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12 celebrities you didn't realise are absurdly rich

Dolly partonGetty

There are some celebrities whose sheer fame, and correspondent wealth, you don’t question, be it Mick Jagger or Madonna.

But then there are the entertainment figures whom you might recognise, but you never understood how much money they have accumulated over the years. Sure, Dolly Parton is a country superstar, but did you realise she’s actually worth quite a lot more than Mick Jagger?

From musicians who have put in their dues to TV stars cashing in on syndication, here are the most surprising celebrities who are filthy rich.

Judge Judy


Estimated net worth: $250 million

Diminutive but blunt Judge Judy (real name: Judy Sheindlin), the queen of reality courtroom shows, might seem like another face of daytime TV, but she's amassed one of the largest TV fortunes. On average, 10 million people tune in to her show, and she has made bank off the audience, with a reported salary of $47 million a year.

Dolly Parton


Estimated net worth: $500 million

Dolly Parton has been a one-woman hit factory for a long time, from 'Jolene' to 'Islands in the Stream.' She continues to consistently tour, and she's dipped her toes into TV and film, from '9 to 5' to her recent hit 'Coat of Many Colours' NBC biopic. And don't forget she's a true songwriter: 'I Will Always Love You' is better known by Whitney Houston now, but every time you hear it, Dolly gets a check.

Martin Lawrence


Estimated net worth: $110 million

He hasn't been in the public eye as much recently, but Martin Lawrence has made a number of savvy career moves over the years. His first big one: the sitcom 'Martin,' which he cocreated, which became one of Fox's highest-rated shows in the '90s. The comedian parlayed that into a number of blockbuster movies, notably his 'Bad Boys' franchise with Will Smith.

Jimmy Buffett


Estimated net worth: $430 million

Jimmy Buffett is the icon of laid-back living, and it turns out there's a lot of cash in that. In addition to his music work, which savvily crossed country and folk genres with a beach-bum lifestyle image, the 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' singer has turned his brand into a chain of successful businesses, particularly the Margaritaville chain.

Keanu Reeves


Estimated net worth: $350 million

He might not be the most acclaimed actor, as his slightly dopey action-hero roles have become fodder for internet humour, but Keanu Reeves has been one of the most bankable blockbuster stars of the past two decades, from 'Bill and Ted,' 'Point Break,' and 'Speed' (he actually turned down a large chunk of cash for the sequel) to 'The Matrix' and, most recently, the glorious shoot-'em-up 'John Wick,' which, yes, is getting a sequel.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Estimated net worth: $200 million

Sure, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld cashed in as cocreators of 'Seinfeld,' one of the most heavily syndicated sitcoms, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus has plenty of wealth of her own, not just thanks to her starring role on the NBC hit and her newer HBO comedy 'Veep,' but also because she happens to be daughter to billionaire Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services.



Estimated net worth: $150 million

The rapper is not as well-known as some of the artists on his roster, like Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, but as the head of Cash Money Records, he's become one of the top hip-hop moguls of this era.

Gloria Estefan


Estimated net worth: $500 million

She may have given up her pop-star status in more recent years, but Gloria Estefan was seemingly a force of nature through much of the 1990s, bringing her Latin music with Miami Sound Machine to an international stage, including her signature hit 'Conga.' She's parlayed that into a number of Cuban-themed restaurants throughout Miami and even a Broadway musical about her life with Emilio last year.

Jessica Alba


Estimated net worth: $200 million

Jessica Alba hasn't made most of her fortune from acting. The 'Sin City' star's venture Honest Company has skyrocketed and is valued at $1 billion. Forbes put her on its cover with the line 'America's Richest Self-Made Women.'

Glenn Beck


Estimated net worth: $180 million

Glenn Beck has taken his popular conservative-host shtick way beyond Fox News. His stake in media company Mercury Radio Arts and his speaking gigs have made him one of the highest-valued pundits out there.

Jamie Oliver


Estimated net worth: $240 million

In the US, Jamie Oliver is known something like 'that British guy on the Food Network with the health initiative.' But in the UK, Oliver is the richest chef around, even beating Gordon Ramsey, with money coming from a chain of successful restaurants, media gigs, and cookbooks that come out almost as quickly as they sell.

Ray Romano


Estimated net worth: $120 million

How successful was 'Everybody Loves Raymond'? A whole lot more popular than its tepid critical reception would lead you to believe. And Ray Romano wasn't simply the face of it: As an executive producer of the sitcom that ran for nine years, as well as voice in the 'Ice Age' films, the comedian never has to worry about money again.

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