If you're in the checkout line at your average grocery or convenience store, you've probably had the opportunity to scan the covers of tabloids. In my opinion, part of the affect Hollywood has on society is due to a fascination with fame and wealth. If you're anything like me, you might have assumed that celebrity status is what allowed the stars to live in mansions and take exotic vacations. That's why you may be as surprised that there are plenty of celebrities you didn't realize were born into really rich families. I know I was shocked to learn that some celebs stepped into this world already primed and ready for stardom.
In a time when Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram give the general public previously unheard of intimate access to a celebrity's personal life, it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of curiosity when everything is just a swipe, click, and scroll away. So how many of the Hollywood elite already had a bit of a head start on their path to achieving cinematic success? More than you might have expected, actually. Get your scrolling finger ready and check out these actors who were born into really rich families.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
According to The Huffington Post, Benedict Cumberbatch was born into a wealthy family. "I was brought up in a world of privilege," he told the publications. "It can ostracize you from normal codes of conduct in society," Perhaps living such a posh lifestyle gave him the perfect background to perfectly embody the smart and smooth character of Sherlock Holmes.
2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Often associated with classic underdog characters — Elaine Benes Seinfeld or Selina Meyer in Veep — the actress behind those roles is far from disadvantaged. According to People, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' father, "was a billionaire businessman who started his career as a lawyer." Yet being born into wealth didn't exactly mean she was spoiled. Dreyfus' father was also known for his charity work and she seems to have been influenced by his philanthropy.
3. Adam Levine
Though the Maroon 5 frontman has secured a fortune to call his own, he had a bit of a leg up. According to Us Weekly, Adam Levine was born rich since his father, Fred Levine, founded and owned a retail clothing line. The success of the business also afforded the Maroon 5 star the opportunity to attend a private school where he met two of his current band mates, as Us Weekly additionally noted.
4. Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal
Aside from sharing an adorable sibling bond, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal are both from a rich family. As E! News noted, their parents, Stephen Gyllenhaal is a director and Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal is a screenwriter. But the brother and sister don't just have an amazing heritage in Hollywood, they are also descendants of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family, according to E! News. If you ask me, their legacy sounds like it would make a fantastic fairy tale of a film.
5. Kate & Rooney Mara
Starlet sisters known for such hits as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, House of Cards, and The Fantastic Four, share more than just an innate acting ability. Kate and Rooney Mara's family own the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers," as The Los Angeles Times noted. So even if their legacy doesn't have much to do with their current career, it certainly didn't hurt to come from a line of football legends.
6. Paul Giamatti
Having worked steadily as an actor for decades, you might think a strong work ethic is what earned this actor an affluent lifestyle. However, Paul Giamatti was actually born into a wealthy family as his father, the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, was the president of Yale University and a Major League Baseball commissioner, according to The New York Times. With a background like that, it seems inevitable Giamatti was bound for success.
7. Taylor Swift
Fans have definitely related to the struggles and heartbreak woes of this pop-country songstress, but that might be where the common issues end. According to E! News, Taylor Swift's father Scott Kingsley Swift, is a financial adviser and the descendant of three generations of bank presidents. Perhaps having a wealthy family is how Swift was able to explore her musical interests from such a young age.
8. Nicole Richie
Aside from being known as the wife of Joel Madden or frenemy of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie is also the daughter of Lionel Richie, a chart-topping music mogul who rose to fame in the 1980s, as Biography noted. In an almost Cinderella-like tale, she was adopted by Richie and immediately given a life of affluence.
9. Robin Thicke
Many people associate this star with his tabloid drama as much as they do with his work. But long before he made a name for himself, People noted that Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke, star of the '80s television hit Growing Pains.
10. Lana Del Rey
You might know Elizabeth Grant better by her adopted stage name, Lana Del Rey, who is the daughter of successful real estate broker, Rob Grant. Perhaps Rey took on a different moniker to distance herself from preconceived notions the public might have about coming from a rich family.
11. Jordin Sparks
A talented star in her own right, you might not have suspected this American Idol winner was born into a rich family. According to Us Weekly, Jordin Sparks came from a wealthy background since her father was a successful NFL player and her mother an entrepreneur. It seems like the Sparks family had a magical mix of brawn, brain, and beauty.
12. Darren Criss
An alum of two Ryan Murphy hits, American Horror Story and Glee, this actor entered into a realm where the world was already his stage. According to E! News, Darren Criss was born into riches since his father, C. William Criss, was the director of the San Francisco Opera, a top-tier banker, and launched the EastWest Bank. The Criss family certainly does have an appreciation for the arts.
13. Rashida Jones
Whether you know her from The Office, Parks and Recreation, or her latest hit, Angie Tribeca, you may not have known that actress Rashida Jones is the daughter of music mogul, Quincy Jones and former actress, Peggy Lipton, as Biography noted. With both parents at the top of their respective industries, it's no surprise she found success in Hollywood, too.
14. Nick Kroll
Comedian, actor, writer, and son of a billionaire? According to Fortune, Nick Kroll is the son of finance and business titan, Jules Kroll. Though he is definitely successful in his own right, there's no doubt that growing up wealthy most likely influenced him in some shape or form.
15. Ariana Grande
This chart-topper is no stranger to fame and fortune. According to Us Weekly, Ariana Grande was born into a prosperous family since her father, "Edward Butera, is the CEO of Ibi Designs Inc., a successful graphic design company based out of Ariana's affluent hometown, Boca Raton, Florida." Clearly the apple doesn't fall far from the successful tree.
16. Ed Sheeran
Whether it's the accent, the hair, or the soulful lyrics, this musician has it all —and did from an early age, too. Ed Sheeran's father is an art curator and his mother is a culture publicist, according to E! News.
17. Lady Gaga
Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, grew up in a rich family where her father, Joseph Germanotta, was an internet mogul, as Business Insider reported. The success of his business also afforded Gaga and her sister the opportunity to attend Convent of the Sacred Heart, one of Brooklyn's most exclusive private Catholic schools.
18. Ansel Elgort
Known for his breakout role in the Divergent series, you might be surprised to learn that the Hollywood newcomer is already quite familiar with stardom. According to Yahoo, Ansel Elgort's father os a photographer for Vogue and his mother is an opera director. Both financially and creatively, it seems Elgort had a head-start on the world of celebrity.
19. Bryce Dallas Howard
Having starred in such high-profile films as Jurassic World, The Help, and television fan-favorite, Black Mirror, this actress is no stranger to acting or affluence. Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of Ron Howard, the legendary actor and director, according to Biography. Having a father in show business is arguably a benefit for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the arts.