Eddie Murphy an American-born actor and comedian, best known for his memorable roles in Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, and the Shrek movies. Since having started his career in Hollywood in the 1980s, Murphy has appeared in more than 65 movies and television series.
However, it’s not just Murphy’s acting and stand-up comedy that has contributed to his massive career success. Eddie Murphy’s net worth has also been impacted by his work as a writer, producer, director, and singer. And that doesn’t even include his impressive real estate investments.
From rising to fame on Saturday Night Live to being in the top 10 of Comedy Central’s Greatest Stand-ups of All Time, read on to trace Murphy’s success from the beginning of his career until the present day.
Edward Regan Murphy was born on April 3, 1961, in Brooklyn and raised in the Bushwick neighborhood in New York. His mother, Lillian Murphy, was a telephone operator. Meanwhile, his father, Charles Edward Murphy, was a transit police officer as well as an amateur comedian and actor. Murphy’s parents would split when he was 3, and his father was murdered when Murphy was just 8. Sadly, he has no clear memories of his father.
Murphy’s mother got ill when he was eight, forcing him and his elder brother Charlie to live in foster care for a year. Later, the two lived together with their mother and stepfather in Roosevelt, New York.
In a number of interviews, Murphy has said that it was during his time in foster care that he developed his sense of humor.
Murphy’s love for comedy started young. When he was fifteen he listed to a Richard Pryor comedy album and found himself inspired. And on July 9, 1976, he performed his first stand-up show at a talent show at the Roosevelt Youth Center, where he impersonated Al Green. His performance led to a number of additional gigs – both close by as well as others that required him to commute by train.
Murphy was determined to make it work and it required him to skip school. Though his mother was none-to-please when she learned about Murphy’s time management skills at the end of his senior year of high school. The result? Murphy had to attend summer school late-night gigs, nearby locations, and other jobs requiring him to commute farther.
Saturday Night Live
It was the 1980s when Murphy started his rise to fame, and it was thanks to his time as a Saturday Night Live cast member. He was just 19 years old the first time he appeared on the show. He wasn’t an obvious pick for the series at first.
The show’s talent coordinator, Neil Levy, received countless calls from Murphy who wanted the job. Levy eventually caved, and Murphy was given an audition. And the rest was history.
At this stage in his career, Eddie Murphy’s net worth was still relatively small, but that was all about to change with his upcoming works on the big screen.
The Big Screen
In 1982, he made his debut on the big screen through the film 48 Hrs, alongside Nick Nolte. In 1983, Murphy released a stand-up special called Delirious, filmed in Washington, D.C.. The special received strong reviews, leading to him appearing in the film Eddie Murphy Raw in 1987. The film had a wide theatrical release which grossed $50 million on a $9 million budget.
1984 came and brought with it one of Murphy’s most famous roles, that of Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. The film grossed more than $316 million worldwide on its $13 million budget.
Three years later, he reprised his role again in Beverly Hills Cop 2. The film had a $27 million budget and grossed $299 million worldwide.
These films were major contributors to Eddie Murphy’s net worth, and by the end of the decade, he was considered one of Hollywood’s most successful box office stars.
The ’90s would bring no shortage of successful projects, including 1996’s The Nutty Professor, which had a budget of $54 million and made $247 million at the global box office. The film is Murphy’s 10th highest-grossing film to date. It’s reported that Murphy made $16 million for his role.
Then there was 1998’s Doctor Dolittle, Murphy’s eighth highest-grossing film to date, making $294 million at the box office with a budget of $72 million. He was reportedly paid $17.5 million for the film and $20 million for its 2001 sequel, Doctor Dolittle 2.
The 2000’s that would bring even more box office successes for Murphy, all thanks to one franchise.
The Shrek Movies
Eddie Murphy’s top four highest-grossing films of all time are the Shrek films. 2001’s original Shrek made $488 million at the box office on a $60 million budget. Murphy voiced Donkey in the animated film, and also performed a number of songs in the film, including “On the Road Again”, “Friends”, and “I’m a Believer”. It’s reported that Murphy made $3 million for the film.
Then came Shrek 2 in 2004, Murphy’s highest-grossing film to date. With a budget of $150 million, the movie went on to gross $928.7 million worldwide. Murphy was reportedly paid $10 million for his work on the sequel.
2007 brought Shrek the Third, which would make $813 million. And then, 2010 brought Shrek Forever After, which with a budget of $165 million, made $752.6 million worldwide. For this movie, Murphy was reportedly paid $4 million. However, he also earned a back-end bonus from the film, making his total income from the flick considerably higher.
In 2021, Murphy returned to one of his most iconic roles in Coming to America 2. With a production budget of $60 million, the sequel premiered on Amazon Prime. The reception from movie-fans and film critics wasn’t great. However, despite the lukewarm reaction to the film, there are still potential plans for a third film.
Fans may be waiting awhile for Coming to American 3, as Eddie Murphy commented on the project, stating, “There’s an idea for a Coming to America 3 that I have. But it doesn’t happen for 16 years. I have to be 75 to do it, and not make me up like 75 but really be 75.”
Eddie Murphy’s net worth is also impacted by his work as a singer. As a solo artist, Murphy released two hit singles, including “Put Your Mouth on Me” and “Party all the Time”. The latter song was included on his debut album, How Could It Be, was released in 1985.
Fast forward a number of years until 2004, and both VH1 and Blender voted “Party All the Time” as number seven on a list of the 50 Worst Songs of All-Time. Murphy continued recording albums and even performed numerous songs in his movies over the years, including multiple songs for the Shrek franchise.
In 2013, he released one of his most recent singles, “Red Light”, which is a reggae song featuring Snoop Dog.
Eddie Murphy’s net worth is also significantly impacted by his real estate investments. Over the years, Murphy has owned various mansions. In 1988, the same year that Coming to America was released, he purchased a 20,000-square-foot home from Cher for $5.9 million. Murphy would later sell the home in 1995 for $4 million. Rob Report actually shows the house is worth close to $85 million today.
In 1995, he purchased a 205-acre farm for $2.5 million in Poughquag, New York. He tried to sell the home in 2005, for $12.75 million, and would finally sell the home in 2011 for $3.7 million.
In 2001, Murphy bought a 3.7 acre lot in an exclusive neighborhood in Beverly Park for $10 million. Beverly Park is considered one of the most expensive areas of Beverly Hills, which is also home to celebrities and multi-billionaires.
In 2003, Murphy built a 18,600 square foot home on the property. It’s still his primary residence today, and is estimated to be worth $20 million.
Murphy is also rumored to have spent $15 million on the Bahamas private island called Rooster Cay.
Eddie Murphy has 10 children. His first born, Eric, was born in 1989 with former girlfriend Paulette McNeely. Murphy would then marry model Nicole Mitchell in 1993. They met at the NAACP Image Awards show in 1988. They lived together for two years and married in March 1993 at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The two had five children together, including Bria, Myles, Shayne, Zola, and Bella.
But in 2005, Mitchell filed for a divorce due to irreconcilable differences. It was then finalized in 2006.
After his divorce from Mitchell, Murphy had his second son, Christian with then girlfriend Tamara Hood. Next would come his daughter Angel, who he had with former Spice Girl Melanie Brown.
Today, Eddie Murphy has found love with former model and actress, Paige Butcher. The couple has been together since 2012 and have two children together, Izzy Oona Murphy, born in 2016, and Max Charles Murphy, born in 2018.
Murphy and Butcher got engaged in 2018. However, they have yet to tie the knot as of 2022.
Eddie Murphy’s Net Worth Today
As of 2022, Eddie Murphy’s net worth is estimated at $200 million. While Murphy’s work as an actor and standup comic is largely responsible for his net worth, his work as a writer and producer also impacts that number.
Fans can expect to see Murphy next in You People alongside Jonah Hill and Nia Long. And after that is the highly anticipated Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, which Murphy is currently filming.
Murphy also has 8 additional projects at various stages of development in the works, including a currently Untitled Grumpy Old Men project. It’s rumored that Murphy will star alongside Samuel L. Jackson in the film. However, as of writing this, the script for the project has yet to be completed.