Show business is not all sunshine and rainbows. Not all those who want to carve a career in acting made a successful living out of it. Many want to become actors, but only a few are cut out for the job. But for a select few, acting has become more than passion, it’s a way of life. In Hollywood, male actors have mastered their craft, endured the hardships that come with their jobs, and plainly wanted to make it more than the other guys. And they have earned the right to become the richest male actors in tinseltown. Check them out.
#10 Michael Douglas – $300 million
Being the eldest child of renowned actors Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, it was hard for highly decorated Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas not to fall in love with acting and become good at it. His performances did not go unnoticed, earning him multiple awards and honors as his career went. To date, Douglas has won four Golden Globes, two Oscars, and an Emmy.
Married to actress Catherine Zeta Jones since 2000, Douglas has three children, including a son from a previous marriage. Among Douglas’ memorable films are Wall Street, Basic Instinct, and Wonder Boys. In 2010, Douglas announced that he was suffering from tongue cancer (initially publicized as throat cancer), which was revealed to be at Stage IV. Douglas is currently receiving aggressive treatment to combat the disease.
#9 Arnold Schwarzenegger – $300 million
Champion bodybuilder turned actor turned politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most successful action stars from the 80s and 90s who still enjoys relative success now. Entering the showbiz industry with nothing but his musclebuilding fame to carry him, Schwarzenegger’s breakthrough role came in the 1982 fantasy film, Conan The Barbarian. His performances did not merit awards from prestigious acting bodies, but proved to be very popular with the public. His successful films include action series Terminator and The Expendables.
Prior to his Hollywood career, Schwarzenegger already had a thriving bricklaying business as well as a mail to order exercise equipment enterprise. He served two terms as the Governor of California. Schwarzenegger married Maria Shriver of the famed Kennedy Clan in 1986 but has been separated since 2011.
#8 Tom Hanks – $350 million
Tom Hanks was sure he wanted to act long before he burst into showbiz industry as indicated by the years he spent studying theater arts and taking stage roles. Hanks has a number of memorable movies, such as Sleepless in Seattle, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump. A versatile actor who can easily slip into the character he portrays, Hanks is also a successful filmmaker and producer. However, his recent projects have struggled at the box office. Larry The Crown, which he co-starred with Julia Roberts, only netted $52 million. While nominated for an Oscar, his film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close also had a hard time pleasing movie goers.
Still, the man has $350 million in the bank, making him one of Hollywood’s A-listers with the biggest net worth.
#7 Johnny Depp – $350 million
One of Hollywood’s most venerable leading men, Johnny Depp has established a career built on his superb acting abilities that allow him to easily become the character he plays. He was effective as blade-wielding freak in Edward Scissorhands and was excellent in his portrayal of an undercover agent in Donnie Brasco. But it was his role as the witty, likable pirate Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of The Caribbean series that catapulted his net worth to new heights. The film series started out as a theme park attraction in Disneyland, a ride created in the 1960s. Other notable works of Depp include Chocolat, Dark Shadows, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
#6 Tom Cruise – $350 million
Tom Cruise is a box office god, no doubt. Even his poorly acclaimed movies have generated money way above their production budgets. Case in point, Jack Reacher. The movie took $60 million to produce and only made $80 million in the US, which is a mediocre gain by Hollywood’s standards. But it was a worldwide hit, raking in $217 million because Cruise was in it. It’s not just the movies though, Cruise has a charisma that extends well beyond the silver screen. In fact, applications in the US Air Force rose dramatically when the film Top Gun was released, where Cruise played a fighter pilot.
#5 Sylvester Stallone – $400 million
Sylvester Stallone is best known for his action movies, notably the Rocky and Rambo series. It was the first Rocky movie that introduced Stallone to the movie scene, the one he wrote and won an Oscar for. Sly also had a share of flops but his recent series, The Expendables, proved that action films still make money, provided they are filled with huge explosions, great fight scenes, and awesome display of firepower. But Sly had an unusual start as an actor, starring in a softcore adult film to make ends meet before he hit the big time with Rocky.
#4 Jack Nicholson – $400 million
A veteran of the Hollywood scene, Jack Nicholson started out as a gofer for cartoon studios before he hit his stride as an actor. Prior to appearing in films and TV shows, Nicholson worked behind the scenes in several movies and soon became a writer himself. His most notable films include Batman, As Good as It Gets, The Bucket List, and The Shining, a film based on the thriller novel authored by the legendary Stephen King. Nicholson is also the recipient of multiple awards – 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes, and 4 BAFTAs.
#3 Shah Rukh Khan – $600 million
The only entry from Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan’s monetary success eclipses many of his Hollywood contemporaries. With a career that spans more than three decades, Khan’s empire extends far beyond films. The King of Bollywood engages in film production via his studios. He also owns a cricket team and has huge shares in real estate development firms. He owns a number of luxury cars as well as mansions in Dubai, London, and Mumbai.
#2 Mel Gibson – $600 million
Mel Gibson has an impressive resume both as an actor and as a director and producer. Breaking into the international scene via the Mad Max series, Gibson has proven to be a bankable action star when he followed it up with the Lethal Weapon movies and his most recent project, The Expendables 3. But Gibson is more than just a testosterone-filled, gun toting maniac in the movies. He has ventured into romance (Forever Young), thriller (Conspiracy Theory), and comedy (What Women Want) and found significant success. Gibson also found praise as a director, with The Passion of The Christ as one of his notable works.
#1 Merv Griffin – $1 billion
Deceased for the past seven years, Merv Griffin graced the world as a musician, actor, and a TV host. While he was successful in the said fields, Griffin built his fortune as a media mogul, producing shows via his production studios, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment. Griffin is popularly known as the brains behind popular games shows Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Click, Ruckus, and Merv Griffin’s Crosswords. Griffin died on August 12, 2007 due to prostate cancer.