Skip To Content

    9 Famous People Who Were Born Into Wealth, And 9 Who Grew Up In Poverty

    Kate and Rooney Mara come from a multibillion-dollar football family. Their mother's side founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, while their father's side founded the New York Giants.

    1. Grew up in poverty: Rosario Dawson

    She was born to a single, teenage mother. "We moved to Manhattan when I was 5, but we lived in a slumlord apartment, so we moved to a squat in the Lower East Side," she told the Columbus Dispatch. "We had cast-iron stoves, plastic for windows, and plywood for a door. You had to bring buckets upstairs to shower."

    2. Born into wealth: Ellie Kemper

    She was born into one of the richest families in Missouri. Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was William Thornton Kemper Sr., the first president of Commerce Bank, where Ellie's father is the executive chairman today.

    3. Grew up in poverty: Misha Collins

    The actor spent his childhood stealing from the grocery store and eating at soup kitchens. His family was often homeless and moved constantly, sometimes living in a tent in the woods or squatting in an office space.

    4. Born into wealth: Bryce Dallas Howard

    Her father is actor and director Ron Howard. By the sixth season of The Andy Griffith Show — when Ron was only 12 years old — he was making over $105k per season (about $970k adjusted for inflation). He's also directed huge movies like A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

    5. Grew up in poverty: Daniel Kaluuya

    He lived in hostels until he was 2 years old and grew up on a council estate (public housing for low-income people). He told the British Blacklist, "I don’t think I could have been any poorer — I was eating McDonald’s sauces."

    6. Born into wealth: Kaia Gerber

    Her mother is supermodel Cindy Crawford. Her father is a businessman who launched The Gerber Group, the owner-operator of fancy bars and restaurants. He also cofounded Casamigos tequila alongside George Clooney.

    7. Grew up in poverty: Jim Carrey

    When his father lost his job, the family ended up living in a car, then lived in tents on campsites around Ontario. At 15, Jim worked as a janitor and security guard to help support his family.

    8. Born into wealth: Kate and Rooney Mara

    The sisters come from a multibillion-dollar football family. Their mother's side founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, while their father's side founded the New York Giants.

    9. Grew up in poverty: Jessica Chastain

    Her single mother had trouble putting food on the table. "We did not have money," she told the Irish Times. "There were many nights when we had to go to sleep without eating. It was a very difficult upbringing. Things weren’t easy for me growing up."

    10. Born into wealth: Nico Parker

    Her mother is actor Thandiwe Newton. Her father is director and screenwriter Ol Parker, who wrote hits like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

    11. Grew up in poverty: Viola Davis

    She has been open about the food insecurity she faced as a child. During a speech, she said, "I've stolen for food. I jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food. I had befriended people in the neighborhood who I knew had mothers who cooked three meals a day for food, and I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame."

    12. Born into wealth: Emma Stone

    The La La Land actor's father was the president and CEO of a commercial construction company. He's led companies that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually, and he still works in the construction industry to this day.

    13. Grew up in poverty: Mila Kunis

    When she was 7 years old, Mila and her family moved from the Soviet Union (now Ukraine) to the US with only $250 to escape antisemitism. She has mentioned eating "ketchup soup" and her parents working multiple jobs to support them.

    14. Born into wealth: Gigi and Bella Hadid

    Their mother, Yolanda, was a model and TV personality on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Their dad is a luxury real estate developer. Bella and Gigi grew up on a ranch in Santa Barbara before the family moved to Beverly Hills.

    15. Grew up in poverty: Dolly Parton

    As one of 12 children, she grew up in a tin-roofed shack with no electricity and no running water in the mountains of Tennessee. Her parents paid the doctor who delivered her with a sack of cornmeal.

    16. Born into wealth: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Her great-great-grandfather founded the Louis-Dreyfus Group, a multibillion-dollar French conglomerate that deals in agriculture, food processing, international shipping, and finance.

    17. Grew up in poverty: Camila Alves McConaughey

    Born to a family of farmers in Brazil, she moved to the US when she was 15. "I didn’t have the luxury to call my parents to pay my bills," she told Austin Woman Magazine. "I cleaned houses and worked in restaurants as I learned English and saved to go to New York to look for an agency to represent me."

    18. And finally, born into wealth: Kid Rock

    The singer grew up in a 5,628-square-foot mansion on a 5.5-acre estate in Michigan. His father owned several car dealerships.