Highest-grossing actor is one of those things that sound simple and straightforward but isn't when one thinks about it. Instead, there are a number of important considerations that can be brought up by interested individuals. For example, inflation means that more recent actors have a huge advantage when compared with their not so recent counterparts. It is possible to adjust for inflation, but no one seems to have done so, presumably because that would require a lot of neither very exciting nor very interesting work. Similarly, there is the issue of how important someone's role has to be before a work can be included in their count. Sometimes, interested individuals will limit actors to their lead roles. Other times, interested individuals will allow an actor's count to include absolutely everything, which can make for a very different set of results to say the least.
10. Warwick Davis - $14,979,684,350
Warwick Davis is an Englishman who was born with a rare bone growth disorder that results in dwarfism. However, that same disorder played an important role in putting him on the path to becoming an actor. As the story goes, Davis's grandmother heard a radio advertisement for people who were either four feet or shorter to play a role in Return of the Jedi when he was still at the age of 11. Initially, he was set to play an Ewok extra. Fortunately for Davis, Kenny Baker fell ill, with the result that Davis was chosen to play Wicket because George Lucas liked the way that he carried himself. Since then, he has gone on to play more roles in more projects, so much so that he has become one of the highest-grossing actors on the planet.
9. Alan Tudyk - $15,016,268,339
Alan Tudyk is another individual who can be considered one of the highest-grossing actors because of the sheer number of his roles rather than the prominence of his roles. There are people who will recognize him because of his live-action roles in projects such as Firefly, Rogue One, and A Knight's Tale. However, Tudyk has also done a lot of voice acting. In particular, he won an Annie for his performance as King Candy in Wreck-It-Ralph. After which, he has been in every single subsequent movie released by Disney's animation studio.
8. Andy Serkis - $15,198,960,878
Andy Serkis was around before The Lord of the Rings. However, he had minor roles in British movies and TV shows for the most part. As such, it is no exaggeration to say that Serkis became famous because of his work as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. He was the voice actor as well as the one who provided the motion capture movements, which is interesting because that inspired some debate at the time over the perception of CGI-assisted acting. Since then, Serkis has continued performing in both well-known and not so well-known projects. For instance, he was the one who played Snoke in two of the Star Wars sequel movies.
7. Scarlett Johansson - $15,385,688,332
Scarlett Johansson should be well-known to interested individuals. After all, she is one of the most famous actors in the entire world. For that matter, Johansson is pretty much exactly what most people would expect from someone on this list, which is to say, someone who headlines critically and commercially successful movies on a seemingly regular basis.
6. Bob Bergen - $15,710,936,796
Bob Bergen tends to be best-known for a couple of things. One, he has been a TV host. Two, he is a very prolific voice actor. To name an example, Bergen voices both Porky Pig and Tweety for Warner Bros. Similarly, he has voiced Luke Skywalker in more than a dozen video games as well as three Robot Chicken episodes. Besides these roles, Bergen has been in Disney movies, Studio Ghibli movies , animated works from both east and west, and so on and so forth.
5. Robert Downey Jr. - $15,728,895,535
Robert Downey Jr. is another example of an actor who has headed up some very prominent movies. He was already well-known before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, his career saw some serious ups and downs because of drug issues. Amusingly, one could argue that made Downey even better-suited for playing Tony Stark, which is the role that made him as famous as he is. Having said that, it should be mentioned that Downey has never been limited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as shown by how he is still getting notable roles in notable movies even though that part of his career has come to a conclusion.
4. John Ratzenberger - $16,769,039,716
John Ratzenberger is an actor who has been active since the 1970s. Over the course of his multi-decade career, he has appeared in a wide range of projects that include but are not limited to Cheers, Toy Story, and The Incredibles. Combined, those roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors out there.
3. Frank Welker - $17,443,260,126
Frank Welker has been in plenty of live-action projects. Still, he is best-known for being a voice actor. To name an example, he has been working on the Scooby-Doo franchise since its start in 1969. Similarly, he has been in everything from Futurama to The Smurfs. The highest-grossing works that Welker has worked on would be the Transformers movies because he provided the voice-work for multiple Transformers that included but were not limited to Soundwave, Shockwave, and even Megatron in one movie. The Transformers movies weren't very respected, but there can be no doubt about the fact that they managed to sell very well at the box office for quite some time.
2. Samuel L. Jackson - $27,685,093,147
Samuel L. Jackson might be the least surprising of the names that can be found on the list. He has been active since the early 1970s. Moreover, Jackson was already extremely famous by the 1990s, meaning that he has spent decades and decades as one of the most notable actors in Hollywood. The result can be seen in the huge gap between what Jackson's works have grossed and the figures for those falling behind him.
1. Stan Lee - $30,609,580,965
Stan Lee is an excellent example of how the different rules for these lists can affect who make it to the top. After all, he isn't what most people would consider to be a well-known actor. In fact, most people probably see him as barely being an actor at all. Instead, Lee is known for his work in the comic book industry, having served as the lead creative force for the company that is now Marvel Worldwide Inc. for two decades. Thanks to that, he made many, many, many cameos in works based on Marvel's properties, though he did make some cameos in non-Marvel-related works as well. As such, if one chooses to count every single role no matter how minor they might be, Lee manages to come out on top. Something that wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the massive success of Marvel movies over the last couple of decades.
Written by Dana Hanson
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