combination.
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24. Yoko Ono - $600M
Are all of the Beatles fans out of the room? Good. We’ve got a bit of an unpleasant surprise for them: despite being a DEVIL WOMAN BAND-WRECKER, Yoko Ono has somehow managed to accrue a very tasty $600 million to her name. We’re kidding about the band-wrecker part. Not only do we not care in the slightest, but Yoko is actually a pretty lovely lady who does a lot of good for our fragile little planet.
As an artist, her pieces and performances are dazzling, confronting, and fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. As an activist, she has worked tirelessly for the last fifty years to promote peace and universal human rights, putting her money where her mouth is with several arresting campaigns. People are listening, too: she’s now got close to five million followers on Twitter. Not bad for an 83-year-old.
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23. Shahrukh Khan - $600M
Hollywood’s not the only multi-millionaire maker on the planet. Across the other side of the world, in the much more colorful land of Bollywood, there’s celebs a-plenty, and a lot of money to go around. Shahrukh Khan is just one of them, but as the “King of Bollywood”, he’s also the richest of the lot. Squeezing in at #23 and going toe-to-toe with some of Tinseltown’s heavyweights, his estimated street value is a massive $600 million.
If you look at the figures, it’s not hard to see why. He’s starred in close to a hundred blockbusters in India, where the potential audience in that country alone is more than a billion people. You do the math. Unlike a lot of his Hollywood compatriots, he still lives a fairly humble life, caring after his sister and children. Of course he has a Mumbai mansion or three, but who doesn’t?
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22. Howard Stern - $600M
He’s not just a loud mouth on air – it seems like he’s used to talking big to his bosses. While some of us walk nervously into the manager’s office, hoping for a thousand-dollar raise, the original radio shock jock Howard Stern has somehow wrangled himself an unbelievable annual salary of $90 million. When he first started on commercial radio, he was earning $4 an hour.
In a career spanning forty years, the radio and TV personality has made a lot of us flinch, and a lot more of us chuckle nervously. But most of all, he’s made us green with envy. From wild parties to a $52 million pad in Palm Beach, at 62 years old Howards still got an irreverent and infectious zest for the finer things in life. At the age of 5 he knew he was going to be on the radio, but we doubt he knew he would be worth $600 million.
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21. Candy Spelling - $600M
Imagine the biggest home in Los Angeles county. Imagine a megamansion that has a mind-boggling 123 rooms, with 14 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and five kitchens. Imagine a house so expensive that the asking price on sale was $150 million. Now imagine who could ever afford such a place. You’ve just taken a peek in Candy Spelling’s gilt-edged life.
Author, TV personality, columnist, mother of Tori Spelling and wife of the late Aaron Spelling. No matter how she earned her $600 million, she’s earned our respect for at least spending it in style. By our tally, all the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens only add up to 35 rooms of the Spelling Manor. We can’t imagine what was in the other 88 rooms, but we’re willing to bet a few were stuffed with gold bars.
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20. Jay-Z - $700M
Jay-Z might have started life as a simple East Coast rapper, but like Dr. Dre and P Diddy he channeled his flourishing wealth into all the right places. Nowadays his $700m comes from a variety of sources far beyond spitting (semi) rhymes, including his own record label, his own music streaming service, a sports agency, and a clothing line. To be honest, he’s got so many income streams that if he started up dog-walking business and ice cream shop, we wouldn’t be at all surprised.
Even with all that wealth, he often passes over the traditional rapper-throwing-money-around image and puts in a lot of effort and money towards worthy causes. Not only does Jay-Z run the Shawn Carter Foundation, helping poor kids get through college, but he also actively funds campaigns that help secure safe drinking water for the third world. President Obama describes him as “a brilliant talent and a good guy”. And he’s got Beyoncé. He’s one lucky man.
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19. James Cameron - $700M
Titanic may have had a cursed production, but it also had the Midas touch. It wasn’t just Celine Dion, Kate Winslet, and Leo that struck gold – director James Cameron made a pretty penny out of it as well. We’re sure that there are other films that helped make up his reputed $700 million net worth, but we can bet that Titanic wasn’t just the tip of the cash iceberg. And Avatar probably helped, too.
At least he does something fun with all that dough. Not only does he develop and fund his own groundbreaking filmmaking technology – like a 3D camera system, or the world’s toughest submarine, just to film Avatar 2 – but he also owns a yacht, a hundred-acre ranch, a helicopter, and a firetruck. Just to cap it all off, he built another of his own submarines, the Deepsea Challenger, which allowed him to be the first solo explorer to reach the deepest point in the ocean. He’s basically just a boy, but with a whole lot of pocket money.
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18. Celine Dion - $700M
It’s hard to know whether we should be feeling jealous of Celine Dion, or just sorry for her. The Canadian-born superstar has $700 million in her bank account to play with. But what does she do with it? She sings the same show in Vegas. Over, and over, and over again. We’ve heard of doing what you love, but this is taking it a bit far.
Why doesn’t she retire? We know that there’s millions upon millions worldwide that love her and her music, and there’s always a special thrill going up on stage, but she no longer needs the money. She could buy a good sized portion of Australia, fly everyone in the world over, and have a concert there once a year. Then spend the rest of the time chilling on the beach. Celine, if you ever need rock-solid financial advice, call us.
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17. Bono - $700M
We had no idea that surnames were this expensive. It seems that all you have to do to save a couple of hundred million dollars these days is get rid of that dead weight. Just look at the evidence: Bono’s the third on this list without one, and without even trying, he’s netted an astonishing $700 million. If ever there was one weird trick to amassing huge personal fortunes, this would be it.
Of course, he’s also one of the biggest rock stars in the world, and he and his band U2 have sold over 170 million albums worldwide. He’s also one of the kindest souls in the business, working with global political leaders to improve everyone’s lot, and donating hundreds of millions to various causes. He also owns a 200ft super yacht, just in case you were wondering. And it never would have been possible if he kept his name as Paul David Hewson.
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16. P Diddy - $750M
There’s only a few people in the world who can make big bucks from ridiculous names. Yahoo Serious tried and faded into obscurity. Snoop Dogg worked well, but Snoop Lion was just one step too far. P Diddy, on the other hand, has come out as king of the hill, with $760 million to his name. Clearly he’s got talent – normally that name wouldn’t get him past a clown convention.
Through all the ups and downs of his career, from Sean Combs to Puff Daddy, to Did-he and Scrumdiddyumptious, the man has had a stellar career as a rapper, actor, and music producer. If that wasn’t enough, Piddy’s foray into men’s fashion has pulled in even more profits. Unlike 50 Cent, PD is also a smart saver. Sure, he throws his cash at the usual rapper’s stuff, but as of a couple of years ago, he’s “given up the bling”. Smart move.
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15. Madonna - $800M
It’s hard to imagine a celebrity list which doesn’t have Madonna included in some way. Lo and behold, here she is rolling in at #15 on the list. No wonder she’s raked in close to $800 million over the years – she’s everywhere. Not bad for a girl who started out at Dunkin’ Donuts.
We may be living in a material world, but she’s not just a material girl. Sure, she’s got an ever-increasing brood to look after, and a full house of nannies to go with them. And sure, she’s still got enough money to fund wild yacht getaways with toy boys. But apart from all that, a lot of her money goes straight to the big issues: AIDS and poverty in Africa, and women’s rights across the world.
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14. Jim Davis - $800M
Both Jim Davis and his creation Garfield might be a one-trick pony, but it’s a pony that keeps making more and more money. From his humble beginnings as a wisecracking cat in 1978, the comic strip has stayed essentially the same – except that wisecracking cat is now syndicated in more than 2,500 newspapers across the world. If it ain’t broke, and it’s made you $800 million, then you better not ever fix it.
Jim didn’t have to go far to find inspiration. The comic is set in his home town, and Garfield’s owner, Jon, has the same profession and birthday as Davis himself. Disappointingly, Jim Davis lives a fairly modest life and there’s no indication that he blows his cash on babes and beaches. He doesn’t even write or draw the strip anymore, leaving that to others. So what on earth does he do with his time? Eat lasagna and lie around?
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13. Dr. Dre - $830M
Finally, here’s a man who knows how to spend his money unwisely. Currently, Dr. Dre is worth a very sweet $830 million, but we shudder to think how much more than that he’s dropped over the years. Champagne, cognac, cars, ladies, jewelry, planes, caviar, VIP rooms, mansions, parties… we’re not saying that he doesn’t deserve any of it. Just that we’re really, really, jealous.
What do you have to do to live Dre’s life? It’s easy. Just work tirelessly as a DJ, rapper, and music producer with the most prolific figures in the industry, for over thirty years. Just be an actor, a perfectionist, an entrepreneur with your own line of speakers and headphones, a father of five, and a recipient of five Grammys. Do all that, then you’re more than free to live it up.
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12. Herb Alpert - $850M
We’re going to take a big leap here and assume that the majority of our readers probably weren’t alive in the 60s. Which is a shame, really, as they’ll never understand why Herb Alpert is number 12 on this list. With his band the Tijuana Brass, the multi-award winning, multi-instrumentalist Alpert took The States by storm with his fresh and funky jazz and R&B. With 70 million records sold and a net worth of $850 million, you can bet that Herb still remembers.
While his fame might have eventually waned, Herb’s involvement in the arts and astonishing ability to make money certainly didn’t. As a music label executive and producer, he formed A&M records, which sold to Polygram for a cool $500 million. He also served as a Broadway theatre producer and spent a large amount of time and money promoting arts and environmental education. You could say he really knows how to make some good notes.
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11. Jacqueline Gold - $860M
Jacqueline Gold’s status as a celebrity might be in question, but her status as a very, very wealthy individual is not. If you’re ever in doubt, take a peek inside her wallet. She’s got 860 million answers in there for you. If you’re from the USA, you might not be familiar with Jacqueline. But millions of British housewives will know her far more intimately as the CEO of Ann Summers, the firm which brought sexiness to the suburbs.
She might have been born into big money – her father David Gold was a high-flying businessman who now owns a Premier League football team – but she made her own way into her fortune by singlehandedly turning the struggling Ann Summers chain into a national phenomenon.
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10. Jerry Seinfeld - $870M
With a reported $870 million to play with, Jerry Seinfeld’s wealth is no laughing matter. Though if he did occasionally bursts into fits of crazy giggling, we’d have to forgive him. You see, before the 90s sitcom that turned his wry life observations into an international sensation, he was just like you and I: a broke chump who tried for years to make it big.
For over a decade, Jerry worked the comedy circuit, with minor appearances here and there on various TV shows. After the Seinfeld TV show was picked up by NBC, Jerry was at the middle of a cash whirlwind. By the fourth season, the show was the most successful sitcom in US history. Even now, re-runs of Seinfeld earn him tens of millions of dollars every year. Jerry doesn’t have to do anything anymore – just sit back and make it rain.
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9. David Copperfield - $900M
Who knows where David Copperfield’s $900 million came from. He says that he’s a magician, but we know magicians and they’re always full of illusions. I mean, with his skills he could have robbed several banks and we’d all be none the wiser. But wait, it turns out he owns a string of island resorts in the Bahamas and has had ticket sales of over $4 billion dollars. Okay, so he really is just a very talented guy.
But how much money does he need? It’s impossible for him to lose money – according to legend, even when someone attempted to rob him in Florida, he used sleight of hand to hide his possessions. And it the money keeps rolling in as he performs an incredible 500 shows per year. Now that’s some serious work ethic. As soon as we owned our very own island chain, we’d probably call it quits.
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8. JK Rowling - $1B
Rowling’s is the quintessential rags to riches story. Girl can’t afford heating or a coffee, girl writes an excellent novel, girls gets rejected by every publisher in town, girl strikes it rich. $1 billion filthy rich. If it she’d written Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, we’d kinda begrudge JK’s insane wealth. But the Harry Potter author isn’t just a lovely and intelligent person, she’s also a fine writer.
With an understandably private and quiet personal life, there’s little information about what she does with her money. In fact, it seems all that she ever needs it for is the freedom (and warmth) to write her next book. But she gives plenty of it away as well, to a wide range of causes including education, Médecins Sans Frontières, multiple sclerosis, and her own foundation Lumos. We’re all still dreaming of the day that we become as big as her.
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7. Slavica Ecclestone - $1.2B
If you ever needed more proof that good looks and a timely divorce can get you anywhere, then you don’t need to go any further than Slavica Ecclestone. The Croatian-born former model is definitely sitting pretty, with $1.2 billion under her mattress. Though a successful career on the catwalk made her some of that, the majority came from one of the highest paid divorce settlements in history, when she split from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Bernie must have done something terrible (or was it just his ridiculous haircut?), since the payout to Slavica exceeded 700 million British pounds (which makes you a multi-billionaire in Croatian money, Slavica, if you ever decide to go back). Not that Bernie’s hurt too much: the pair are still on good terms, and it was only about a third of his own personal wealth. Nowadays Slavica’s got a couple of daughters to feed, so we doubt the money is going to waste.
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6. Paul McCartney - $1.2B
Many musicians have their short time in the limelight, only to fade into obscurity and throw their money away on a lavish rock and roll lifestyle. Paul McCartney is not one of them (although we’re pretty sure he does still lead a lavish lifestyle). Even after The Beatles – which thrust him firmly into the world of megastars and megabucks – he didn’t rest, creating his own individual brand of quirky pop and continuing to gain admirers to this day.
Once upon a time he asked whether we’d still love him when he was 64. Still touring and earning today, the answer is an emphatic yes. The knight of the British Empire still hasn’t lost his swagger, too, with a $16 million Manhattan apartment, a Corvette and a Lexus in his garage and a private jet on call. But even with $1.2 billion in the bank, it seems he still can’t afford a good hairdresser.
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5. Jami Gertz - $2B
Despite dozens of appearances in movies and on our televisions, Jami Gertz never quite made it into the A-list. And yet she’s worth a crazy $2 billion dollars. How? There’s no question that she’s a talented actress, and her numerous appearances would have helped make her bank balance quite healthy. The real cash, however, came from a number of intelligent investments.
With her partner of almost 30 years, Anthony Ressler, she’s made a ton of money working with private equity firms and mergers & acquisitions. They also co-own a number of major sports teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. The money isn’t going to waste, either. In 2010, Jami was named the number one philanthropic celebrity in the country, with funds going to education and chronically ill children. You go, Gertz.
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4. Oprah Winfrey - $3.2B
Oprah doesn’t need any introduction. She doesn’t even need a last name. And after years of bringing radiance into our living rooms and building a sprawling media empire, she certainly doesn’t need a bank loan. The one-time grocery store clerk, and now one of the most influential people on the planet, is worth a whopping $3.2 billion. No wonder she keeps giving away free cars to her audience.
It’s not just to her audience. Oprah just keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. In fact, if she was the most selfish Scrooge in the world, her net worth would likely be triple the current figure. Instead, she’s given upwards of $400 million towards education, $80 million in grants to non-profits, $40 million towards African aid, and $10 million to victims of Hurricane Katrina. And that’s just a few of the causes she supports with her time and checkbook. The world would be a far poorer place without her.
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3. Steven Spielberg - $3.5B
Sometimes we wonder what happens when buddies and long-time collaborators George Lucas and Steven Spielberg get together. Imagine the kinds of parties they could hold. Imagine how much pizza they could order in at Super Bowl time. While George might have the slight money edge, Steven Spielberg’s $3.5 billion is nothing to laugh at either. It’s still a ridiculous amount of money.
Steven’s money comes from a seemingly endless string of big-budget and big-idea films that never fail to blow the audiences away. From Jaws to Schindler’s List to Saving Private Ryan, he’s had the kind of blessed directorial career that many green filmmakers can only dream about. He’s tried hard to spend his cash. But even after buying four mansions – in Pacific Palisades, New York City, The Hamptons and Florida – the money and the accolades keep pouring in. Time to go property hunting again, Steven. Maybe an island this time.
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2. Dina Merrill - $5B
Dina who? That’s exactly what we thought when we found out that Dina Merrill was the second richest celebrity, with an astonishing net worth of $5 billion dollars. It turns out that Dina is one of those who won the genetic lottery, being the only child of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and hugely successful stockbroker Edward Hutton. The reason that she’s not splashed over the tabloids every day is a simple one: she’s now 92 years old. She doesn’t really party anymore.
Back in her heyday, though, she never rested on her golden laurels. She forged a successful career as an actress and astute businesswoman, and at the time was touted as “Hollywood’s new Grace Kelly”. Although endowed with more money than we can even comprehend, she has put a lot of it to good use. Not only is she a prominent supporter of the arts, serving on the board of directors for several New York arts centers, but also sinking plenty of time and money into the New York City Mission, which serves the kids and families of the city’s impoverished. Dina may not be a household name, but her legacy will live on forever.
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1. George Lucas - $5.1B
5.1 billion dollars. That’s how much the creator of the world-changing Star Wars franchise is worth. From humble beginnings as a small-fry director from Modesto, California, George Lucas turned a simple dream – to tell a hammy space opera story – into a global phenomenon that has turned roughly 100% of the population into screaming, lightsaber-dueling fanboys.
He’s not just an artistic visionary, but a savvy businessman too. No doubt the sale of Star Wars to Disney has only fattened his insane bank account, and as the franchise is milked year after year he’s only getting richer. Oh, to be one of his four children, who will never have to work a day in their lives. Or their children. Or grandchildren. Or great-great-grandchildren.

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