Actually, trying to make a list of the wealthiest people in the world is hard enough, but narrowing it down to the wealthiest Hollywood-based actors currently on the scene is virtually impossible. The numbers keep changing according to all sorts of factors including how the latest movie did at the box office, not to mention how savvy the actors and/or their advisers are when it comes to handling all that money.
Therefore, any such list – like this one – is subject to debate and temporary at best. One such list has the richest actor with a net worth around $800 million; on another list his name doesn’t even appear.
That example should be enough to verify that there is no real verification, but when the numbers are that high, nobody except the tax accountants should really give a hoot. With that in mind, here’s another list for your entertainment.
One name that almost always appears is Tom Cruise, with an estimated net worth of over $700 million. Cruise is not only the possessor of enormous sex appeal, but he’s also a darn good actor, and has earned further kudos for directing. That may be the turn his career will take as he graduates from action hero/heartthrob with star billing to a position of power behind the scenes.
Also in the heartthrob league and way up near the top in the acting department is Tom Hanks, currently worth an estimated $850 million – though one of these lists has him at a mere $350 million, but what’s a few hundred million more or less anyhow? He has one of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood’s last couple of decades, from acting to directing and producing.
Though he doesn’t even appear on some lists, William Shatner’s name does crop up at both the high and low ends of the net worth column. In one list he’s credited with a billion bucks, in others the figure ranges from $300 to $600 million. Ever since Captain James T. Kirk became a cultural icon nonpareil, Shatner has been busy overcoming the type-cast image. His accumulated credits and titles include director, author, comedian and others; he’s still going strong at 83.
Speaking of cultural icons, Clint Eastwood might just top that particular list, but he’s gone far beyond any stereotype that would have been an impediment to anybody not as tough as Clint. Spaghetti westerns may have made his name and persona a Hollywood phenomenon, but he’s another determined and hugely capable character who aimed for wider horizons and soared. At 84 he’s more into directing than acting, but he’s worth at least $375 million and doesn’t have to over-exert if he doesn’t want to.
Jack Nicholson, reportedly with the most Oscar nominations of any actor in screen history, is doing all right financially at approximately $400 million, net worth-wise. Nicholson’s best-known persona is that of the deranged psychopath or Jekyll and Hyde of such roles as the Joker in Batman films and terrifying alcoholic in The Shining. He’s also versatile, talented and savvy enough to be a highly regarded director, writer and producer as well.
Rappers are a dime a dozen, but Will Smith is way out of the ‘rap’ category and into Hollywood legend, by most assessments. He did start out as a rapper, but quickly segued into film roles that made the most of his considerable talent and charm. Newsweek labeled Smith the most powerful man in Hollywood at one point, and it’s certain that he’s a huge draw in any film with his name in the cast. Will isn’t the richest actor but that may only mean he’s turned down and/or taken the wrong roles occasionally. Last reports credit him with a net worth of around $215 million.
Leonardo DiCaprio falls somewhere in the middle of the general age range on wealthy actor lists – at the age of 39 he’s reportedly worth somewhere between $200 and $800 million, depending on which list you read. From an unremarkable beginning of commercials, minor television roles and a few low-budget, pretty bad films, he leapt onto the world stage in 1996 in Romeo and Juliet, then to Titanic in 1997. Since then nary an awful film has crossed his bows, and he’s also into both TV and movie production.
The name may not be as well known as Cruise or Eastwood and the like, but Adam Sandler is as good in the comedic category as the former in the action/hunk/tough guy categories they tend to inhabit.
Sandler’s penchant for comedy has made him a solid success, though he’s better known in some circles as a musician and screenwriter. Adam’s net worth has been reported as $300 million, but there are rumours he may fall off the ‘rich list’ because he’s overcharging.
Keanu Reeves, a man of admirable diversity, appears on about half of the rich rosters. His most lucrative roles have so far been in the Matrix series, and it’s widely reported that he handed a fair chunk of his salary back to the producers so they’d pay for better special effects and costumes. Reeves has also taken large cuts in pay in order to get stars like Gene Hackman and Al Pacino to accept roles in films he’s in; still his current net worth is about $350 million.
Interestingly, Mel Gibson doesn’t show up on most of the accessible lists, but just lately he’s reported to be worth over $900 million. Even more interesting: that figure comes from a 2014 list, but another one in 2013 pegged him at only $425 million – a fine example of why nobody should take bets on the accuracy of these numbers.