Chris Tucker became a worldwide sensation after he teamed up with legendary Chinese actor, Jackie Chan, for the Rush Hour movies. Though Tucker had already been acquainted with fame thanks to his role alongside Ice Cube in Friday, Rush Hour was the turning point that saw him become the highest-paid actor-comedian in Hollywood. A lot of buzz subsequently surrounded the Atlanta native, however, much to the surprise of many, he fell off the radar and only managed to show up here and there from time to time. The actor’s self-imposed hiatus has since become a thing of the past as he was able to go back to his comedic roots to land a Netflix special where he talked about a few things, one of which was why he disappeared from the screen.
How Chris Tucker Became a Household Name
Influenced by the likes of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker started showing some talent in comedy from an early age when he began to do impressions of Murphy and Michael Jackson among several other celebrities. As a teenager, he launched his career in comedy when he began performing in local Atlanta clubs. By the time he turned 19, Tucker decided that he needed to take a bigger step and so moved to Los Angeles. This turned out to be a good move on his part as by the time he turned twenty-two years of age in 1992, he had become a regular on the Russell Simmons produced series, Def Jam Comedy. He also bagged a guest appearance in the ABC sitcom, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.
In 1993, Tucker landed a small role in the superhero comedy, The Meteor Man. The following year, he played the role of Johnny Booze in House Party 3. More recognition would come Tucker’s way when he starred in the 1995 comedy movie, Friday. That same year, he landed roles in films like Panther and Dead Presidents.
Two years later, Chris Tucker joined Charlie Sheen on the cast of Money Talks. He was then a part of the sci-fi movie, The Fifth Element, which starred big names like Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman. He also had a supporting role as Beaumont Livingston in the 1997 crime movie, Jackie Brown. Not to be pigeon-holed in his career, and after showing some acting range in movies like Dead Presidents, Tucker went ahead and accepted a role opposite Jackie Chan in the 1998 police comedy movie, Rush Hour. The film was a critical and commercial success, allowing Tucker to retain his role as LAPD detective James Carter for Rush Hour 2 and 3.
Why Tucker Disappeared From The Scene After Rush Hour 3
Many have wondered whether the reason Chris Tucker was not seen in new projects after 2007 was as a result of directors and producers not having a role for him. This is far from the truth as the reverse is actually the case. The actor-comedian rather became quite picky with the projects he chose to feature in. This selective process came after he renewed his faith.
Shortly after featuring in Money Talks, Tucker became a born-again Christian. It was for this reason that he didn’t appear in the sequels for Friday; Next Friday in 2000 and Friday After Next in 2002. In a comedy hype documentary, comedy analyst Rex Garvin explained that Tucker had been getting dozens of roles he turned down because they didn’t align with his religious beliefs. Some of these roles are reported to have been in movies like Any Given Sunday, Black Knight, and Django Unchained.
While the comedian explained it away as him being really picky and wanting more serious roles, sources close to him gave a different story. According to Garvin, Tucker’s renewed faith put him at a level that one can’t quite be trained for. Being a devout Christian in comedy which sometimes relies so heavily on profanity among other things, proved to be challenging for the comedian.
In the documentary, a few studio heads were met to speak on Chris Tucker’s selective process. The former president of New Line Cinema, Michael Deluca, gave his experience on the matter. He explained how, though he was offered open checkbooks to star in roles, Tucker would still reject it.
What He Has Been Up to In Recent Time
When Chris Tucker decided to make a comeback in 2011, he chose to return to stand-up comedy. The following year, however, he appeared alongside Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro in the romantic comedy-drama, Silver Linings Playbook. In 2016, he played the role of Albert in the war drama film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
On TV, Tucker appeared as the host of the 2013 BET Awards before bagging his first Netflix standup special titled Chris Tucker – Live in 2015. Without using any profanity in the special, he talked about travelling to Africa, his woes with the IRS, and church. While the comedian didn’t address being born-again, he was candid about his church attendance. Tucker was slated to embark on a 2020 comedy tour before the coronavirus pandemic began.
Detailed Look At Chris Tucker’s Earnings Over the Years
Before he went off the radar, Chris Tucker was the highest-paid actor-comedian in Hollywood. Thanks to his breakout role on Friday where he was reportedly paid $5,000, he was able to land his career-defining role in Rush Hour. The film was a smashing success, earning over $240 million from a $34 million budget. The actor reportedly received a paycheck of $3 million, a big upshoot from what he received in prior movies.
For Rush Hour 2, Tucker was paid a whopping $20 million. Part 3 saw him earn $25 million as well as 20% of the movie’s grossing. Prior to Rush Hour 3, the actor had signed a $40 million two-movie deal with New Line Cinema for Rush Hour 3 and an unnamed future movie.
However, the standup comedian got into some money woes just as things were starting to look up. It was reported in 2011 that Tucker owed SunTrust Bank $4.4 million in mortgage payments for his 10,000-square-foot home near Orlando, Florida. There was more trouble for the star in 2014 when the IRS placed a $2.5 million lien on property he had in Atlanta, Georgia. There were also reports by TMZ that he owed much more in back taxes; the amount was estimated at $14 million.
Talking about his tax woes in his comedy special, Chris Tucker said: “Take care of your business, man, and don’t listen to people. Do your own business. Be careful who you listen to, ’cause that’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes!”
With all that said and done, the comedian’s net worth is difficult to pin down. Several sources believe it is in the negative due to the money he owes the government. Other sources, however, report that he has fully paid off his debt and now has an estimated net worth of $5 million.
|Also Known As:||Chris Tucker|
|Profession:||Stand up comedian and actor|
|Famous For:||His role of Detective James Carter in Rush Hour together with Jackie Chan|
|Colleges/Universities Attended:||Columbia High School|
|Educational Qualifications:||High school education|
|Birthday & Zodiac |
|Age/Date of Birth:||31 August 1971 (48 years)|
|Birth Place:||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Country of Residence: ||The United States|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in|
|Eye Colour:||Dark Brown|
|Other Body Measurements:||Shoe Size: 12 (US).|
|Spouse/Partner:||Azja Pryor (m. 1997–2003)|
|Family and Relatives|
|Mother:||Mary Louise Tucker|
|Children:||Destin Christopher Tucker|
|Siblings:||Dexter Tucker (brother)|
Tammye Stocks (sister)
|Other Relatives:||Theodore Arthur Bryant, Jr. - grandfather|
|Estimated Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Stand-up, acting, comedy|