Will Smith has been involved in the entertainment industry since the 1980s as an actor and musician. He’s been nominated for two Academy Awards, has won four Grammy Awards and was recognized by Forbes magazine as “the most bankable star worldwide.”
Although Will Smith’s net worth is not published publicly, we estimate it to be around $350 million.
A Shaky Start
Will Smith got his start in the music business, where he earned an impressive $10 million as part of the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince hip hop duo. The duo did pretty well and sold millions of albums between 1986 and 1994. Unfortunately, a mix of mismanagement and overspending resulted in Smith owing the IRS $2.8 million in taxes. At this point, it’s fair to say Smith’s net worth was well in the red.
Will Smith didn’t become a household name until he joined the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990.
This would be the start of a career that would eventually earn him millions in blockbuster film roles. Still, for the first three years of the popular television series, 70 percent of every paycheck went straight to the IRS to pay off his debt.
By the time the fourth year of the series started, Smith’s net worth was back at zero and he was able to bank his earnings for the last three years of the show. He still earns royalties from the sitcom – and while there’s no way to know what those figures are, the show is licensed to air in 193 countries so it’s fair to guess the earnings are healthy.
The Jump to the Big Screen
One of Smith’s earliest movie roles was in Made in America. He was paid “just” $100,000 for it.
His first major role was in Six Degrees of Separation, which came out the same year and for which he earned a more impressive $500,000 salary.
Smith’s big movie break would happen two years later, when he starred in Bad Boys opposite Martin Lawrence. He was paid $2 million for his role as narcotic detective Detective Mike Lowrey – and the rest, as they say, is history. As a quick comparison, Smith earned $17 million for Bad Boys for Life (the third movie), which came out in 2019.
Will Smith is the only actor with eight consecutive films grossing over $100 million each. The winning streak started in 2002 with Men in Black II and continued until 2008 when Hancock came out. Will Smith broke another record for his earnings with Men in Black III. Instead of negotiating an upfront salary, Smith opted for a performance-based pay. In the end, that meant he received $100 million for his role in the major blockbuster movie.
Smith is also one of several big-name actors who are now striking movie deals with Netflix. He is expected to earn $35 million for the sequel to the 2017 action fantasy movie Bright.
Behind the Scenes
While fans best know Smith as an actor, he has also earned untold millions as a producer, director, and writer for a number of projects. He was an executive producer for I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happiness, Hanckok, The Karate Kid, and Bay Boys for Life. He also wrote and produced After Earth and directed an episode of the series All of Us. He was also the voice of Oscar in the animation film Shark Tales.
In 2019, Smith partnered with Facebook’s streaming service to put out a reality show called The Bucket List. The show chronicles his real-life adventures.
Marriage Hasn’t Hurt His Net Worth
Smith has been married to Jada Koren Pinkett since 1997, making it one of Hollywood’s longest running marriages. Together, the couple owns Westbrook, Inc., a cross-platform multimedia venture that’s behind the production of a number of premium TV and movie projects such as Warner Bros drama King Richard and the Karate Kid spinoff Cobra Kai, made exclusively for YouTube.
Pinkett Smith has her own net worth of $50 million, part of which she has earned through acting roles, fashion and music pursuits.
Together, the Smiths own multi-million dollar properties all around the US. Their two main residences are a ski chalet in Utah and a 150-acre property in the hills near Malibu in California. This property alone, which they bought for $7.5 million in 1999 is now worth over $50 million. The couple also owns a home inside a gated community in Hidden Hills, California and have bought and sold a couple of oceanfront Hawaii compounds over the years.
While it’s hard to say exactly how much their real estate is worth, it is likely around the $100 million mark.
So How Much is Will Smith Actually Worth?
Once you add it all up, Will Smith’s net worth is about $350 million.