Chris Rock is an American actor and comedian best known for his roles in Top Five, Head of State, and Madagascar. Since he started his acting and comedy career in the mid-1980s, Rock has appeared in more than 80 movies and television series.
Though, it’s not just his acting that has contributed to his massive success. Chris Rock’s net worth is also impacted by his work as a producer, writer, director, and stand-up comedian. Read on to take a look at how Rock’s career began, his most successful projects, and how he became the star he is today.
Christopher Julius Rock III was born on February 7, 1965, in South Carolina. His mother was a teacher by profession and his father drove a truck and delivered newspapers for a living. He spent his growing up years in Brooklyn, New York. He has a younger brother named Anthony, who is also an actor and comedian.
Rock went to James Madison High School which was attended mostly by white students. He soon became a victim of racial bullying. It got so bad that he had to drop out of school. However, a few years down the line, he did earn his GED as he worked at fast-food restaurants to make money.
Chris Rock’s first venture into the world of stand-up comedy was at a New York club called Catch a Rising Star. His act was such a hit that producers started taking notice and he started getting a few roles in television shows. Eddie Murphy saw one of his early performances and came up to him, eventually becoming his mentor.
Beverly Hills Cop II
It was also Murphy that helped Rock get his debut film role in Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987. IMDB reports that Rock was only paid $600 for his role in the film. However, he’d see a substantial increase in his film salary over the next decade.
As of 2023, this movie is Rock’s fifth highest-grossing movie, right behind his Madagascar animated films.
It wasn’t until he became a cast member of Saturday Night Live in 1990 that Chris truly got his big break. During his 3-year stay with SNL, he also starred in a few movies for which he was also the writer and producer. It was also during this time that Chris met and worked with fellow comedic actors Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Farley. They were collectively known as the Bad Boys of SNL.
New Jack City
In 1991, Rock starred opposite Wesley Snipes in New Jack City, bringing home $11,000 for his role as Pookie. The movie was a box office succes grossing over $47 million against a budget of $8 million.
Lethal Weapon 4
Chris Rock’s net worth got a sizable boost from the 1998 flick Lethal Weapon 4, where he starred opposite Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, and Joe Pesci. With a budget of $140 million, the movie grossed over $285 million worldwide. And it’s reported that Chris Rock brought home $2 million for his salary on the film.
The Madagascar Movies
The Madagascar franchise has been by far the most successful films of Rock’s career. The original film, Madagascar, premiered in 2005. Rock lent his voice to Marty. It was a powerhouse voice cast, including Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer and more. And with a budget of just $75 million, the animated flick went on to gross more than $542 million worldwide.
The success of the first film paved the way for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which released in 2008. It was another hit, grossing over $640 million globally against a production budget of $150 million.
Next came Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which was yet another box office success. The movie grossed more than $747 million worldwide. It’s reported that for this movie, Chris Rock’s net worth got a boost of $5 million. And as of 2023, this title is Rock’s highest grossing movie.
Everybody Hates Chris
From 2005 to 2009, Chris produced the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. He was also the writer and narrator, which only makes sense because the series was based on his own life. The audience loved the series. It also received a handful of nominations from the Golden Globes, the People’s Choice Awards, and the Emmys.
In fall of 2022, Rock starred in Amsterdam alongside Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington. The movie was an early favorite for award season due to its impressive cast. However, it didn’t not end up performing well at the box office, only earning $31 million against a budget of $80 million.
Writing & Filmmaking
As Chris Rock continued to rake in huge earnings as a movie star, his career as a writer also blossomed. By 2000, he was writing more films starting with Down to Earth in 2001. Many of the movies that he wrote, like Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife, also featured him in the leading role.
Rock has also ventured into documentary filmmaking. In 2009, he released Good Hair, which addressed the complexities of hair culture for black women. The film was well-praised by critics and received a Special Jury Prize at that year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Although Rick is a true Hollywood star, his career had always been rooted in comedy. He went on tours and became one of the most popular and wealthiest comedians in the world. In 2016 alone, his comedy tours earned him $60 million. Much of this was from the couple of Netflix special shows he had that year. Netflix was also the venue of his Chris Rock: Tamborine in 2018.
He also had a string of comedy specials with HBO, the first of which was Big Ass Jokes back in 1994. Two years later, Bring the Pain sealed his reputation as one of the greatest comedians of his time. His subsequent HBO specials, Bigger & Blacker and Never Scared, were also massive hits.
Other Business Ventures
Also adding to Chris Rock’s net worth is a number of business investments outside of Hollywood as well. In 2019, he invested in the cannabis brand Lowell Herb Co., along with several other A-list stars, including Miley Cyrus and Sarah Silverman. In 2021, the company was acquired by Indus Holdings.
In 1996, Chris married Malaak Compton and together they had two daughters. Lola Simon was born in 2002, followed two years later by Zahra Savannah. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce after Rock admitted to being unfaithful.
Chris Rock’s Net Worth 2023
As of 2023, Chris Rock’s net worth is estimated at around $60 million. However, six years ago, it was significantly a bit higher. While Rock didn’t suffer any career setbacks and continues to make good money from acting and hosting, his divorce from ex-wife Malaak Compton did cost him a notable amount.
A large chunk of Chris Rock’s net worth comes from his movie deals and comedy tours. Besides acting, he has also been a very successful producer, which earns him quite a big sum as well. He also has a significant value of the real estate in his name and has invested in the cannabis company, Lowell Herb Co as well.
Fans of Rock can look forward to seeing him next in 2023’s Rustin, which follows gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He’ll also star in I Am Maurice opposite Leslie Jones as well as the TV series Kara.
Additionally, Rock is also working on a script with Kevin Hart for a comedy titled Co-Parenting. The project is still in the “Treatment” phase of development. However, Hart is already attached to star and Rock is set to direct the flick.