Have you ever found yourself in a situation where all you could do was just take a step back, breathe in deeply, exhale slowly and think... "Wow, my life should be a movie!" The only time that statement would be weird is if you happened to be an actor and you found yourself saying that - would that be weird, or ironic?
Most likely an intriguing combination of both, seeing as actors earn their keep by portraying characters in movies - and earn their keep, they most certainly do! It's common knowledge that if you are able to crack the notoriously-difficult-to-enter Hollywood A-lister clique, then you're set for life as far as your personal finances go - the movie industry is an intensely lucrative one, especially if you have a particularly great booking agent who is able to secure you the big-money roles.
Actors these days get idolized, with legions of screaming, adoring fans absolutely losing their minds as their favourite star takes a walk down the red carpet at the latest blockbuster movie premier; and its largely thanks to these fans who queue to watch all the latest movie releases (thus contributing huge sums towards the profits), that these very same actors and actresses' bank balances increase with every single movie project they undertake. Let's not even get started on the profits to be seen with merchandising deals - another lucrative revenue channel in the movie industry! Thanks to some great financial savvy, hard work, and good career decisions there are a handful of Hollywood's finest who have managed to amass incredible personal fortunes - and today, we'll be taking a look at the Top 5 Richest Actors for 2014!
Well, firstly - what can be said about Clint Eastwood that hasn't already been said? The undisputed king of spaghetti westerns and venerable icon of masculinity; Eastwood is actually a man of many talents, although he will forever be remembered for that trademark squint and his endearing habit of hissing out the cliché'd lines which has become immortalized in pop culture. All of us, at one point or another, has looked our best friend dead in the eye; mustering up our best Dirty Harry impression and saying... "I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking 'did he fire six shots or only five?' Now to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow you head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" Come on - admit it!
Be that as it may though, not only is Eastwood an iconic actor, but he is also a film director, producer, as well as a composer - and you thought he only had trademarked lines to fall back on? Thanks to his great success as an actor, as well as running his own production company, during the course of his esteemed career Eastwood has managed to net himself a personal fortune to the tune of $375 million! With a fortune like that, yes, we're quite sure that Clint Eastwood does in fact feel lucky.
Even though this multi-talented guy has only been making movies since 1992, he has already endeared himself to millions of fans thanks to his masterful ability to enable people to relate to the films he produces and stars in - and ladies, admit it; you all have your personal favourite Tyler Perry movie! Success has not always been a part of Perry's past, though - after enduring a traumatic childhood which even drove him to attempt suicide in order to escape the physical abuse he had to endure from his step father, at the age of 22 he ploughed his $12,000 life savings into mounting a musical theatre production which received a mediocre response and was considered to be a financial failure. Instead of giving up though, Perry persisted; repeatedly rewriting the script until it met with success by the time he was 28.
It was from that point on that his career really took off - and let's not forget, not only is he an actor but he's also a director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author, as well as a songwriter! He has put his many considerable talents to work to help create a highly successful brand in a niché market, although it is one which carries a broad appeal as many individuals are able to personally relate to the honest candidness and real-life overtures which his movies are renown for. Thanks to films such as the "Madea" and "Why Did I Get Married?" series, by 2011 his films had grossed over $500 million worldwide - with the profits contributing handsomely to his personal net worth. By 2012, he had also partnered up with Oprah Winfrey and her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) in a multi-year deal; and in doing so, this has further helped bolster Perry's impressive $400 million personal fortune. We can rest assured that this man will not be quitting anytime soon!
Ah yes, the venerable Tom Cruise - Mr Top Gun himself! Cruise has kept us entertained in a wide range of action thriller movies, especially the famous Mission Impossible series which was filmed between 1996 and 2011 - who could possibly forget that iconic scene with him slowly being winched down from the roof? He has enjoyed a wildly successful career, having starred in over twenty successful movies. Despite only being 5' 7" (1.7m) - which isn't particularly short by any means - the mere mention of 'Tom Cruise' will be enough to instantly conjur up mental images of a fast-paced action scene where he plays the role of the tall, brave and fearless hero; these are the types of movies that he has become known for, and these are the movies which have helped him secure his half-a-billion-dollar ($500 million) personal fortune.
In 2012, Cruise was named as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, although as we are soon to find out he has indeed been relegated from the top position by two more entries - which we will be getting to in a moment. He was also described by Hollywood economist Edward Jay Epstein as being "one of the most powerful - and richest - forces in Hollywood." Well now, that just about sums it up for us then.
Quite possibly Bollywood's greatest export, Shahrukh Khan (or SRK as he's known by close friends) has been a strong driving force in the burgeoning Indian/Hindu movie industry, affectionately referred to as Bollywood. While SRK may have started his career starring in television series during the 1980's, he eventually made the transition over to Bollywood in 1992, where he first featured in "Deewana". With most actors gunning for the 'hero of the day' slot, SRK quickly gained infamy for his choice of roles; notably portraying the bad guy. Further diversifying his acting portfolio within the industry, he also began taking up roles in romcoms (romantic comedies) and drama films, which broadened his appeal and demonstrated his acting prowess even further. To date he has appeared in over 50 Bollywood films, scooping up numerous achievement awards along the way - in fact, the Los Angeles Times has referred to him as "the world's biggest movie star".
Khan has also managed to turn himself into a walking, breathing brand - besides the generous revenue earned from his many features and appearances in movies, he has also been involved in many brand endorsements and entrepreneurship ventures; and has even been named as one of the 50 most powerful people in the world by Newsweek. Thanks to these phenomenal successes, SRK is considered to be the second-richest actor in the world with a personal net worth of $600 million. He's not shy to share his immense fortune either - he is also a philanthropist, being involved with numerous projects relating to health care, relief funds and children's education. In his spare time, SRK enjoys watching cricket, in particular following the progress of the Kolkata Knight Riders team - of which he is co-owner! Seeing as Khan is sitting in the #2 spot as the world's richest actor, any guesses as to who might be in the top spot...? Well, guess no more - we present to you:
Yep, you guessed it - and this comedian is laughing all the way to the bank, that much we can guarantee you! With a simply mind-boggling $800 million personal fortune, Jerry Seinfeld still tops the list as the world's richest actor. He is quite possibly the world's greatest success as far as television goes, thanks to him playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the cult series Seinfeld, which ran from 1989 - 1998. The show proved to be a winning success and one which was so incredibly popular, that at one point Seinfeld actually refused a $5 million-per-episode salary offer for the simple reason that he preferred that the budget be allocated to filming another season instead. When you think about it, that was actually a smart move to make - after all, Seinfeld once raked in $267 million in a single year. That's nearly as much as Clint Eastwood has managed to make during his entire career!
Besides his TV show, Seinfeld has also brought in bucketloads of cash from his stand-up comedy shows (he was rated as the 12th-greatest comedian of all time by Comedy Central in 2005), syndication deals (Seinfeld reruns are still being aired even to this day!), and various celebrity appearances. With so much cash at his disposal, Seinfeld has been able to fully immerse himself in a hobby which brings him great pleasure - cars, and Porsches in particular. With a total of 47 of the finest German models being housed in a purpose-built $1.4 million garage, their combined $15 million worth is nothing but pocket change for the world's richest actor!
Well, there you have it ladies and gents - that about sums up the five wealthiest actors in the world for 2014. Who knows, we may see some entering the Top 5 list; we may see some drop off; but what's rather intimidating to remember is this: Between these five individuals, they have a shared net value of an astonishing $2,675,000,000. Incredible, right? Well... Actually not. Let's consider for a moment that the world's richest man, Bill Gates, has a $78.8 billion fortune to his name - now THAT is truly amazing! We'll leave that for another post on another day though - so now you have something to look forward to!
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