It’s been 21 years since Alfonso Cuarón brought the breathtaking story A Little Princess to the big screen. The heartbreaking film followed a little girl named Sara who was put into a boarding school so that her widower father can serve in World War I. Everything is going well for Sara until her father is presumed dead, and the school’s cruel headmistress forces her into a life of servitude. Come to think of it, the film is fairly depressing to actually be a classic children’s tale. Luckily, Sara’s spirit, imagination, and fellow servant girl Becky help her through the rough times. All of this reminiscing got us wondering what actress Liesel Matthews, who played Sara, is up to now. ***SPOILER ALERT*** It turns out that Matthews, whose real name is Liesel Pritzker Simmons, is the heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, and basically a Princess in real life.
After wrapping up A Little Princess in ’95 Liesel went on to star opposite Harrison Ford in Air Force One. Afterward she took a break from acting to finish high school and attend Columbia University in New York City. However, things got a bit less posh for Liesel after that. In 2002, she and her older bother Matthew decided to sue their father Robert Pritzker and the rest of the Pritzer family for $500 million. Unfortunately, Pritzker had used his children’s trusts without their consent. Liesel told Forbes in 2013, “This is not about cash, It’s not like I think if we win, it’ll be: ‘Buy the Bentley! Bling bling!’ I filed because I wanted to know what happened. It’s going to be tricky, and it will take a long time. But I just need to know what happened.” Flip to see what Liesel looks like now!
Liesel and her brother eventually did win their lawsuit, receiving $500 million dollars in payouts. However, Liesel’s wealth has not stopped her from doing good. Though she’s decided to stop pursing acting in favor of privacy, she and her husband, Ian Simmons are huge philanthropists. They’ve invested in education for children, traveled the world to help those and need, and introduced addicts to the healing powers yoga. Liesel is no typical trust fund baby. She has been firm in saying, “I didn’t earn this money, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to screw it up!”