Richard Harris was an acclaimed Irish actor known for films like “This Sporting Life”, “Camelot”, and the first two Harry Potter movies where he played Albus Dumbledore. Over his decades-long career, Harris starred in many hit movies and earned critical praise for his acting skills.
At the time of his death in 2002, multiple sources estimated Richard Harris’ net worth to be around $10 million. This net worth evaluation takes into account his lucrative acting career, profitable real estate investments, and other business ventures Harris was involved in over the years.
What Were Richard Harris’ Main Sources of Income?
Richard Harris earned most of his $10 million net worth from his successful acting career that spanned from the late 1950s up until his death in 2002.
Some of Harris’ main income sources over the years included:
- Earnings from starring roles in hit films like “This Sporting Life”, “Camelot”, “A Man Called Horse”, “Gladiator”, and the first two Harry Potter movies
- Income from supporting roles in dozens of additional well-known movies over a 40+ year span
- Profits from theatrical performances and music recordings earlier in his career
- Real estate investments – Harris co-owned a London pub for one lucrative investment
- Payments received near the end of his life for the use of his voice and likeness in the Harry Potter franchise after his 2002 death
In Harris’ early career, he saw significant success on the stage before transitioning full-time into the film industry where he saw his peak earnings power. His later Harry Potter role brought big paydays late in his career and introduced Harris to a new generation of fans.
Table: Estimated Career Earnings Timeline
|Main Income Source
|Late 1950s–Early 1960s
|Hit starring movie roles
|Supporting roles in films
|Harry Potter franchise
|Posthumous Harry Potter earnings
|Unknown 7-8 figure sums
In total, Richard Harris is estimated to have earned $10–15 million as an actor across theater, television, and film. His shrewd real estate investments, business partnerships, and posthumous Harry Potter earnings likely contributed a few million more to his peak net worth.
How Did Richard Harris Build His Multi-Million Dollar Net Worth?
Richard Harris achieved his peak $10 million net worth through both his in-demand acting skills that earned him high paychecks for decades as well as his wise investments and business ventures outside of performing.
Here are some of the key ways Harris accumulated his wealth over 60+ years:
- Leveraged breakout early acting success into bigger roles: Harris hit it big as a theater star in the late 1950s and parlayed that momentum into starring and supporting roles in high-grossing films.
- Built up his brand to demand higher salaries over time: By the mid-1960s, Harris was an established leading man who could command six-figure paydays.
- Invested in real estate and other businesses: Harris bought ownership shares in properties like the Prince of Wales pub in London which grew into valuable assets.
- Maintained cost discipline and saved/invested money made: Despite some past issues with alcohol, Harris tightly managed spending and built his net worth.
- Scored high-paying supporting roles until later years: In his 60s and 70s, Harris starred in Gladiator and Harry Potter – two huge commercial blockbusters.
Overall, Harris started strong out of the gate as an actor, built up his wealth-driving brand for decades through both starring and supporting movie roles, all while investing judiciously to grow his assets. This allowed him to amass a multi-million dollar net worth by his later years.
What Was Richard Harris’ Net Worth Compared to His Peers?
According to reported estimates, Richard Harris’ peak net worth of around $10 million puts him behind some of his more celebrated acting peers such as Sean Connery or Michael Caine. However, among his generation of 1960’s leading men, Harris still did very well financially.
Net Worth Comparison to Irish Actor Peers:
- Peter O’Toole: $20-25 million
- Richard Burton: $50-60 million
- Richard Harris: $10 million
So among his fellow Irish legends like Burton and O’Toole, Harris’ estimated wealth is certainly the lowest. However, he surpassed most supporting stars and character actors who were his contemporaries.
He amassed greater assets than famend actors of his era like Oliver Reed, Trevor Howard, or Robert Shaw. By any measure, Harris found both critical and commercial success as a film performer, leaving behind a respectable nest egg for his family.
Table: Net Worth of Actors Who Debuted in 1950s/60s
|Est. Net Worth
Considering Harris’ reputation as more of a talented supporting star and occasional leading man rather than an A-list box office juggernaut, his wealth accumulation stands up well to his 1960’s acting generation.
How Did Harris’ Net Worth Change After His 2002 Passing?
Given his appearance as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films before his death in 2002, Richard Harris’ net worth likely grew a few million dollars thanks to posthumous income tied to the mega-popular franchise.
Industry experts estimate Harris’ estate earned between $3 to 5 million in just the 5-10 years following the actor’s passing thanks to Harry Potter residuals. This income stemmed from:
- Harris’ rights to royalties from licensed merchandise, DVD sales, and other franchise profits
- Use of Harris’ voice and likeness as Dumbledore in later HP video games
- Acting fees for his minor cameo seen again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Additionally, the public attention and strong association with playing one of literature’s most beloved wizard characters has raised Harris’ profile, potentially boosting interest in his past films and stage performances as well.
In total, Richard Harris’ net worth at the time of his death likely reached close to $10 million based on his over 40-year long acting career and wise investments. Posthumous income from the Wizarding World franchise has grown his estate’s net worth by a few million more.
In reviewing Richard Harris’ acting career that spanned over 40 years until his death in 2002, the legendary Irish performer built up an impressive net worth of approximately $10 million at its peak. While not at the financial heights of contemporaries like Peter O’Toole or Sean Connery, Harris’ wealth reflects his successes on stage and in hit films that made him a star from the early 1960s through the 1990s.
Wise investments alongside consistent acting roles culminating with his appearance as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter blockbusters further cemented Harris’ multi-millionaire financial status by his later years.
The Harris estate has also benefitted from several million in posthumous income off the back of the Wizarding World franchise’s massive commercial success over the past 20 years as well. So while Harris was never the highest paid leading man, he nonetheless earned a respectable fortune over his long and critically heralded career.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was Richard Harris’ peak net worth?
At the peak of his career around the year 2000, Richard Harris’ net worth is estimated to have been around $10 million given his over 40 years of starring roles, supporting appearances, theater work, and real estate/business investments.
How much did Richard Harris make per movie?
In Harris’ early breakthrough years starting in the 1960s, he likely earned between $100,000 to $250,000 per starring film role at his peak quote. By the 1990s, he made around $500,000 to $750,000 for notable supporting roles late in his career.
What was Richard Harris’ salary for Harry Potter?
While not publicly disclosed, industry experts estimate Richard Harris earned between $3 to $5 million for his two featured roles as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.
How much is Richard Harris worth today?
Given at least $3 to 5 million in posthumous income from the ongoing Harry Potter franchise since his 2002 death, Richard Harris’ current net worth including assets left to his surviving family stands at around $13 to $15 million.
Did Richard Harris lose money from drinking?
Earlier in his acting career, Richard Harris did battle alcohol abuse problems which may have cut into his earnings somewhat during those leaner years. However, later in life he maintained greater financial discipline which allowed his net worth to keep growing.