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See "Air Force One" & "A Little Princess" Star Liesel Matthews Now at 38

The former child actor hasn't appeared on screen since 2000.

It was a short acting career, but a memorable one. In the 1990s, Liesel Matthews was a child star who made a splash with two big roles. In 1995, the actor starred in A Little Princess, about a young girl who is sent to a boarding school where she's treated badly while her father fights in World War I. Then, in 1997, she played the daughter of Harrison Ford's president character in Air Force One. Matthews last on-screen role came in 2000 when she was in the movie Blast about a group of teens who attempt a prank that goes wrong.

Even though Matthews (whose real name is Liesel Pritzker Simmons) is no longer acting that doesn't mean she hasn't remained in the public eye. Matthews is part of a very wealthy family, and she now works in philanthropy. Read on to find out more about the former actor today.

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She did some more acting.

Liesel Matthews on a carousel at Six Flags Great America in
Steve Liss/Getty Images

Matthews did not appear on screen as an actor anymore after 2000, but she did act on stage. According to Playbill, she was in the 2003 play Vincent in Brixton and the 2005 play Brooklyn Boy, both of which were on Broadway. Around this same time, Matthews was also attending Columbia University.

She's from a very rich family.

Liesel Matthews at the premiere of "Air Force One" in 1997
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Matthews is a member of the Pritzker family, whose immense wealth lies in the Hyatt hotel chain, TransUnion credit bureau, Royal Caribbean cruises, and other companies. In 2020, Forbes ranked the Pritzker family #9 on the list of America's Richest Families.

In 2005, Matthews and her brother, Matthew Pritzker, made headlines when they filed a lawsuit against their father and other family members when their trusts were mishandled. According to Forbes, cousins also made a plan to divide up the families money and did not include Matthews and her brother. The siblings eventually received $500 million payouts.

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She's a philanthropist and investor.

Liesel Matthews on stage at Collision 2019
Vaughn Ridley/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Matthews co-founded Blue Haven Initiative, which is "One of the first family offices created with impact investing as its mission and focus, Blue Haven seeks market rates of financial return on its investments as well as maximum social and environmental impact," according to its website. She also co-founded The ImPact, which "is a global membership community of families committed to aligning their assets with their values."

The former actor has explained that she tries to put her money towards initiatives that will benefit the world, whether it's through philanthropy or investing. "I think where you put your money is a moral decision," she told Forbes in 2013. In 2019, Matthews and her husband signed an open letter with other super-rich Americans asking people at their level of wealth be taxed more, as reported by the BBC.

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She's married and a mom.

Liesel Matthews and Ian Simmons at a White House State Dinner in 2016
Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Matthews has been married to Ian Simmons since 2011, and the couple co-founded Blue Haven Initiative together. Like Matthews, Simmons is also very wealthy, and according to Forbes, they met at a conference for global philanthropists. Per the Blue Haven website, Matthews and Simmons live in the Boston area with their daughters.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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