One of Hollywood’s most respected and famous people is Morgan Freeman, At 80 years old and counting, his career spans more than 4 decades, earning a lot of hardware along the way and co-starring in some of Hollywood’s most popular films. As a bit of trivia, the first movie where Freeman actually appears on the credit roll, ironically, is Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow back in 1971. With a long history of success, it is natural that he has managed to grow his net worth over the years to the estimated $200 million listed in the title of this article. But that number does seem rather low, so we will take an abbreviated journey through his career and see if that number should be a little or a lot higher.
For fun we can tell you at the beginning of his acting career he started out on television doing the soap Another World and making appearances on the PBS sponsored children’s show, The Electric Company. Any money he made for those shows has already been spent, but you have to start somewhere. It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s until he found a home as an actor in major big screen roles. For those who think that youth determines future success, Freeman was in his 40’s when his career started to gain momentum.
Moving to the serious side of money, Freeman is ranked as Hollywood’s fourth highest box office draw, bringing in a box office gross of at least $4.3 billion – that’s billion with a “B”. Knowing how the average movie star’s contract is structured, with royalties from video streams, DVD sales, and merchandise, Freeman continues to make some serious money given the continued popularity of movies such as Shawshank Redemption and The Dark Knight Rises.
- The Dark Knight $534,858,444
- The Dark Knight Rises $448,139,099
- The LEGO Movie $257,760,692
- Bruce Almighty $242,829,261
- Batman Begins $206,852,432
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves $165,493,908
- Deep Impact $140,464,664
- Wanted $134,508,551
- Lucy $126,663,600
- The Sum of All Fears $118,907,036
As the list shows, the Dark Knight duo represents almost one-fourth of his total box office sales. Where is Shawshank in the Freeman revenue stream? Down at number 36, taking in just over $28 million. Movies such as Shawshank and Deep Impact were foundations that would prepare him for the financial ride up the net worth ladder. The fact that 21st century contracts for movie stars, especially established stars like Freeman, are more about future sales means that Freeman continues to earn significant money for his top 3 grossing films. (The LEGO Movie was one of his voice-over gigs.)
His star power earned him an estimated $30 million in 2013 alone – at age 75, one reason we believe the net worth to be higher. That list of films includes The Magic of Belle Isle, The Dark Knight Rises, Now You See Me, Olympus Has Fallen, and Oblivion. That was 15 years ago, and his most revenue generating films were yet to come. He has at least two homes, a working home away from home in New York City, and a second more reclusive space in Charleston, Mississippi.
But in the 21st century, brand reputation is everything no matter what your age. Forbes magazine voted Freeman as Hollywood’s Moist Trusted Celebrity in 2012, reflecting both his personal character and his ability to stay away from any negative publicity. However, he was accused of sexual misconduct and “inappropriate behavior” by 16 different women in 2018, but when the smoke cleared nothing really has come of it. Many of those accusations were “alleged” with most of the women choosing not to pursue an investigation into the charges. None of this hubbub has affected his star power, as there have not been any previous issues of sexual harassment over the previous 40 years to surface.
Freeman is also not afraid to involve himself in politics, having donated a cool $1 million to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and he has appeared on a variety of talk shows to speak his mind on the current state of the world. While he continues to find new ways to get involved in the culture, Freeman will have a long history of being a cultural icons for African Americans and for up and coming actors. His long history of success and 2 homes, one in New York City, the other in Mississippi, tell us his net worth exceeds the reported $200 – and it will continue to grow.