Everyone loves a rags to riches story - especially in Hollywood. But not every A-List actor or Billboard pop star waited tables until they got their big break. Some of them had more than a little help from their well-connected families or a top-notch theater programs at elite colleges. Our friends at Snakkle.com find out which stars went from rich to richer.
THEN: Gwyneth didn't exactly luck into fame and fortune. The star is the daughter of the late producer-director Bruce Paltrow, and her mom is actress Blythe Danner. Like many jet-setting teens, Gwyneth grew up in L.A. and New York City, where she attended the elite all-girls Spence School.
NOW: Starring in megahits like “Iron Man 3” and appearing on the 2013 cover of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful Woman” issue is only going to add to Gwyneth’s bottom line. It certainly doesn’t hurt that her husband, Chris Martin, continues to rake in millions of dollars of his own thanks to the ongoing success of his group, Coldplay.
THEN: Lady Gaga moved to New York City’s gritty Lower East Side before she hit it big, but she grew up in a duplex on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, became rich by investing in hotel Wi-Fi services.
NOW: Gaga attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a Manhattan private school that cost an estimated $35,000 per year, but the pop superstar still slams "everyone that was spitting in my face and making me feel so worthless." Worthless is exactly what Gaga isn’t. She’s amassed a giant fortune over the past few years.
THEN: Kobe Bryant’s life seemed destined to be a slam-dunk success right from the start thanks to his position as the son of NBA star Joe “Jellybean” Bryant.
NOW: Though Kobe was accused of sexual assault on a 19-year-old in 2003—rape charges were later dismissed— the basketball player managed to bounce back. He helped the Lakers make the 2008 NBA Finals. They lost, but Kobe assisted in bringing them back to win the championship title the next year. Kobe scored two gold medals as part of the U.S. basketball team during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and the sports star is still going strong today.
THEN: Miley Cyrus started out life in the shadow of her famous country crooner father, Billy Ray. He made millions off his hit song, “Achy Breaky Heart,” and kept his future superstar daughter on a $300 monthly allowance (not bad if you ask us).
NOW: Miley far surpassed her father’s earning power years ago, and she’s now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The former “Hannah Montana” star oversees a massive merchandising empire, and she now has several chart-topping albums under her belt.