Oprah Winfrey and 10 Other Female Stars Who Have Made a Killing in the Business World

Some of Hollywood's most famous female celebrities are making bank both on-screen and off.

On Monday, media mogul Oprah Winfrey announced a partnership with Weight Watchers (WTW) . Winfrey will take a 10% stake in the weight loss company and join its board. Her stake, which she purchased for $43 million, has already doubled on paper and is worth roughly $89 million after news of her investment sent the company's stock soaring.

"Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for," said Winfrey, whose weight struggles have been a centerpiece of her narrative throughout the years, in a statement. "I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution."

Since rising to prominence on a national stage with the launch of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1986, Winfrey has become one of the most influential celebrities in the United States and in the world. She has created her own magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, a television network, OWN, and produced big-budget films like Selma, The Hundred Foot Journey and Precious. She helped launch the careers of now-household names like television psychologist Dr. Phil, health expert Dr. Oz and chef Rachel Ray.

Winfrey has topped Forbes' list of the most powerful celebrities on five separate occasions, and TIME named her as one of the 25 most powerful women of the 20th century. Since launching her career, she has built an estimated $3 billion fortune -- which is entirely self-made.

Oprah isn't the only famous woman who has made a big name for herself in business as well. Here are 10 other female celebrities who are killing it on screen and off.


1. Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba's films have grossed a total $1.87 billion worldwide; her startup is worth about the same amount.

Alba rose to fame in 2000 when she starred in television series Dark Angel and has gone on to appear in a number of films, including Fantastic Four (2005), Sin City (2005) and Valentine's Day (2010). But her company, Honest Co., may be her biggest claim to fame.

Honest Co., which Alba co-founded the company alongside Christopher Gavigan in 2012, sells natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly products. It has raised millions of dollars in venture capital funding, with its most recent investment round boosting its valuation to a reported $1.7 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, Honest grew sales to $170 million in 2014.

The company has faced a couple of bumps in the road, namely tied to claims that it engages in false marketing and labeling. But that hasn't slowed Alba down. She launched a new line of cosmetics and skin care products called Honest Beauty in September.

2. Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham rose to fame as part of the U.K. girl group the Spice Girls. But when the band reunites for its anniversary tour next year, "Posh" Spice, as she was known, won't be returning. She doesn't need to, since her namesake fashion business is worth an estimated $91 million.

Beckham and her husband, soccer star David Beckham, are reportedly worth $712 million -- more than the Queen of England.  And the pair's combined endorsement deals are valued at $106 million.


3. Zooey Deschanel

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel is a woman of many talents -- actress, singer-songwriter, producer. And now, she can add one item to that list: founder of a Time Inc. (TIME) acquired startup.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Deschanel's HelloGiggles, a pop culture, beauty and lifestyle website geared toward young women, has been purchased by Time Inc. in a deal said to worth about $20 million. The site will continue to operate out of its Los Angeles offices but will be folded into Time's People and Entertainment Weekly group.

Deschanel founded HelloGiggles in 2011 alongside producer Sophia Rossi and writer Molly McAleer. She and Rossi also launched a production company in 2013.


4. Kathy Ireland

Model and actress Kathy Ireland appeared in 13 consecutive issues of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in the 1980s and 1990s. She first got her feet wet in the business arena with the launch of a sock line at Kmart in 1993, and she hasn't stopped since.

Today, kathy ireland Worldwide (kiWW) is one of the most powerful licensed brands in the world, lending its name to thousands of products, including furniture, cleaning items, apparel, stationary and technology accessories. According to Forbes, estimated revenues are more than $2.5 billion at retail, and Ireland also boasts resorts in Greece, Hawaii and Fiji. She has built a personal fortune of $420 million.


5. Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles has built one of the most lucrative careers in music, with her "On the Run" tour with husband Jay Z grossing over $100 million for just 19 North American shows in 2014. And with various business ventures and endorsement deals under her belt, Beyoncé has proven her business savvy prowess.

The former Destiny's Child songstress boasts her own fragrance line and has endorsement agreements with PepsiCo (PEP) , H&M and L'Oréal. She once had her own fashion line, House of Deréon, alongside her mother, though the venture folded in 2012. In 2014, she announced plans for an active wear label with Topshop, and in 2015, she partnered with her trainer, Marco Borges, to launch a meal delivery service called 22 Days Nutrition.


6. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will probably not be appearing on Netflix's (NFLX) "Full House" revival -- they've got other things to do, namely, running their billion-dollar business empire.

The pair have for a long time been at the helm of Dualstar Entertainment Group, the fashion, entertainment and lifestyle company the identical twins founded together at the ripe age of six. Among the company's biggest money-makers is fashion brand Elizabeth and James, which they founded in 2007.

Dualstar came under fire this year, facing a class-action lawsuit from interns alleging the company failed to compensate interns for menial tasks.

"As an initial matter, Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws," Dualstar representative Annett Wolf wrote in a statement to USA Today. "The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff's claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety."


7. Jessica Simpson

Songstress Jessica Simpson has come a long way since her days of starring on MTV's "Newlyweds" with then husband Nick Lachey. Today, she is at the helm of a fashion empire that brings in approximately $1 billion in sales a year.

Her namesake company, founded in 2005, offers products across 30 categories, including footwear, eyewear, luggage, maternity clothes and dresses. Its products are available in more than 3,000 points of distribution worldwide, including Macy's (M) , Dillard's (DDS) and Nordstrom (JWN) .

In September, Simpson said in an interview with Today that she plans to start opening her own stores and that, despite her successes, she knows many still question her abilities (remember that Chicken of the Sea fish or chicken discussion?). "I still think that people don't take me completely seriously," she said. "I have some doubters out there. But hopefully it will continue to be around 10 years from now and then they can be wrong."


8. Gwen Stefani

Grammy Award-winning singer Gwen Stafani has had a wildly successful music career in as both a solo artist and as part of the band No Doubt. She also has a knack for fashion and media.

Her fashion line, L.A.M.B. (an acronym for Love Angel Music Baby), has been in business for over a decade and has allowed her to transform her style icon status into a multi-million-dollar business venture. She has a long-standing endorsement deal with L'Oréal and is a judge on NBC's "The Voice," for which according to The Hollywood Reporter she could earn up to as much as $12 million per season.


9. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart has had some ups and downs in her career -- including a quick stint in the big house -- but the DIY queen has proven that it will take more than some pesky insider trading allegations to bring her down.

Stewart has made it onto Forbes' billionaires list on two separate occasions, and though she hasn't been in the ranking for about a decade, her fortune remains formidable (Forbes in June estimated her net worth to be about $220 million). Her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) is set to be acquired by Sequential Brands Group (which also has a majority stake in Jessica Simpson's brand) for $353 million -- not the $2 billion it was once worth, but still a sizable number.

Stewart recently revealed in an interview with The Associated Press that she once considered buying Kmart. "We thought about buying it, but we didn't do it, and we should have," she said. "That could have been our store -- Kmartha!"


10. Shakira

Colombian singer Shakira's business record is eclectic, to say the least, and includes everything from the purchase of an island to, like Stefani, a stint on "The Voice." One of her most recent ventures has been a partnership with toy maker Fisher Price, with which she has an agreement to develop a 12-part web series and release a new line of toys for children's early stages of development.

Some of Shakira's past business decisions have come back to haunt her -- specifically, those tied to her ex-boyfriend, Argentine Antonio de la Rua, who she dated for 10 years. After their breakup, the two became embattled in lawsuits regarding de la Rua's management of Shakira's career and unwritten agreements made between the two.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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