I am fortunate to have lived at a time in which I grew up watching Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live. I watch the famous hot tub scene (Eddie imitating the great Jame Brown) live. I watched Delirious — his first national cable stand-up performance — so many times in college that I know it by heart. Born Edward Regan Murphy, Eddie has become intimately known by the shorter version of his name.
Murphy has not been shy about flaunty the bounty he has earned in the world of entertainment, so everyone has known that he is wealthy; however, it was mostly a guess as to how much he is really worth, at least up to this point. Recently, several sites that specialize in discovering and reporting the net worth of celebrities and athletes reported that Eddie is worth $85 million. Honestly, I thought he would actually be worth more. Don’t get me wrong, $85 million is nothing to spit at, but with the longevity that Eddie Murphy has experienced, it would seem that he would have amassed more wealth. Nevertheless, he has more than most. So, let’s see if we can ascertain how he achieved his current net worth.
Eddie Murphy began his career in entertainment as a standup comedian. Being from New York, he was forced to pursue his career in one of the toughest markets in the world. But you know what they say, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” Murphy’s income received a nice upgrade when he started to appear on SNL in 1981, earning a per episode salary of $4,500. That salary would blossom to an impressive (at the time) $30,000 per episode in only one year. He proved to be so popular the satire juggernaut wanted to lock him in for as long as possible.
According to experts, one reason that Eddie’s salary on SNL blossomed was because his movie 48 Hours, a film he co-starred in with Nick Nolte, did so well. The increase in revenue earned Murphy by Murphy would be worth considerably more in an economy in which currency has been so heavily deflated in value.
Another in Eddie Murphy has made a generous amount of his current wealth is through voice acting. He has done some of the most famous voiceover roles in recent memory. His most popular role was probably as the Donkey in the Shrek franchise. He has done so well in this category that he was named as one of the top-10 A-list voice actors in the world. His first installment on Shrek earned him a cool $3 million, but that amount has ballooned to $10 million by the final movie installment.
Eddie also had a role in the box office smash Mulan — a Disney movie that pulled in over $300 million. Despite my downplaying of his wealth earlier in the article, Murphy is actually celebrated as one of the wealthiest actors in Hollywood, possessing a net worth greater than other A-listers like Matthew McConaughey, Liam Neeson, and Michael Caine.
Murphy’s run in film and standup between 1980 and the early 2000s was legendary. His movies, alone, during this period, grossed more than $6.7 billion globally. Eddie became such a pull in Hollywood that he was paid an amazing $20 million for his role in Pluto Nash.
It is right about now that you are starting to do the math, and like me at the beginning of this article, you are starting to see that the numbers are not adding up. While some of the discrepancies can be explained by the fact that Eddie likely spent is money very exorbitantly, especially at the beginning of his career. The biggest hit to his current net worth, without question, was his divorce settlement with his ex-wife Nicole. It is speculated that Murphy may have lost as much as half of his total net worth in that final settlement — giving a whole need perspective to the old adage, “It’s cheaper to keep her.”
Even considering the divorce, Eddie Murphy is not hurting financially. Additionally, his name still carries a punch. Maybe he has lost some of his pull, but he is still considered a legend in the comedy world. So, how much do you feel Eddie Murphy will earn throughout the remainder of his career. Remember, he is only in his mid-50s.