1. Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt’s son, which definitely resulted in a privileged lifestyle: he was photographed by Diane Arbus as a baby, appeared on The Tonight Show at the age of three and modeled for Ford Models between the ages of 10 and 13. But life wasn’t all rosy: his dad died when he was just 10 and his older brother committed suicide by jumping out of the window of a 14th-floor apartment building when Anderson was just 21. He graduated from Yale and hoped to get his foot in the door at ABC just answering phones, but couldn’t even get that job. Eventually he landed a gig with Channel One as a fact checker and has been on the rise ever since.
2. Carly Simon’s dad is the “Simon” of Simon and Schuster: he co-founded it.
3. Linda McCartney was an heiress, but not to the obvious. Her maiden name was Eastman, and when she once told a reporter that her family had nothing to do with the Eastman-Kodak company, Paul feigned being upset and said, “What? I’ve been had!” But Linda was an heiress: her mother was Louise Lindner Eastman, whose dad founded Lindner Department Stores.
4. Glenn Close’s father was once the personal physician to Mobutu Sese Seko, the President of Zaire. Her grandfather was an investment banker and director of the American Hospital Association who was first married to Post Cereals’ heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. This didn’t make her the heiress to the Post fortune, though – Glenn’s mother was her father’s second wife.
5. Oliver Stone’s father was a prominent stockbroker in New York. His dad was anxious for him to follow in the family footsteps and arranged for him to attend all of the best schools and even work at a French financial exchange. He was admitted to Yale but dropped out twice, although he eventually attended film school at NYU. As you can see, that worked out for him.
6. Ed Norton’s mother Robin was an English teacher and his father Edward Sr. was an attorney and one-time federal prosecutor under the Carter administration, who now works for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His grandfather was James Rouse. Rouse was a famed architect and developer who had earned his reputation overseeing such projects as Boston’s Faneuil Hall and Baltimore’s Harborplace, not to mention the community development in Columbia, Maryland, where his grandson would be raised.