Dudley Moore was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer best known for his roles in films like ‘Arthur’ and ’10’. At the height of his career in the 1970s and 1980s, Moore was one of the most popular comic actors in Hollywood. Even though his later years were marked by health issues and waning popularity, Moore amassed a sizable fortune from his various endeavors in the entertainment industry. Let’s take a closer look at Dudley Moore’s net worth and how he built his wealth.
What Was Dudley Moore’s Net Worth?
According to most estimates, Dudley Moore had a net worth of around $10 million at the time of his death in 2002. This wealth came from his successful career spanning over four decades in the film, television and music industries.
Moore first gained recognition as part of the groundbreaking comedy ensemble ‘Beyond the Fringe’ in the early 1960s alongside Peter Cook. He then went on to become a major film star in Hollywood comedies like ‘Foul Play’, ‘Arthur’ and ’10’. His piano skills also earned him a fruitful career as a jazz musician and composer for films.
Here is an overview of Dudley Moore’s net worth over the years:
|Net Worth Estimate
As the table shows, Moore’s net worth peaked in the late 1980s during the height of his Hollywood career. Though his fortune declined in later years due to health issues and waning popularity, he still had a respectable $10 million net worth when he passed away in 2002 at age 66.
Next, let’s look at how Dudley Moore accumulated his multimillion-dollar fortune over his varied entertainment career.
How Did Dudley Moore Build His $10 Million Net Worth?
Dudley Moore built his wealth in three main phases of his career:
Early Career Success with Beyond the Fringe and Derek and Clive
Moore’s humor and talent were first noticed in the satirical stage revue ‘Beyond the Fringe’ which he formed in 1960 alongside Peter Cook, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller. Though he earned just £20 a week from the show, it became a smash hit in London and New York, winning a Tony Award for Special Citation. The success of ‘Beyond the Fringe’ helped launch Moore’s career.
In the 1970s, Moore partnered again with friend Peter Cook in the irreverent comedy act ‘Derek and Clive’. Their candid, controversial comedy records became hugely popular in the UK, further raising Moore’s profile and earnings.
Hollywood Stardom in the 1980s
Moore moved to Hollywood in the late 1970s and soon became a big star with lead roles in hit comedies like ‘Foul Play’ (1978), ‘Arthur’ (1981) and ’10’ (1979). His goofy charm and humor made him very popular.
He earned $3 million for ‘Arthur’ which went on to earn $95 million at the box office. The song ‘Arthur’s Theme’ that Moore co-wrote for the film sold over 1 million copies and won an Oscar for Best Original Song. His peak Hollywood earning years were from 1978 to 1988 when he starred in multiple profitable comedies and also composed music for soundtracks.
Later Career and Health Issues
By the early 1990s, Moore’s star power began to decline along with his health due to his alcoholism. He had roles in a few poorly received films and his career never bounced back to his 1980s peak.
In 1997, Moore was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disorder. He was unable to work much after that due to his health condition. Though Moore’s fortunes declined in his later years, the wealth he had accumulated at his peak enabled him to maintain a $10 million net worth until his death.
Throughout his career, Dudley Moore leveraged his comedic talents, piano skills and charm into an impressive fortune as a top star in film, TV and music. Though struck by health issues later on, he managed to accrue a net worth of $10 million by the time of his death.
How Did Dudley Moore Spend His Money?
Though he built up a multimillion-dollar net worth, Dudley Moore lived an extravagant lifestyle at the height of his fame in the 1980s which drained some of his wealth. Here are some of the ways he spent his fortune:
- Real Estate – Moore owned lavish homes in Malibu, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills worth millions. His 10,000 square-foot beachfront Carbon Beach house in Malibu was worth $4 million alone.
- Partying Lifestyle – During his Hollywood heydays, Moore lived a fast life of partying, drinking and dating beautiful women. His parties were famous for their over-the-top luxury.
- Divorces – Moore paid a high cost for his two failed marriages. His divorce settlement with his first wife Suzy Kendler in 1980 cost him $2 million in cash and assets. His second divorce from Brogan Lane in 1991 was also costly.
- Health Care – In his final years, Moore’s neurological disorder required expensive specialized treatment and round-the-clock care which drained his finances.
- Charity – He donated money to different charitable causes including animal welfare, children’s charities and Parkinson’s research.
Though Moore spent lavishly on himself and others during his prosperous years, he still managed to end his life with an $10 million net worth through prudent investments and business deals.
How Does Dudley Moore’s Net Worth Compare to Other Actors?
Here’s how Dudley Moore’s $10 million net worth at the time of his death compares to other actors of his generation:
- Peter O’Toole – $10 million
- Michael Caine – $75 million
- Sean Connery – $300 million
- Roger Moore – $100 million
- Peter Sellers – $5 million
Most of Moore’s actor contemporaries like Caine, Connery and Roger Moore ended their lives with significantly higher net worths in the $75-$300 million range.
Dudley Moore’s relatively more modest $10 million net worth can be attributed to factors like:
- Shorter peak career period of 1978-1988
- No mega blockbuster films like James Bond or Indiana Jones
- Health issues impacted his finances in later years
- Big expenditures and divorces during his prime
While Moore lived an extravagant lifestyle at his peak, he wasn’t able to amass wealth of the scale of Connery or Roger Moore who kept acting longer and better managed their finances.
Lessons from Dudley Moore’s Net Worth
Analyzing Dudley Moore’s career earnings and net worth provides some valuable lessons:
- Capitalize quickly when you reach peak popularity – Moore earned well during his 10 year peak but his career faltered after that.
- Be prudent with major purchases – Lavish homes and parties drained Moore’s wealth.
- Save and invest surplus income wisely during good years.
- Be careful with divorces – Moore’s two costly divorces significantly reduced his fortune.
- Plan finances to account for illness/loss of income later in life.
Dudley Moore earned a respectable $10 million net worth from his versatile entertainment career spanning comedy, film, music and composition. His peak wealth and fame came during 1978-88 when he was a top Hollywood star known for hit movies like ‘Arthur’ and ’10’.
Though Moore lived a lavish lifestyle with expensive homes and parties at his peak, divorces and later health issues caused his fortune to dwindle. Still he managed to retain a $10 million net worth up to his death in 2002 through his prudent investments and earnings. While less than some of his peers like Sean Connery or Michael Caine, Dudley Moore’s net worth of $10 million is still a remarkable achievement from his talent and charming personality.
His career provides some valuable lessons on prudently managing income and spending during our peak earning years to build long-lasting wealth. With proper discipline and investment, even short-lived success like Moore’s can be converted into a sizable retirement fortune.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Dudley Moore get so rich?
Dudley Moore accumulated his multimillion-dollar net worth mainly through his highly successful acting career at the peak of his fame in Hollywood films like ‘Arthur’ and ’10’ during the late 1970s and 1980s. His piano skills and music composer credits also added to his wealth.
What was Dudley Moore’s most successful movie?
Moore’s most financially successful and critically acclaimed film was the 1981 romantic comedy ‘Arthur’ where he played the title role of a lovable, alcoholic billionaire. He earned $3 million for the film which grossed $95 million and earned Moore a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
Did Dudley Moore mismanage his money?
While Moore earned very well during his peak years, he spent lavishly on real estate, partying and divorces which reduced his net worth in the long run. He may have built even higher wealth with more prudent financial management and control of expenditures.
How did health issues impact Dudley Moore’s finances?
Moore was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy in 1997 which ended his acting career. The expensive treatment for this degenerative brain disorder drained his finances in later years along with his inability to work much.
Was Dudley Moore more successful as a musician or actor?
While he had a successful side career as a jazz pianist and composer, Dudley Moore achieved his greatest fame and earnings from acting in hit Hollywood comedy films like ’10’, ‘Arthur’ and ‘Foul Play’ at the peak of his career in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Did Dudley Moore spend all his money before he died?
No. Despite lavish spending, costly divorces and later health issues, Moore still had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 2002. Though lower than during his peak, this was still a substantial fortune reflecting his successful entertainment career.
How did Dudley Moore’s net worth compare to comedian peers?
Moore’s $10 million net worth was lower than many of his comedy actor contemporaries like Peter Sellers ($5 million), Michael Caine ($75 million), Sean Connery ($300 million) and Roger Moore ($100 million). His shorter peak period and lavish lifestyle contributed to a lower net worth.
Was Dudley Moore wealthier than his comedy partner Peter Cook?
It appears so. Though the two collaborated very successfully early in their careers, Dudley Moore found greater individual success and wealth from his Hollywood acting career at its peak generating a larger fortune than partner Peter Cook.
What were Dudley Moore’s most notable charitable contributions?
Moore donated to various causes including animal welfare, children’s charities and Parkinson’s research. He founded the Dudley Moore Research Fund in 1999 which raised over $1 million towards Progressive Supranuclear Palsy research.
What happened to Dudley Moore’s wealth after he passed away?
The beneficiaries of Moore’s estate and fortune after his death are not fully known publicly. But a large share likely went to his fourth wife Nicole Rothschild who cared for him in his final years along with contributions to medical research foundations.