Frederick (Ted) Woodruff Field
Net Worth: $1 billion
Source of Wealth: Media, inheritance
Residence: Beverly Hills
There are few trust-fund babies who hit it big in Hollywood. Bright-eyed and naive about the industry’s underside, many of these newcomers have gone through their fortunes after footing massive bills for box-office bombs.
But Ted Field is different. The heir to the Chicago-based Marshall Field & Co. department-store fortune drifted into Hollywood and actually got a piece of the pie.
His investment in Interscope Records which he has put at no more than $15 million has reportedly earned him $500 million. In 1995, he sold 50 percent of the company to Time Warner Inc. for $125 million, which later sold it back to him at a discount. Then he sold the same 50 percent for $200 million to Universal Studios Inc.
His success hasn’t been without controversy. Interscope, which made its name with controversial artists like Snoop Doggy Dog and Tupac Shakur, has drawn intense heat for its violent rap lyrics. Bob Dole slammed Field on the Senate floor, and politicians now refuse to accept his donations. Which is a big deal, since Field was a major contributor to Democratic Party coffers.
The criticism hasn’t fazed Field, who told Variety last month that his film company, Interscope Communications, which produced the feel-good “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “is going to become more like the record company it’s going to become bolder.”
Field’s father, Marshall IV, died a mysterious death in 1965, and a dispute with his brother, Marshall Field V, sent Chicago’s high society into a gossip frenzy. The falling-out forced the sale of the Field-owned Chicago Sun-Times.