Very few actors are able to remain relevant in the industry since they almost started, and even have more recognition to this date to the point of being a reference to other stars and during movies and series where they don’t even appear.
But if we have to name someone before anyone else, Samuel L. Jackson is at the top of anyone’s list because let’s face it, have you seen someone acting in as many films as him and still be so successful?
He is not only one of our favorite actors, but someone who has truly earned his place in Hollywood and people’s hearts.
So, it is only natural for us to review his fortune but also trajectory and life. After all, if you are here, you are curious about his net worth and details of how he reached his current position in the industry.
Fortunately, we are here to answer all the possible questions you might have and tell you why he is probably one of the best-paid actors, is he?
Childhood & Early Years: When He Started
Focusing on the initial part, we always go for; we need to cover when this big star was born to then focus on the details about his film career.
Born in Washington, D.C. on December 21 in 1948, he is known as Samuel L. Jackson, but aren’t you curious about what the “L” actually stands for? Simple, Leroy, so whenever you think about his name, that’s actually Samuel Leroy Jackson. He is the only child of Elizabeth Harriett and Roy Jackson.
Having grown up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, his father was away from the family by residing in Kansas City and died of alcoholism. He was never present in Samuel’s life since the latter only met him twice.
His mother raised him alone and worked in a factory. During his childhood in Tennessee, his grandparents influenced his life, who was named Edgar and Pearl Montgomery and corresponded to his maternal side.
After attending several schools in segregated areas, he graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga.
Then, in Atlanta, Georgia, he enrolled at Morehouse College, pursuing his first degree in marine biology. Jackson became interested in acting after joining local acting groups to get extra credit for a class, and he decided to change majors.
Besides being a student of this institution, he also served as one of the ushers for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Atlanta funeral in 1968.
Jackson, along with several students, held members of the Morehouse College board-of-trustee hostage in protests that took place on campus in 1969. They demanded reforms regarding the school’s governance and curriculum, and due to this, he was convicted of unlawful confinement.
He was also placed on suspension for two years. He eventually returned to college in 1972 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Drama, but during his suspension, he worked in Los Angeles as a social worker.
There aren’t many specific details about Jackson’s childhood and only focuses on his activism during his college years and when he started his acting career.
Stage Career: Getting Started
Continuing with our latest mention, Jackson, and his future wife, LaTanya Richardson, joined the Black Image Theatre Company after college.
They met at Morehouse’s sister school Spelman College. They performed skits that were a fiery mix of humor and rage to predominantly white audiences while touring the country.
Jackson and Richardson moved to Harlem in 1976 after they had exhausted their passion for politically charged theatre and wanted to pursue acting careers that were not restricted by race.
He started to perform in Off-Broadway productions such as Richard Wesley’s “The Mighty Gents.” He was also able to substitute for Bill Cosby at “The Cosby Show” rehearsals.
The latter 70s were a slow yet exciting phase for Samuel that was already working hard to achieve a higher position in acting. While Jackson was working on Charles Fuller’s “Soldier’s Play” in 1981, he got the opportunity to meet Morgan Freeman and Spike Lee.
The first convinced Jackson that he could become a successful actor. At the same time, the latter, a New York University student enthusiastic about Jackson’s performances, were the key points for his future success.
Lee encouraged Jackson to appear in the films that he had planned to make, and when he agreed, this led to his appearances in Lee’s first films, including “School Daze” and “Do The Right Thing.”
This friendship with Lee was clearly the starting point of his famous acting career in Hollywood, and it was his role in Lee’s “Jungle Fever” as the drug-addict ‘Gator’ that finally caught critics’ eyes and earned him some well-deserved praise.
Jackson was awarded the Best Supporting Actor prize by the Cannes Film Festival judges and also a New York Film Critics Award.
He continued to appear in small roles in films like “Juice” or “True Romance” while also playing a role for the thriller “White Sands.”
The latter role showed his remarkable range and ability to give each character a unique twist.
By the time he appeared in supporting roles yet prominent ones in “Patriot Games” and “Jurassic Park,” he was a star in Hollywood and had earned a reputation for being one of the hardest-working actors.
In 1994, Jackson was offered the role of “Pulp Fiction,” Quentin Tarantino’s instant classic, which led him to be able to work for the role he was waiting for all this time.
In it, he is a preacher-spewing murderer with fiery speeches that can run up to five pages. Jackson’s passionate performance made him the moral center of this psychologically bizarre film.
He terrified and moved audiences and was even nominated for an Academy Award for his role.
Continuous Success: From Pulp Fiction to This Date
After his starring and successful role in Tarantino’s film next to John Travolta, Jackson was able to close many deals and movie roles.
These include working in John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill” and the action-thriller “The Long Kiss Goodnight.”
However, he still participated in independent ventures like Steve Buscemi’s” Trees Lounge.”
In 1993, he made his long-awaited return to the stage with “Distant Fires,” which during its premiere stated that he always wanted to get back to the theatre to make sure he was still an actor.
Before ending the decade, Jackson was seen in the shark-terror thriller “Deep Blue Sea” in 1999. Then, following the announcement of the new Star Wars movies by the time, he appeared as Jedi Knight Mace Windu in “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” which he covered again for “Attack of the Clones” in 2002 and “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005.
Besides these big movies, he was quite busy in the 2000s when also starring in the military thriller “Rules of Engagement” as well as in the remake of the 1970s blaxploitation hit “Shaft.”
After playing the role of Ben Affleck opposite in 2002’s “The Changing Lanes” movie, Jackson took on the title role in the 2005 biopic “Coach Carter” and appeared in “Black Snake Moan” the following year, and in the cult classic “Snakes on a Plane.”
In 2008, he joined the film “Jumper,” and some animated films are added to his career.
In addition to his many success stories, The Guinness Book of World Records ranked Jackson as the highest-grossing actor of all time in 2011 when he earned $7.2 billion from his major franchises’ films “Jurassic Park,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Star Wars.”
Just to make clear, he wasn’t the one earning billions, but this is rather a total of the grossing from these three franchises only.
Of course, when the early 2000s finished and the 2010s were quite close, we can’t forget to mention his inception in his role as Nick Fury in Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 2008’s film “Iron Man.”
As you might know, he returned to the role for the sequel in 2010 and many other subsequent movies to expand the universe, including “Thor” (2011), “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011), and “The Winter Soldier” (2014).
Finally, the films outside of Marvel’s franchise like “Django Unchained” and “The Hateful Eight” were big on the screen and part of his continuous success in the industry, and there are many other latest movies, including the war drama “The Last Full Measure” in 2020.
Let’s Focus on Numbers: Jackson’s Fortune
Finally getting to the point we are sure you are excited the most, we have to mention that Jackson, in terms of money, is the highest-grossing actor of all time since the movies in which Jackson starred have grossed over $27 billion worldwide. Altogether, of course.
But what about the fortune he has amassed over the years? Is he actually a billionaire? Not quite.
To this date, Samuel L. Jackson’s net worth is set at $250 million, and all of it comes from his appearances in films and theater shows.
However, some of his investment isn’t reflected in the total net worth as of 2021, including real estate along with his wife.
The properties include a 12,000 square-foot mansion in Beverly Park, which cost $8.3 million when they bought it in 2000, and it is now valued at $25 million approx.
A multi-unit condo on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that was worth $4.8 million is also part of the net worth since they listed it in 2018 for $13 million.
When it comes to his salary and payments from films, Samuel L. Jackson was awarded $75.000 for his role in “White Sands” in 1992.
Meanwhile, “Shaft” earned him $10 million, “Unbreakable” $7 million, “No Good Deed “$6 million, and “Kong: Skull Island” $5 million.
Each time he appeared as Nick Fury in a Marvel movie, he earned between $4 and $6 million. However, a rumor argues that he earns a commission of the movies’ grossing during a box office, but this hasn’t been confirmed, and we don’t think so, considering that his time on screen was quite reduced for the latest films.
He earns $10 million as a base salary for a starring role in a film based on his success and trajectory. If backend points are added, he can make as much as $20 million or even 30.
Other earnings like endorsements with companies such as Apple and Capital One are included in the total net worth. However, no details of the number are disclosed, while the total of money invested in real estate reaches about $40 million.
Jackson portrayed many characters and continues to do so every time he gets a Hollywood call from one of the directors, so his net worth is only bound to keep growing.
Is He a Philanthropist? Inside Jackson’s Charity Work
With all the money a star of his caliber has, would you think he is willing to help those who need a hand or a few bucks? What is your bet?
If you agree with “no,” you are quite wrong there.
Samuel has contributed to many charities over the years. In fact, with more than 20 including the Rape Foundation, Project Last Stand, Stand Up to Cancer, Save the Children, and Whatever It Takes.
Most of the foundations and charities he supports are focused on the battle against cancer, helping children, and financing health programs to help in specific countries, including India and the USA.
Of course, the Rape Foundation is quite straightforward about its purpose by supporting those victims of such events.
Other causes supported by the actor include adoption, fostering, disaster relief, and finding cures for AIDS and HIV, Alzheimer’s, and Cancer.
He is quite the activism when taking part in events that show support to human rights and during movements like Black Lives Matter.
There is a long list of charities and foundations added to what he but also his wife, LaTanya Jackson, support, so we could keep going for quite a while.
Finally, during the coronavirus crisis, his donations haven’t been made public in terms of announcing them, but several contributions have been reported despite being done anonymously.
So, if you thought this actor didn’t have a good heart, you were pretty wrong there.
Our Top 5 Samuel L. Jackson Quotes
- “All movies aren’t fun; some are hard work. you try to do something and convey a set of emotions that have to do with some real-life kind of stuff.”
- “I never did one thing right in my life; you know that? Not one. That takes skill.”
- “English, motherf*cker, do you speak it?”
- “And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!”
- “Not everybody goes to movies to get their life changed.”
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