America's Wealthiest Celebrities 2017: The Top 10 By Net Worth
The Last Jedi grossed a staggering $450 million at the worldwide box office its opening weekend, but George Lucas won’t be cashing in—he sold LucasFilm to Disney in 2012 for $4.1 billion in cash and stock after decades of lofty annual hauls from the Star Wars franchise he created. Yet the force is still strong with his bank account: Lucas’ fortune now stands at $5.5 billion, making him America’s wealthiest celebrity.
Billion-dollar exits and money-spewing assets are part of the territory in the upper reaches of our list. Steven Spielberg (No. 2, $3.6 billion) has been a director for half a century, but saved one of his biggest highlights for last year with the $3.8 billion sale of DreamWorks Animation, the studio he cofounded. Oprah Winfrey (No. 3, $2.8 billion) continues to build her fortune through the OWN network but banked the bulk of her bucks from her years as a talk show host.
"What I learned in all of those thousands of interviews is that there is a common denominator in our human experience," she once told FORBES. "Everybody wants to know: 'Did you hear me, and did what I say matter?'"
All in all, America’s ten wealthiest celebrities boast a combined fortune of $18 billion, up 7.8% from last year’s $16.7 billion. To compile our list, we looked at each candidate’s entire empire. We valued private company stakes by speaking with an array of experts and by considering public competitors; for publicly-traded companies, we used stock prices as of December 15, 2017.