Ben Stiller is an American-born actor and comedian best known for his roles in Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, and The Secret Life of Water Mitty. Having started his career in Hollywood in the mid-80s, he has more than 130 acting credits to his name.
But it’s not just his acting work that has contributed to his success. Ben Stiller’s net worth is also significantly impacted by his work as a producer, director, and writer. Read on to discover Stiller’s most successful projects and follow his career from the beginning until now.
Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York City. He grew up in a family of actors and comedians, as his father, Jerry Stiller, and mother, Anne Meara, also worked in show business.
His parents used to bring him to sets when they were filming, including The Mike Douglas Show, when Stiller was six. Besides having busy parents in the entertainment industry, Stiller lived a relatively normal life attending The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In 1983, he graduated high school from Calhoun School in New York.
After graduation, Stiller started to perform on the cabaret circuit as an opening act to Jadin Wong. He would study film at the University of California. However, Stiller quit school after nine months and moved back to New York City, where he attended acting classes, auditioned, and tried to find an agent.
Ben Stiller had his acting debut when he was nine years old. He guest starred on his mother’s TV series Kate McShane. Next, he appeared on the TV soap opera Guiding Light at age fifteen. And then in 1986, he was cast in a Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare. Stiller performed alongside John Mahoney in the play.
During the play’s run, Stiller made a satirical mockumentary with Mahoney. Stiller received positive feedback from the project and followed it up with a ten-minute short called The Hustler of Money.
The short eventually got the attention of Saturday Night Live, and two years later, Stiller obtained a spot as a writer for the sitcom.
Then, in 1989, he wrote and even appeared on SNL. However, the show did not want Stiller to make short films anymore. So he then left after four episodes.
Short Films & The Ben Stiller Show
Stiller kept working hard putting together Elvis Stories, a short film about the fictitious tabloid focusing on the sightings of Elvis Presley. Next was the music video Going Back to Brooklyn.
Over the next few years, Stiller would build a relationship with MTV, who would eventually offer him a 13-episode show called The Ben Stiller Show. The show only lasted for one season. However, it paved the way for more TV shows for Stiller. In 1992, Fox Network revived The Ben Stiller Show, airing the original episodes on Fox.
Throughout its run, the show’s ratings declined. However, the numbers did not stop the show from winning an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety of Music Program in 1993.
By this stage in his career, Ben Stiller’s net worth was still relatively small in comparison to what it would become. Some of Stiller’s biggest film were just a few short years away.
Stiller was interested in expanding his directing experience, and in 1992, Stiller was offered to direct Reality Bites. Two years later, the film was released with Stiller as the director as well as one of the stars. The film, which also starred Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke, grossed $33.3 million worldwide on its $11 million budget.
After Reality Bites, Stiller directed The Cable Guy starring Jim Carrey. With a $47 million initial budget, the film went on to earn more than $100 million at the worldwide box office.
During the late 90s and early 2000s, Stiller would guest star on a number of TV series as well as appear in a number of memorable films. Some of these titles included There’s Something About Marry, Keeping the Faith, and Meet the Parents.
There’s Something About Mary is actually Ben Stiller’s seventh highest-grossing film, earning $370 million on a $23 million budget. It’s reported that Stiller earned $3 million for the role.
Meet the Parents follows shortly behind There’s Something About Mary, coming in eighth place grossing $330 million on a $55 million budget.
But it was 2001’s Zoolander, which he also directed, that would become most of his memorable roles. While not wildly successful at the box office, only grossing $60 million worldwide on a $28 million budget, the film would obtain cult-class status and later spawn a sequel, 2016 Zoolander 2. The sequel, which Stiller also directed, was even less successful than the original film. The movie only grossing $56 million worldwide on a $50 million budget.
It’s reported that Stiller made $2.5 million for his work in the film.
Ben Stiller’s Highest-Grossing Films
Next came 2005’s animated flick, Madagascar. Stiller voiced the character Alex in the film, which also featured the voices of Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith. The movie grossed $542 million on its $75 million budget, which makes it Stiller’s fourth highest-grossing film to date.
2006 brought Night at the Museum, Stiller’s 3rd highest-grossing film. Stiller took on the role of Larry Daley, a night guard at the Museum of Natural History for the movie, which went on to gross $574 million on its $110 million budget.
In 2008, Stiller lent his voice to Alex once again in Madagascar 2. The movie went on to gross $604 globally on a $150 million budget. And then, Stiller’s highest-grossing film to date, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, was released in 2012, grossing $747 million on a $145 budget.
While it’s not public knowledge exactly what the cast of the Madagascar films made, it’s a safe bet that, with the films’ growing success with each release, it was a hefty addition to Ben Stiller’s net worth.
The next few years would bring a couple additional sequels, including 2014’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and 2016’s Zoolander 2. But by this point in his career, he was really starting to focus more on producing and directing, which have substantially added to Ben Stiller’s net worth.
Most recently, Ben Stiller has worked on the Apple TV+ series Severance, directing six episodes of the first season. He also serves as an executive producer for the series.
Real Estate & Other Ventures
In 2016, Stiller and his wife Christine paid $15.3 million to purchase a condo in West Village in New York City. In addition to the condo, Stiller and his wife also own a 14-acre blufftop in Hawaii. Stiller bought the property in 2022 for $8.5 million. The couple also owns a 33-acre real estate property in Chappaqua, New York, for which they spent $10 million.
Stiller dated several actresses throughout his career, including Calista Flockhart, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Amanda Peet.
However, it was in May 2000 that Stiller married his match, Christine Taylor. The couple married in Kauai, Hawaii. Taylor is also an actress whom Stiller met while filming the TV movie Heat Vision and Jack.
Consequently, the two starred in a number of films together, including Tropic Thunder, Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Zoolander 2, and the television series Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development.
Stiller and Taylor have two children together, a daughter named Ella Olivia, born in 2002, and a son Quinlin Dempsey, born in 2005.
In 2017, after 17 years of marriage, the two reportedly split up. However, they later patched things up after living together during the pandemic lockdown.
Additionally, both adopted a vegetarian diet for health reasons. As many can recall, Stiller had prostate cancer in June 2014. And he announced in September of the same year that he was cancer-free. This was after he had surgical removal of his prostate.
Ben Stiller’s Net Worth 2022
As of 2022, Ben Stiller’s net worth is estimated at $200 million. While his work in front of the camera counts for a large percentage of his net worth, he’s also got over 55 production credits to his name as well in addition to 21 directing credits, which most recently includes six episodes of the Apple TV+ series Severance.
Stiller has been spending more time behind the camera as of late. But fans can look forward to his upcoming projects, which include Dodgeball 2 as well as London, a thriller starring Oscar Isaac, which Stiller will direct and produce.
Stiller is part of a group of actors called the Frat Pack. It’s a nickname given to comedy actors who have appeared in various high-grossing comedy movies since the middle of the 1990s. These actors include Owen Olsen, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, and Will Ferrell, to name a few.