The wealthiest star in Hollywood may surprise you, but she is none other than Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The Seinfeld star is worth $3 billion because she’s the heir to a fortune her family amassed in the commodities trading business.
Second to her is Oprah Winfrey, who made her money in television. Oprah, who now owns her own cable TV channel is worth $2.8 billion because of her talk show and related enterprises. But there are a large number of Hollywood’s biggest stars who are worth millions, making their fortunes solely in front of the camera.
The top 19 wealthiest Hollywood stars compiled by Money Journal are major exceptions in the challenging world of entertainment.
Top 19 Wealthiest Hollywood Stars
1- Mel Gibson. Even though a lot of people dislike him, the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon star built a $425 million fortune producing movies like Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ. Since Gibson produced some of those films with his own money, he gets all the profits.
2- Jack Nicholson. It’s a little hard to believe, but the man who got his start in Roger Corman B-movies and rose to fame as an iconoclastic actor in such groundbreaking fare as Easy Rider is now worth $400 million. That much money seems to be enough for Jack. The Academy Award winner recently announced his retirement.
3 - Tyler Perry. Perry might just be the world’s richest drag queen. The man who makes low-budget Madea movies is worth $400 million to rank third on the wealthiest Hollywood stars A list.
4- Clint Eastwood. $375 million and a shelf full of Academy Awards don’t seem to be enough for the former Dirty Harry. He’s still working as a director and actor and showing no sign of slowing down.
5, 6, 7, 8 - What do Bill Cosby, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves have in common? They’re all worth $350 million to make up fifth through eighth on the A list. A lot of Cosby’s money comes from his two hit TV shows.
9- Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former California governor, Mr. Universe, and Terminator star is worth $300 million. Schwarzenegger claims he lost $100 million being governor in his recent autobiography. If he wasn’t so publicly spirited, Arnold might be worth $400 million.
10,11, 12 - William Shatner, Sean Connery and Adam Sandler. The original Captain Kirk is worth $300 million and is perhaps best know in recent years as the TV pitchman for Priceline, which awarded him huge stock options for the position. However, Shatner told Tonight Show host Jay Leno in an interview that he sold the options early and as a result didn’t cash in on millions more. Sean Connery was the original James Bond, and is also the richest British actor, but still ties for seventh on the list with $300 million along with funnyman Adam Sandler.
13 - Sylvester Stallone. The icon responsible for Rocky and Rambo is worth $275 million.
14 - Tom Cruise. The Top Gun star and Scientologist is worth $250 million, lower on the list than many might think for the box office hit maker.
15, 16, 17, 18 and 19th - Hollywood stars Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith and French actor Gerard Depardieu all tie for last and are worth $200 million each.
Just in case you’re wondering, the richest actresses who made their money only through acting are Julia Roberts and Demi Moore. Each of them are worth $150 million, about the same as Jim Carrey, Mark Wahlberg, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Costner, and Denzel Washington.