Last Updated: May 20, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Jan 8, 1912 - Jan 26, 1992 (80 years old)
San Juan
5 ft 9 in (1.778 m)
Actor, Film director, Theatre Director
Puerto Rico
💰 Compare José Ferrer's Net Worth

What Was José Ferrer's Net Worth?

José Ferrer was an Oscar-winning Puerto Rican actor as well as a theater and film director who had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death in 1992. José Ferrer made his Broadway debut in 1935. In 1940, he played his first starring role on Broadway, the title role in "Charley's Aunt," partly in drag. He played Iago in Margaret Webster's Broadway production of "Othello" (1943), which became the longest-running production of a Shakespearean play presented in the United States, a record that it still holds. His Broadway directing credits include "The Shrike," "Stalag 17," "The Fourposter," "Twentieth Century," "Carmelina," "My Three Angels," and "The Andersonville Trial." Ferrer won five Tonys, three for Best Director ("Stalag 17," "The Fourposter," and "The Shrike") and two for Best Actor in a Play ("Cyrano de Bergerac" and "The Shrike").

José had the distinction of being the first Puerto Rican actor, as well as the first Hispanic actor, to win an Academy Award (in 1950 for the black and white film version of "Cyrano de Bergerac"). Ferrer made his film debut in "Joan of Arc" in 1948. During the '70s and '80s, he was cast mainly as villains, mostly for TV, and he made his final stage appearance in 1990. Following a brief battle with colon cancer, José died in Coral Gables, Florida, on January 26, 1992, at the age of 80. His further legacy includes an organization formerly called the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) being renamed its Tespis Award to the HOLA José Ferrer Tespis Award, his induction into the American Theatre Hall of Fame; and a National Medal of Art (becoming the first actor and Hispanic to be presented with the prestigious award).

Early Life

José Ferrer was born José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón on January 8, 1912, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the son of María Providencia Cintrón and Rafael Ferrer, and his father was a writer and attorney. José's paternal grandfather, doctor Gabriel Ferrer Hernández, advocated for Puerto Rico to become independent from Spain. José had two younger sisters named Leticia and Elvira. His family relocated to New York in 1914, and Ferrer later attended the Institut Le Rosey, a Swiss boarding school. He earned an architecture degree from Princeton University in 1933, and his senior thesis was about "French Naturalism and Pardo Bazán." During his college years, José joined the Princeton Triangle Club and played piano in the band José Ferrer and His Pied Pipers. After graduating from Princeton, Ferrer attended Columbia University, where he studied Romance languages from 1934 to 1935.


José's first professional acting gig was at a Long Island "showboat" theater in 1934. The following year, he began working at the Suffern Country Playhouse as a stage manager. That year he also performed on Broadway for the first time, appearing in "A Slight Case of Murder." Ferrer returned to Broadway for "Stick-in-the-Mud" (1935), "Spring Dance" (1936), "Brother Rat" (1936-1938), and many other productions before making his Broadway directing debut with "Vickie" in 1942. From 1943 to 1944, he starred as Iago in a Broadway production of Shakespeare's "Othello," and from 1946 to 1947, he played the title role in "Cyrano de Bergerac" on Broadway, which earned him his first Tony Award. José made his TV debut in 1949, playing Cyrano de Bergerac in a "Philco Television Playhouse" adaptation of the play, and he won an Oscar for the 1950 film adaptation. Ferrer appeared in more than 120 film and television projects during his lifetime, and his first film was 1948's "Joan of Arc." He co-starred with Ingrid Bergman and received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. José followed his successful film debut with "Whirlpool" (1950), "Crisis" (1950), "Anything Can Happen" (1952), and "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), and he directed and appeared in "The Shrike" (1955), "The Cockleshell Heroes" (1955), "The Great Man" (1956), "I Accuse!" (1958), and "The High Cost of Loving" (1958). He earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in 1952's "Moulin Rouge."

In the '60s and '70s, José appeared in films such as "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Cyrano et d'Artagnan" (1964), "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965), "Ship of Fools" (1965), "Enter Laughing" (1967), "Voyage of the Damned" (1976), "The Rhinemann Exchange" (1977), "The Return of Captain Nemo" (1978), "The Swarm" (1978), and "The Fifth Musketeer" (1979), and he directed "Return to Peyton Place" (1961) and "State Fair" (1962). Next, Ferrer guest-starred on "Magnum, P.I." (1981), "The Love Boat" (1981–1986), "Another World" (1983), "Fantasy Island" (1983), "Murder, She Wrote" (1984), "Sesame Street" (1988), and "Matlock" (1986; 1990), and he played Morris Kane on the CBS drama "Bridges to Cross" (1986) and had a recurring role as Arthur Vanderkellen on "Newhart" (1985–1987). In the '80s, he also appeared in the films "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" (1982), "Bloodtide" (1982), "To Be or Not to Be" (1983), "Dune" (1984), and "Hired to Kill" (1990) and the TV movies "Evita Peron" (1981), "Peter and Paul" (1981), "Samson and Delilah" (1984), "Blood & Orchids" (1986), and "The Perfect Tribute" (1991). José's final onscreen appearance was in a 1991 episode of the TV series "Maniac Mansion."


Personal Life

During his lifetime, José married five times and welcomed six children. He was married to actress Uta Hagen from 1938 to 1948, and they had a daughter named Leticia (born 1949) together. Next, Ferrer wed dancer/actress Phyllis Hill in 1948, and they moved to Vermont two years later. Ferrer went back to Puerto Rico when his mother died, and he and Hill divorced in 1953. José married singer/actress Rosemary Clooney later that year, and they welcomed five children, Miguel (born 1955), Maria (born 1956), Gabriel (born 1957), Monsita (born 1958), and Rafael (born 1960), before divorcing in 1961. Miguel Ferrer (who died in 2017) was an actor known for films such as "RoboCop," "Traffic," and "Iron Man 3" and the television series "Twin Peaks" and "Crossing Jordan." After José and Rosemary divorced, they later reconciled and remarried in 1964, but that marriage ended in 1967 due to Ferrer's affair with Stella Magee. During their second marriage, José was uncle to future star George Clooney, who was born in 1961. Ferrer wed Magee in 1977, and they remained married until his death in early 1992.


On January 26, 1992, Ferrer passed away from colorectal cancer in Coral Gables, Florida, less than three weeks after his 80th birthday. He was laid to rest at Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Awards and Nominations

Ferrer earned three Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "Cyrano de Bergerac" in 1951. He was nominated in that category for "Moulin Rouge" in 1953, and he received a Best Actor in a Supporting Role nomination for "Joan of Arc" in 1949. "Cyrano de Bergerac" also earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Drama and a New York Film Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Actor. José received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Foreign Actor for "The Caine Mutiny" in 1955 and a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for "The Great Man" in 1958. He also earned Primetime Emmy nominations for Best Actor in 1951 and Best Actor – Single Performance for the "Cyrano de Bergerac" episode of "Producers' Showcase" in 1956. In 1960, Ferrer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Motion Picture category.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction