Chevy Chase Net Worth: How Much Money the Former ‘Community’ Actor Has Now

With a net worth estimated at $50 million, one can certainly say that Chevy Chase has done well for himself. Some would however counter that the legendary American funnyman and award-winning actor could have made so much more had it not been for some missteps in the course of what has been an illustrious career.

Originally from New York City, Chase spent much of the late 60s attempting to break into the comedy scene with stand-ups and writing gigs. His hard work paid off when he landed a spot on the set of the newly-launched NBC Saturday Night (now known as Saturday Night Live) in 1975. Chase helped the show become a hit and in turn, he became an overnight success.

The New Yorker was therefore set to have a long and accomplished career on SNL but he decided that he would make much more money as a movie star and left. Chase would indeed become one of the highest-paid actors in the 80s but he has lost that status. Since then, it has been a host of random acting gigs for the famed comic.

Chevy Chase Earned as Much as $7 Million Per Acting Role

The entertainer owes a significant portion of his net worth to his acting career and that dates back to the year 1968 when he made his debut as a mere pedestrian in the 1968 short film, Walk… Don’t Walk. Following this humble debut, He garnered a string of other minor credits. His fortunes then changed after he was hired for Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Chase was one of the inaugural writers and actors hired for the newly-launched show and he featured in some of the early sketches. He also hosted the show and his dynamic act helped turn it into an overnight success. This of course propelled him to the spotlight and he started landing many roles. These movie roles paid much money than SNL and so Chase quit the show after just a year to focus on acting.

To date, the SNL alum has been featured in numerous movies but his best outings were in the 80s when he snagged the lead roles in movies such as Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Three Amigos, Fletch, Spies like Us, and Modern Problems. Sources have it that Chase was paid as much as $7 million for some of these roles, making him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood at that time.

His Short-lived Talk Show Fetched Him About $3 Million

Chevy Chase also owes his $50 million net worth to his lucrative albeit short-lived late-night talk show, the Chevy Chase Show. With the movie roles he was getting dwindling a bit in the early 90s, Chase found himself with time on his hands and was looking to take any opportunity that came his way. Therefore, when Fox came calling with a $3 million contract for an eponymous late-night talk show, he jumped at it.

The show debuted in 1993 and proved to be a disaster. Despite high profile guests such as Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, and Robert De Niro, as well as extensive production costs, it failed to take with fans. These poor ratings sustained for five weeks and the parties involved knew that they had to walk away.

He Earned Around $100k Per Episode of “Community”

Chevy Chase’s net worth has been buoyed by his appearance in the popular sitcom, Community. Created by famed comic, writer and producer, Dan Harmon, Community follows an unlikely group of friends partaking in the same study group in a community college.

The sitcom debuted in 2009 and featured an ensemble cast comprising of the likes of Donald Glover and Joe McHale. Chase portrayed the role of Pierce Hawthorne, a wealthy old man who enrolls in the college because he is bored and has a not-so-serious desire to find himself.

Community ran for six years but Chase was only a season regular for about four seasons during which he appeared in about 83 episodes. It is not known how much he was paid but some sources claim he may have earned from $80k to $100k given his status in the industry. Going with that, he earned as much as $6.6 million to $8.3 million on the show.

Was Chevy Chase the Richest Community Actor?

Chevy was indeed the richest cast member of Community and this should be expected given that he dwarfed others in terms of his achievements in the industry. He also received higher pay, thanks to that aforementioned reputation in the industry, and all this contributed to making him the richest cast member of the show with a net worth of 50 million.

Others that come close to matching him are Donald Glover – $35 million, Joel McHale – $14 million, Ken Jeong – $14 million, Alison Brie – $10 million, Jim Rash – $8 million, Danny Pudi – $3 million, Yvette Nicole Brown – $4 million, and Gillian Jacobs – $2.5 million.

Major Sources of the Actor’s Net Worth

  • SNL salary
  • Earnings from his acting career
  • Income from The Chevy Chase Show

How He Grew His Wealth Over the Past Four Decades

Before becoming the legendary funnyman that we all know today, Chevy Chase was only a college dropout trying to make it as a writer and comedian in the late 60s New York. His stand-up and writing gigs predictably didn’t pay much and so, he pursued a bunch of odd jobs to support himself.

They include waiting tables, cab driving, construction work, selling wine, and driving trucks. Chase would later experience a breakthrough in his career when he was hired as part of the cast of SNL in 1975. The job not only paid him a decent wage but made him so popular that he started landing plum acting roles.

These roles predictably paid well and by the end of the 70s, he had joined the millionaires club. Chase would keep up the tempo throughout the 80s when he was one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood and established himself as a multi-millionaire. This upward trajectory has continued since then and aided by recent acting roles such as Community, that paid him from $6 to $8 million, he now has a net worth of $50 million.

The Actor Lost almost Half a Million Dollars in His 1980 Divorce

Getting a divorce in Hollywood can be quite expensive and Chevy Chase can attest to this. The former SNL star has been divorced twice and had to shell out a hefty settlement for the second divorce. Chase’s first marriage was to a lady named Susan Hewitt in the year 1973. The union lasted for about two years as they divorced in early 1976. There was not much talk of a settlement as Chase was still an upcoming star.

That same year, Chase tied the knot with actress/model, Jacqueline Carlin Chase. The union went smoothly for about two years before Jacqueline filed for divorce in 1978. The couple reconciled though and lived together for several months before Jacqueline filed for divorce once more. This time there was no going back and the divorce was finalized in November 1980 with the courts ordering Chase to pay his ex-wife about $400,000 in spousal support. This is by no means the only money the actor lost in the divorce as he would have also paid out possible six-figures to cover his legal fees and possibly, that of his ex.

He Owns Homes in Aspen and New York

With a net worth as impressive as his, Chevy Chase can certainly afford to give his family a good life and he is not slacking in this responsibility. The Community star has bought several luxurious properties to accommodate him, his wife, and three children over the years. The Chase family previously made their home in a Tudor-style mansion located in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. The four-bedroom house measured nearly 7,700 square feet and featured a sauna, fireplace, as well as two maid’s quarters.

Chase and his family lived in this home for 12 years before putting it on the market for about $2.2 million in 1995. They then relocated to the posh neighborhood of Bedford village, Westchester County, in New York. Chase and his wife swapped Los Angeles for New York because this was where the actor was born. They also considered it to be a more conducive place to raise their kids. The family remains in New York to date and still reside in their Westchester house. Their home measures about 10 acres and was purchased for about $2.75 million.

Asides from their primary residence in Westchester, Chevy Chase and wife also owned vacation homes in Aspen and The Hamptons. They later offloaded the Hamptons property, measuring 12,000 square feet and comprising of 10 bedrooms and eight and a half baths for about $10 million in 2010. There is no indication that the Aspen home suffered such a similar fate and as such, one can assume that Chase and his wife still own that particular property to date.

When it comes to cars, Chevy Chase is not one to open his garage up for the admiration of the gawking public. It is however known that the Caddyshack star is the owner of a 2015 Dodge Ram truck. The ride boasts of luxe interior, refined handling as well as potent engine options. Other attractive features are an upscale cabin, and muscular V6 and V8 engines. The Dodge Ram ranges in price from $16,669k to $34,319k, certainly chicken change for a Hollywood star like Chevy Chase.

Did Chevy Chase Come from Money?

Chase certainly comes from a wealthy background, the award-winning comic is the son of late Edward Tinsley (an accomplished book editor and writer) and late Catherine Parker (a concert pianist and opera singer). Catherine was the stepdaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, heir to the Crane Company which generated revenue of about 3 billion dollars.

Chevy’s parents divorced after a few years together and his father remarried into wealth, to a lady who is an heir to the Folgers Coffee brand. Given this background, it is certain that the comic comes from money but it is not known whether he inherited anything substantial from his parents.

Chevy famously did several odd jobs while he was starting his career, but it is also possible that he did those jobs because he wanted to forge his own part in life and not grow up to be some dependent trust fund baby.

Is He Richer than His Former SNL Cast Member Bill Murray?

Chevy Chase
Chase and Bill Murray in Caddyshack: Image Source

If there is one man that Chevy Chase used to compete with, it is fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Bill Murray. The two men got involved with SNL around the same time with Chevy emerging as the undisputed star. He subsequently left to become an actor and this allowed Murray to replace him.

Given such history, there was natural friction between the two men and so when Chase returned to SNL as a guest host in 1978, things deteriorated to the extent that the two exchanged words and almost came to blows.

This animosity would persist for several years before both men finally made up after co-starring in the 1980 movie, Caddyshack. Both would go on to do well in their respective careers thus proving that there is enough space for everyone to shine. Chase is now worth $50 million while Bill Murray’s net worth is estimated at $120 million.

Chevy Chase’s Highest Grossing Movies Vs His Paychecks

  • Modern Problems
    Year of release – 1981
    Budget – $8 million
    Box office – $26. 1 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – N/A
  • Caddyshack
    Year of release – 1980
    Budget – $6 million
    Gross – $39.8 million
    Chevy’s paycheck – N/A
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
    Year of release – 1983
    Budget – $15 million
    Box office – $61.4 million
    Chevy’s paycheck – N/A.
  • Spies Like Us
    Year of release – 1985
    Budget – $22 million
    Gross – $77.3 million
    Chevy’s paycheck – $7 million est.
  • Fletch
    Year of release – 1985
    Budget – $8 million
    Box office – $59 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – N/A
  • National Lampoon’s European Vacation
    Year of release – 1985
    Budget – $17 million
    Box office – $49.3 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – N/A
  • Three Amigos
    Year of release – 1986
    Budget – N/A
    Box office – $39.2 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – $7 million est.
  • Fletch Lives
    Year of release – 1989
    Budget – $8 million
    Box office – $39.4 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – N/A
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    Year of release – 1989
    Budget – $25 million
    Box office – $71.3 million
    Chevy’s paychecks – $7 million est.
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Ngozika Agu
Ngozika can turn any personal finance or entertainment information into an exciting, delightful and compelling article that informs and educates, she can quickly turn random letters into epic stories that not only entertain but also inspires or motivates

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