Eddie Murphy is a comedy icon. He’s been making the audience laugh since the early ’80s. Murphy’s humor has softened throughout the years, since he was dishing out profanity and punchlines in his earlier stand-up shows. Eddie is ranked #10 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. You may remember his voice from Shrek, as the lovable Donkey. If you’ve been following Murphy’s career since the ’80s, you may remember him as “Gumby” on Saturday Night Live. But after over thirty years in the entertainment industry, how much money has Murphy made for himself?
Eddie Murphy’s Net Worth as of 2017: $85 Million
Eddie’s net worth clocks-in at an impressive $85 million. His stand-up career gained Murphy attention and notoriety. But his acting career is what truly turned Eddie into a global superstar. Over the years, Murphy has transformed himself into a household name. He’s super rich, super famous, and his career still has plenty of mileage left. He was a boy from Bushwick, Brooklyn, who hit it big. Now, Murphy is the man that many comedians want to be. As you can see, laughter pays off because Eddie is definitely rolling in the dough.
1980 – 1993
Murphy was infamously-known for his risque stand-up acts in the ’80s, which frequently pushed the envelope and left crowds consumed with laughter. His shows were widely successful, particularly his 1987 special Eddie Murphy Raw, which grossed $50 million in theaters.
But it was Murphy’s performance on Saturday Night Live that really turned him into a household name. He appeared on SNL from 1980 to 1984, and played memorable characters such as an adult version of Buckwheat, a pissed off Gumby, and Mr. Rogers from the hood a.k.a. Mr. Robinson. Rolling Stone magazine compiled a list of 141 SNL cast members and ranked them from worst to best. Eddie was ranked #2 on the list, right behind the late John Belushi. The magazine suggested that, “It is customary (and accurate) to say that Eddie Murphy is the only reason SNL survived the five-year wilderness without Lorne Michaels.”
Eddie really shined on the big screen in the 1980s. He starred in critically-acclaimed, box office smashes such as 48 Hrs., Coming to America, Trading Places, and both Beverly Hills Cop films. He also had a career in music, which was largely overshadowed by his film and TV career. His singing career was a total flop. His most famous song, “Party All The Time” was named number seven in VH1 and Blender magazine’s list of the “50 Worst Songs of All-Time.” Ouch, that hurts. But hey, at least he was able to co-star in a music video alongside “The King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Take a look at 1993 R&B song “Whatzupwitu” starring MJ & Eddie:
1993 – 2007
Eddie continued his success in cinema, starring in box office powerhouses like Another 48 Hrs., Boomerang, and Harlem Nights. As his adult comedy film career declined, Murphy switched his act to more family-orientated comedies. He transformed himself into the lovable Nutty Professor. And who could forget Donkey from Shrek?
In 2006, Eddie starred in the Broadway musical-turned motion picture Dreamgirls. In that film, he played the role of soul singer James “Thunder” Early. That role earned Murphy a Golden Globe win, as well as an Oscar nomination. Rumor has it, that the reason he lost the Academy Award was because of the critically panned Norbit. Despite being belittled by critics, Norbit was still a financial success, earning $159.3 million in the box office.
2007 – present
The Shrek franchise has collectively earned billions of dollars in the box office. Eddie has been riding the wave of tremendous success every since he stepped into show business. But in the later part of his career, he greatly reduced his work load. Starting in 2008, he began to appear in no more than one film a year.
His roles in Meet Dave and Imagine That were poorly received, earning Murphy a few Razzie nominations. However, his role in the 2011 film Tower Heist received critical acclaim, earning Eddie an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. In 2015, Murphy received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Eddie Murphy is a true living legend. He’s a gift to millions of people across the globe who are looking to smile when they turn on a television screen. After a lifetime of entertaining the world, it’s no wonder that he’s so wealthy. He earned every penny of that $85 million, and then some!