One notable fact in ranking the richest actors in the world is that no women are even in the top 15. It’s important to realize the historical imbalances in wages between the sexes in movies, as even today, the most famous female actors don’t get the same compensation as their male counterparts. Yet, regardless of their sex, most people that seek acting as a career path desire to be rich and famous.
The actors on this list represent those who have turned their fame into some of the largest monetary fortunes in the film industry. Moreover, there are many entertainers who have an entrepreneurial side, and we recently listed 4 business strategies that turned Jamie Oliver into the worlds richest chef, which often go well beyond just their core business (in that case cooking, in this case acting).
Perhaps one day soon a woman will be on this list, but for now, let’s take a look at the ten richest actors in the world.
10. Adam Sandler: $340 Million
Sandler has long been a staple of the comedic world. What some people don’t know is just how successful Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions company has been. While they’ve never been critically acclaimed, Sandler’s older movies such as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore are classics and deserve all the praise they did and continue to receive. What’s especially impressive though, is how Sandler has been able to continue making box office hits even if the movies themselves are not overly enjoyable. I mean, Grown Ups got a sequel and it actually made money, which says something in itself.
9. Clint Eastwood: $370 Million
Eastwood has succeeded in both his duries as an actor and director in Hollywood. He’s been known for making hit action films and was thought of as a heartthrob throughout the prime of his career. Yet, with movies such as “Gran Torino,” he has shown an ability to gracefully shift into the latter phase of his acting career.
8. Bill Cosby: $380 Million
Known for his role on the “Cosby Show,” which was the number one show in the country for five straight years, Bill Cosby has amassed large sums of money doing all sorts of things over his career. He has worked with cigar companies and pudding companies, and has continued to release standup specials while doing so.
Cosby’s long term relevance and continued popularity have helped make him one of the richest actors in the world. See who the rest are on the following pages.
7. Tom Hanks: $390 Million
Hanks’ presence on this list should surprise nobody, as he’s one of the more recognizable superstars in Hollywood. His success has largely been based on his warm and relatable personality that he’s portrayed through so many memorable roles.
6. Jack Nicholson: 400 Million
Nicholson’s longevity and authenticity might be his two most impressive attributes. He’s remained relevant for the better part of the last three decades and is one of the most recognizable actors on the planet. His combination of critical achievement (3 Best Male Actor Oscars) and roles that only he may have been able to pull off, make Nicholson one of the richest actors in the world.
5. Johnny Depp: $450 Million
Truthfully, I haven’t seen a Depp performance in the last five or so years that I’ve liked. Yet, my opinion doesn’t affect Depp’s pockets in the slightest, as he continues to demand one of the highest fees in all of Hollywood.
4. Tyler Perry: $475 Million
This notorious actor/filmmaker largely acquired his fortune with a strategy of quantity over quality. That’s not to say that some Tyler Perry productions aren’t of quality, but overall, he’s known more for churning out movie after movie after movie featuring a largely recycled cast that caters to a fan-base that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. His power as a decision maker and content creator have helped him become one of the richest actors in the world.
3. Tom Cruise: $480 Million
Action movies tend to be one the highest grossing genres in all of film, and Tom Cruise may be the lead in more action movies than any other actor on this list. Yet, Cruise has diversified his roles and become a superstar on all platforms. Cruise is the richest actor on this list that has truly made his money strictly through acting, and not by foraying into other related fields.
2. Shahrukh Kahn: $600 Million
Just because you may not have heard of him doesn’t mean he’s not rich (or famous for that matter). Sharukh Kahn is the most famous actor in India, by far, and has appeared in over 50 different hit films. What many people don’t realize about India, or that entire part of the world for that matter, is just how populated the area is. Khan is said to have over a billion fans, and in an era where things such as social media can be leveraged into serious marketing dollars, fans are more powerful than ever. Putting his career in perspective is probably best done by simply looking at the actors mentioned above whom he has surpassed financially.
1. Jerry Seinfeld: $800 Million
Seinfeld may be the most successful and popular sitcom in American history. It became so famous that at the end of the series in 1998, Jerry Seinfeld turned down $5 million per episode to create a tenth season of the show, and he wasn’t necessarily wrong to do so. Seinfeld was so popular that even though the show was off the air by the time I was growing up, I still grew up watching the show, through reruns. His fortune continues to rise as Seinfeld has written and starred in multiple other works to go along with the TV juggernaut that is Seinfeld, including Bee Movie.
Somehow, he doesn’t seem to have aged one bit in recent interviews, and his likeability and creativity have combined to turn him into the richest actor in the world. However, as we noted in our list of the Richest Stand Up Comedians in the World, which Jerry also topped, he has disputed the $800 million figure which has been attributed to him by Forbes.