and went on to star in movies and television shows that have helped him amass and grow his massive $200 million fortune.
Growing up in a family involved in show business, Ben Stiller knew he wanted to become a part of Hollywood from a young age. After taking acting lessons, he began starring in Broadway productions and producing his small-budget comedy shows. His early career consisted of writing, producing, and directing short films while simultaneously appearing in supporting roles for films. Once Stiller became a household name, he found himself starring in comedy features and cashing large paychecks for his position. With working credits in over 50 films, Stiller is a comedy giant in the industry with an occasional drama film that showcases his stunning range. Over the years, he has amassed a massive $200 million net worth from his work.
Ben Stiller knew he wanted to be an actor from a young age and went through various hoops, from funding his projects to recruiting strong actors for his short films, before he could become an A-list comedy star in Hollywood. From his first short film that landed him a writing gig in SNL to his most famous roles in Zoolander and Night At The Museum, let’s look at how Ben Stiller started and grew his $200 million net worth.
An Early Career With Short Films
Born to comedy icons Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Ben Stiller grew up in the Upper East Side of New York, knowing someday he would become a part of Hollywood. He often visited his parent’s movie sets when he was in school. After his high school graduation, Stiller enrolled in film school while taking acting lessons and auditioning for roles. He was cast in John Guare’s revival Broadway production of The House of Blue Leaves, which won four Tony Awards. It helped him begin a career in making short films. His 10-minute film The Hustler Of Money caught the eye of Saturday Night Live, who aired it on their show.
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After working in the Steven Spielberg film Empire of the Sun, Stiller joined as a writing member and featured performer on Saturday Night Live. He only worked for four episodes before leaving as the production refused to let him produce short films. His work landed him a 13-episode show called The Ben Stiller Show, featuring sketches, music, and live performances. The show was short-lived but earned Stiller his first Emmy.
His hit movie Reality Bites led Stiller to cast Jim Carey in his next gig Cable Guy, and he co-starred in the film. According to Collider, Stiller became a household name for his role in the romantic comedy, There’s Something About Mary opposite Cameron Diaz. It remains one of the most memorable films of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Becoming A Comedy Icon
The late 1990s also saw Ben Stiller become a part of a group of comedy actors dubbed the Frat Pack. This included actors who went on to collaborate on projects together frequently. The members included Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Steve Carell, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Ben Stiller. In 2000, he starred alongside Robert DeNiro in one of his most memorable performances in Meet The Parents. The $330.4 million box office success led to two sequels. A year later, Stiller portrayed his most eccentric role as a foolish model in Zoolander, as noted by Screen Rant. He also directed the film and co-starred alongside his wife, Christine Taylor, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell.
Stiller reunited with Owen Wilson to star in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums and starred in six different comedies. Two years later, he bagged another leading role as Larry, the night security guard at a museum. The Shawn Levy-directed project was met with critical and commercial success, making $574.5 million worldwide. Stiller reprised his role for two follow-up sequels. As mentioned by Forbes, he was the second highest-paid actor in 2010, with an annual salary of $53 million for his movies Little Fockers and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
An Actor Who Continues To Inspire
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Ben Stiller also ventured into voice acting in various hit animated features. One of his most famous characters is Alex, Madagascar’s African lion. In 2013, he directed, co-produced, and starred in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which was ranked as one of the best films of 2013. He served as a producer for several coming-of-age teenage dramas and comedies, such as Alex Strangelove, Dinner In America, The Package, and Friendsgiving.
The filmmaker has also expanded his range toward French television as he produced two French shows between 2020 and 2022: La Flamme and Le Flambeau: Les aventuriers de Chupacabra. La Flamme is based on his 2012 web series Burning Love, where he also served as the executive producer. In 2022, Stiller also produced an Apple TV+ hit, Severance, and starred alongside lead Adam Scott, as stated by Hollywood Reporter.
Ben Stiller has had an impactful career as an actor and show-running producer for various projects that explore new boundaries of comedy and entertainment. His memorable performances are considered comedy gold and have become iconic over time. He is currently working on the production of the second season of Severance.
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Source: Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Screen Rant, Collider
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