Will Ferrell is an American actor and comedian who first found popularity while performing on Saturday Night Live (SNL). On the big screen, he became best known for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and the Christmas classic Elf.
Besides his work in front of the camera, Will Ferrell’s net worth is also sizably impacted by his podcasts, real estate investments, and producing and writing work. As of 2022, Ferrell has over 132 acting credits to his name and nearly 90 producing credits. Curious about what his most successful projects are? Read on to find out and trace his career from its start until now.
John William Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, on July 16, 1967. His mother, Betty Kay, worked as an educator, while his father, Roy Lee Ferrell Jr., worked as a musician. Most notably, his father played for the Righteous Brothers.
His father’s career in show business initially convinced Ferrel to pursue a more reliable profession. And following his graduation from University High School in Irvine, Ferrell pursued a degree at the University of Southern California. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Information in 1990.
Ferrell also realized his penchant for humor early in his life, often using comedy as a way to make friends or break the boredom. That gift for comedy and his comedic talent would come to light following his brief career in broadcasting and a few other failed professional ventures.
Will Ferrell’s net worth would likely look far different today if he had continued to shun show business. But, for the young man known for pranks and streaking in college, comedy was his inevitable calling.
That call first came when Ferrell joined a Los Angeles comedy improv group called The Groundings. Defined as a troupe and school for improvisational and sketch comedy, this would be the beginning of Ferrell’s career in comedy.
This also proved to be a very pivotal time in Ferrell’s life. After auditioning and performing with the group from 1991 to 1993, he joined The Groundings in 1994. During this time, Will honed his impersonation skills and refined his craft.
It was only a short time later, as luck would have it, that an SNL producer saw a show by The Groundings. And that led to an audition for SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels.
Saturday Night Live (SNL)
In 1995, Ferrell became a cast member of the long-running television series Saturday Night Live. He quickly became a fan favorite on the comedy-skit program with his comedic talent and impersonation skills.
Some of his most notable moments on SNL included his impersonation skits. Ferrell was well-known for his repeated impersonations of US President George W. Bush, Crooner Robert Goulet, and the much-publicized Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
However, one of Ferrell’s most famous skits surrounded Steve Butabi, a character Ferrell created. These night-clubbing character skits were also the basis of the 1998 movie A Night at the Roxbury. With a $17 million budget, the movie made just over $30 million globally.
The major television network exposure also helped Ferrell follow in the footsteps of many other SNL alums and transition to the big screen. Although his success on SNL is without question, his true notoriety came from the movie roles that would follow.
Success on the Big Screen
During Will Ferrell’s seven-year run on SNL, he appeared in several films, including 1997’s Austin Powers International Man of Mystery, 1999’s Superstar, 2000’s The Ladies Man, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in 2001, and Zoolander, also in 2001.
By the time Ferrell left SNL to pursue the big screen, he was the highest-paid SNL cast member in the show’s history. At a reported $17,500 per episode, Ferrel made roughly $350,000 during his final season.
Will Ferrell’s first film after leaving SNL was the 2003 comedy Old School, where he starred opposite Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. The movie follows three men wanting to relive their college days. The film was a small success, grossing $86 million worldwide on a budget of $24 million.
In the 2003 New Line Cinema release Elf, Ferrell portrays a human raised by elves and not just any elves but Santa’s elves. On a budget of $33 million, the film became an instant holiday classic. The movie was a global box office success, grossing over $225 million worldwide.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
One of the biggest film franchises to add to Will Ferrell’s net worth was Anchorman. Ferrell led the ensemble cast that included Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell in this satirical comedy. Released by DreamWorks in 2004, Anchorman pulled in $90 million at the box office on a $26 million budget. Ferrell made $7 million for his role. But his popularity soon made him one of the highest-paid actors on the big screen.
Melinda and Melinda
2004 was a busy year for Ferrell, as he also had a featured role in the Woody Allen production Melinda and Melinda. This under-the-radar film was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures and grossed $20 million at the box office.
That same year, Ferrel also starred in the Columbia Pictures release of the 1960’s classic sitcom Bewitched opposite Nicole Kidman. Another hit, the film took in $131 million at the box office against a budget of $85 million. Ferrell’s star power and popularity now found him making $20 million per movie.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
In 2006, Ferrell starred in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Ferrell also helped write the movie alongside director Adam McKay. The film tells the story of NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, whose talent and devotion get tested when a French Formula One driver enters the scene.
On a budget of $72.5 million, the film made over $163 million globally.
That same year Ferrell also took part in the Sony Pictures release of Stranger than Fiction. While the film had much less fanfare, it was well-received and earned $53 million on a budget of $30 million.
In 2006, Ferrell lent his voice to Ted for Curious George. Drew Barrymore and Eugene Levy also offered their voices to the film, which grossed $69 million worldwide against its $50 million budget.
Blades of Glory
Blades of Glory, a 2007 Paramount Pictures release, was another successful film in Ferrell’s streak of box office hits. In this comedic parody of figure skating, Ferrell’s character competes in a partner’s competition with another man. This hit comedy skated to a tune of $147.5 million on a $61 million budget.
Another in the long list of hit movies in collaboration with Adam McKay, Will Ferrell teamed up with John C. Reilly in the comedy hit Step Brothers.
This 2008 Columbia Pictures release featured Ferrell and Reilly as two grown men living with their parents. And when their parents marry, it forces the men to coexist in the same household, and all-comedy ensues. With a $65 million budget, this successful film banked $128 million at the box office.
Land of the Lost
There was one hiccup during Ferrell’s impressive run of box office hits. And that was the 2009’s Land of the Lost. This box office miss cost $100 million to make and produced only $68 million in global ticket sales.
The Other Guys
In 2010, Will Ferrell worked with Mark Wahlberg and an all-star cast in The Other Guys. The film was a small success, earning $171 million worldwide against its $100 million budget.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
This sequel actually outperformed its predecessor. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues pulled in $173 million at the global box office on a $50 million budget, making this 2013 release one of Will Ferrell’s most successful films.
The Lego Movie
As of 2022, 2014’s The Lego Movie is Ferrell’s highest-grossing film. On a budget of $60 million, the animated flick grossed over $468 million worldwide.
In 2015, Ferrel found box office success again, teaming up with comedian Kevin Hart in Get Hard. The film grossed $111 million worldwide on a budget of around $40 million.
Another one of Ferrell’s most successful films, Daddy’s Home, found Ferrell working alongside Mark Wahlberg yet again. Ferrell was the uncool stepdad pitted against the cool biological father who comes to visit the kids.
This 2015 movie took the audience and the box office by storm, raking in nearly $243 million worldwide against its budget of $50 million. As of 2022, Daddy’s Home is Ferrell’s fifth highest-grossing film.
More recently, Ferrell has taken up podcasting. In 2019, he launched a podcast entitled, The Ron Burgundy Podcast. Working with iHeart Radio on the venture, the show was renewed in 2022 for another season.
Ferrell also partnered with iHeart Radio to launch the Big Money Players Network podcast. This podcast is based on unscripted comedy sets and takes Ferrell back to his comedy roots.
In addition to his lucrative movie career, Will Ferrell’s net worth is also impacted by his other ventures, which include his part ownership of the professional Los Angeles FC soccer team.
Also adding to Will Ferrell’s net worth are his real estate holdings. In 2007, he purchased a Los Angeles-area home from Ellen Degeneres for $9.9 million.
He and his wife, Viveca Paulin-Ferrell, also own a beautiful contemporary loft in Manhattan.
In August 2000, Will Ferrell married his acting class sweetheart, Viveca Paulin, whom he met in 1995. The couple has three sons together, including Magnus Paulin Ferrell, Mattias Paulin Ferrell, and Alex Paul.
Ferrell is passionate about the fight against cancer and spends time raising money to support scholarships for cancer survivors. He has also run in the Boston and New York Marathons.
Will Ferrell’s Net Worth 2022
As of 2022, Will Ferrell’s net worth is estimated at $160 million. And while that number primarily comes from his on-screen work, it’s also heavily impacted by his acting and producing work, his podcasts, and his real estate investments.
Fans of Ferrell can look forward to seeing him next in Apple TV+’s Spirited opposite Ryan Reynolds. The film is a musical take on the classic Charles Dickens story of a miserly misanthrope who is taken on a magical journey.
Additionally, IMDbPro lists Ferrell as having 44 projects in various stages of development. Some he’ll star in, and others he will produce.