Hollywood is home to some of the richest and most famous people in the world. Tourists may get excited to see their favorite actors driving downtown or eating in a cafe when visiting Tinseltown. Celebrities are human, too, even if their wallets weigh a bit more than ours. For years they have made us laugh, cry, think, and learn. Over the decades, these folks have earned millions, and today we get to find out just how much money they’ve made over the years.
Dave Chappelle – $75 million
Dave Chappelle has been around since the 1990s with ‘The Dave Chappelle Show’ and has been making audiences laugh ever since. He took a short, unexplained, break from the limelight but it hitting back nowadays with new Netflix specials and stand-up comedy tours. His reappearance into public life is a feat in itself – rarely can celebrities successfully come and go from people’s attention. Chappelle managed to win back audiences and enjoys his multi-million fortune with many of his family and friends.
Will Ferrell – $80 million
The chances are that you have quoted at least one of this funny guy’s famous one-liners. The Saturday Night Live alum has appeared in classics such as Anchorman, Zoolander, Step Brothers, and Starsky and Hutch. His performance in Elf helped him reach his $80 million fortune and has no plans of slowing down. For 20 years Ferrell has brought smiles to our faces with his relatable characters and funny situations. As well as performing for our hearts, he also writes and produces material in Hollywood.
Ricky Gervais – $80 million
British funnyman Ricky Gervais has built a career around his deadpan and sarcastic persona he applies to basically all of his work. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – right? He never hesitates to bring Hollywood down to Earth with him, as witnessed in his brutal hosting turns for the Golden Globes. He claims that his failed pop career in the 1980s and his subsequent fame and wealth in his later years has helped him maintain a somewhat humble lifestyle and outlook on life.
Jon Stewart – $80 million
A voice like Stewart’s has been an essential part of American culture and commentary for 20 years. His cutting analysis of politics and life has shown his comic ability and charisma. The guy isn’t the top of the list, but he has proven to be invaluable with his ability to make us laugh through the madness of the day-to-day. The commentator actually retired from The Daily Show on Comedy Central in 2015, but it hasn’t stopped him being a loud and vocal critic of modern-day America.
Kevin James – $80 million
Perhaps one of the more surprising entries on this list, Kevin James has made a successful career around his irreverent film roles and television sitcoms. You may know him as the star of The King of Queens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, or frequently partnering with his longterm friend Adam Sandler. Just how successful would James be without support from his community in Hollywood? It’s hard to tell, but networking is a talent, and this guy clearly has a lot of it.
Conan O’Brien – $85 million
Hollywood’s funniest red-headed comic has made a name for himself for dipping his toes in all the right places to leave a cultural impact lasting generations. He was originally one of the writers for The Simpsons back in the 1990s when it was considered in its ‘golden age’, and has spent the latter part of his career in front of the camera. With his boyish but charming personality, it’s easy to see how he has racked up such a high worth.
Rihanna – $90 million
With smash hits like Umbrella, Unfaithful, and Disturbia, it’s no wonder that Rihanna has become one of the biggest names in the music industry. Her Barbados routes inspire her unique talent in songwriting and performance, as she travels the world performing to thousands of people each night. She is now entering the film industry with performances in 2018’s Ocean’s 8.
Bob Saget – $100 million
He may have built a strong reputation as America’s Dad with his roles as Danny Tanner in Full House or the host of America’s Funniest Videos, but Saget is actually known for his wicked sense of humor. He even appeared a twisted version of himself on HBO’s Entourage which highlighted some of this more provocative behavior and attitudes. His $100 million fortune was built from years of dedicated television appearances, as well as outside investments in different ventures outside of television.
Jeff Foxworthy – $100 million
This name might not garner a lot of attention right away, but Jeff Foxworthy has been an active commentator on American issues and culture since 1982. As a stand-up comedian, author, television star, and radio personality, he represents some of America’s most loved blue comic voices. He is part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which also features Lary The Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and Ron White. HIs phrase, ‘you might be a redneck if…’ became an iconic staple of his career which he shared with audiences around the country.
Kevin Hart – $120 million
Relatively young for the list, Kevin Hart has proven to be one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood today. He has managed to build an entire empire around his character and persona that works perfectly in the ‘buddy’ comedies in which he stars. His large fortune is particularly impressive due to his quick journey – only starting a career in 2001 and getting his own specials in 2009. His filmography is impressive, often hitting at least two commercial releases a year.
Jeff Dunham – $120 million
Dunham’s act is one in a million, which is maybe a contributing factor to the large fortune he has amassed over the years. His ventriloquist act has been seen and enjoyed all over the world due to its global appeal and satirical nature. There aren’t many people who have achieved his level of success through the bizarre act, but he’s captivated audiences since 1976. As well as his stage shows, he collects an income from DVD sales, television appearances, and voiceover work.
Ray Romano – $130 million
Another celebrity who enjoyed his own show, Everybody Loves Raymond helped elevate Romano’s career to a household name. As well as acting in front of the camera, he is known to lend his talents for writing, producing, and directing gigs. Ray Romano has one of the most easily-recognizable voices, which has been lent to Ice Age – a billion-dollar animated franchise spanning films, games, shorts, and television specials. As one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time – $6 billion to date – Ray Romano racks up the royalties!
Steve Harvey – $140 million
I’m sorry, have we made a mistake? This iconic American chat show and game show host has made audiences laugh for years with his hilarious attitudes and repertoire with guests. He hosts Family Feud and The Steve Harvey Show, as well as the memorable Miss Universe Pagent where he famously called the wrong winner. He often stirs up controversy by claiming to ‘help women become more dateable’ by investing in a dating app, and suggesting that no one would want to Asian men.
Taylor Swift – $150 million
At the young age of just 28, Taylor swit has become an iconic addition to the music industry. She has transformed from a young country singler to a pop icon with millions of followers on social media and selling out concerts around the world. She was famously apolitical until October 2018 when she came out as a democrat. There’s a big future for this young popstar as the years go on, with the potential to last for decades.
Jennifer Aniston – $150 million
She made herself a household name as one of the stars of Friends. Today, Jennifer Aniston has remained an important figure in Hollywood and racking up a $150 million fortune in the process. Since the show finished in 2004, Aniston has had one of the more successful post-Friends career, appearing in multiple films and TV shows. There’s no sign of slowing down for everyone’s best Friend.
Julia Roberts – 150 million
If you saw a romantic comedy in the 1990s, the chances are you saw a Julia Roberts film. She headlined classic films such as Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. She spent the following decades starring in multi-million franchises and earning an Oscar for her work. With an talent for choosing strong projects, there’s barely a bad Julia Roberts film out there.
Drew Carey – $165 million
Drew Carey has been on our screens since 1985 and has been the face of shows such as The Price is Right and Whose Line Is It Anyway? Before his entrance into the television space, he served six years in the United States Marine Corps and ranked as a sergeant. What started as a turn to stand-up comedy has grown to somewhat of a media empire for Carey, whose face and name is now synonymous with laughter, improvisation, and family values.
Seth MacFarlane – $200 million
Seth MacFarlane has created some of the most iconic cartoons in recent years, such as Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. He is a writer, creator, voice actor, and songwriter whose multi-talented skills serve him on and off screen. He famously overslept and missed his flight on 9/11, showing that the universe clearly had greater plans for him. It’s amazing he can see the funny side of life, but we are enjoying it nonetheless. Here’s to the next season!
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – $200 million
She’s proven to be one of the funniest women ever in comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has amassed a $200 million fortune with her work on shows like Seinfeld and Veep. Her career started when she landed a gig on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s and has been going strong ever since. Even though she comes from a family worth billions, it never stopped her from working hard and achieving success in her own right. This year, she overcame a harsh battle with breast cancer.
Britney Spears – $220 million
Hit us baby, one more time! Britney Spears jumped on to the scene 20 years ago with her smash hit which propelled her to worldwide fame basically overnight. We all know that Spears has faced her own personal challenges, including a public meltdown in 2007, but she has once again shown herself to be the Queen of the Comeback. At 36, she has many decades left to entertain her fans.
Trey Parker – $300 million
Another cartoon creator who leaves an impact on American culture, Trey Parker co-created South Park with Matt Stone. Now in its 22nd season, the show continues to offer a scathing look at current events and world news though mischievous young school boys. Although a registered Republican, Parker has been unabashedly libertarian in his criticism on both the left and right learning cultures within the US. The duo also found success with films like Team America: World Police and the Broadway hit Book of Mormon.
Jay Leno – $350 million
The late-night hero with a history as long as his chin, Jay Leno has wowed audiences with his commentaries for years. Following his start in stand-up comedy in the 1970s, he had a 25-year career as host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a veteran of talk-show hosts, he often makes appearances on other shows including his former one, now with Jimmy Fallon holding the fort. He wasn’t without his criticism – many in Hollywood call him a ‘bully’.
Beyonce – $350 million
Who runs the world? Girls! Who runs the girls? Beyonce. The Destiny’s Child alum has proven time and time again that she is worthy of the throne on which her fans place her. She can sing, dance, perform and is a genuinely nice person. As one half of the power couple with Jay-Z, her fortune is no short feat. No signs of slowing down for this singer.
Ellen DeGeneres – $360 million
It appeared that being a chatshow host pays! Ellen is currently the richest female celebrities in Hollywood with her syndicated chatshow The Ellen DeGeneres Show and appearances as the forgetful fish Dory in the Pixar Finding franchise. DeGeneres made history as coming out as gay on her 1990s sitcom Ellen, even though this had a problematic impact on its viewing figures. Today, she keeps crowds cheering and audiences laughing from her famous couch. Since 2008, she has been married to actress Portia de Rossi.
Adam Sandler – $400 million
Amazingly, Adam Sandler is worth $400 million. The same actor who dresses up as his twin sister and plays a mentally challenged son of the devil has been making a very particular and loyal group of fans laugh for 25 years. He makes comedy stupid – and people appear to appreciate him for it, too! As well as acting, Sandler writes, produces, and directs: making him one of Hollywood’s most connected and powerful players today. He owns Happy Madison Productions – often releasing wacky comedies for widespread audiences.