Liesel Anne Pritzker (born March 14, 1984), stage name Liesel Matthews, is an American former child actress and heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune. She starred as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess, a 1995 film adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, and was a member of the first family in Air Force One.
For her roles on stage and screen, Liesel Pritzker uses the stage name "Liesel Matthews," first to honor her brother Matthew and second, to avoid conflict between her divorced parents about whether she should incorporate her stepfather's name and be known as Liesel Pritzker-Bagley.
Pritzker made her professional stage debut as Scout in a production of To Kill A Mockingbird in Chicago. She was also seen in Vincent in Brixton, and won a Theatre World award for her performance.
Liesel Anne Pritzker was born in Chicago, Illinois, into the wealthy Pritzker family, of Ukrainian Jewish origin on her father's side. Her parents are Irene (née Dryburgh) and Robert Pritzker.She was named after the Sound of Music character Liesel von Trapp, the eldest daughter of the seven von Trapp childrenhe is one of twelve surviving grandchildren of patriarch A. N. Pritzker, a financier and industrialist who died in 1986. Her uncle, Jay Pritzker, is the founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain, and owned Braniff Airlines from 1983-1988. The family controls the TransUnion Credit Bureau and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The Pritzker family has been near the top of Forbes magazine's "America's Richest Families" list since the list began in 1982.
She married Ian Simmons and lives in New York City.
Pritzker graduated from New Trier High School outside of Chicago and enrolled at Columbia University.
In 2002, Pritzker, then an undergrad at Columbia University, filed a U.S. $6 billion lawsuit against her father and 11 older cousins claiming they had misappropriated money from trusts established for her and her brother Matthew Pritzker. In early 2005, the parties settled the lawsuit, which followed another suit that began the process of splitting the family fortune 11 ways, resulting in 10 more Pritzkers joining the Forbes 400; the most members of any family. Under the settlement, Liesel and Matthew each received roughly U.S. $280 million in cash and were given more control over other trusts valued at about U.S. $170 million each. Young Ambassadors for Opportunity
Liesel Pritzker is the founder of Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO), a network of young professionals who aim to inspire, educate and involve others in microfinance and the work of Opportunity International. In June 2009, she donated $4 million to Opportunity International to help expand microfinance services in Africa.
1997 Air Force One
1995 A Little Princess
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