Since Shirley Temple graced the screens of the 1930s, lifting the hearts of her global audience, child prodigies have been greatly adored the world over. Who can forget the cheeky smile of the young Macaulay Culkin, best known for his spirited role in the box office smash Home Alone. His success, not to mention his bank balance has been immense, raking in millions from his legendary roles.
Many child stars of today enjoy extraordinary wealth that their elder counterparts can only dream of, they have become airbrushed symbols of perfection as well as role models to their besotted fans. With so much riding on such young shoulders itâs no wonder the media is teeming with stories of children and teens that have not been able to withstand the pressures of fame and fortune. But as we can see from the glossy images of these filthy rich children, thereâs nothing but bright white-teethed smiles in our gallery of the worldâs richest kids.
1. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is a money making machine. At the tender age of 15, her repertoire draws envy from stars twice her age. As an actress, singer, model and presenter the Disney darling has reportedly raked in an astonishing $12 million due to her phenomenal success. She receives a reported $1 million per week from her concert tours and earns a percentage of the $1 billion takings from her Disney alter ego âHannah Montanaâ brand. It is reported she will be a billionaire by her 16th birthday and has recently been officially recognised as the richest kid in the world; quite an achievement. Despite her success, which evidently shows no signs of slowing down, her mother reports she is well-grounded and puts most of her money away in investments, while her dad only allows her $150 a week to spend, which shows she hasnât got too big to disobey her parents.
2. Daniel Radcliffe
The face of Daniel Radcliffe is recognised the world over for his iconic role in one of the highest grossing film series of all time (currently top ten), Harry Potter. The Harry Potter brand is absolutely everywhere, and so is the actor bearing his signature glasses, wand and lightning bolt scar. Beginning humbly as a child actor in various small time British BBC television programmes, Daniel hit the big time when chosen to play the coveted role. The 19-year-old will have reportedly amassed a fortune of ÂŁ70 million by the time the Harry Potter series has finished filming, making him Britainâs richest teen, and remarkably even richer than the British princes William and Harry, who have personal fortunes of ÂŁ28 million.
3. Abigail Breslin
The plucky 12-year-old has the honour of being the 5th youngest star to be nominated for an Oscar for her highly acclaimed role in Little Miss Sunshine, at the age of 10. She is also known for other captivating performances such as playing âBoâ in Signs alongside Mel Gibson and Raising Helen with Kate Hudson, who she is rumoured to have stayed good friends with. The young talent has won 11 other awards in her short career, including being ranked #8 in Forbes Magazine’s list of “Young Hollywood’s Top-Earning Stars”, having earned $1.5 million in 2006. Apparently, Abigail states if she wasnât an actress she would want to be a veterinarian or a fashion designer. She is known by the stars she has worked with as having a great deal of professionalism and bringing a unique intensity to the roles she plays, we havenât seen the last of this young actress.
4. Tyler James Williams
Images: Celebrity Wonder
As the youngster so candidly says of himself: “I’m good for three things,” “Making fried-baloney sandwiches, picking out good movies and making money”.” Heâs got that right; Tyler draws in $1.2 million per season for his role in Everybody Hates Chris a popular sitcom created by Chris Rock, playing a young Chris Rock. In 2007, Williams won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. Having received the prize at age 14, he is the youngest person ever to receive this award. The young actor says he has the perfect line to deter bullies in the playground: âI make more money in one week than youâll ever make in your life. Itâs probably not true but they wonât know”.
5. Dakota Fanning
After Dakotaâs moving role in I am Sam alongside Sean Penn at just 7-years-old, in 2001, the highly gifted young actress shot to fame. She now makes a massive $4 million for big films; not bad for a 14 year old. “She can open moviesâ, says a cast agency of her exceptional talent. âShe performs at the box officeâ. She has also modelled in ads for Gap and Marc Jacobs, and has starred in countless films since I am Sam, including War of the Worlds, Cat in the Hat, Uptown Girls, Hide and Seek and Nine Lives, and has performed voices for characters in new film Coraline and Lilo and Stitch II. She ranked #14 on Forbes list of richest young superstars and has recently been tackling some more challenging roles in films, such as Twilight: New Moon and Hounddog, determined to break away from her âsweetâ image, and be taken seriously in more controversial roles.
6. Angus T Jones
This talented comedy actor, known for his performance as Jake Harper alongside stars such as Charlie Sheen in the sitcom Two and a Half Men has made a whopping $1.2 million per season, securing him as one of the richest half men in the world, aged just 16. He has also appeared in various films, such as Bringing down the House opposite Queen Latifah and Steve Martin, and his abilities have meant he was honoured with the 2006-2007 Silver Icon Award from Travolta Family Entertainment, not to mention countless Young Artist awards for his role in Two and a Half Men. Angus made his film debut at the age of six in the feature film See Spot Run, and since then has been going from strength to strength. One thing is for sure, the 16-year-old must have an enormous piggy bank.
7. Allyson Ames
This child sensation really does stand out from the rest. Unlike the other rich kids showcased in our gallery, this inspiring young lady has made her money from shrewd business sense. At the age of 19, Ames had already established her own business, a bakery called Wonderland, in the sunny Californian district of Newport Beach, creating a fantasy land of cupcakes, cookies, artistic cakes and whimsical gifts. She has also written a bestselling childrenâs book based on the âWonderland Bearâ and is preparing for the Wonderland brand to go global. Ames started baking at age five, was named The Best Young Chef in America by the age of 17, and was honoured in 2008 with the California Business of the Year Award. Her clients include Barack Obama and Whoopi Goldberg. Is it not clear how much her empire is worth, but estimations are around $1.5 million, a tidy sum for someone so young. She is testimony to all that can be achieved with drive and ambition, and has evidently not let her age stand in the way of success.
8. Vanessa Hudgens
The 18 year old beauty shot to fame when she starred as âGabriellaâ in the phenomenally successful High School Musical film alongside her on and off screen boyfriend, Zac Efron. Although she starred in films Thirteen and Thunderbirds prior to this, High School Musical was the film that put her name on everybodyâs lips, and the series of films has earned her a cool $1.6 million. She has since been constantly emblazoned across our screens as the face of Neutrogena, and has launched her own solo career, which was moderately successful. Unfortunately her squeaky clean image got a little bruised after not one, but two sets of racy pictures of her were leaked on the internet, but despite this she still remains a huge teen idol and her fortune, including a $2.75 million mansion in California, emphatically reflects this.
9. Jonas Brothers
The sensational three piece band are a global powerhouse, and the hottest teen band in America, going down a storm in the US with their music and appearances on TV and film, including the Disney film Camp Rock. Consisting of three band mate brothers 15-year-old Nick, Joe 18, and Kevin 20, the trio have managed to pull in about $12 million in 2007 from album sales of 1.2 million, touring with Miley Cyrus, merchandising and appearances, reports indicate they should have doubled that figure this year. Although they have been rumoured to be considering to purchase a $10 million mansion in New Jersey, the brothers are dedicated to charity work and donate 10% of their earnings to Nickâs charity – Change for the Children Foundation as well as making regular charity event appearances. The boyâs squeaky clean boy band image has earned them multitudes of fans of every age and thereâs no doubt about it, we havenât heard the last of the Jonas Brothers.
10. Maria Sharapova
Russian beauty and tennis star Maria has accumulated a fortune of $23 million since her teen years, due to endorsements and of course her high-profile tournament wins. As well as being the richest female tennis player in the world at just 20, she is also widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful. Maria Sharapova won an estimated $3.8 million last year in prize winnings, ranking as the second largest amount of money ever won on the womenâs tour. Maria brings in the big bucks through her impressive line-up of sponsors, including Nike, Canon, Motorola, Colgate, Palmolive, and has recently added Pepsi to this incredible list. Maria has been quick spending the cash, and has purchased a Range Rover and a beautiful house in Manhattan Beach in California when she was only 18; she has also added another beautiful home in Florida to her property ladder just recently. Young, filthy-rich and beautiful, she remains the envy of many.
Written by Anna Anna Zuchowski-Morrison