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The world’s richest celebrities

  • The world’s richest celebrities

    While acclaim doesn't guarantee a large bank account, fame and fortune often do go hand in hand. Recognizable names like Madonna and Paul McCartney often appear on any list of the world's richest celebrities, while other others among the uber-famous fall slightly under the bar of the mega-rich (think: Cher and Brad Pitt). Still more celebrities who consistently rank among the wealthiest, like Petra Ecclestone and Jacqueline Gold, are decidedly less famous than their more popular counterparts.

    The most recognizable faces don’t necessarily make their money with the movies and music that made them famous in the first place, either. Some of the most famous celebrities can afford to live off their creative works alone, but there’s a reason J. K. Rowling became the first person to make a $1 billion through writing: Creative fields might offer name recognition, but they don’t always pay well.

    Some of the most successful celebrities supplement their incomes by selling their brands and name recognition to companies for endorsements and advertising. Others may build on their family’s existing wealth by making smart investments or starting their own businesses. Some of the most successful celebrities don’t even know how much money they make, relying on business managers to keep track of their financial planning.

    Stacker has compiled a list of the world’s richest celebrities (including quite a few ties) using data collected from Celebrity Net Worth's rankings of the wealthiest celebrities by current net worth. The net worth figures in this list were calculated using a proprietary formula that factored in all publicly available data about each person including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties, and endorsements—minus estimated taxes, manager’s fees, agent fees, and lifestyle expenses.

    Read on to see how each celebrity rose to fame, and what they are up to now.

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  • #45. Ryan Seacrest (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $430 million

    Ryan Seacrest has been called the hardest-working man in Hollywood and has a substantial financial portfolio. In addition to hosting television shows like “American Idol” and the syndicated radio show “American Top 40,” he co-hosts the morning show, “Live with Kelly and Ryan” with Kelly Ripa. Seacrest has produced reality shows such as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated,” and continues to host major red carpet events for E!, the television channel.

  • #45. Michael Bay (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $430 million

    An American filmmaker behind big-budget blockbusters like “Pearl Harbor,” “Armageddon,” and “The Rock,” Michael Bay is ranked the second most commercially successful directors of all time by Business Insider. Bay also directed the first five films in the “Transformers” series; and produced the sixth installment, “Bumblebee,” which was released in 2018.

  • #44. Dr. Phil

    - Estimated net worth: $440 million

    Dr. Phil McGraw got his start as an occasional guest on Oprah Winfrey’s long-running talk show, which eventually led to his own program in 2002. Since then, the “Dr. Phil” show has maintained a strong following and is syndicated across the U.S. He earns between $80–95 million a year from his show, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and has also written several popular books.

  • #43. Victoria Beckham

    - Estimated net worth: $450 million

    Victoria Beckham came to fame as Posh Spice with 1990s British pop group Spice Girls. In 1999 she married professional soccer player David Beckham, with whom she starred in several reality television shows. Today, she’s known as a fashion icon and designer behind her Victoria Beckham label.

  • #42. Ellen DeGeneres

    - Estimated net worth: $490 million

    Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres gained popularity while working at New Orleans comedy clubs, eventually touring nationally and appearing on late-night shows such as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” From 1994 to 1998, DeGeneres had her own sitcom, on which she came out as gay around the same time she did so in her actual life: That episode (“The Puppy Episode”) brought DeGeneres a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has been on the air since 2003 and “Ellen’s Game of Games” began in 2017.

  • #29. Trey Parker (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $500 million

    "South Park," the brainchild of co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, has been on the air since 1997. The animated TV show has picked up five Emmys, among other accolades. Parker also co-directed the Broadway hit “The Book of Mormon,” voiced the villain in “Despicable Me 3,” and established a production studio dubbed Important Studios.

  • #29. Robert De Niro (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $500 million

    An icon of the stage and screen, Robert De Niro has appeared in a wide range of successful films. While his acting career brought plenty of big paydays, much of his financial success has come from his involvement with Nobu restaurant chain (and now also hotel chain), which he co-owns with chef Nobu Matsuhisa. There are more than 40 Nobu restaurants around the globe, generating a revenue of several hundred million dollars a year. De Niro also co-owns New York’s Greenwich Hotel, and has invested heavily in the Tribeca area, supporting the Tribeca Film Festival and other ventures.

  • #29. Peter Jackson (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $500 million

    The man behind “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Peter Jackson is a New Zealand filmmaker who has won three Oscars. In addition to LOTR, he wrote, directed, and produced “The Hobbit” trilogy, which included “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”

  • #29. Paulo Coelho (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $500 million

    Millions of soul-searchers around the world have found their way by reading “The Alchemist,” the author of which is Paulo Coelho, a writer, blogger, and social media aficionado. A sample tweet from Coelho: “Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming someone. Maybe it's about getting rid of everything that isn't really you.”

  • #29. Matt Stone (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $500 million

    Matt Stone is the other half of the “South Park” creator duo. Like his partner Trey Parker, Stone is a renaissance man who can do just about anything: He writes, directs, sings, is a voice over actor, and he creates musicals. Stone continues to work on “South Park” and projects with his production company Important Studios.

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