Australia’s 7 Wealthiest Celebrities
1. Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman, most recognizable for his role as Marvel antihero Wolverine, tops our list with over $46 million in earnings from 2013. A native of Sydney, Jackman’s been touring the globe recently with hits like Les Miserables – for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and won the Golden Globe.
This summer’s blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past did very well in theatres and was ranked fairly high among viewers. Although summer blockbusters are his forte, they aren’t the only one. Jackman is a triple threat, with successes in film, musical theatre and television.
Currently Jackman is filming the role of Blackbeard for the movie Pan in the UK. Upcoming commitments of the actor include X-Men: Apocalypse, The Greatest Showman on Earth and an as-of-yet untitled Wolverine sequel.
2. The Wiggles
As what might be a surprise to some, The Wiggles, the children’s music group formed in Sydney in the early 90s, ranks very high on this list. Current members Emma Watkins, Simon Pryce and Lachlan Gillespie have replaced original members Phillip Wilcher, Murray Cook, Greg Page and Jeff Fatt, but the tone and presentation of the group is much of the same. Original member Anthony Field has also stayed on to join current members.
The Australian band entertains young children all over the world with their children’s albums, videos, television series and concert appearances. The group even has sections in amusement parks in Australia and the United States. They’ve sold over 17 million DVDs and four million CDs; those mediums have earned them 17 gold, 12 platinum, three double platinum and ten multi-platinum awards in sales. The Wiggles come in with $18.2 million in earnings in 2013.
3. Cate Blanchett
Perhaps one of Australia’s most well-known and acclaimed actresses, Cate Blanchett has won several awards both on stage and on screen for her efforts. These include two two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and three BAFTA Awards.
Blanchett graduated from Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992, and immediately began working in theatre. She made her feature film debut opposite Glenn Close in 1997’s Paradise Road.
American audiences, though most would be able to identify her, probably recognize Blanchett from her turn as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises. Future films featuring the Australian actress include the final instalment of The Hobbit franchise – The Battle of the Five Armies, Knight of Cups, Carol and Disney’s live-action retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella. As the top-earning woman on the list, Blanchett made $17.2 million last year.
4. Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is one of the most well-known actors to come out of Oz, with several roles in award-winning movies. He was born in New Zealand, and even though he is the most senior on our list, didn’t really begin his acting career until the early 90s.
Before his foray into acting, Crowe was a member of several bands, and continues to find music a passion. His big breaks into acting came with roles in Romper Stomper (1992) and The Sum of Us in 1994. Crowe’s first American-made movie was The Quick and the Dead.
He’s perhaps best known for his role in Gladiator, for which he won an Academy Award, and for A Beautiful Mind, for which he was nominated. Recently he has starred in Noah, Man of Steel and Les Miserables. Upcoming films include The Water Diviner and Fathers and Daughters.
His extensive body of work traverses all genres of film, which is perhaps why he has also become a produce. Crowe has donated to several charitable organisations, many of them in the education field.
With his recent blockbusters like Noah and Man of Steel, Crowe racked in Just over %15 million in 2013.
5. Simon Baker
Simon Baker is a native to Launceston, Tasmania. He started his career in music videos as Simon Baker-Denny, and followed that with roles in E Street, Home and Away and Heartbreak High.
Baker really began to get acclaim in the United States with a small role in the award-winning movie L.A. Confidential. Now, he is best known for playing Patrick Jane, the lead role on CBS’s The Mentalist, which has been on the air since 2008.
In 2013, he was awarded a star on the Walk of Fame. Upcoming projects include the seventh and potentially last season of The Mentalist. He earned $10.1 million in 2013.
6. Nicole Kidman
Although Nicole Kidman was born in Hawaii, she and her parents quickly returned back to Sydney when she was just three years old. Kidman dropped out of high school at 16 to pursue a career in acting. In her personal life, she was married to American actor Tom Cruise for 10 years, throughout the 90s. She is currently married to Australian musician Keith Urban.
Her first recognized role was in the Australian holiday favourite Bush Christmas in the 80s. Followed were roles in BMX Bandits and Vietnam, also Australian-made movies. Kidman’s first major US movie was Dead Calm in 1989.
Her first major award came from her starring role in To Die For in 1995, for which she won the Golden Globe. She was nominated for her first Oscar in 2001 for Moulin Rouge! And was the first Australian actress to win the Oscar, this time for Best Actress in The Hours in 2002.
In 2014, Kidman’s turn as Grace of Monaco was met with largely unenthusiastic reviews. Her upcoming efforts include Before I Go to Sleep, Queen of the Desert, and Paddington. She’s currently filming Family Fang. Although she didn’t make any appearances in superhero movies like our next celebrity, she pulled in an impressive $8.6 million in 2013.
7. Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth is the youngest star on our list, hitting his stride this year because of Thor: The Dark World, which came out in 2013. Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, and has two brothers (Liam and Luke) who are also in the industry. He married actress Elsa Pataky in 2010, and they have three children together.
Although he is now known worldwide as Thor from Marvel’s cinematic world, he got his start on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. After three years on the show (and a short stint on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars), he made his first Hollywood appearance in 2009’s Star Trek. He is best known for his turn as Thor from the similarly named movie from 2011, The Avengers (2012), and the previously mentioned sequel to Thor. Other movies Hemsworth has starred in include the cult hit Cabin in the Woods, Snow White and the Huntsman, and the Ron Howard-directed Rush.
Hemsworth has a full slate of upcoming projects including Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has just entered post production, Blackhat, and Heart of the Sea. He reeled in $7.5 million in 2013, mainly for his role in The Dark World.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”