12 Movie Stars Who Got Super-Rich... But Not From Acting

Ben Falk
Contributor

Everyone knows you can make a fortune as an actor, but it’s also something of a precarious profession. Luckily for these stars, they can pay off their Malibu mortgages without having to worry about that next audition. Here’s how they did it.

Jessica Alba - The Honest Company

The actress’s most recent films may have flopped at the box office, but that won’t matter to her bank manager thanks to her role as co-founder of The Honest Co., which provides environmentally-friendly baby products. A recent funding round puts the eco company’s worth at around £600 million. She’s rumoured to be preparing to sell her stake in the company

Kevin Costner - Oil machinery

Costner owns Ocean Therapy Solutions, which develops machinery to help separate oil from water.

The ‘Waterworld’ star made a big sale after the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He met with the oil company and ended up selling them 32 V20s, worth just over £31million.

Kate & Rooney Mara - Family

The actresses’ great-grandfathers founded NFL teams the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants and still have stakes in them, making them sports royalty. Given that the ladies’ uncle John, who now co-owns the Giants, is worth £300 million, it’s safe to say both Mara thesps don’t need to worry if the acting work dries up.

Jami Gertz - Married it

Gertz will be well known to Eighties fanboys who will remember her in 'The Lost Boys’.

More recently, she’s turned to TV work, but she doesn’t really need the money. In 1987 she married financier Antony Ressler, who is now worth a cool £840 million.

Ashton Kutcher - Tech investments

The Kutch used his money from 'That 70s Show’ wisely, indulging his love of technology by investing in it. His portfolio is now pretty impressive and includes Skype, Spotify and Airbnb. That speculation has paid off - he is now worth £85million.

Jessica Simpson - Fashion and lifestyle

She may not have dazzled in films like 'The Dukes Of Hazzard’ and 'Employee Of The Month’, but Simpson has proved herself to be a savvy businesswoman.

The Jessica Simpson Collection was founded in 2006 and sells items as diverse as sportswear and fragrances to major department stores across the world. And people like it, the brand is set to break the £600million sales barrier this year.

William Shatner - Doing an advert

The 'Star Trek’ legend became the TV spokesman for comparison site Priceline.com in 1997 and rather than take a fee, agreed to be paid in stock. The company has since skyrocketed in value, with some observers putting Shatner’s haul at a staggering £360 million. That’s probably a bit generous, as the star sold most of his equity when the price was lower, but he must still be glad he said yes to the offer in the first place.

Jeremy Renner - House flipping

As recently as 2009, the 'Avengers’ actor was saying he earned more from his house-flipping sideline (that’s buying a wreck and doing it up before selling it at a profit) than he did as an actor. “I dig it,” he has said, “it keeps me grounded.” He has flipped over 20 homes and last year put a house on the market for £14.4 million having bought it for £4.2m.

Francis Ford Coppola - Wine

The 'Godfather’ director never liked Hollywood much and always lived in Northern California rather than Los Angeles.

He embraced the wine culture there, setting up a company which now turns over £300million thanks to its quality vino, as well as the more recently added cigars, restaurants and holiday resorts in Central America.

Paul Newman - Salad dressing

If Paul Newman hadn’t been such an altruistic guy, he would have been a whole lot richer before his death in 2008. The profits from the Newman’s Own brand - most famous for its vinaigrette - all go to charity. It’s estimated that it’s generated £240million since its inception. Not bad, Butch Cassidy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Mail order body-building equipment

Arnie has been one of the most successful movie stars of the last 30 years, but he was rich before 'The Terminator’ thanks to his entrepreneurial verve. Soon after coming to America, he set up a mail order business which sold bodybuilding how-to booklets and products like weightlifting belts. He is thought to have made his first million that way, before getting his first proper Hollywood lead role in 1982’s ‘Conan The Barbarian’.

Photos: PA/Getty