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The 50 Most Successful Actors Turned Entrepreneurs

If someone asks you what villainous actor Danny Trejo has in common with former N-Sync hunk, Justin Timberlake, you may struggle to come up with an answer. Similarly, you could rack your brain for hours wondering what connects acclaimed French actor and notorious bad boy Gerard Depardieu with the friendly New Zealander Sam Neil, and still come up with nothing. The answer in both cases is simple: all four actors have built highly successful (not to mention, lucrative) careers outside of their work in the entertainment industry. In Depardieu and Neil’s case, both run very profitable wineries. In the cases of Timberlake and Trejo, both have established several very fruitful dining establishments. These days, it seems acting isn’t enough to keep our film stars entertained, with more and more exchanging their acting careers for a suit, tie and business plan. To find out which actors have made the most fruitful transition into business, let’s look at 50 of the most successful actors-turned-entrepreneurs of the last century.

1. Kate Walsh

Walsh is well known to millions thanks to her work in such films as Under the Tuscan Sky and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as her many TV appearances on shows such as Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy. In recent years, the multi-talented actress has branched out into cosmetics, launching her own beauty and lifestyle company, Boyfriend Inc, in 2010. The company, which produces a line of scents, candles, body oils and creams all designed to evoke the scent of past love, has seen massive success, selling out on its first day of launch and continuing to rack up the sales ever since.

2. Robert De Niro

Cinema-lovers know Robert De Niro as the charismatic actor who’s been lightening up our screens for over 50 years. Food-lovers, on the other hand, know him as the co-founder of Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant chain, Nobu, owner of Tribeca Grill, an upscale Manhattan restaurant, and managing director of Ago, a prestigious Italian eatery. De Niro is also co-founder of the lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, which owns several hotels scattered across Spain and London, and Nobu Residences, which is currently developing a line of luxury condominiums in Toronto.

3. Chris Noth

We may know him best as Carrie’s love interest, Mr. Big, on Sex and the City, but outside of the world of love, sex and tutu’s, Chris Noth has forged a successful career as a nightclub owner and restaurateur. In 1999, he launched Manhattan’s The Cutting Room, a nightclub, eatery, and music venue that quickly developed into a popular hang- out for local celebs. Other ventures have included nightclub The Plumm, and the tea- party themed restaurant, Once upon a Tea Cup.

4. Jennifer Aniston

She may be our favorite Friend, but Jennifer Aniston is also a highly successful businesswoman. She started dabbling in entrepreneurship in 2002, when she launched production company, Plan B- a joint venture with ex-husband Brad Pitt and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brad Grey. Aniston departed Plan B in 2002, but returned to production in 2008 when she co-founded Echo Films alongside Kristin Hahn. Aniston also owns her own fragrance line, which includes the best seller J by Jennifer Aniston, and co-owned hair company Living Proof until her departure from the business in 2016.

5. Paul Newman

He may be sadly departed, but in life, Paul Newman was one of the most successful actors turned entrepreneurs of all time. Newman launched his first line of salad dressings under Newman’s Own in 1982, and quickly expanded the brand’s repertoire to include everything from popcorn to pasta sauce, from lemonade to salsa. In his first year of business alone, Newman pulled in $300,000, and saw even healthier profits when the brand started to diversify into frozen ready meals in 2008. These days, the actor’s legacy lives on through Newman’s Own, with all profits from the company’s global sales going to charity.

6. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Yes, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are technically two people, but with so many of their project’s being done in collaboration, it would seem downright rude to split them at this stage. The twins stated their careers as child actors, but since semi- retiring from the entertainment industry, they’ve enjoyed even greater success with their business ventures. In 1993, the Olsen’s formed Dualstar, a privately held company that until 2007, produced movies, TV shows, video games and magazines. The company fell dormant after a series of box office flops, but was revived in 2013 with the launch of a fragrance line. In addition to Dualstar, the twins have also created their own fashion label, The Row- a highly successful brand which has seen the Olsen’s named Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in both 2012 and 2015.

7. Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba may not have enjoyed much success with her movies of late, but the same can’t be said of her range of environmentally friendly household goods, diapers, and body care products, which she sells under her company, The Honest Company. As of 2017, the company had $250 million sales and a value just short of $1 billion. Inspired by the success of the company in the US and Canada, Alba plans to roll-out its products to a Western European audience in 2019, a move that is sure to build on her already sizable net worth of $350 million.

8. Clint Eastwood

In recent years, we’ve come to know Clint Eastwood more from his directorial projects than his acting work, but let’s not forget the craggy- faced legend was once a simple actor known best for his appearances in Sergio Leone’s Dollar Trilogy of spaghetti westerns, and the romantic drama, The Bridges of Madison County. Since branching out into directing, Eastwood has also taken up outside pursuits, which currently include ownership of the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant in Camel-by the-Sea and the Tehama Gold Club, also located in Camel-by the-Sea. Clearly a golf devotee at heart, Eastwood also owns shares in the Pebble Beach Golf Links, a golf course situated on Pebble Beach, California.

9. Sandra Bullock

She may play the goofball in front of the camera, but behind the lens, Sandra Bullock is quite the astute businesswoman. As well as owning a restaurant in Austin, Texas called Bess Bistro and a (now closed) florist-come- bakery called Walton’s Fancy and Staple, Bullock has found time to develop her own production company, Fortis Films. The company has overseen a number of Bullock’s films, including the massively successful Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) and All About Steve (2009). Bullock was also executive producer on the sitcom George Lopez, which in 2010, inflated Bullock’s already sizable wealth thanks to a $10 million syndication deal.

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the word “entrepreneur” doesn’t automatically spring to mind. In fact, the actor has proved himself a mightily successful businessman over the years, trying his hand at everything from politics to catering, from sport to publishing. His first attempt at being an entrepreneur started all the way back in 1968, when he co-founded a bricklaying business with fellow bodybuilder, Franco Columbu. The business flourished, and the pair reinvested their profits into a mail- order business selling fitness related products. A few years later, Schwarzenegger transferred the profits from both businesses into his first real estate investment venture. His investment portfolio grew substantially over the years, taking in a share in the Planet Hollywood Chain of restaurants, ownership of a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio, and a significant stake in investment firm, Dimensional Fund Advisors. These days, Schwarzenegger also owns production company Oak Productions, along with Fitness Publication, a publishing partnership with Simon & Shuster.

11. Gwyneth Paltrow

In recent years, acting has taken a backseat to Gwyneth Paltrow’s other pursuits. In 2008, she formed lifestyle brand, Goop. Goop began its life as a weekly e-newsletter, but quickly expanded into e-commerce, collaborating with fitness, fashion and health brands, hosting a “wellness summit”, launching a print magazine, and hosting numerous pop-up stores. In 2019, it landed its biggest success to date thanks to a deal with Netflix to stream its own series of documentaries. Goop hasn’t been without its detractors, with many calling out the brand for its endorsement of overpriced products and unqualified advice on medical and health matters. Despite the criticism, Paltrow hasn’t stopped raking in the cash from its proceeds- these days, her net worth is a cool $60 million.

12. Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson’s success as a singer and actress pales into insignificance when compared to her success as an entrepreneur. In 2006, she launched The Jessica Simpson Collection, a line of handbags, shoes and boots which later expanded to include watches, attire, luggage and fragrances. Since its inception, the company has grown into a billion dollar enterprise, and is widely regarded as one of the most successful celebrity brands of all time. Thanks to the company’s proceeds, Simpson can now claim a personal fortune of $200 million.

13, Sofia Vergara

Her work on Modern Family may have elevated her to the position of highest paid actress on TV, but Colombian beauty Sofia Vergara is evidently just as good a businesswoman as she is an actress. As well as bringing home a healthy salary from her endorsement of brands such as Diet Pepsi, Rooms to Go, and Synthroid, she’s also launched her own range of attire, Sofia Jeans, for retail giant Walmart. The line includes almost 100 affordably priced items designed to inspire women to “work what they’ve got." She also co-own’s EBY, a line of underwear, and the marketing and talent management company, Latin World Entertainment.

14. Maisie Williams

22-year-old Maisie Williams may only be a young whippersnapper, but that hasn’t stopped her turning her hand to business. After co-founding the production company, Daisy Chain Productions, alongside Dom Santry, Williams and Santry collaborated again in 2018 to launch a new social media app, Daisie. The app is designed to foster collaboration and communication between artists from the worlds of art, fashion, film, music and literature, as well as providing a means of sidestepping the gatekeepers of entertainment and allowing people direct access to the creative industries. Williams has credited her desire to launch the initiative as part of her goal to create “ a community of artists who are collaborating with each other, uploading their work, sharing their projects and ultimately ... help people with their own careers, rather than our own."

15. Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr may have had a troubled past, but these days, he’s one of the most successful (and highly paid) actors in the industry. He clearly has a strong work ethic as well… not only has he sung on several soundtracks (including Chaplin, Too Much Sun, The Singing Detective and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), he’s also opened his own production company, Team Downey, alongside his wife, Susan. The business was launched in 2010, and initially found its home at Warner Bros. Team Downey left Warner Bros 2 years after releasing its first project, The Judge (2014), but has continued to work on new projects, with its next release set to be the upcoming fantasy comedy film, The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.

16. Mia Wasikowska

Australian actress Mia Wasikowska first grabbed our attention with her work in the critically acclaimed HBO television series, In Treatment. She went on to further success in 2010 when she won the role of Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. Further film work followed, and Wasikowska remains a hotly in demand actress in independent features. Outside of the entertainment industry, Wasikowska owns several restaurants, including the Fat Wasikowska Burger chain in Canberra, a stake in the football team, Canberra Angels, and her own brand of vodka Pure Wonderwasikowska – Australia. To top it off, she’s the prod owner of a top-selling perfume, With Love from Mia, and a hugely successful clothing line, Mia Wasikowska Seduction.

17. George Clooney

The man known as Gorgeous George to millions of women across the world has, in recent years, taken on more than just the occasional movie role. As well as developing a notable side line in philanthropy, Clooney has dabbled in the world of hard liquor… a decision that has clearly paid dividends. After developing his tequila brand Casamigos into one of the premium providers of tequila in America, Clooney sold the company in 2017 to UK drinks firm Diageo in a deal worth a reported $1 billion. While Clooney will continue to promote the brand, the sale will at least free up some of his valuable time … whether he’ll devote that to films or further business ventures is anyone’s guess.

18. Brad Pitt

He may have one of the prettiest faces in Hollywood, but Brad Pitt also has one it’s sharpest minds. As well as being one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization devoted to putting a stop to mass atrocities, Pitt has put his lifelong interest in architecture to good use, narrating the PBS television series Design e2, co-authoring an architectural book alongside architects Thomas A. Heinz and Randell Makinson, and founding the Make It Right Foundation, an organization which has developed 150 sustainable, affordable houses in New Orleans following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

19. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise may divide fans with his somewhat unorthodox religious beliefs, but no one can dispute his business savvy. In 1993, Cruise partnered up with talent agent Paula Wagner to form Cruise/ Wagner productions, which has since gone on to produce many of Cruise’s most profitable films, including Mission: Impossible, The Other’s and Vanilla Sky. In 2006, the partners announced their takeover of the film studio United Artists; an acquisition that saw Wagner take the lead as chief executive, while Cruise devoted his attentions to producing.

20. Angelina Jolie

In recent years, Angeline Jolie has become as well-known for her high-profile marriages (and subsequent divorces) as she is for her acting. However, the focus on her personal life could be set to change thanks to her transition into a highly acclaimed director, screenwriter and producer. Her first foray into directing came with the documentary A Place in Time in 2007, while her feature film directorial debut came 4 years later with 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey. She’s since gone on to direct and produce several more critically acclaimed features, while her first screenwriting credit came with 2017’s First They Killed My Father. Her philanthropic work should also not go unmentioned: as well as working tirelessly to promote global human rights, Jolie has established her own conservation park in Cambodia, Asia’s first Millennium Village and a school and boarding facility for girls at the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya.

21. Emma Thompson

As one of the UK’s most popular actresses, Emma Thompson has enjoyed a hugely successful career in entertainment, with highlights including the runaway hit Nanny McPhee, the critically acclaimed Sense and Sensibility, and the phenomenally profitable Harry Potter series. In recent years, Thompson has branched out from acting, and can now claim 2 children’s books to her name, the first of which was a New York Times Bestseller. She can also claim to be the only person in history to win an Oscar for both acting and screenwriting.

22. Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher is more than just a handy replacement for Charlie Sheen: the astute actor is also a business savvy tech mogul. Over the years, Kutcher has served on the management and creative teams of various startups, including Ooma and Katalyst Media. In 2013, Kutcher joined Lenovo as a product engineer, where he helped create the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. Kutcher is also a very keen (and very lucky) investor: one of his earliest investments was in Skype, a decision which paid dividends when the company was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 in an $8.6 billion deal. Kutcher has also seen success with his investments in Airbnb, Foursquare and Spotify.

23. Dan Aykroyd

As well as being a comedian, musician and filmmaker, Dan Aykroyd can truthfully add businessman to his resume. In 1992, he co-founded the House of Blues with Hard Rock Café founder, Issac Tigreet. Thanks to the generous donations of his Hollywood chums, the business quickly expanded from its small beginning’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to become the 2nd largest live music promoter in the world. By the time of its sale to Live Nation in 2006, the company owned seven venues and 22 amphitheaters across the US and Canada. Since selling the company, Aykroyd has pursued other, similarly successful, ventures, the most notable of which has been the launch of his own range of premium vodka with his company Crystal Head Vodka.

24. Will Smith

Actor, film producer and rapper Will Smith is not only one of Hollywood’s most well-paid stars, he’s also part owner of Treyball Development Inc, a Beverly-Hills based real estate business he runs with his brother, Harry.

25. Justin Timberlake

Justine Timberlake may be a good actor, but he’s an even better businessman. Over the course of his career, Timberlake has co-owned 3 restaurants, co-launched the William Rast clothing line (which has won him Lord & Taylor's Fashion Oracle Award at the Fashion Group International's Night of The Stars Gala In 2011), re-developed the Big Creek Golf Course in his hometown of Millington, Tennessee, bought a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies, and launched his own beverage in partnership with Sausa Liquors. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Timberlake also owns a stake in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.

26. Raquel Welch

If you want to know how actresses keep the money rolling in when Hollywood stops calling, just look at Raquel Welsh. The legendary actress’ first foray into business came in 1984, when she released the hugely popular The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program range of books and videos. In 1996, she followed up the success of her first project with HairUWear, a phenomenally successful line of designer wigs and hair extensions for both men and women. She’s also created a jewelry collection and her own line of skincare.

27. Mark Wahlberg

In the 1990’s, Boston native Mark Wahlberg made the transition from rapper to actor. More recently, he’s made the no less dramatic change into a successful restaurateur and businessman. Along with his two brothers, actor and former New Kid on the Block, Donnie, and chef, Paul, Wahlberg owns the casual dining restaurant and bar, Wahlburgers. Since its first venue opened in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 2011, the chain has expanded to include additional venues in Toronto, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and New York City. It’s also been the subject of an eponymous A&E reality TV show.

28. Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson first drew our attention as groupie Penny Lane in the Cameron Crowe feature film, Almost Famous. These days, Hudson is as well known for her business ventures as for her movie’s, and has seen great success with Fabletics, a fitness and membership program that focuses on women’s sportswear and accessories. Hudson has openly admitted that Fabletics has taken priority over acting, revealing "I work more on Fabletics now than I do on movies." Hudson has also achieved acclaim as an author; her first book Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body was released in 2016, and was swiftly followed by a 2nd, 2017’s Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition. In 2018, Hudson announced a partnership with New York & Company Inc, which will see the actress develop her own fashion line while also serving as ambassador to the company’s Soho Jeans Collection.

29. Steve Carell

He may be one of Hollywood’s greatest funnymen, but Steve Carell is no fool when it comes to business. In 2009, Carell bought the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts. The reason behind the purchase was sentimental, rather than financial, with Carell claiming,“The main impetus to keep it going is that not many of those places exist and I wanted this one to stay afloat... I think it’s nice for people to actually go and talk and have a cup of coffee and communicate with one another.”

30. Edward Norton

In 2010, Edward Norton took a day out from his day job to co-found Crowdrise, an online crowdfunding website for charities. Crowdrise follows a similar business structure to Kickstarter, using a rewards system as the proverbial carrot in a bid to encourage donations. The company has worked with numerous charities since its inception, including the American Red Cross and UNICEF. Alongside Crowdrise, Norton is a trustee on the non-profit housing organization, Enterprise Community Partners, and president of the American division of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

31. Armie Hammer

In 2012, Armie Hammer and his wife, Elizabeth Chambers, opened the Bird Bakery in San Antonia, Texas. The bakery produces a range of tasty cupcakes, breads, quiches and other baked goods, as well as offering custom designed wedding and special occasion cakes. According to its website, the bakery has “ filled a niche in the local community for fresh, from scratch, nostalgic offerings”… although how many of those offerings are hand crafted by Armie is open to doubt.

32. Kevin Smith

It won’t come as a surprise to learn Kevin Smith is the owner of his local comic book store in Red Bank, New Jersey. Smith purchased the ailing store in 1997 for $30000, and has since transformed both its fortunes and its name. Now known as Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, the store serves as a museum of memorabilia dedicated to Smith’s films, including Chasing Amy and Clerk. Between 2012 and 2018, the store was featured on the AMC reality series, Comic Book Men.

33. Shah Rukh Khan

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan is loved by many for his work in such films as The Heart is Crazy, Trust Me, I Am Here, and Veer-Zaara. Since starting his career in the entertainment industry in the 1990’s, Khan has starred in over 50 movies…. but his talents don’t end there. Not only has Khan pulled in several lucrative endorsements deals with the likes of Pepsi and Nokia, he’s also founded his own production company, Red Chilies Entertainment, and acquired ownership rights to Indian Premier League Cricket Club, Kolkata Knight riders.

34. Jerry Seinfeld

Known and loved by millions for his eponymous sitcom, Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld is an entertainment titan. His observational comedy led Comedy Central to name him as the 12th greatest comedian of all time, while his appearances on shows such as Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dilbert and Inside Amy Schumer have won his even greater acclaim. In addition to his work as a comedian and actor, Seinfeld is a highly regarded novelist: as of 2019, he’s written Seinlanguage, an adaptation of his stand-up material, children’s novel Halloween, and the forward to Ted L. Nancy’s Letters from a Nut series. To add to his talents, he’s also the creator and host of the web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

35. Tom Hanks

What list could be complete without a mention of the great Tom Hanks? The majority of Hanks’ non-acting ventures have centered around his love of space: in 1998, he produced the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, co-wrote and co-produced Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D, and currently serves as a member of the board of governors for the National Space Societies nonprofit space advocacy foundation. It’s not all moon-dust and space boots, however: In August 2014, Hanks released an IOS app, Hanx Writer, that aims to give the user the same experience as using a manual typewriter. Despite its rather odd premise, the app reached number in the App Store within just days of its release. Hanks’ love of the typewriter can also be seen in his book, The Uncommon Type, a collection of short stories inspired by his huge collection of typewriters.

36. Burt Lancaster

Silver- screen legend Burt Lancaster achieved great success with his roles in classic movies such as Elmer Gantry in 1960, Birdman of Alcatraz in 1962 and Atlantic City in 1980. His work behind the camera was just as compelling: in the 1940’s, Lancaster founded the production company Norma Productions alongside his agent, Harold Hecht. In the 1950’s, the producer James Hill joined the team. Under its new name, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, the production company went on to produce some of the most renowned films of the decade, including Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), and Separate Tables (1958).

37. Sylvester Stallone

Known for his physically demanding, tough guy roles, its perhaps no surprise that Sylvester’s main success outside of acting has been in the boxing ring. In the 1980’s, the famed actor turned boxing promoter, and was responsible for signing such world champions as former WBA Lightweight Champion of the World Sean O’Grady and two-time Welterweight World Champion Aaron Pryor. If his career direction comes as little surprise, the name of his boxing promotion company will come as even less… “Tiger Eye Production”.

38. Jennifer Lopez

Widely regarded as one of the most influential Latin performers and actresses in the US, Lopez has done great things over the course of her 30 years in entertainment. She’s also done some equally marvelous things in business. Her fragrances have become one of the most successful celebrity lines in the world, earning the star over $50 million in the first 10 years and outperforming every other celebrity scent around. Her philanthropic efforts have been no less inspiring: in 2009, Lopez established the Lopez Family Foundation alongside her sister, Lynda. The foundation aims to improve healthcare access for underprivileged women and children through a telemedicine program offered in partnership with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The foundation has since gone on to create the Centre for a Healthy Childhood at the Montefore Medical Clinic in the Bronx.

39. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum may be best known for his stellar performance in Magic Mike, but in recent times, he’s also developed a healthy, and no less magical, sideline in catering. The talented actor is owner of Saints and Sinners, a restaurant/ bar set in New Orleans. The venue has been designed as a tribute to the city’s Burlesque district, boasting a décor that wouldn’t feel out of place in a bordello. The restaurant serves up a traditional range of southern comforts (including jambalaya and fried alligator tail), while the bar offers a mix of sinful offerings including an infamous, and slightly fabulous, dirty martini. In addition to his dining credentials, Tatum has also developed into a respected producer: his two production companies, 33andOut Production and Iron Horse Entertainment have certainly shown there’s more to the actor than a six-pack and pecs.

40. Jessica Biel

Although she began life as a singer, Jessica Biel has since gone on to develop a successful career as an actress, appearing in such films as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) The Rules of Attraction (2002) and Total Recall (2012). Since the birth of her son with Justin Timberlake, Biel’s life has taken a slightly different direction: in 2016, the actress spotted a gap in the market for healthy kids food, and decided to do her best to fill it. She’s now the proud owner of Au Fudge in West Hollywood, California, an all-natural affair that offers organic, allergen- free, healthy food for the whole family, along with a creative space for kids to play under the watchful eye of a swarm of au pairs. The eatery also boosts its own market, where hungry kids can fill their pockets with bespoke candy on their way home.

41. Robert Redford

Robert Redford charmed his way into our hearts with such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1969) and All The President’s Men (1976). Since then, he’s carved out a successful career as a director, producer and business owner. In the 1970’s, Redford used the profits of his acting career to acquire a chunk of land in Mount Timpanogos, Utah. The land, which he renamed Sundance, went on to become the setting for the annual independent film festival, The Sundance Festival. Using the Sundance moniker, Redford has since gone on to launch the Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization that aims to support independent filmmakers, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalogue, and the Sundance Channel. Outside of his numerous Sundance ventures, Redford is also owner of Wildwood Enterprises, a film and TV production company, and Zoom, a laid-back eatery near Park City, Utah.

42. Zach Braff

The lovable star of Scrubs might look cherubic, but he’s certainly no angel when it comes to chasing the big bucks. As well as carving out a lucrative career for himself as a director (film credits include Garden State (2004) and Wish I Was Here (2014)), Braff has also been raking in the profits of his fine-dining sideline. In 2009, he established the Mermaid Oyster Bar in New York City alongside chef and old high school buddy, Lawrence Edelman. The intimate restaurant offers a selection of 16 varieties of oysters, and has become a favorite hangout for celebrities such as One Direction’s Harry Style when they’re in town.

43. Ty Burrell

Ty Burrell may have made his fortune on the set of Modem Family, but these days, his restaurant empire in Salt Lake City is proving almost as lucrative as the funnyman’s acting. Byrrell began his exploits in catering with The Beer Bar, a bar/ dining establishment that offers a staggering 150 varieties of beer alongside traditional comfort food such as homemade sausages and a breakfast poutine made with... you guessed it, beer gravy. Further to the success of The Beer Bar, Byrrell purchased the legendary Eating Establishment in Park City, Utah, the oldest full- service restaurant in town and a guaranteed money spinner for the enterprising Byrrell.

44. Piper Perabo

Since she dazzled us with her performance in 2000’s breakthrough movie Coyote Ugly, Piper Perabo’s acting has taken something of a backseat to her other ventures. The talented star has not one, but two, restaurants to her name: the prohibition- themed bar, Employees Only, in West Village, Manhattan, and Jack’s Wife Freda, the all-day Israeli- South African themed bistro that can now proudly boat two locations (Soho, Manhattan and Chelsea).

45. Danny Trejo

Few who’ve witnessed Danny Trejo’s chilling performances in films such as Heat (1995) Con Air (1997) and Desperado (1995) would expect him to be a successful restaurateur. The actor may be best known for playing the antihero or villain, but that hasn’t stopped him putting on a smile for guests at his series of lucrative Los Angles eateries. Trejo’s first experience of catering came with the launch of 2016’s Trejo’s Taco’s, which was swiftly followed by Trejo's Cantina in 2017, and Trejo's Coffee & Donuts (a mobile food truck) in the same year. Trejo doesn’t actually get down to the cooking himself: the day-to day operations of the restaurants are overseen by executive chef, Mason Royal. Which of the two can then take credit for their famous cauliflower tacos, which The Los Angeles Times' named on its 10 favorite recipes of 2017, is anyone’s guess.

46. Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles first came to our attention as one-third of the legendary R&B act, Destiny’s Child. She’s since gone on to become one of the most acclaimed musicians of her generation, as well as a supremely talented actress. Knowles made her theatrical debut in Austin Power: Goldmember and has since lit up our screens in films such as Pink Panther and Dreamgirls. In 2010, the talented star ventured into business; her subsequent creation, the entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment, today acts as the umbrella company to her various ventures in music, film, fragrance and attire. In 2008, the company produced its first major feature, Cadillac Records, a musical biopic which Knowles both starred in and produced. It’s since gone on to serve as the primary distributor of the singer’s albums, including Lemonade in 2016 and Everything is Love in 2018. Parkwood has also branched out into talent management, with some of its most recent signings including the R&B duo Chloe X Halle. In 2005, Knowles expanded her empire still further with the launch of her own fashion label, House of Dereon, whose range of attire, footwear and accessories is available in department stores across both the US and Canada. According to CNW, the result of Knowles’ hard work is a pretty inspiring personal fortune of $500 million.

47. Gerard Depardieu

Gerard Depardieu manages to combine being one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation with one of its most controversial. Since starting in the film industry in 1967, his prolific output has extended to cover more than 170 films, including the critically acclaimed The Last Metro in 1980, which bagged him the César Award for Best Actor, Green Card in 1990, which won hm a Golden Globe, and Cyrano de Bergerac in 1990, which garnered a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor, a César Award for Best Actor, and his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Unfortunately, he’s also seen his fair share of woes, including an arrest in 2011 for publicly urinating on a plane, and a further arrest in 2012 for driving while intoxicated. Given the nature of his off-screen business activities, his 2nd arrest may be less surprising than the first: Depardieu is one of the growing number of celebrities who have chosen to boost their bank balances by investing in the wine industry. In Depardieu’s case, this runs to owning a series of wineries across Bordeaux, Languedoc, Algeria, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Sicily and the United States. Depardieu clearly takes his occupation seriously, and has even listed “Vigneron” (or winemaker) as his primary occupation on his passport.

48. Kyle MacLachlan

The 2nd actor turned winemaker to make our list is star of Twin Peaks, Desperate Housewives and Blue Velvet, Kyle MacLachlan. In 2005, MacLachlan, who openly admits to likening wine just as much as he likes a "damn fine cup of coffee," partnered up with winemaker Eric Dunham to launch Pursued by Bear in Walla Walla County, Washington. The winery, which is named after the stage direction, "Exit, pursued by a bear" from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, has achieved great success since its launch and is now considered one of Washington’s premium wine labels. Of his decision to branch into winemaking, MacLachlan claims the main reason was to “… learn about wine because I love it. And there’s a creative element, too, to craft wine. [The wine industry] was just coming on in Washington state, and I was like, ‘Maybe there’s a chance to make something kind of interesting up there”.

49. Sam Neill

Yet another winemaker to make our list is New Zealand acting legend, Sam Neill. The actor, who achieved worldwide acclaim with Jurassic Park (1993), Happy Town (2010) and Peaky Blinders (2013-2014), has been making wine at his New Zealand winery, Two Paddocks, since 1993. The winery’s focus is on Pinot Noir; a variety of vino he first released in 1999 to favorable reception and has been busy replicating the success of ever since. "I wanted to produce a good Pinot Noir that would, at the very least, be enjoyed by my family and friends," Neil explains. "Since that original release in 1999, with each successive year we have produced a Pinot Noir (sometimes 3 or 4 Pinot Noirs) that have done us proud and are, to be frank, too good to be wasted on our friends."

50. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore has come a long way since her scene-stealing portrayal of Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. Outside of her successful film and TV career, Barrymore is an astute businesswoman, whose ventures include a fashion line in partnership with called Dear Drew (which also featured in a pop-up store in fall 2017), Flower Home, a home décor line with Walmart which features 200 plus items of furnishings, accessories, and dinnerware, a winery, a production company, an eye-wear line, and last (for now at least) a line of skincare and cosmetics.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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