14 Actors Who Started Their Own Business

A-list actors often turn to other sorts of showbusiness, but some stars have embarked on radically different entrepreneurship.

Below, Newsweek rounds up some of the best-known actors who have successfully started a surprising new business.

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro is widely regarded as one of the most successful actors of his generation and is perhaps best known for his nine collaborations with moviemaker Martin Scorsese.

But the cinema star is now also making millions from his upmarket eatery, Nobu, which today has scores of exclusive restaurants, spanning five continents.

Robert De Niro
Executive Chef & Owner Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (L) and Co-Founder Robert De Niro attend Nobu Los Cabos Official Hotel Launch & Sake Ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on November 13, 2019. Getty Images/Gregg DeGuire

Kate Hudson

Movie star Kate Hudson's success on the silver screen was almost inevitable, given she is the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn and actor Bill Hudson, while her stepfather is acting legend Kurt Russell.

But Hudson is today is worth a reported $80 million, which is a great deal due to her founding the popular athleisure brand Fabletics in 2013.

Kate Hudson
A general view of Kate Hudson and guests celebrating the Fabletics Spring Collection on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Mark and Donnie Wahlberg

While Mark Wahlberg is one of Hollywood's highest-earning actors, his brother Donnie is a star in his own right, with a very impressive net worth of his own.

When the pair are not reading from movie scripts, the star siblings are working with their chef brother Paul at the family burger chain Wahlburgers, which has now grown to 29 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Mark Wahlberg
Actors Donnie Wahlberg (2nd L) and Mark Wahlberg (R) attend the Wahlburgers Coney Island VIP Preview Party at Wahlburgers Coney Island on June 23, 2015 in New York City Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Susan Sarandon

Veteran movie star Susan Sarandon has been described as one of the most successful actresses of her generation, with roles ranging from Thelma and Louise to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Academy Award-winning actress founded popular boutique ping pong parlor SPiN in 2009, which now boasts locations spanning the U.S.

Susan Sarandon
Actress Susan Sarandon attends SPiN Happy Hour At Bing Bar on January 24, 2011 in Park City, Utah Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is an American actress, chat show host and movie producer, who has been a cinematic staple since her star role in 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Barrymore has also managed to find time to launch her Flower Beauty Cosmetics affordable makeup line in 2013, which is available at Walmarts across the country.

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore stopped by a Bentonville, AR Walmart on June 15, 2017 to check out her exclusive line of FLOWER products. Her beauty line includes makeup and fragrances available only at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

George Clooney

American movie star George Clooney is known as a Hollywood heartthrob, as well as a highly regarded director and producer in his own right.

In 2013, Clooney decided to start his own business by co-founding the Casamigos tequila company, which has since been sold to global drinks giant Diageo for a cool $1 billion.

George Clooney
Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford and George Clooney attend Casamigos & CATCH Halloween party at CATCH Las Vegas in ARIA Resort & Casino on October 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Sofia Vergara

Colombian actress Sofía Vergara was until recently the highest-paid actress in American television for seven consecutive years, thanks to the wildly successful TV show Modern Family.

But a decade before she hit the big time, Vergara co-founded Latin World Entertainment talent management and marketing firm, and has since then also launched her own perfume and EBY subscription lingerie service.

Sofia Vergara
Actress Sofia Vergara attends Build to discuss The EBY Lingerie Line at Build Studio on September 27, 2017 in New York City Desiree Navarro/WireImage/Getty Images

Jeremy Renner

Actor Jeremy Renner is widely recognised around the world for high-octane movies such as The Avengers, Bourne and Mission: Impossible.

However, the actor has also made millions of dollars with his other—calmer—career; house flipping, and Remmer has to date bought and remodeled scores of homes across the U.S.

Jeremy Renner
Actor Jeremy Renner arrives at Lucrecia Martel's "Muta" presented by MIU MIU at a private residence on July 19, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has transformed her position in Hollywood from an Oscar-winning movie star to business leader and maker of her own fortune.

She founded her business, media company Hello Sunshine, in 2016. It has since established an enviable track record for spotting, and making, hits, from Gone Girl to Big Little Lies.

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon attends Hello Sunshine x Together Live at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on November 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois Robin Marchant//Getty Images

Paul Newman

Hollywood icon Paul Newman is to older generations best known for the incredible string of movies he made in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, the actor has won over a new legion of fans for an altogether different reason, thanks to his popular Newman's Own food brands, which initially started selling only salad dressing.

Paul Newman
Actor Paul Newman makes a salad dressing at McDonalds March 10, 2003 in Times Square in New York City Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images

Ashton Kutcher

Since starting his acting career in That '70s Show, Ashton Kutcher has enjoyed a string of hits on TV and in the movies.

But the Hollywood heartthrob's main source of income is generated from his A-Grade Investments venture capital firm he founded in 2010, which has made many millions from investments including Uber and Spotify.

Ashton Kutcher
Actor Ashton Kutcher, Rapper Lil Wayne and Founder of A-Grade Investments Guy Oseary backstage during The Launch Of Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures At SXSW on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas Anna Webber/Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow

As a daughter of movie producer and director Bruce Paltrow and Tony Award-winning actress Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow was on her way to acting success from the moment she was born.

Today, Paltrow is arguably as well-known for her exclusive lifestyle brand Goop—founded in 2008— than she is for her movies, such as the Iron Man film franchise.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow attends the goop lab Special Screening in Los Angeles, California on January 21, 2020 Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Ryan Reynolds

Film star Ryan Reynolds is perhaps as well known for his comedic action roles, from the Deadpool franchise to the Hitman's Bodyguard.

In addition to investing in gin company Aviation and English lower league soccer club Wrexham, Reynolds has also bought a majority stake in wireless carrier Mint Mobile, which has since witnessed a significant amount of growth.

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds attends the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" at Military Island in Times Square on May 2, 2019 in New York City Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Jessica Alba

Since beginning her acting career at 13, Jessica Alba has become a regular on both TV shows and in the movies.

Alba then pepped-up her portfolio when she launched The Honest Company in 2012 to provide consumers with household and baby products, and her business was reportedly valued at $756 million in October 2017.

Jessica Alba
The Honest Company hosted a conversation with Founder Jessica Alba and First Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Elaine Wakeland, for the Getty House Foundation Women's Leadership Series. Following, Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed The Honest Company with co-founders Jessica Alba and Sean Kane to Los Angeles with a special ribbon cutting ceremony and proclamation on March 30, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California Stefanie Keenan/WireImage/Getty Images