Child Stars You Didn't Know Were the Children of Billionaires
It's always fascinating to read about celebrity backgrounds, especially when you find out that this Oscar winner is related to Queen Elizabeth I or that this singer discovered America in a past life. Even more interesting is finding out that they didn't have to be a celebrity in the first place. We know that Taylor Swift is the daughter of a finance executive and that Brooke Shields has royal roots in Italy. This list is different. First, we're talking billions, not mere millions (sorry, Armie Hammer, your grandfather is off by two hundred million). You may not recognize the people we listed below: They're pretty low-key actors in some high profile projects and they definitely come from some very important families.
Though he still does the occasional acting work and he's part of a band, we won't blame you if you don't recognize the grown-up Balthazar Getty. He played the lead role of Ralph in the 1990 adaptation of Lord of the Flies. His grandfather J. Paul Getty (you know, the one portrayed by Kevin Spacey and later replaced by Christopher Plummer) was one of the richest men in the world.
Born to nouveau millionaires, J. Paul Getty turned his family fortune into billions with the founding of Getty Oil. In 1957, Fortune named him the richest living American and, in 1866, the Guinness Book of Records tagged him as the world's richest private citizen. In 2015, the Getty family fortune was estimated to be worth $5 billion.
Liesel Anne Pritzker may be known for playing the daughter of an aristocrat, Sarah Crewe, in A Little Princess and later the First Daughter in Air Force One, but in real life, she is an actual little princess. Liesel was born into the ultra-wealthy Pritzker family, whose roots can be traced to many successful industrialists. Her father and her uncle founded the Marmon Group (sold in 2007). The family also founded the Hyatt Hotels and continue to own shares, as well as controls Royal Caribbean and TransUnion Credit Bureau.
To this day, the Pritzkers are consistently included in Forbes' list of wealthiest families. Liesel herself, despite some legal disputes with her family in the early noughties, came out well on her own. She's a high-profile impact investor with her own firm.
Forget that she starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender for a minute. Nicola Peltz has kind of redeemed herself in Bates Motel. She's also the girlfriend of another ultra-rich youth, Brooklyn Beckham. Her father, Nelson Peltz, is a famous investor. He is the non-executive chairman of Wendy's Company and sits on the board of Legg Mason, P&G, Sysco, and The Madison Square Garden Company—this, on top of many other financial pursuits. As of 2016, he is worth over $1.6 billion.
BONUS: OTHER CELEBRITIES WHO WERE BORN TO BILLIONAIRES
The public knows her because of her work in Seinfeld and Veep, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus was minted way before she even considered show business. A true blue blood, her great-great-grandfather founded commodities and shipping conglomerate Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851. It is still run by the family today. Together with the money she's pooled from her successful comedy shows, Julia is worth over $4 billion.
Rooney and Kate Mara
Their mother's family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their father's family founded the New York Giants. Together, these two sports empires are worth over $3 billion. The sisters are set to receive $26 million of those billions.
There must be something about comedians and billions. Nick Kroll's father, Jules B. Kroll, founded the New York-based corporate investigations and risk consulting firm in 1972. It investigated companies for fraud and other issues of corruption. It was purchased by Marsh & McLennan Companies in 2004 for $1.9 billion. Duff & Phelps Corp. later acquired it in 2018 for $1.13 billion. Jules B. Kroll is still worth $1.5 billion.