What is Bill Cosby’s net worth?
Bill Cosby is an American comedian, television star and producer. At the time I wrote this article, Bill Cosby’s net worth was $400 million. He is best known for creating and starring in “The Cosby Show.”
At the show’s peak, he was the highest-paid television actor in the world. His base salary for the show was $1 million per episode, but when production, creator, syndication and various other income streams were totaled, he earned $4 million per episode. That’s the same as it made $8 million per episode today. He owned 20 percent of the show, which has generated hundreds of millions in syndication rights over the past few decades, though those royalties have largely dried up in recent years in the wake of his scandals.
Cosby used those royalties, in addition to royalties from other programs and intervention fees, to invest in a highly valuable real estate portfolio and an art collection. Depending on their respective market rates at any given time, the Cosby art collection and real estate portfolio could be worth more than $250 million combined.
The future of his fortune is not yet known. Cosby has reportedly spent millions of dollars on various legal defenses and could be liable for millions more to come.
Bill Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia. He is one of four children of Anna Pearl and William Henry Cosby Sr. Cosby was class president at Mary Channing Wister Public School in Philadelphia. He was known for his reputation as a class clown. He attended Germantown High School, but failed the tenth grade. In 1956, Cosby left school at the age of 15 to join the Navy. He worked in physical therapy with Marines and Marines who had been wounded during the Korean War. Cosby eventually earned his degree and went on to earn a PhD in Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also bartended clubs and tipped heavily to those he made laugh. He then focused his efforts on the stage.
Standup comedy career
Cosby debuted his stand-up act in clubs in Philadelphia and then in NYC at The Gaslight Cafe in 1961. He went on to tour and perform stand-up in Chicago, Vegas, San Francisco and Washington DC. In 1963, his tours led to national exposure to The Tonight Show and to a series of hit comedy albums in the 1960s. His debut LP came out in 1964, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow… Right ! Cosby won seven Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Performance between 1965 and 1987. His album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With was named one of Spin’ magazine’s list of the 40 Greatest Comedy Albums of All Time . Cosby made a name for himself by telling humorous stories from his childhood. His success in standup led to television roles inThe Dick Van Dyke Show and in the action series I Spy to win three consecutive Emmy Awards.
Before starting The Cosby Show, Bill pursued a variety of other television projects. He was a regular host on The Tonight Show and hosted and starred in an annual special for NBC. For two seasons, open from 1969, he starred in The Bill Cosby Show. In this early version of The Cosby Show, Bill played a physical education teacher at a high school in Los Angeles. The show was a ratings success, but only a modest critical success. Cosby was at odds with NBC for refusing to use a laugh track for the show. His contention was that viewers had the ability to find humor for themselves without being prompted. From 1972 to 1979, Cosby created, hosted and produced the Saturday morning cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. It was based on Bill’s own childhood.
The Cosby Show
In the 1980s, Cosby launched one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, called The Cosby Show. Cosby co-produced and starred in the series and had much creative control. He was involved in every aspect of the production of The Cosby Show. Plots were often based on Bill’s real-life family life, and the similarities didn’t stop there: the main characters, parents of five Cliff and Clair Huxtable were college-educated and financially successful, just like Cosby and his real life wife. The series ran from September 1984 to 1992 and is one of only two sitcoms to remain at the top of the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons.
Life After The Cosby Show
His second sitcom, Cosby aired from 1996 – 2000 and during this time, Cosby also returned to his stand-up roots, hosting programs such as Kids Say the Darndest Things , as well as several game shows. He also became a popular spokesperson, representing as well as Jell-O, Kodak, Ford and Coca-Cola. Bill performed Far From Finished, his first stand-up special in 30 years, on Comedy Central in November 2013. He toured with the show and performed his last in Atlanta, Georgia in May 2015. Last stand-up show Cosby’s known up was in Philadelphia on January 23, 2018.
Cosby has been married to wife Camille since 1964, and the couple had five children. Their son Ennis, age 27, was killed in January 1997 in an attempted robbery while changing a flat tire on the side of the interstate. Their daughter, Ensa, died of kidney disease while awaiting a kidney transplant in February 2018. In 2016, Cosby’s attorneys revealed that he is now legally blind.
Convictions for sexual assault
Bill Cosby has been the subject of allegations of rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and sexual assault of many women since 2000. His accusers say the earliest assaults began in the mid-1960s. Cosby has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying the incidents were consensual. Most of the acts alleged by his accusers do not fall within the statute of limitations for legal proceedings. In the wake of the accusations, nearly everyone involved with the Cosby brand has cut ties with him. Reruns of The Cosby Show and other shows featuring Bill have been pulled from syndication. In 2015, Cosby was the subject of eight civil lawsuits, which later increased to 33. On April 26, 2018, a Pennsylvania jury found Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault. In September 2018, he was sentenced to three to ten years in a state prison. He was held in a single cell in administrative segregation at SCI Phoenix in Pennsylvania, but was moved to the prison’s general population in January 2019. In December 2019, Cosby lost an appeal to overturn his conviction.
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Net worth details
Even before he created The Cosby Show, he was one of the highest-paid celebrities on the planet. So much so that when his album contract was up in 1968, Cosby turned down a five-year, $3.5 million contract (that’s the equivalent of $25 million today) to release his own. production company. He began releasing his own comedy albums and eventually created the TV shows Fat Albert and The Bill Cosby Show (not to be confused with the 80s sitcom).
As we know, the long-running success of The Cosby Show made Bill one of the richest people in the entertainment industry. The series ran from 1984 to 1992. At the peak of the show, he wins 4 million dollars per episode (as much as $8 million today). In the last two decades alone, the show has generated over 1.5 billion of syndication dollars. As the owner of 20% of the show’s profits, Bill earned at least $300 million from syndication deals alone.
Bill has also earned several tens of millions of endorsements (notably Jell-O), appearances in films, live comedy shows, and other (less successful) TV series. His 2014 comedy tour grossed $11 million in 100 shows.
Bill’s real estate portfolio is worth over 100 million dollars . He has large properties in Pennsylvania and Beverly Hills. His Beverly Hills property alone could be worth as much as $60 million, based on recent comparable sales. Potentially closer to $80 million.
The art collection
Bill and his wife Camille own what has been described as “the most important art collection in the hands of an African-American family.” Bill began honoring pieces in the 1960s, and today the family collection includes pieces by Thomas Hart Benton, Rembrandt, Renoir, Picasso and Matisse. Their art collection alone could easily be worth up to 150 million of dollars.