Surprisingly Frugal Celebrities

Surprisingly Frugal Celebrities

We all love learning about the lavish ways in which celebrities spend their money. Decades ago we watched it on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Then there was MTV’s “Cribs” (which, you might know, is making a comeback.) Plus, of course, there’s every watch-the-lives-of-the-rich reality show from Kardashians to all of the Housewives. But, not all celebrities are spending their money on expensive cars and multiple homes. There are some surprisingly frugal celebrities out there. And those of us with less-than-celebrity-level bank accounts could do well to take some lessons from them!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

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If you’ve ever perused lists of surprisingly frugal celebrities in the past then chances are that you’ve seen Leonardo DiCaprio’s name there. The Richest reports that he does have more than one car but almost always just drives the sensible Toyota Prius. And while he certainly has enough money to fly on private jets whenever he wants to, he choose commercial airline flights more often than not. Being frugal doesn’t mean he’s stingy, though. He’s known for giving a lot back to charity. Of course, there could be a tax break in that, which also makes it a smart financial move.

Mel Gibson

The Richest article emphasizes the cars that surprisingly frugal celebrities choose to drive. After all, many celebrities immediately use their first paychecks to get really flashy cars. Some of them famously have dozens of six-figure cars. And yet, Mel Gibson drives a Toyota Cressida.

Dave Grohl

MoneyWise is also interested in the cars of surprisingly frugal celebrities. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters drives a small family car. He also lives in a “just big enough” house.

Ed Sheeran

In last year’s article on stars who set good financial examples, we highlighted how frugal Ed Sheeran is. He sleeps on friend’s couches. He gives himself a small allowance each month. However, that doesn’t mean that he never spends his money. Instead, he actually spends a lot of money … but only on things that he expects to have a good ROI. He invests in real estate, cars, art, and a restaurant business. He apparently has more than two dozen properties.

So, he is one of our surprisingly frugal celebrities not because he doesn’t spend money but because of how he chooses to spend it. He skimps and saves on every day things then uses it only to make wise investments. If you’re looking for celebrity financial advice, his seems to be “frugal every day, spend big on items with a big potential return.”

Keira Knightley

One thing that Knightley has in common with Sheeran is that she keeps herself on a budget. The Richest reports that she allows herself to live on about 1/1000 of her net worth annually.

Keira Knightley

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Rob Gronkowski

In that same 2020 article, we highlighted Rob Gronkowski because he’s chosen not to use any of the millions he’s earned Fromm the NFL. That’s all in savings. And unlike Sheeran, he’s not spending that money in other places like cars. Instead, he sits on it, using only his earnings from marketing to live off of. Of course, his marketing earnings are probably more than a lot of us make in a year. Nevertheless, the frugal advice here would be to develop a passive income stream and live off of that while setting aside other income for the future.

Carrie Underwood

The American Idol turned superstar is famous for clipping coupons, making her own meals, and using other frugal tips that the average person uses in life. She’s one of the surprisingly frugal celebrities who more or less lives the way that the rest of us do. While she and her husband do live in nice homes, they only have one at a time (unlike many other celebrities who keep multiple properties.) And while surely her 300-acre property wasn’t cheap, the Tennessee home allows her to live a pretty regular life with her family.

Lady Gaga

Carrie Underwood might have her Oklahoma upbringing in mind when she remembers to clip coupons. She’s not the only one. Although Lady Gaga isn’t always frugal, The Richest reports that she loves to get a good bargain. In particular, she looks for good prices at the grocery store. So, although perhaps she’s not entirely frugal all of the time, she teaches us to always keep an eye out for good prices on the things we buy most often.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Who would think that the fashion icon was frugal when it comes to clothing? If you’re a fan of hers, however, then you might know that she dresses her kids in secondhand clothing and hand-me-downs, according to Saving Advice. She herself was a big thrift shopper when she was younger. And like Underwood, Gaga, and many other stars, this has to do with remembering what it was like not to have money as a child. The Richest reports that she has an ambivalent relationship with money and will be frugal for awhile than overspend. Like most of us trying to balance our budgets, this celebrity is a work in progress.

Tyra Banks

Saving Advice also reports that Tyra Banks is one of our surprisingly frugal celebrities. Her biggest way to save money is through DIY. In particular, she likes to DIY her own home improvement projects. Where she will spend money is on things that last. In other words, she’s frugal because she’ll invest in durability and quality that will save money over the long haul. There’s a difference between being frugal and being cheap. Cheap sometimes costs more in the end!

Kristen Bell

The Richest definitely had to highlight Kristen Bell and her husband if for no other reason than that they spent less than $150 on their wedding. After all, celebrities can make this big special day as lavish as they want. And yet, she likes to keep things simple. And although she looks great dressed to the nines, she’s been known to shop at everyday bargain stores for clothes, even clothing she wears to big events.

Mila Kunis

Speaking of frugal weddings, MoneyWise reports that Mila Kunis and hubby Ashton Kutcher bought their wedding bands on Etsy for a total of under $200. They also keep Christmas frugal with just one gift from them to their kids (although the kids get plenty more from other family members.)

Other Surprisingly Frugal Celebrities

Here are some of the other celebrities mentioned in the articles linked above and below:

  • Halle Berry is known to like shopping for a bargain price on everyday items.
  • Mark Zuckerberg isn’t frugal about all things but reportedly drives a cheap car.
  • Tobey Maguire is careful about his spending habits. Like many of these celebrities, he doesn’t want to go back to being poor.
  • Tiffany Haddish, once homeless, is also careful with her money. She drives a sensible car and carries fake designer handbags (or real ones gifted to her by others.)
  • Hillary Swank, like Carrie Underwood, is a coupon clipper.
  • Jennifer Lawrence kept relatively the same lifestyle after making it famous as she had before.
  • Mariska Hargitay reportedly approached things similarly to Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Zooey Deschanel stuck to a strict annual budget while making her highest income in “The New Girl.”
  • Jay Leno put all of his “Tonight Show” earnings into investments for the future. He lived off of other comedy income.
  • Keanu Reeves uses public transportation and buys non-brand items.

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Tyler Perry’s Net Worth

Tyler Perry's Net Worth

We love to share celebrity net worth information with you here. However, usually we’re talking about people earning in the millions of dollars. That’s not the case when it comes to discussing Tyler Perry’s Net Worth. This man is a billionaire. It’s impressive, mostly because it’s all by his own doing. Forbes reports that Perry was a “once-homeless playwright raised in poverty in New Orleans” who is now on a “clear path to future membership in The Forbes 400.” How did he get there?

Who is Tyler Perry?

If you’ve seen the Madea character movies, particularly “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”, then you know who Tyler Perry is. However, if that’s all that you know him for then you’re truly missing out. He’s an amazing creative talent with a diverse array of credits to his name. IMDB has him listed with nearly five dozen writing credits. Additionally, they’ve listed him with:

  • 60 producer credits
  • 56 director credits
  • 45 acting credits
  • 155 credits performing as himself (doing interviews and such)
  • And additional credits as composer, soundtrack, art department, additional crew and more
Tyler Perry

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Tyler Perry Early Life

According to IMDB, he was born in September 1969. His given name is Emmitt Perry Jr. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Forbes explains that he grew up in poverty with an abusive father who he later learned wasn’t his biological father after all. He had a close relationship with his mother, attending church with her weekly. In order to cope with their stressors, he would pass the time trying to make his mom laugh by doing impersonations.

Perry dropped out of high school. However, he did everything he could to get an education. He recalls early on getting inspired by an Oprah show to start writing out his feelings. He began writing plays and started touring in small theaters with his work. Sometimes, he did what he had to in order to get a foot in the door. For example, Forbes reports that he worked for a time at the Windsor Court Hotel which held the National Association of Television Program Executives. Although he was just a twenty-something hotel staff member, he would sneak badges that event-goers left behind so he can get in and see what was going on. HE soaked up all of the knowledge he could.

Tyler Perry’s Early Work

Obviously, he worked a variety of odd jobs to get by while still continuing to write his plays. He sold cars. He worked as a bill collector. Yet all the while he worked on scripts, some of which began to sell. He saved every cent that he could and eventually was able to rent space at an Atlanta community theater. It was there that he showcased his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which is the story of surviving child abuse. His work wasn’t easily received. He lived in his car while working on the production. He did all the work himself from set design to snack bar sales.

After that, Tyler began touring with his plays. And that’s when something really interesting happened. The Black community began to take notice of him. In particular, Oprah Winfrey noticed him. It had come full circle; her show had inspired him to write and now she was taking notice of what he wrote. She reportedly didn’t typically like touring plays but really connected with his work. She invited him onto her show when he was in early 20s. And she gave him the most important advice ever or Tyler Perry’s Net Worth.

Oprah’s secret: own and control everything that you make. All of it. Forbes reports that’s how he ended up becoming so financially successful.

Tyler Perry with Oprah Winfrey

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Tyler Perry’s Net Worth Is Because He Owns His Work

Forbes reports that thanks to this ingenious insider tip, Perry “owns the entirety of his creative output.” This includes:

  • 22 feature films
  • 1200+ television episodes
  • 2 dozen or more stage plays

Oh, and he doesn’t have a noncompete agreement, so he can keep making (and owning) more content.

Tyler Perry Additional Income and Earnings

So, he owns all of that which means he makes all of the money off of it. Additionally, this has given him leverage to earn income directly from the people and organizations that want to work with him. For example, ViacomCBS pays him $150 million per year for new content. That’s annual income! Many of the celebrities we share on this site have net worth right around that. For Tyler Perry, that’s just a year’s paycheck for one job. Additionally, he has equity stake in the streaming service BET+, also owned by ViacomCBS.

Some additional interesting earnings income that add to Tyler Perry’s net worth:

  • Although you might know him from his movies and TV shows, he made more than $150 million in theater ticket sales, merchandise, and video performances before he ever made a film or show
  • His break into TV wasn’t easy. However, he succeeded in 2006 when CW bought “House of Payne.” TBS saw how well the show was doing and offered to give him $200 million to bring the show to them. They guaranteed they would air 90 new episodes and, true to form, Perry would own the content.
  • He wanted to turn “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” into a film. (It was first a play.) However, Hollywood at the time didn’t think his work would hold up (primarily out of racist ignorance about what audiences would want to see.) Perry proposed that he himself would pay half the money up front, collect half the profits, and maintain control of the content. In exchange, Lionsgate would put up the other half, and they retained the right to deduct 12.5% in distribution costs as well as any marketing costs. Tyler Perry bet himself and he won big. The film grossed over $50 million in theaters. More importantly, it’s made more than $150 million in post-theater sales. Remember, he owns that content.
  • Forbes says he’s earned more than $1.4 billion in pretax income in the past 15 or so years.

Tyler Perry Assets

Forbes reports that Tyler Perry owns:

  • Bicoastal homes: one in Los Angeles and one in New York. Business Insider reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stayed in the $18 million home while settling in the US.
  • An additional home in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • And a fourth home in Wyoming
  • He also owns two airplanes.

Additionally, he owns Tyler Perry Studios, a 33–acre studio lot. He paid $30 million for it. Then he paid another $250 million in additions. However, since he owns it all, it aids in his returns on all filming. Furthermore, he can rent the studio space out to others for cash. Moreover, he purchased it at a smart time when Georgia tax breaks were in his favor.

Tyler Perry’s Net Worth: $1 Billion

And with lots of growth potential!

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Zack Snyder’s Net Worth

Zack Snyder's net worth

“Dawn of the Dead,” “300,” “Watchmen” … are any of these blockbuster films ringing a bell? If so, then you’re familiar with Zack Snyder. But depending on how familiar you are with the people behind the scenes of movies (as compared to the actors) you might not know him all that well. However, you should. He’s an interesting guy. And with all those titles under his belt, we’ve just got to wonder about Zack Snyder’s net worth.

Who is Zack Snyder?

Zack Snyder is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. If you’re into film and pay attention to those credits, then you’ll know his name. However, if you don’t watch the awards shows and only care about the actors, perhaps you haven’t gotten to know him, yet. That’s okay, we want to tell you more about him.

Zack Snyder’s Early Personal Life

Usually, IMDB is our go-to source for celebrity biography information. However, their bio on the writer/director is a bit short. We learn that he was born in March 1966 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His middle name is Edward. His nickname, given to him by journalist Chad Clinton Freeman, is The Wizard.

If we’re to trust Wikipedia, which we always take with a grain of salt, his middle name is after his father, Charles Edward. However, his creative side comes from his mother, Marsha, who was a painting and photography teacher when he was growing up. Zack spent a year in England after high school studying painting. However, he already had an interest in filmmaking. Therefore, it’s no surprise he then went to California’s Art Center College of Design. He graduated with his BFA in 1989.

Wikipedia also informs us that he is one of three children. His sister is older than him. Unfortunately, his brother died when Zack was a teenager.

Zack Snyder’s Career

Zack Snyder's net worth

Despite receiving his BFA in the late ’80s, Zack Snyder’s career wouldn’t take off until 2004. That was the year that he did the remake of the horror film “Dawn of the Dead.” After that, his career began to soar, and presumably, Zack Snyder’s net worth began to soar with it.

Zack Snyder’s Movie Credits

Although he broke into the industry with the horror genre, he’s primarily known for his comic book and superhero movies. He’s also known in the science fiction realm. A list of some of his most well-known works includes:

  • “300” which came out in 2006
  • “Watchmen” from 2009
  • “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” in the following year
  • “Sucker Punch” in 2011
  • “Man of Steel” in 2013
  • “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which came out in 2016
  • “Justice League” (2017) and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021)
  • “Army of the Dead” (2021)

IMDB reports that he’s currently working on “Fountainhead.” However, its release date is unknown.

Zack Snyder’s Video Shorts

Although most of Zack Snyder’s net worth probably comes from his famous films, he’s also worked on a lot of video shorts. In fact, before his “Dawn of the Dead” breakout, he produced more than half a dozen video shorts. He’s continued to work on them here and there. For example, in 2004, the same year that “Dawn of the Dead” came out, Snyder released “The Lost Tape: Andy’s Terrifying Last Days Revealed.” Five years later he came out with “My Chemical Romance: Desolation Row.” Then in 2013, he did a TV short called “Superman 75.” He sure stays busy!

Additional Sources of Career Income

As we think about Zack Snyder’s net worth, we also have to look at the breadth of his other work. Just from his IMDB listings alone, we see so much. For example, he’s appeared as himself on TV nearly 100 times. In fact, he has 13 credits for that just in 2021 alone. These range from awards shows and appearances on late shows to interviews across a wide swatch of different shows.

He has two cinematography credits including Director of Photography for 2021’s “Army of the Dead.” He’s been a camera operator, actor, and writer in some of these films. Plus he has production credits not only for his own aforementioned films  but for other mainstream movies such as “Aquaman” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” Each of these different titles adds to Zack Snyder’s net worth.

Zack Snyder’s Adult Personal Life

Before we look closer at the details of his net worth, though, let’s take a minute to look at his personal life. Of course, we have already learned a little bit about his childhood. But what about his adult life? It’s been a little bit rocky and his brother’s young death hasn’t been the only tragedy in his life.

He was first married to Denise Weber. Together they have four children – two biological and two adopted. They divorced and in 1996 he met producer Deborah Johnson. It took six years before they began dating but then only two more before they got married. Together, they adopted two more children. He also has an additional two biological children from an unmarried relationship with Kirsten Elin, also a film producer. So, in total, he has eight kids with three women, two of which he was married to. His son, Eli, is an actor who has appeared in some of Snyder’s films including “Watchmen.”

Sadly, his daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017. She was only 20 years old. Deborah works as his producer on his films. They both stepped down from “Justice League” when Autumn died by suicide. Josh Whedon stepped in to help complete the film.

What Is Zack Snyder’s Net Worth?

Perhaps as a result of the way things played out with Josh Whedon completing “Justice League,” when you look up Zack Snyder’s net worth, you often find articles that ask whether or not his net worth is higher than Whedon’s. As of March 2021, International Business Times reports that Whedon is the richer of the two. They say his net worth is $100 million. In contrast, Zack Snyder’s net worth is $60 million. Celebrity Net Worth confirms the $60 million number.

Cheat Sheet reports that he could be worth more if he wanted to be. He actually didn’t make any money off of “Justice League.” That’s because he wanted full creative control. He was willing to sacrifice the paycheck for his creativity. (Note: there are two “Justice League” films … the one he started that Whedon finished and an original version the way he would have finished it which was released a few years later due to popular demand.)

Zack Snyder’s Assets

Zack Snyder has a lot of Aston Martin cars. Celebrity Net Worth reports that he bought his first one at a young age for under $30,000. However, reportedly he got a new one after the success of “300” when Warner Bros’ execs upgraded him to one worth more than ten times his first Aston Martin.

Zack Snyder’s Fundraising

Zack Snyder’s net worth may be $60 million and he may like the Aston Martin, but that’s not all money is about for him. After his daughter’s suicide, he turned to philanthropy and fundraising. He raises money for a wide range of things but particularly for suicide prevention. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has raised over $400,000 for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by selling his merchandise.


M. Night Shyamalan’s Net Worth

M. Night Shyamalan's Net Worth

If you enjoy thriller films, science fiction, horror movies and the supernatural, then there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. After all, the writer/director/producer gained massive fame for “The Sixth Sense,” which was nominated for half a dozen Academy Awards back in 1999. Moreover, he’s only gained fame with his work since then. With his amazing body of work, we have to ask, “what’s M. Night Shyamalan’s net worth?”

M. Night Shyamalan’s Early Personal Life

According to IMDB, M. Night Shyamalan was born in 1970 in Puducherry, India. His given name is Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan. Both of his parents are doctors and reportedly his dad wanted him to be one as well. They moved to Philadelphia when he was young. In fact, Celebrity Net Worth reports that he was only six weeks old. Therefore, he was raised there. If you’re a fan of his films then you’ll know that he often features Philadelphia as the setting or background of his movies.

Although his dad wanted him to be a doctor, his mom supported his love of film. He attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. That’s when he changed his name and started going by M. Night Shyamalan.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Film Influences and Style

We can’t talk about M. Night Shyamalan without discussing how unique his work is. According to IMDB, he fell in love with filmmaking as a child. He was a young fan of Steven Spielberg and used him as a model for a career in the industry. He’s also known to have some Hitchcock influences, including that he regularly makes small cameo appearances in his own films as Hitchcock did.

What has given M. Night Shyamalan’s net worth such a boost over the years is his truly unique approach to filmmaking. There are a small handful of people whose film you can see and immediately recognize it as theirs. Think Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton. M. Night Shyamalan falls into this category. He works across a broad swatch of the horror/thriller genre including supernatural films, eco-thrillers, psychological thrillers, and more. Within that, he has some signature things you’ll often see in his movie.

Signature Things to Look For in an M. Night Shyamalan film

IMDB notes that these include:

  • Plot twists and, in particular, surprise endings
  • Religious themes
  • “Car crashes pay a pivotal role in all his films.”
  • Spiral motifs show up in various ways in most of his films
  • Fluttering curtains as an effect
  • Look for bright colors, often red, as a sign that something is important in the film
  • Basement scenes are often important to the film
  • Film shots of people’s reflections inside of objects
  • Long scenes of dialogue between two people
  • Water is in scenes that feature weakness or death
  • Broken glass often serves to warn you that something bad is about to happen in the film
  • What’s happening currently in the film is usually tied to something from the main character’s past
  • The theme of two regular people who have extraordinary abilities. One is a child or connected to the child. If it’s the latter, then the person always has marital difficulties. And in fact many of his films are about marriage problems and/or have widowed spouses.

Furthermore, there are some themes to his work that play out behind the scenes. If you pay close attention, then you might notice that a character’s lines rarely overlap with their actions. If you watch his movies in chronological order, then you might notice he often works with the same actors in movies back-to-back. Finally, if you pay close attention to the sound, then you might discover two things. First, the music is similar across many films because he usually works with the same person on that (James Newton Howard.) Second, he never uses stock sound effects; it’s all original.

Because of all this an M. Night Shyamalan is identifiable and unique.

M. Night Shyamalan

M. Night Shyamalan’s Career

So, let’s talk more about the movies that have led to M. Night Shyamalan’s net worth being as large as it is. He singularly funded his own first film, “Praying with Anger” in 1992. Working on that shoestring budget, he not only produced and directed the film but also starred in it. He was just 22 years old at the time. Six years later, he filmed “Wide Awake.” But it was the year after that when he really started to get traction. After all, that’s when “The Sixth Sense” came out. It was a huge hit.

M. Night Shyamalan had hit the ground running, and he wasn’t about to stop. His next major films that you may quickly recognize by name include:

  • “Unbreakable” in 2000
  • “Signs” in 2002
  • “The Village” in 2004
  • “Lady in the Water” in 2006
  • “The Happening” in 2008
  • “Avatar: The Last Airbender” in 2010
  • “After Earth” in 2013
  • “The Visit” in 2015
  • “Split” in 2016
  • “Glass” in 2019
  • “Old” in 2021

If you review that list, you’ll see it includes one or more psychological thrillers, science fiction thrillers, eco-thrillers, dark fantasy, and horror films. And yet they all incorporate the signature M. Night Shyamalan style. IMDB notes that he’s working on “Labor of Love” with no release date yet.

Oh, and M. Night Shyamalan is a TV producer as well. But if you like “Wayward Pines” or “Servant” then you already know that.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Net Worth

We can see that M. Night Shyamalan has had a successful career. He’s still working hard at it, so he continues to earn an income as a film producer, director, writer, and sometimes actor.

What His Films Have Earned

Celebrity Net Worth reports that M. Night Shyamalan’s films have earned over $3 billion in total. Particularly notable is that at $672 million, “The Sixth Sense” was the second-highest-grossing horror film at the time of its release. Of course, that’s not his personal net worth. Nevertheless, often playing multiple roles (writer, director, producer) means that he gets a nice chunk of that change.

Not all of his endeavors have been successful. In fact, he had a rough period. “Lady in the Water,” “The Happening,” and “The Last Airbender” were all considered box office failures according to Celebrity Net Worth. However, the films he created after that again took him on an upswing.

Forbes notes that he’s one of the few directors to have 5+ films that grossed over $100 million each. In fact, they report that he’s only the 18th director ever to accomplish that.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Salary

The Richest broke down his annual salary for four years between 199 and 2004 as follows:

  • $3,000,000 for “The Sixth Sense” in 1999
  • $10,000,000 for “Unbreakable” in 2000
  • $12,500,000 for “Signs” in 2002
  • $10,700,000 for “The Village” in 2004

If you’re interested in how his salary breaks down per movie, we get some insight from The Richest about “The Village.” His salary for that broke down as follows:

  • $7.2 million for story rights
  • $3 million for producing
  • $300,000 for writing
  • $221 thousand for directing

So, that gives you a bit of a sense of what he earns per movie depending on its sales, the contract negotiations, the different roles he plays, etc.

M. Night Shyamalan Assets

Wikipedia reports that he lives in a 27,000 square foot house in Ravenwood, outside of Philadelphia. Moreover, the house is on 135 acres. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he paid $17.9 million when he purchased it back in 2005. However, he’s since added a lot to the property including a full two-story gatehouse. Two years before buying that property, he’d spent $6.3 million for a Manhattan penthouse which he sold in 2012 for $9.5 million.

He also has his own production company, Blinding Edge Pictures. Most of his recent work has come out of that company, which he co-owns with a partner.

What Is M. Night Shyamalan’s Net Worth?

The Richest placed M. Night Shyamalan’s net worth at around $50 million. However, that article looks to be a little bit older. And the celebrity has done really well in recent years, particularly with the TV show “Servant.” Therefore, Celebrity Net Worth places M. Night Shyamalan’s net worth at closer to $80 million.

M. Night Shyamalan: Personal Life

Although he didn’t become a doctor like his parents, he did marry one. He met Dr. Bhavna Vaswani at NYU. They have three daughters together. One is musician Saleka. Another is a director who has worked on Saleka’s music videos.

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