Choosing a career in the film industry can give actors a huge earning potential. While actors with only small roles who are struggling to find work may find it difficult to earn enough to live, there are actors at the opposite end of the spectrum. These are in high demand to play leading roles in blockbuster movies and they can command high fees to appear in these films. Some of the top actors in the movie industry earn enough to live a lavish lifestyle and enjoy financial stability for the rest of their life. The highest earning movie stars are millionaires and some can even achieve billionaire status. Here are 20 of the richest male movie stars in the world right now.
20. Robert Downey Jr.- $250 Million
Robert Downey Jr. was born in Manhattan on April 4, 1965. He is both an actor and a singer. He began his acting career as a child and made his film debut at the age of five when he appeared in his father’s movie ‘Pound’ in 1970. His father is Robert Downey Sr. He is a part of the Brat Pack and appeared in the drama ‘Less Than Zero’ and the teen science fiction comedy ‘Weird Science’. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the title character in the 1992 movie ‘Chaplin’. Downey Jr. has also won a Golden Globe Award when he played Calista Flockhart’s love interest in ‘Ally McBeal’. His second Golden Globe Award was for playing the title character in the 2009 film ‘Sherlock Holmes, which was directed by Guy Ritchie. He is the fifth highest-grossing domestic box office star in the United States as the worldwide grosses from his films exceeds $9.5 billion.
19. Will Smith- $260 Million
Will Smith was born in Philadelphia on September 25, 1968. During the late 1980s, he performed as a rapper using the name ‘The Fresh Prince’. His fame and popularity then increased from 1990 when he played the lead role in the television series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’. When the series ended in 1996, he made the transition from working in television to taking on movie roles. As a movie actor, he has been nominated for two Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and five Golden Globe Awards. Smith is also the only actor to have performed in eight consecutive films that have achieved a domestic box office gross of over $100 million. Some of the movies for which he is best-known include the ‘Men in Black’ films, ‘Made in America’, ‘Independence Day’, ‘I Am Legend’, ‘Aladdin’, and ‘Suicide Squad’.
18. Patrick Wilson- $275 Million
Patrick Wilson was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 3, 1973. He began his career on the stage appearing in Broadway musicals before switching to television and film. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the HBO miniseries ‘Angels in America’. Between 2011 and 21012, he appeared in the series ‘A Gifted Man’ and in 2015 he was in the anthology series ‘Fargo’. Some of the movies in which he has appeared include ‘The Conjuring’, ‘The Conjuring 2’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’, ‘Little Children’, and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. In 2018, Wilson will play the role of Orm Marius/ Ocean Master in ‘Aquaman’. He is married to Dagmara Dominczyk and they have two children.
17. Michael Douglas – $300 Million
Michael Douglas is both an actor and producer. He was born on September 25, 1944, in Los Angeles and his parents are Kirk Douglas and Diana Hill. His first major television role was in the 1969 series ‘The Experiment’. Douglas’ first role as a producer was when he produced ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ after acquiring the rights from his father in 1975. He is now best-known for his movie roles. Some of these have included ‘Last Vegas’, ‘Basic Instinct’, ‘Fatal Attraction’, ‘Disclosure’, and ‘War of the Roses’. He was married to Diandra Luker from 1977 to 1995 and the couple had one son, Cameron. He then married Catherine Zeta Jones in 2000 and they have a son and a daughter, Dylan and Carys.
16. Arnold Schwarzenegger- $300 Million
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, in Thal, Styria, Austria. He has both Austrian and American citizenship. He started as a bodybuilder and won the Mr. Universe title when he was 20 and then won the Mr. Olympia on seven occasions. For this reason, he is regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Schwarzenegger then switched careers to become an actor and his breakthrough role was in the 1982 film ‘Conan the Barbarian’. He is usually associated with his performances in ‘The Terminator’ series of films. Other movies in which he has appeared include ‘Total Recall’, ‘Twins’, ‘Predator’, ‘Commando’, and ‘True Lies. He was married to Maria Shriver from 1986 to 2017 and the couple has five children. In addition to being an actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a politician, an author, a producer, an investor, an activist, a businessman, and a philanthropist.
15. Adam Sandler- $350 Million
Adam Sandler is an actor, comedian, producer, screenwriter, and musician who was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 9, 1966. He started his acting career as one of the cast in ‘Saturday Night Live’. Sandler’s film debut was in the 1989 movie ‘Going Overboard’. He is best-known for his roles in comedy films. These include ‘The Waterboy’, ‘Happy Gilmore’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, and ‘Mr. Deeds’. He provided the voice of Dracula in ‘Hotel Transylvania’ and ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’. Sandler has also released five comedy albums and founded Happy Madison Productions. He is married to Jackie Sandler and has two children.
14. Clint Eastwood- $370 Million
Born on May 31, 1930, in San Francisco, Clint Eastwood has had a career as an actor since 1954. He first achieved success in his role in the television series ‘Rawhide’. He then gained further fame during the 1960s when he appeared as the ‘Man with No Name in the ‘Dollars Trilogy’ of Spaghetti Westerns. He has won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Actor for his roles in the 1992 film ‘Unforgiven’ and the 2004 movie ‘Million Dollar Baby’. Other movies for which he is well-known include ‘Every Which Way but Loose’, the ‘Dirty Harry’ series of films, ‘Gran Torino’, ‘In the Line of Fire’, and ‘Kelly’s Heroes. Clint Eastwood is also a filmmaker, a musician, and a political figure.
13. Bill Cosby- $380 Million
Bill Cosby has amassed a fortune of $380 million from his career which has spanned six decades. He was born in Philadelphia on July 12, 1937. Although he started as a stand-up comedian, he soon launched a career on television. His first television role was in ‘I Spy’ and he was also in ‘The Electric Company’ in the early years of his career. Cosby created the show ‘Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids’ and this series ran between 1972 and 1985. He is possibly best-known for the 1980s sitcom ‘The Cosby Show’. Other series in which he starred included ‘The Cosby Mysteries’, ‘A Different World’, and ‘Cosby’. He has been married to Camille Hanks since 1964.
12. Tom Hanks- $390 Million
Tom Hanks is well-known for both his comedic and his dramatic roles in movies. He was born in Concord, California, on July 9, 1956, and began his acting career in 1977. This prolific actor has starred in a long list of movies. These include ‘You’ve Got Mail’, ‘The Green Mile’, ‘Road to Perdition’, ‘Apollo 13’, ‘The Polar Express’, ‘Big’, ‘Splash’, ‘Turner & Hooch’, and ‘Philadelphia’. He is also well-known for providing the voice of Woody in the ‘Toy Story’ series of films. Hanks has received numerous awards throughout his career. He was married to Samantha Lewes between 1978 and 1987. He then married second wife, Rita Wilson, in 1988. Tom Hanks has four children.
11. Jackie Chan- $395 Million
Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong on April 7, 1954. He is an actor, martial artist, film director, producer, singer, and stuntman. He is well-known for incorporating his skills as a martial artist into his acting roles. He has stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars. In addition to acting, he has released many albums and has also sung on the soundtrack for several of his films. Some of the movies for which this award-winning actor is best-known include ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’, ‘The Spy Next Door’, the remake of ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Shaolin’, ‘1911’, and ‘Little Big Soldier’.
10. Jack Nicholson- $400 Million
Jack Nicholson is a prolific actor with a career that spans over 60 years. Nicholson was born in Neptune City in New Jersey on April 22, 1937. His career as an actor began in 1957. He is the most nominated actor in the history of the Academy Awards as he has received 12 nominations. He is just one of three male actors to have won three Academy Awards. One was for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1983 film ‘Terms of Endearment’. The other two were Best Actor Awards. These were for the 1975 film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and for his performance in the 1997 movie ‘As Good as It Gets’. Other movies in which he has starred include ‘Carnal Knowledge’, ‘Chinatown’, ‘The Last Detail’, ‘The Shining’, ‘A Few Good Men’, and ‘The Bucket List’.
9. Sylvester Stallone- $400 Million
Born on July 6, 1946, in New York, Sylvester Stallone is usually associated with his roles in the ‘Rambo’ and ‘Rocky’ series of films. However, he has starred in many more movies and this is how he has accrued his fortune. These include ‘The Expendables’, ‘Creed’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, ‘Cliffhanger’, ‘Escape Plan’, and ‘Zookeeper’. He has been nominated for and won many awards throughout his long career. In addition to acting, Stallone is also a director, producer, and screenwriter. He has been married three times and has five children. His first wife was Sasha Czack to whom he was married from 1974 to 1985. He then married Brigitte Nielsen in 1985 and the couple divorced in 1987. His current wife is Jennifer Flavin who he married in 1997.
8. Mel Gibson- $425 Million
Although Mel Gibson was born in New York on January 3, 1956, he moved to Sydney, Australia, with his parents when he was 12. His acting career began in 1976 and he is most associated with playing the role of an action hero. He is best-known for playing Max Rockatansky in the first three of the ‘Mad Max’ series of films and for playing Martin Riggs in the ‘Lethal Weapons’ series of films. Other movies in which he has starred include ‘Gallipoli’, ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’, ‘The Bounty’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘Braveheart’, ‘Apocalpto’, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, and ‘The Passion of Christ’. Gibson has nine children and has been married twice; first to Oksana Grigorieva and then to Rosalind Ross. Mel Gibson has won many awards for his acting and is also a filmmaker.
7. Amitabh Bachchan- $425 Million
Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian actor who was born in Uttar Pradesh on October 11, 1942. He first became famous during the 1970s when he starred in movies such as ‘Deewaar’ and ‘Zanjeer’. His career has spanned over five decades during which he has acted in over 190 Indian films. He has earned himself several nicknames, including Big B, Star of the Millennium, and the Shahenshah of Bollywood. He has been nominated for 41 awards during his career and has won a variety of accolades, including four National Film Awards for Best Actor. In addition to acting in films, he has acted in many television series and provided a voice for many movies. He now lives with his wife, Jaya Bhaduri, in Prateeksha, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The couple have two children.
6. Johnny Depp- $450 Million
This actor, producer, director, and musician was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963. He began his acting career in 1984 when he got a part in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. Some of his other early roles included ‘Private Resort’, ‘Thrashin’’, and ‘Platoon’. Since then, he has gone on to star in many movies and has become one of the most in-demand actors in the film industry due to his diverse acting talents. Some of his most famous films include ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series of movies, ‘Ed Wood’, ‘Finding Neverland’, and ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’. Depp has won numerous awards for his performances. He has two children and he has been married twice. His first wife was Lori Allison to whom he was married between 1983 and 1985. His second wife was Amber Heard who he married in 2015. The couple divorced in 2017. Jo0hnny Depp also had a long-term relationship with Vanessa Paradis between 1998 and 2012.
5. George Clooney- $500 Million
George Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 6, 1961. Although he is best-known as an actor, he is also a producer, a director, a screenwriter an activist, a philanthropist, and a businessman. He began his acting career in 1978 and shot to fame when he played Dr. Doug Ross in the medical drama ER; from 1994 to 1999. He then focused on a career in the film industry and took on many leading roles. Some of the films for which he is best-known include ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, ‘The Monuments Men’, ‘Leatherheads’, ‘Good Night and Good Luck’, and Batman & Robin’. He was married to Talia Balsam in 1989 and they divorced in 1993. He then married lawyer Amal Alamuddin in 2014 and the couple had twins Ella and Alexander in June 2017.
4. Tom Cruise- $500 Million
Tom Cruise was born in New York on July 3, 1962. He launched his acting career in 1981 and has gone on to become one of the best-known actors in the world. He has won one Golden Globe Award and been nominated for three Academy Awards. One of his best-known roles was playing Ethan Hunt in the ‘Mission Impossible’ series of films. Tom Cruise was the world’s highest paid actor in 2012 and this reflected the success of his movies, which have grossed over $9 billion worldwide. Some of the movies for which he is best-known include ‘Top Gun’, ‘Cocktail’, ‘Knight and Day’, ‘Days of Thunder’, and ‘Minority Report’. He was married to Mimi Rogers from 1987 to 1990. He then married Nicole Kidman in 1990 but they later divorced in 2001. They adopted two children together, Connor and Isabella. Cruise married Katie Holmes in 2006 in the same year in which their daughter, Suri, was born. They divorced in 2012.
3. Tyler Perry- $600 Million
Tyler Perry was born in New Orleans on September 13, 1969. He is an actor, a filmmaker, a writer, a comedian, and a songwriter who specializes in writing music in the gospel genre. He has been the highest paid performer in the entertainment industry in the past and it is reported that he earned around $130 million between 2010 and 2011. This has led to him having a net worth of around $600 million. One of his most successful shows was ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ which ran from 2006 to 2012. He has won many awards for writing, directing, and acting. Some of the movies in which he has starred include ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Alex Cross’, ‘The Single Moms Club’, ‘Gone Girl’, and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’. He has been married to Gelila Bekele since 2009 and has one child.
2. Shah Rukh Khan- $600 Million
Shah Rukh Khan is an Indian actor, television personality, and producer. He was born in New Delhi on November 2, 1965. In the media, he is often referred to as the ‘King of Bollywood’. He made his Bollywood debut in 1982 when he starred in ‘Deewana’. Since then, he has appeared in over 80 Bollywood movies for which he has won numerous accolades. These have included 14 Filmfare Awards. Some of the movies for which he is famous ‘Baazigar’, ‘Mohabbatein’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, ‘Devdas’, and ‘Anjaam’. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Gauri Khan.
1. Jerry Seinfeld- $830 Million
With a net worth of $830 million, Jerry Seinfeld is currently the richest actor in the world. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 29, 1954. He is best-known for playing himself in the sitcom ‘Seinfeld’, which he created with Larry David. Not only is he an actor, he is also a stand-up comedian, a writer, a producer, and a director. He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1976 and has predominantly worked in television. However, he has appeared in cameo roles in several movies, including ‘Eddie’, ‘Pros & Cons’, ‘The Thing About My Folks’, and ‘Top Five’. He was the co-writer and producer of the 2007 film ‘Bee Movie’, for which he was also a voice actor. Jerry Seinfeld has been married to Jessica Seinfeld since 1999 and they have three children together.