How Eddie Murphy Built His Impressive Net Worth on Comedy and Film

Eddie Murphy remains one of the busiest and hardest-working men in Hollywood. After more than four decades in the entertainment business, he’s still one of the highest-paid actors in the film industry. Murphy, 61, boasts an impressive net worth of an estimated $200 million.

Next month, the comedian, actor, producer, and father of 10 will be honored at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards. He will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his career “impact on film and television” during the annual event airing on Jan. 10 on NBC.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 05: Eddie Murphy attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

Murphy earned his first Golden Globe after his 2006 performance in the musical film “Dreamgirls” as singer James “Thunder” Early. But his early years of fame came from playing characters on shows and series such as “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1980s. 

Murphy’s ‘SNL’ Days

During Murphy’s time on “SNL” in 1980, he was paid $4,500 per episode. His salary increased the following season, and he began receiving $30,000 per episode — which was unusual then, especially for a Black actor. 

Murphy left the late-night show in 1984 and returned in December 2019 to host a special Christmas episode. The “Norbit” star reprised some of his most famous characters, including Gumby, Mr. Robinson, a spoof of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and Buckwheat of the “The Little Rascals.”

The special landed him his first career Emmy Award in 2020 for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series. 

“Thank you so much for giving me an Emmy,” said Murphy during his acceptance speech. “I don’t have an Emmy. This is 40 years since I started ‘Saturday Night Live.’ This is my first Emmy, so thank you so much, and I want to thank Loren Michels for putting this whole thing together and making this happen. I want to thank the cast, the writers, and the crew at ‘SNL,’” he added. “This was a very, very special thing for me to come back and to have the show turn out the way it did. I’m still floating from it.” 

Movies and Films

Murphy became a household name and one of Hollywood’s most sought-after movie actors. The well-loved character segued into film with 1982’s “48 Hours” and 1983’s “Trading Places.”

He received his first big payday in 1984 after earning $1 million for his role as Lieutenant T.M. Landry in “Best Defense.” That same year, he got paid $14 million for starring in “Beverly Hills Cop.” 

For his role in the second installment of “Beverly Hills Cop,” Murphy was paid $8 million and $15 million for the third. The three films grossed over $431 million. 

In his prime, Murphy was a money-making machine. His 1987 live-recorded stand-up film, “Eddie Murphy: Raw,” brought in $50,504,655. In the late 1990s, Murphy’s movie career took a turn as he began taking roles in more family-friendly movies, notably as the voice of a character in “Mulan.” 

By the 2000s, he made viewers laugh with classics like “Dr. Dolittle, “Dr. Dolittle 2, “Daddy Day Care,” and the sequel, “Daddy Day Camp.” His four “Shrek” films and two movies about the franchise’s character Puss in Boots brought in just over $1.4 billion. 

He was paid $20 million for 2002’s “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” which only roughly made $7 million at the box office. DigitalSpy crowned the sci-fi comedy as one of the most expensive movie flops of all time. 

According to various outlets, Murphy has been negotiating a $70 million deal with Netflix since the summer of 2019.

The funnyman was reportedly paid $16 million for 2006’s “The Nutty Professor,” which made $129 million domestically. For “The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” he negotiated a fee of $60 million. But as a whole, the film franchise made just over $295 million. 

1988’s “Coming to America” made $288,752,301 worldwide on a $36 million budget. Its long-awaited sequel, “Coming 2 America,” was the most streamed title in the U.S. following its release on Amazon Prime Video, according to Nielsen’s streaming rankings for the week of March 1-7, 2021.

The Hollywood Reporter stated that “The 1.41 billion minutes of watch time for the Paramount-produced movie equates to about 12.8 million full showings of the film, based on its 110-minute running time.”

In September of 2021, Amazon Studios tapped Murphy for a three-movie deal. Next month’s release, “You People,” is a Kenya Barris directed-comedy in which he will star opposite Jonah Hill. Murphy will return as Alex Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop 4,” which is currently in post-production.

Short-Lived Music Career 

After “Coming to America,” Murphy’s momentum began to slow down, which led him to venture into music. He spent years moonlighting as a pop star and released five studio albums of funky beats and comedic skits.

His self-titled debut album, “Eddie Murphy,” was released in 1982 by Columbia records. Featuring audio from his comedy tours and skits, the certified gold effort received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Recording. His single “Boogie in Your Butt” scored a nomination for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. 

Murphy won his first official Grammy for Best Comedy Album for 1984’s “Eddie Murphy: Comedian.” 

In 1985, the comedy legend released his single “Party All The Time” written and produced by the late Rick James. Rumor has it the track was recorded after fellow comedian Richard Pryor bet Murphy $100,00, insisting he could not sing.

Fast-forward to 2006, and Murphy flexed his singing chops as Jimmy “Thunder” Early in the musical drama “Dreamgirls.” He sang his own vocals in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical and on the film’s soundtrack. 

Real Estate

Murphy’s real estate portfolio includes properties in New York, California, and New Jersey. In 2007, Murphy bought the 15-acre Rooster Cay island in Nassau, Bahamas, for $15 million, per Forbes. He is reportedly the former owner of another Bahamian property called Pearl island. 

Meanwhile, his five-acre estate in Englewood, New Jersey, was sold to musicians Alicia Keys and Swiss Beatz in 2012 for $12 million. It came equipped with a bowling alley, marble fireplaces, a private recording studio, and a spa. The mansion, sometimes referred to as Bubble Hill, was sitting on the market for years, initially priced at $30 million, according to reports. After several price drops, the Grammy-winning couple bought it for $12 million. 

Between 1998 and 2007, he lived in the 10-bedroom, seven-bathroom palace he bought in with his then-wife, Nicole Mitchell Murphy. The 12,600-square-foot property in Granite Bay, California, sits on 5.2 acres of land located near Folsom Lake. It was updated with winding staircases, vaulted ceilings, and a nine-car garage in photos from The property was sold in 2007 for $6.1 million after the couple divorced in 2006. 

Today, the “Coming 2 America” star lives in a custom-built $20 million home in Beverly Hills. According to the outlet, he purchased a 3.7-acre lot in the gated community of North Beverly Park for $10 million in 2001. 

After spending $20 million on significant renovations, the 18,598-square-foot was complete by 2003. He built a 10-bedroom mansion with a library, 17 bathrooms, a tennis court, and a four-car garage. 

Alimony & Child Support 

Eddie Murphy and his wife, Nicole Murphy, wed in March 1993 and shared five children. After announcing their split in 2005, the couple divorced in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences. According to Daily Mail, Nicole was reportedly left with a $15 million settlement. 

Following the divorce, Murphy became romantically involved with Spice Girls singer Mel B. Their nine-month fairytale romance ended in December 2006 while Mel B was pregnant with their now-15-year-old daughter, Angel. 

The pair went through an ugly and publicized battle over child support. Murphy was originally ordered to pay $25,000 a month in the 2009 paternity settlement reported by Daily Mail.

In October 2020, Mel B filed court documents requesting more financial support due to changes in her income. The outlet obtained new documents in October of this year that reveals an extra $10,000 per month was added to child support. 

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