How much is Jack Nicholson worth?
|Date of Birth:
|April 22, 1937 (age 85)
|United States of America
|5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)
About Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson is an actor who is known almost as much for the women he has dated and his once bad boy lifestyle as he is for the numerous iconic roles. He has won 89 awards, including three Academy Awards, and nominated 12 times. Nicholson has been in the movie business since the 1960s and over his long, varied career has proven to be as good at comedy acting as he is at dramatic acting, not that Jack Nicholson ever had anything to prove to anyone.
Nicholson grew to fame after starring in in Easy Rider alongside Dennis Hopper, a role that rewarded him with only $329 per week. “Most of the early part of an actor’s career, you do the jobs you get,” he has said. Nicholson has come a long way since then, many of his earlier roles paid him far less, at the height of his career, he earned around $15-20 million per movie part.
The success of Easy Rider skyrocketed Nicholson to A-list status, and he would go on to star in critically acclaimed and hugely financially successful 70s movies such as Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, among many more of the most highly praised films of all time.
Though Nicholson was never supposed to be in Easy Rider, as it was Rip Torn who was originally cast. If it wasn’t for a fight that erupted between Torn and Easy Rider writer, director, and star, Dennis Hopper, Nicholson may never have made it to the legend status that he is today.
The on-set behavior of Jack Nicholson and his ability to ad-lib and improvise so easily is what the actor has become known for. You can see in behind the scenes footage of the making of The Shining, the 1980 horror movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, that when Nicholson was getting into character during the axe scene, he almost hit a crew member with the real axe, but it never phased Nicholson one bit.
Nicholson reportedly has quite a temper, but it’s something that people worked around due to his stature as one of Hollywood’s most elite actors. The most legendary ad-lib of all time features in The Shining, which is Nicholson’s exclamation, “Here’s Johnny!” as his character, Jack Torrance, psychotically axes down a door. Many people don’t know that the line was not in the script and it was completely improvised. Nicholson also improvised the famous line, “You Can’t Handle The Truth!” featured in A Few Good Men.
Nicholson entered Hollywood when the old studio system was giving way to a counterculture New Hollywood and soon became its biggest star. His performances stood out and he got noticed making cinema history with his expressive and comedic style.
In the 80s, Nicholson would cost at least $10 million if you wanted him in your movie, but when negotiating his salary for his role as The Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman, he famously took only an estimated $6 million. However, that deal also included a percentage of the film’s box office profits, and a percentage of profits from Batman merchandise, such as toys, as well. A deal like that was almost unheard of at the time.
The Joker has been portrayed by many different actors on screen, including Mark Hamill, Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto; but none of them received a salary close to Nicholson’s. The role even had very little dialogue, 585 words to be exact.
While Phoenix may be earning $50 million to reprise his role in two new movies. Nicholson earned more than his co-star Michael Keaton who played the main role. All told, it is possible that Nicholson has made close to $90 million for playing The Joker alone.
Nicholson’s salary demand managed to remain high for 20 years. Still demanding $10 million for the Scorsese gangster flick The Departed in 2007. His basic salary reached its highest when he took a $20 million payday for Anger Management starring alongside Adam Sandler.
Jack Nicholson and his agent are great at making deals, with few known ventures outside of acting, most of Nicholson’s wealth stems from his salaries from starring in movies such as Mars Attacks!, As Good As It Gets, The Bucket List, and more.
Nicholson also invests in property, he owns dozens of properties and hundreds of acres of land all over the world. He famously bought Marlon Brando’s house on Mulholland Drive after The Godfather actor’s death only to tear it down and fill the land with flowers.
During his career, very few actors worked so hard as Jack Nicholson did; he is completely dedicated to every role he takes. So dedicated that in order to feel comfortable being nude on screen, he didn’t wear clothes at home for months, and that included when anybody visited him.
As mentioned, a lot of the incredible scenes in Jack Nicholson’s movies are improvised. In The Departed, a movie in which Nicholson plays a truly sinister Boston mob boss, there is a scene in which his character is questioning Leonardo DiCaprio’s character about whether or not he is working with the police, and then goes on to impersonate a rat, which was all completely improvised.
Jack Nicholson was 73 years old when his last film was released in theaters and leading right up to his retirement, he was still characteristically Jack Nicholson. Whether he was mocking himself about how he once smashed up a car with a golf club, or he’s yelling at the opposing team at a Lakers game, people fell in love with Nicholson’s bad boy charm and Nicholson as a person.
Nicholson’s Total Net Worth
Jack Nicholson’s movie paychecks have seen him earn hundreds of millions of dollars before tax, but he has also earned quite some after-tax dollars from his investments. The acting and filmmaking career of Nicholson has seen his career earnings at around $395 million. It was reported that the actor earned $90 million in backend profits alone for Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. He has also earned between $10 million to $15 million per major movie part dating back to the 90s and in 2003 he was paid $20 million for Anger Management.
Fortunately for Nicholson, some of his highest earnings years in the early 90s were taxed at just 28% federally. Of course he has been taxed in his career as high as 70% but that also worked out because that was before 1981 and those were some of his lowest earning years. Overall, it is estimated that considering Nicholson was living and working in California. His career earnings will have been taxed at around 48%. That is, considering the low tax rates in 1989 and the 2000s.
Nicholson will have also been able to deduct his business expenses first as he will have paid tax as a self-employed individual. Of his $395 million dollars income, $19-34 million is expected to have been paid in business related costs. The remainder, $368.5 million, will have become $191.62 million dollars, having paid $176.88 million dollars in taxes.
In his investing career, not only has Nicholson’s real estate appreciated in value he will have also earned a tremendous amount from his investment in securities. It is estimated that he will have earned somewhere in the region of $109-150 million. That is, considering the years when Nicholson began to invest his money, and what is more, he has invested in artworks, including paintings from the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Rodin, Modigliani.
Jack Nicholson married Sandra Knight in 1962 and they divorced two years later, in 1968. They had one child together, Jennifer Nicholson, and it is estimated that around $2-3 million dollars has gone in Sandra’s direction. Jack has six children in total today and there will have been some slightly above average costs for caring for them.
In terms of how he spends his money, Nicholson has invested in classic cars which will generally hold much of their value. Vehicles like the Mercedes 100, Mercedes 500 SL, Mercedes R129 SL and a 4×4 classic Range Rove, among others. Mostly, in his leisure time, Jack Nicholson is on the golf course with friends like Joe Pesci or spending time at home and on vacation with his family. It is likely that Nicholson will have spent about $16-20 million dollars in his life but he also probably possesses assets worth $6-7 million. Therefore, it is estimated that Jack Nicholson has a net worth of over $300 million dollars.
From the late-1960 through the end of the next century, Nicholson played some his most iconic roles. His personal life was as colorful and as edgy as the characters he portrayed on screen, while on occasion earning him some bad press, all he had to do was cock an eyebrow, flash a wide grin and just be Jack.