Reality TV shows: The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (2005), The Real Housewives of New York City (2008-2010)
After making it to the finals of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, NYC housewife Bethenny Frankel pulled off several notable feats during her time on Bravo. On top of turning out to be surprisingly likable and self-aware among a crew of status-consumed gargoyles (let alone the only 'housewife' sans husband—at least for several seasons), the working girl smartly managed to leverage her time on the network into successful book and alcohol launches that have ensured she'll never need to join the ranks of golddiggers.
Her 2009 healthy eating guide, Naturally Thin, became a New York Times Bestseller while the sale of her once-laughable-seeming Skinnygirl Margarita brand earned her a reported $120 million last year. Not bad! Definitely a much better use of the platform than those chicks trying to get their singing careers off the ground by making out with Bret Michaels.