A pretty face, a camera, and a boat load of money can make you an instant celeb on no merit at all. This is what we call the “Celebutante;” rich socialites who are famous simply for being rich and famous. In the days of old Hollywood, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Gloria Vanderbilt were famous for being wealthy women about town. Now, in the age of the internet and reality TV where 15 minutes of fame can turn into a bonafide career, Hollywood is inundated with the young and rich who are famous on no merit of their own.
Check out these 15 Hollywood celebs who are famous for being famous.
Angela and Vanessa Simmons
Vanessa and her younger sister Angela debuted on their father Reverend Run’s (Run DMC) MTV reality series Run’s House in 2005. The girls eventually used their newfound fame to help launch their shoe line Pastry Footwear.
Paris Hilton earned her fame by being the millionaire party-girl-sex tape star-heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune. Her great-grandfather was Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels. We checked the classifieds but those jobs are hard to come by.
She hasn’t amassed quite the same popularity or reputation as other Hiltons, but Nicky is another famous heiress to the Hilton fortune. Of course, most of that fame is for being Paris Hilton’s sister.
Rick Salomon is one of the few famous male celebutantes. The son of a former Warner Bros. executive, Salomon has made a name for himself by having several relationships with Hollywood women. He was married to voice-over actress E.G. Daily from 1995-2000, had a sex tape with Paris Hilton in 2003, a short-lived marriage with actress Shannon Doherty that same year, and an even shorter marriage to Pamela Anderson in 2007.
Kimberly Stewart is the socialite daughter of rocker Rod Stewart. She is famous for simply being the daughter of Rod Stewart.
The Johnson family squeaky clean image got a little muddied thanks to the late Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson, daughter of Robert Wood Johnson, co-founder of Johnson and Johnson Family Company. Casey earned tabloid attention when she was cut off by the family for refusing drug abuse treatment, and later when she began dating famous-for-nothing Tila Tequila. Johnson passed unexpectedly in 2009 due to neglecting to take her insulin for diabetes.
Khloe has carved out a type of celebrity status of her own as a TV/radio personality and basketball wife, but her biggest claim to fame is being the youngest Kardashian sister.
Of course, we can’t forget Kourtney K., the oldest Kardashian child, who is also famous for simply being a Kardashian child. Aside from her birthright, Kourtney has garnered her own fame as baby mama to her on-again-off-again boyfriend Scott Disick.
Lauren Conrad is one of several reality stars from MTV’s Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County who became famous for being famous. After her time on Laguna Beach, Conrad, the daughter of two wealthy architect parents, got to be the center of own spinoff reality series The Hills.
Lauren Conrad’s The Hills costar/friend-turned-enemy Audrina Patridge was also born to rich parents and became known for being a rich girl on a reality TV show. Oh, and there may have been some side acting thing but we’d hardly call roles in Into the Blue 2: The Reef, Honey 2, and Scary Movie 5 acting.
Though she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Amber Rose was able to rise through the ranks to become a self-made celebutante. Rose has worked as a model and video girl, but is famous for no other reason than the celebrity men she has dated (Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa). Since her high-profile relationships, she has somehow managed to parlay her “famous for being famous” fame into a $5 million empire.
While most others on our list have parlayed their fame into other ventures in some way or another, we’re still trying to figure out what Brody Jenner does for a living or even what his ambitions are. The son of Kardashian stepfather Bruce Jenner and former actress/beauty queen Linda Thompson, Brody seems to be a career reality TV star, starting with his first reality show Princes of Malibu in 2005. Jenner moved on to appearances on MTV’s The Hills, then got his MTV reality series Bromance (2009), and now the Hollywood socialite is joining the cast of his step sisters’ show Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are now famous for being annoying to the general public. Prior to that, the couple became famous for their roles on The Hills as antagonistic villains to the other cast members. They have since earned themselves heavy publicity for their self-centered and fame-hungry antics.
Kelly Osbourne has done such a job of carving out her own image and career as a style icon and TV personality that we forget she was introduced to the world as a celebutante. Osbourne made her debut as daddy’s little girl on the Emmy award-winning reality series The Osbournes in 2002, making her famous for being Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter.
Cavallari made her name starring on both Laguna Beach and The Hills on MTV and feuding with friend/castmate Lauren Conrad. Not content with simply being a socialite, she has taken to acting and even snagged herself a Chicago Bears quarterback.