It’s no secret that celebrities make pretty sweet salaries. Whether they’ve invested in a company, are pulling in massive paychecks every movie thanks to their A-List status, or are building a personal empire, they’re definitely not sweating the small purchases. However, though everyone knows that pretty much every celebrity is very, very comfortable financially (apart from the few that end up stupidly racking up debt by making terrible financial choices) it can be tough to know exactly how much celebrities make.
Sure, we know that many of the A-List stars command tens of millions per movie, and that actors and actresses on successful television shows can often end up making hundreds of thousands to a million or two every single episode they’re involved in. However, there are a few celebrities whose net worths will most definitely surprise you. Whether it’s because they seemed to have hit their peak in decades past, or because you figured that someone doing what they do couldn’t possibly make the big bucks, these celebrities have bank accounts far larger than you could have ever imagined.
Here are 11 celebrities who are probably worth way more than you think.
11 Michael Jordan
It makes sense that a former professional athlete of Michael Jordan’s caliber would have quite a few dollars in the bank from his playing career. However, that’s the surprising thing about Michael Jordan’s wealth – only about 10% of it comes from the salary he earned while he was on the court. First of all, Jordan played basketball at a time before some of the mega-contracts floating around today, and his highest salary was about $4 million a season during his prime. He retired in 2003 with just under $100 million in the bank – and then went on to make a ton of savvy choices that contributed to his wealth. He bought a stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (the biggest money-maker he has), and cleaned up with a series of endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes.
If you’ve been paying attention to Oprah in the news lately, you’ll know that her affiliation with Weight Watchers meant that she earned an estimated $19 million for a single tweet where she sang the praises of how bread fit into her Weight Watchers plan. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Oprah’s net worth, though. The shrewd businesswoman is worth approximately $3 billion, and she earned about $300 million a year during the peak years of her beloved talk show. However, she still earns about $100 million a year through her various ventures. Celebritynetworth.com did a breakdown of her wealth, and get this –Oprah could spend about $400,000 a day, and still have enough money to last her the rest of her life (assuming an average lifespan), without ever making another dime.
9 Julia Louis Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus struck gold when she snagged the role of Elaine on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. She’s since gone on to star in several other successful shows, including the hilarious Veep, as well as several films. Her roughly $150,000 per episode salary definitely padded her bank account nicely, and she’s worth a reported $200 million. That’s pretty high for an actress, but not exactly crazy, right? Well, that’s not taking her future inheritance into account. Her father, Gerard Louis Dreyfus, is a successful businessman, and she’ll one day receive an inheritance of around $1 billion. It makes her hard work in the entertainment industry all the more admirable when you realize how much money she would have had on the horizon, available even if she didn’t work a day in her life.
8 Ellen DeGeneres
Since 2003 (for over 10 years!), Ellen DeGeneres has been coming into the homes of fans every single weekday via her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The comedian has a way of drawing the personality out of celebrities and cracking them up, no matter who they are, and her hilarious banter and love of dancing has made the show the most popular daytime talk show on the air. While there are a few ultra-successful talk show hosts (we’re looking at you, Oprah), you don’t really expect talk show hosts to compete with others in the entertainment industry when it comes to salary – but Ellen does. With her success comes a pretty sweet salary, and DeGeneres is worth about $330 million. Hey, if we had that kind of cash in our bank accounts, we’d be dancing in the aisles too!
7 Jessica Alba
When it comes to actors and actresses, it can be tough to estimate who has the biggest net worth. Sure, there are a few mega A-List stars that you can only assume command an astronomical fee per movie, but for the majority of Hollywood, it can be tough to estimate which working actor or actress makes more per film. While Jessica Alba has been working steadily since she was a teenager in films and television, that’s not where the bulk of her wealth comes from. After she became a mother, Alba was inspired to seek more eco-friendly products for her baby and household, and eventually became the co-founder of The Honest Company. While many actresses have pet projects that never end up making much money, Alba’s was a soaring success, and it received a market valuation of about $1.7 billion in 2015. With a stake of about 20%, that means Alba’s chunk of the Honest pie is worth about $200 million, bringing her net worth to about $350 million.
6 Bob Saget
Everyone has a bit of a soft spot for Bob Saget – after all, he played the lovable Danny Tanner on Full House for years. However, apart from hosting duties every now and then, snagging cameos on a few sitcoms like Super Fun Night, and of course being the narrator on the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Saget hasn’t exactly been on the talk show circuit promoting huge projects on a regular basis. If you think that he’s spent all his Full House money years ago though, you’d be wrong – Saget is worth about $100 million. While he hasn’t stated what salary he’ll be making for Fuller House on Netflix, we have a feeling his net worth will have a nice bump in the upward direction.
5 David Copperfield
Sure, David Copperfield is one of the most well-known magicians in the world, but how much can a magician really make? You would be absolutely stunned. Now, at 59, Copperfield has been in the business for over 40 years, as he got his start at a very young age. However, between his touring, his 21 Emmy Awards, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his title of Magician of the Century and Magician of the Millennium, Copperfield has raked in some serious dough. He’s worth approximately $850 million, and unlike individuals like pro athletes whose careers are very much tied to their age, Copperfield can probably perform magic and continue earning for years and years to come – although with that kind of money in the bank, he wouldn’t need to work another day in his life if he didn’t want to.
4 Tyra Banks
It’s no secret that Tyra Banks had a successful modelling career for many years, rocking the runways of Victoria’s Secret and the covers of Sports Illustrated. However, that’s not where she made the majority of her money. Banks beefed up her bank account with her successful career in television as the creator and host of America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show, as well as the co-creator of reality show True Beauty. This chick knows how to make television that women love to watch, and she’s been taking that skill straight to the bank for years – she’s worth about $90 million.
3 Larry David
Larry David is pretty much a god in the sitcom world. After all, he cemented his spot in television as the co-creator and executive producer of the hugely popular Seinfeld, which he was a part of for nearly a decade. Then, he became the creator and executive producer of another successful sitcom, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. His true windfall came when Seinfeld was sold into syndication, at which point he received a reported $650 million. His net worth took a bit of a hit during his divorce in 2007, when he was reportedly forced to give 50% of his net worth at the time to his wife. He’s more than comfortable, though, with a net worth of approximately $400 million.
2 Howard Stern
Pretty much everyone knows who American radio and television personality Howard Stern is – he’s legendary do to his often abrasive and even offensive style, which has earned him far more fans than it’s lost him. His infamous radio show, The Howard Stern Show, was a nationally syndicated program for years and is found on Sirius Satellite radio nowadays, and it earns him an annual salary of about $90 million. All in, the radio personality with no filter has a net worth of about $600 million – all for speaking his mind and bringing his unique personality to fans around the world.
1 Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld spent many years hustling in the comedy world, doing stand-up gigs and trying to win audiences, and eventually he struck gold with a little sitcom that you may have heard of – Seinfeld. Despite having been off the air for nearly twenty years, the show continues to pull in cash for the comedian thanks to those sweet, sweet syndication residuals, and his net worth is valued at about $800 million. While he continues to dabble in projects here and there, all that Seinfeld money means that he could easily just retire and lounge around in his massive estate in the Hamptons.
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