A Short Guide to Celebrity Net Worth was written by Ananyaa Bhowmik and originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks. Ananyaa Bhowmik is a neurodivergent and queer cat parent and pop-culture journalist with the Wealth of Geeks. She has been working as a copywriter and content marketing for over a decade. She has worked across niches in the past decade but especially enjoys working on branding, marketing, travel, queer lifestyle, pop culture, sustainability, and mental health projects. It has been republished with permission. Please note that contributing opinions are that of the author. They are not always in strict alignment with my own opinions. –Joe.
Every year, sites like Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth crunch the numbers on celebrity assets and liabilities to calculate their net worth.
This is the number you get after you deduct someone's liabilities from the value of their assets. Their assets include real estate and other investments, endorsements, business profits, etc., while liabilities consist of things like debts, taxes, and even living expenses.
Five Celebrities With The Highest Net Worth
Are you wondering which celebrities currently have the highest net worth? The answers may surprise you.
Most people imagine popular mainstream actors and actresses gracing the list. Interestingly, that is only sometimes the case, mainly because movie earnings are not the only thing that determines people's net worth.
A ton of celebrities make a hefty portion of their earnings from brand endorsements. Others have a diverse investment portfolio, and their businesses usher in huge profits that often surpass the money they earn from making movies, music, etc.
So, while the Kardashians make the cut as we'd expect, they are far from the top.
That said, here are the five celebrities with the highest net worth at the moment:
George Lucas has a net worth of a whopping 10 billion dollars, making him the richest person in the entertainment industry. He has to thank LucasFilm for most of his fortune.
Founded in 1971, LucasFilm, his production company, was instrumental in building an empire around movies that ushered in millions in profits. Today, there are very few people across the world who haven't heard of the Star Wars movie franchise. Aside from the profits generated from the movies, the franchise has also inspired a booming market for fan merch, many of which are considered collectibles and tend to sell for incredible prices.
But while he and his production company are mostly known for the Star Wars movies, he has been involved in creating several immensely successful films through the years. This includes the 1986 film “Labyrinth,” “The Land Before Time,” released in 1988, and even the Indiana Jones franchise.
In 2012, George Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney for a staggering 4.1 billion dollars in cash and stock. Today, he is mostly retired from filmmaking and primarily focuses on philanthropy. His charitable family foundation has over 1 billion dollars in assets.
Just the name Speilberg is enough to evoke an image of an epic adventure of a movie experience. That may be why his current net worth is 8 billion dollars. After all, no one is as adept at creating movie magic as Spielberg.
He needs no introduction. He is the auteur of an endless list of maddeningly jaw-dropping movies. There are the classics, of course, like “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and the spine-tingling saga of “Indiana Jones.” And who can forget “Jurassic Park” — a movie franchise that created its trend and became the focus of madness that has spanned decades. He is also the man behind the Jaws movies.
Steven put it well when he said: “I don't dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I'm dreaming for a living.”
He is the highest-grossing director of all time, closely followed by the Russo brothers, who directed “Avengers: Endgame.”
Oprah Winfrey's net worth is 3.5 billion dollars. And why wouldn't it be? After all, this media mogul has built an empire as a television host, author, and media personality. She is estimated to earn around 315 million dollars annually just from her diverse media portfolio. So, her net worth should keep going up.
While she is known for many things, Oprah became a household name thanks to “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The show debuted in 1986 and, after airing over 4500 episodes, finally concluded in May 2011.
Oprah founded Harpo, Inc. Media in 1986, producing and selling her show to distributors. This proved to be a genius move since it helped her start racking in hundreds of millions of dollars per year, unlike other contemporary T.V. show hosts.
Oprah became a millionaire in 1989. Her net worth was over 500 million dollars by 1995. She is currently the wealthiest self-made woman in the U.S. She has donated over 400 million dollars to charity. Now that's a powerhouse if we've ever seen one!
Sports team owner and actress Jami Gertz has the fourth-highest celebrity net worth of 3 billion dollars. While much of her net worth is funded through her marriage with billionaire and co-founder of Ares Management, Tony Ressler, she has built a name for herself as a sports team investor.
Tony and Jami partly own the Atlanta Hawks NBA team. They also own minority stakes in the Milwaukee Brewers.
Aside from sports team investments, Jami has had quite an illustrious career as an actress. She has appeared in multiple shows and movies through the decades and even has an Emmy to her name.
Jay-Z is currently the wealthiest rapper in the world, with a net worth of a whopping 2 billion dollars. He is also considered one of the most influential hip-hop musicians ever.
In 1995, he became the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records. He is also the founder of a chain of luxury sports bars known as the 40/40 Club.
Jay-Z became a billionaire in 2020; since then, his worth has grown. He has built a diverse portfolio of investments, including D'Usse cognac, Armand de Brignac champagne, and Tidal. Today, his annual income ranges between 70-80 million dollars. This includes revenue from his business ventures, tours, record sales, endorsements, and merchandise.
He sold 50% of Armand de Brignac for 640 million dollars to LVMH in February 2021. He also sold Tidal for a whopping 300 million that same year. He owns equity in Ethos, Oatly, SpaceX, Sweetgreen, and Uber, and his wife, Beyonce, co-owns over 150 million dollars in global real estate.
In February this year, he sold his half of D'Usse cognac to Bacardi, who already owned the other half, for a staggering 750 million dollars.
A Few Other Celebrities and Their Net Worth
Want to know how the most popular entertainers are faring regarding their net worth? Here's a quick look at the net worth of a few fan-favorite celebrities:
BTS's combined net worth is still debatable, with estimates ranging from 120 million to 3.5 billion dollars. While the exact figures are unknown, estimates claim that Jung Hoseok, or J-Hope, is currently the richest among the seven, with a net worth of over 24 million dollars. Suga or Min Yoongi, producer, songwriter, and rapper, is close behind him with an estimated net worth of 23 million. Finally, rapper Monster, or Kim Namjoon, has an approximate net worth of 20 million dollars.
Emma Watson's Net Worth
Emma Watson has an incredible net worth of 85 million dollars. She made 70 million of that for playing the lovable and feisty Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movie franchise. The rest of her earnings are from playing Belle in the live-action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Channing Tatum's Net Worth
Channing Tatum's baseline pay starts at 20 million, i.e., the least amount of money he earns for each movie he stars in. Is it surprising that his net worth is a whopping 80 million dollars? He made at least half of that for his lead role in the Magic Mike trilogy.
Robert Downey Junior's Net Worth
Robert Downey Junior, aka Iron Man, has a net worth of 300 million dollars. However, when he first took up the superhero role in 2008, he is said to have made as little as 500,000 dollars. He, of course, also got a part of the profits. The rest, as they say, is history. So far, he is said to have made 435 million dollars just from playing Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chris Evans' Net Worth
Chris Evans' net worth seems to see a few highs and lows. Currently, it is holding steady at 110 million dollars. His Marvel movie appearances quickly made him more than 30 million per year. While his first appearance as Marvel's first Avenger earned him just 300,000 dollars, he reached over 15 million dollars each for his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game, and Captain America: Civil War. He is said to have made nearly 100 million dollars for his work with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.