Last Updated: June 25, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$70 Million
Aug 17, 1960 (63 years old)
Los Angeles County
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Actor, Film director, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Politician
United States of America
💰 Compare Sean Penn's Net Worth

What Is Sean Penn's Net Worth and Salary?

Sean Penn is an American actor, director, and activist who has a net worth of $70 million. Sean Penn's net worth was previously much higher when combined with his ex-wife Robin Wright. They were married from 1996 to 2010 and have two children together. Sean reportedly paid Robin a very large portion of his net worth as a divorce settlement, possibly as much as $50 million.

Making his film debut in "Taps" (1981), Penn gained early attention with his role in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982), in which he played the unforgettable surfer Jeff Spicoli. But it was his performances in dramatic films that truly showcased his range and intensity as an actor. In "Dead Man Walking" (1995), Penn's portrayal of a death row inmate earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This was followed by critically acclaimed roles in films like "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999) and "I Am Sam" (2001), further establishing his prowess as a performer.

In 2003, Sean won his first Oscar for Best Actor for his role in "Mystic River," and he repeated this feat in 2008 with another win for his transformative portrayal of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, in "Milk."

Beyond acting, Penn has ventured into directing, with films like "The Indian Runner" (1991), "The Crossing Guard" (1995), and "Into the Wild" (2007). The latter, an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's novel, stands as a testament to Penn's nuanced understanding of storytelling and his ability to evoke powerful performances from his actors.

Off the screen, his dedication to social and political causes is notable. He has been involved in various humanitarian efforts, such as his work in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. His activism, at times controversial, reflects a deep commitment to addressing global injustices.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Sean Justin Penn was born on August 17, 1960, in Santa Monica, California. His father, Leo Penn, was also an actor and director, and his mother, Eileen Ryan, was an actress. His older brother is musician Michael Penn. His younger brother, Chris Penn, was also an actor; he passed away in 2006. Sean was raised in a secular home, although his paternal side is Jewish, and his mother's family is Catholic. He attended Santa Monica High School and counted actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen among his childhood friends, as they lived nearby.

Penn began his forays into film when he started making short films with his friends. His first official acting gig was as an extra on an episode of the television series "Little House on the Prairie" in 1974 when his father directed several episodes of the show.

Acting Career

Penn made his film debut in the 1981 action-drama film "Taps," portraying a military high school cadet. A year later, he starred in the popular comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982) as part of an ensemble cast that featured the likes of Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Phoebe Cates. His portrayal of the laid-back stoner/surfer Jeff Spicoli helped popularize the word "dude" in American popular culture. However, the role that really established Sean as a serious actor was as troubled youth Mick O'Brien in the drama "Bad Boy" (1983).

In the 1980s, Penn continued to appear in films, including "Racing with the Moon" (1984), "The Falcon and the Snowman" (1985), "At Close Range" (1986), and the widely-panned "Shanghai Surprise" (1985) opposite his new wife at the time, singer Madonna. During the early 1990s, he took a break from acting to focus on his directing career. He returned to the screen with a supporting role in 1993's "Carlito's Way," for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued his success with a leading role in "Dead Man Walking" (1995), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award again in 1999 for his role in "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999) and again in 2001 for his portrayal of a mentally handicapped father in "I Am Sam." He finally won his first Academy Award in 2003 for his leading role in the crime drama "Mystic River."

In 2004, Penn starred in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon" and was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His next big role was in the film "All the King's Men" (2006), which was a resounding critical and commercial failure. He redeemed himself with his portrayal of real-life gay-rights icon and politician Harvey Milk in the 2008 biopic "Milk," for which he won his second Academy Award.

Other films Penn has appeared in include "She's So Lovely" (1997), "The Game" (1997), "Hurlyburly" (1998), "Up at the Villa" (2000), "The Weight of Water" (2000), "It's All About Love" (2003), "21 Grams" (2003), "The Interpreter" (2005), "Fair Game" (2010), "The Tree of Life" (2011), "The Gunman" (2015), and "The Professor and the Madman" (2019). Additionally, he provided the voice of Terence in the 2016 animated family film "Angry Birds." He also contributed voice work to an episode of the show "Family Guy" in 2016.

Directing and Other Ventures

Penn made his directorial debut with the film "The Indian Runner" (1991). He has also directed music videos for artists like Shania Twain, Lyle Lovett, and Peter Gabriel. Other films directed by Sean include the thriller "The Crossing Guard" (1995), the mystery film "The Pledge" (2001), the biographical drama "Into the Wild" (2007), and "The Last Face" (2016), which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. His films have all been generally well-received by critics. "Into the Wild" was even nominated for two Golden Globes, winning the award for Best Original Song, and it earned Penn the Best Director Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Directors Guild of America.

Penn's debut novel, "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff," was published by Atria Books in March 2018.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Personal Life

Penn was engaged to actress Elizabeth McGovern before beginning a relationship with pop singer Madonna. He first met Madonna in February 1985, and they married that August. Madonna filed for divorce in December 1987 but withdrew the papers only to file again in January 1989.

Following the divorce, Sean began a relationship with actress Robin Wright, and together they have two children. While separated from Wright in 1995, Penn had a brief relationship with singer Jewel. However, he would reconcile with Wright, and they married in April 1996. Penn and Wright would go on to have a pattern of separations and reconciliations, eventually finalizing their divorce in July 2010. From 2013 to 2015, Penn dated actress Charlize Theron, and he started dating actress Leila George in 2016.

Penn is well known for his political activism. He was a vocal critic of the administration of George W. Bush and has traveled abroad several times for political and diplomatic reasons, including a 2005 reporting assignment for "The San Francisco Chronicle," for which he traveled to Iran.

Real Estate

From the 1980s to the mid-1990s, Sean lived in Los Angeles, with homes in Malibu and the Hollywood Hills. After a series of fires and break-ins, in 1996, he and Robin paid $2.1 million for a home in Ross, California, 30 minutes north of San Francisco in Marin County. They proceeded to perform a massive overhaul renovation of the 2.2-acre property, which is located across the street from a police station. After initiating divorce proceedings, the former couple listed the home for sale in 2008 for $15 million, just before the real estate bubble burst. They ultimately accepted $8 million in January 2010.

After the divorce was filed, Sean paid $3.8 million for a home in Malibu, California, in May 2009. He listed this home for sale in 2015 for $6.55 million. As of this writing, he still owns the property.

Sean Penn Career Earnings

  • I Am Sam
    $5 Million
  • The Thin Red Line
    $300 Thousand
  • Hurlyburly
    $150 Thousand
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