30 Rich Child Stars Who Never Have to Work Again
Child stars don’t always grow up and stay in the entertainment business. Some of them try to evolve and live "normal" adult lives that are entirely separate from their childhood image. Of course, if you want to ditch your career, it helps to have more money in the bank than you could easily spend.
Some kid stars have net worths so huge they can go on a permanent vacation. Here’s a look at 30 rich child stars who never have to work again — unless they want to, of course. Can you believe they made that much money?
Amanda Bynes, $4 Million
Amanda Bynes will always be remembered as a Nickelodeon child star, first starring in All That and later as a teenager in her own series, The Amanda Show. She later starred in hit romantic comedies, including What a Girl Wants and She’s the Man. Because of these successful projects, Bynes built up a fortune of $8 million by 2007.
Tamera Mowry, $4 Million
Tamera and her twin sister Tia became household names thanks to the popular ‘90s sitcom Sister, Sister. The family-friendly comedy followed the sisters’ hijinks for four years. After a stint of lower-profile roles, Tamera needed a change.
Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead, $10 Million
Anna Nicole Smith was every tabloid’s dream girl. Smith was a Playboy model, actress and widow to a much older wealthy tycoon. America followed her exploits on her reality show The Anna Nicole Show as she displayed her bizarre personality for the world to see.
Chloe Grace Moretz, $12 Million
Chloe Grace Moretz began acting when she was six years old, with roles in The Amityville Horror, Desperate Housewives, 500 Days of Summer and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Her breakthrough role came in 2010 when she starred as Hit-Girl in the superhero film Kick-Ass. She continued to star in numerous films after that, including Hugo, Carrie and If I Stay.
Angus T. Jones, $15 Million
Angus T. Jones rose to fame at age 10 when he played Jake Harper on the CBS series Two and a Half Men. During his final few seasons on the show, Jones received a salary of $300,000 per episode, making him the highest-paid child actor in television history.
Abigail Breslin, $16 Million
Abigail Breslin seemed to appear in just about every movie in the early to mid-2000s. She stole the spotlight in several films, including Little Miss Sunshine — which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress — No Reservations; Definitely, Maybe; My Sister’s Keeper and Zombieland.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse, $16 Million
In the early to mid-2000s, Dylan and Cole Sprouse dominated The Disney Channel with their popular series, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. That popularity earned them a combined fortune of $16 million. Cole has since expanded his popularity on The CW show Riverdale, while Dylan has focused more on his education and entrepreneurial businesses.
Dakota Fanning, $16 Million
Dakota Fanning started acting when she was just six years old. She quickly became a popular child star, appearing in I Am Sam, Uptown Girls, Taken, The Cat in the Hat, Coraline, Dreamer, Charlotte’s Web and more. Fanning’s films have grossed more than $1.4 billion at the box office, and she has an estimated personal net worth of $16 million.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, $16 Million
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is probably best known for playing Randy Taylor in the popular ABC sitcom Home Improvement. He grew up on the show — and became a teen idol — but he’s also known for voicing young Simba in the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King. Thomas left Home Improvement before it stopped airing to focus on his academics.
Macaulay Culkin, $16 Million
Macaulay Culkin is regarded as one of the most famous child stars of all time, recognized for Home Alone — which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy — and My Girl. He became the first child actor to earn a $1 million paycheck.
Christina Ricci, $18 Million
When Christina Ricci was just 10 years old, she starred as Wednesday Addams in the 1991 classic The Addams Family. Her popularity grew in her teenage years with other starring roles, although her career slowed down in the 2000s. Ricci regained some steam in 2011 when she worked on the new television series Pan Am.
Fred Savage, $18 Million
Fred Savage is a former child star that no one will ever forget. He is best known for his role as Kevin Arnold in the sitcom The Wonder Years, but he also gained popularity playing the grandson in The Princess Bride. Everyone knew Savage in the late 1980s and ‘90s — as well as his famous brother, Ben Savage of Boy Meets World fame.
Sean Astin, $20 Million
When your mother is Patty Duke and your adopted father is John Astin — The Addams Family — you’re probably destined for stardom. That’s what happened with Sean Astin, who made his film debut in the 1980’s classic The Goonies. Astin continued to perform in a variety of projects, eventually playing Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Brooke Shields, $25 Million
Brooke Shields started her career as a child model, shooting numerous advertisements for brands like Calvin Klein in her early teens. At the age of 14, Shields broke the record by becoming the youngest model to ever appear on the cover of Vogue — but modeling wasn’t her real passion.
Mayim Bialik, $25 Million
Mayim Bialik is one of the few on this list whose adult career outshines her childhood stardom. She gained new fans as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but do you remember when she was a child star in the 1990's series Blossom? After the show ended in 1995, Bialik took a break from acting to pursue a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.
Hilary Duff, $25 Million
Hilary Duff is an original Disney Channel star, winning hearts in the early 2000s in Lizzie McGuire. Before that, she also starred in the children’s favorite Casper Meets Wendy. Duff was a busy child star, and unlike many other Disney Channel alums, she has managed to keep her nose clean.
Shia LaBeouf, $25 Million
Along with Hilary Duff, Shia LaBeouf dominated The Disney Channel in the early 2000s but on his own hit show, Even Stevens. When he moved on from Disney, he appeared in two highly profitable big-screen franchises, Transformers and Indiana Jones. In the late 2000s, LaBeouf was one of the most popular young actors in the industry.
Elijah Wood, $30 Million
You may want to first associate Elijah Wood with his role as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but his career actually started when he was eight years old. He had a cameo appearance in Paula Abdul’s music video for Forever Your Girl. He continued acting and appeared in Back to the Future Part II, The Adventures of Huck Finn, Flipper and other films.
Demi Lovato, $33 Million
Before Demi Lovato rose to fame on The Disney Channel in Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance, she started her career as a cast member of Barney & Friends, along with once best friend Selena Gomez. She was just 10 years old at the time, but the experience was enough for Lovato to realize she wanted to be in the spotlight.
Frankie Muniz, $40 Million
In the early 2000s, Frankie Muniz was the biggest child star on television, starring in the hit Fox series Malcolm in the Middle. He earned $30,000 per episode. Muniz also worked on other successful projects as a teen idol, including Agent Cody Banks and Big Fat Liar.
Raven Symone, $55 Million
Raven Symone started her career as the adorable Olivia Kendall on The Cosby Show. It was only a matter of time before she would become a household name, which happened in the early 2000s with her Disney Channel series, That’s So Raven. She was one of Disney’s first African-American actresses, and she made sure her projects highlighted diversity.
Britney Spears, $59 Million
As one of the last Mickey Mouse Club stars, the young Spears stood out for her fast dance moves. She later parlayed her star-power into the world of music, helping to kick off the teen pop dance craze of the ‘90s.
Natalie Portman, $60 Million
Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman is known for transforming her body and soul as needed for her film roles. She probably learned this crucial lesson when she started her acting and modeling career at just 11 years old. Producers and directors recognized her potential, and she was hired for big projects, including the Star Wars prequels.
Kristen Stewart, $70 Million
Before starring as Bella Swan in the popular Twilight franchise, Kristen Stewart had appeared in several films during her childhood and teenage years, including Panic Room, Speak, Catch That Kid and Into the Wild. When she was 17 years old, she was cast in Twilight. At the time, Stewart had no idea the film would lead to an entire superstar franchise.
Selena Gomez, $75 Million
Like her former best friend, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez got her start as a cast member on Barney & Friends. She ultimately received wider recognition on The Disney Channel, starring as Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place. Gomez continued to grow as a teen idol, both in her acting and music careers.
Emma Watson, $80 Million
Magic hasn’t played a role in Emma Watson’s sustained career. She managed to land her first role as the iconic Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise on her own. Watson became a household name and acquired the majority of her $80 million fortune from this role alone.
Daniel Radcliffe, $110 Million
Daniel Radcliffe has enough money — just $110 million, give or take — that he really doesn’t have to work anymore. Starring in the title role in the Harry Potter franchise, Radcliffe’s charisma as Harry Potter helped the franchise rake in a whopping $6.5 billion. He will always be known as Harry Potter, and the actor hasn’t complained about the association.
Drew Barrymore, $125 Million
Drew Barrymore was born into the iconic Barrymore acting family, which includes her grandfather, John Barrymore. She was destined for greatness the moment she was born. At just 11 months old, she began earning money in commercials. Fans finally saw her adorable potential in her breakthrough performance in Steven Spielberg’s E.T.
Miley Cyrus, $160 Million
Miley Cyrus is another Disney Channel alum who has had an eventful career. She rose to fame in the hit series Hannah Montana. Back then, she only earned $15,000 per episode, but she worked on many other projects as a teen idol that helped her rake in millions.
Ron Howard, $160 Million
Ron Howard is one of the most popular and iconic child actors of all time, first rising to fame as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. As a teenager, he went on to star in another iconic sitcom — Happy Days. Following that show, Howard decided to step away from acting to focus on his directing career.
Christina Aguilera, $160 Million
The talented singer first found fame on Star Search before joining the Mickey Mouse Club as the show’s tiny diva. Aguilera later topped the Billboard charts and capitalized on the ‘90s teen pop scene alongside Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys.
Justin Timberlake, $230 Million
Another former Mouseketeer, Justin Timberlake was Disney’s ‘90s pre-teen heartthrob. After the Mickey Mouse Club was canceled, Timberlake danced his way into the ‘90s pop group *NSYNC and made boy band history.
Leonardo DiCaprio, $260 Million
Fans probably forget Leonardo DiCaprio had a career before starring as Jack Dawson in Titanic. In fact, before starring in the blockbuster film, DiCaprio appeared as a teen actor in popular shows like Growing Pains and Santa Barbara. He learned the ropes early, which proved to be helpful for his later career as a successful, dedicated actor.
Justin Bieber, $285 Million
It seems like ages ago when Justin Bieber — and everyone else — was singing his hit song Baby. He became pop music’s wealthiest teen idol, making the leap from YouTube to the Billboard charts in 2008. Since then, he has sold an astonishing 100 million records, resulting in an estimated net worth of $285 million.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, $400 Million
There aren’t any child stars like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who rose to fame as infants when they starred as Michelle Tanner in the iconic family sitcom Full House. Young children identified with the Olsen twins, especially when they starred in and produced successful films through their own company, Dualstar.