Kevin Spacey, the man who played the iconic (*spoiler alert*) villain Keyser Söze in The Usual Suspects and Hopper in A Bug's Life, has had one of the more interesting careers of any American actor.
Despite not having traditional leading-man looks, Spacey has managed to become a character actor who lands the major roles. By sheer force of charisma and talent, the man has remained a huge star in Hollywood for more than two decades without ever being typecast.
Before he took on his current role as Francis Underwood on the Netflix original series, House of Cards, he played the lost suburban dad in American Beauty and one of the horrible bosses in, well, Horrible Bosses. There is no such thing as a Kevin Spacey part, but his performances turned so many of his roles into ones you could not imagine any other person playing.
And while Spacey has never been a guaranteed box office draw or an actor who commands $20 million a picture, he has accrued quite the fortune along the way. The one-time Lex Luthor may not have Tom Cruise money, but he also never made a Rock of Ages or a Knight and Day with the promise of a fat paycheck.
How did Spacey make his money?
House of Cards changed everything for the actor. Before he took on what has become his best-known role, the veteran performer had never made the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list. The success of that show powered him to $16 million in 2014 earnings, good enough for No. 74 in the rankings.
Spacey, who was paid $5 million a season for the first two years of Cards, received a bump to $9 million for the third season, according to The New York Post.
However much money Spacey has made, the actor is clearly not motivated by the payday. He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 that it takes a lot more now to get him to perform.
"Unless it's Martin Scorsese, and it's a really significant role," he said he's not interested. "I'm not playing someone's brother. I'm not playing the station manager. I'm not playing the FCC chairman."
Still, the same article reports that the actor has cashed some nice checks in recent years, including $1 million for a few days work on the Horrible Bosses sequel. Spacey has also cashed in on his fame playing the lead part in a sequel to the popular Call of Duty video game. He has even appeared in ads for E*Trade and has lent his voice to other commercials.
In broad terms, however, Spacey's riches come from his longevity and the fact that he has been a nearly top-tier working actor for over 20 years. He also lives fairly modestly in London -- the only permanent home he owns, according to the aforementioned Hollywood Reporter article.
What is Kevin Spacey's net worth?
Figuring out how much money Spacey actually has is trickier than it is with many celebrities, because the Oscar-winning actor keeps his personal life very private. It is possible Spacey has an addiction to smashing Faberge eggs or a weakness for betting on the ponies, but nothing he has done publicly suggests anything of that sort.
So while the calculations are subject to the unknowns of investment and good or bad deals that could affect net worth, I tend to agree with the $80 million fortune that Celebrity Net Worth credits the star with. A number of sites that report on the net worth of celebrities, including The Richest and Get Net Worth, place the number lower, at $50 million, but that does not mesh with the recent financial success the actor has enjoyed.
Spacey has worked steadily at a very high level for a long time and appears to have been careful with his money. Because of House of Cards, his net worth has gone up significantly just in the past few years, and if he continues with such powerful roles, it could skyrocket in the years to come.
Daniel Kline owns shares of Apple. He has seen K-Pax but not House of Cards. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.