Last Updated: May 20, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$4 Million
$175 Thousand Per Episode
Mar 11, 1969 (55 years old)
6 ft (1.84 m)
Actor, Singer-songwriter, Record producer, Film Producer, Voice Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare Terrence Howard's Net Worth

What is Terrence Howard's Net Worth and Salary?

Terrence Howard is an American Oscar-nominated actor and musician who has a net worth of $4 million. Terrence Howard could have been much wealthier, but unfortunately, he has experienced a number of financial and marital problems during his life, which we'll detail in the section below.

Terrence Howard started performing in movies in the 1980s, but he didn't land his first major role until 1995 when he was cast in "Dead Presidents" and "Mr. Holland's Opus." Since then, Terrence has enjoyed a successful career in films such as "Ray" (2004), "Crash" (2004), "Hustle and Flow" (2005), and "Get Rich or Die Tryin" (2005). Howard has also branched out into music, releasing the album "Shine through It" in 2008. That same year, he made his Broadway debut in the all-black production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Empire Salary & Lawsuit

From 2015 to 2020, Terrence played the award-winning role of Lucious Lyon on the Fox drama "Empire." According to a lawsuit Terrence filed against his talent agency, CAA, in late 2023, when he starred on the show, his salary per episode was $125,000. In the final season, he earned $325,000 per episode. There were 18 episodes in the final season. So that worked out to $5.85 million in gross earnings for that season.

As we stated a moment ago, in December 2023, Terrence sued the talent agency CAA for breach of fiduciary duty. In his suit, Terrence claimed that the agency had a conflict of interest when negotiating his salary because it also represented the show's producers. Howard claimed that the agency pushed him to accept a lower-than-standard salary because it had a backend interest in the series and was looking to maximize profits. This practice of agencies packaging shows was essentially banned in 2020. In his lawsuit, Terrence noted that he was being paid less than both Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey, whose respective shows – Mad Men and House of Cards – were significantly less popular in terms of ratings than Empire. In a subsequent statement, Terrence pointed out that at the peak of Empire's popularity, it was getting higher ratings than even Big Bang Theory, another network series, and yet he was making less than that show's star, Jim Parsons.

Terrence Howard

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

IRS Issues

Howard has had a number of IRS issues over the years. He was reportedly hit with a $600,000 IRS lien in 2016. In 2010 he reportedly received a $1.1 million overdue tax bill. In June 2019, it was reported that Terrence and on again-/off-again wife Mira were being investigated for tax evasion. That same year, he was subjected to $143,000 worth of liens. In March 2024, it was reported that, once again, the IRS was coming back to Terrence for an allegedly overdue tax bill. He was ordered to pay $900,000 as part of a tax evasion case related to $578,000 in unpaid taxes over five tax returns filed between 2010 and 2019. Terrence did not appear in court or attempt to defend himself in the case.

Iron Man Salary & Controversy

For 2008's "Iron Man," Terrence was paid $3.5 million. He was the highest-paid actor on the movie and the first lead actor hired on the project. Robert Downey Jr. earned just $500,000 and Terrence has claimed that Robert never would have gotten the part at all if it wasn't for him.

Terrence has claimed in several interviews that he was originally set to earn $4.5 million for "Iron Man" but offered to take a $1 million pay cut to get Downey the title role. Terrence has claimed that the producers originally wanted Clive Owen to play Iron Man and wouldn't even see Robert Downey Jr. because his previous controversies made his insurance costs exorbitant. Terrence claims he offered to give up $1 million so $500,000 could go to Downey and $500,000 could go to his insurance cost. As you know, Downey went on to earn hundreds of millions of dollars playing Iron Man while Terrence did not return after the first installment.

Terrence has also claimed in interviews that he had a 3-picture deal with Marvel that was originally going to pay him $4.5 million for the first movie, $8 million for the second, and $12 million for the third, a total of $24.5 million. He claims that ahead of the second "Iron Man," Marvel called his agent and demanded Terrence accept $1 million instead of $8 million. According to Terrence, the agent said, "F*!@& You," and hung up the phone. Marvel then hired Don Cheadle for the film's second installment and, according to Terrance, began spreading rumors that he was fired because he was difficult to work with. Terrence claimed he called Robert dozens of times, hoping to get him to step up on his behalf, as he had done previously. Unfortunately, Robert did not ever return any of his calls, and the two would not speak for years until they bumped into each other at Brian Grazer's wedding in 2016. At that point, Terrence was starring on "Empire," and Robert apparently apologized but said something to the effect of "at least everything worked out in the end."

Early Life

Terrence Howard was born Terrence Dashon Howard on March 11, 1969, in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Anita, was 15 when Terrence was born, and when he was two years old, he witnessed his abusive father, Tyrone, stabbing a man with a nail file during a trip to see Santa Claus at a Cleveland department store. The man died, and Tyrone served 11 months in jail for manslaughter. Terrence's parents divorced after Tyrone's release, and he spent his childhood in Cleveland with Tyrone and in Los Angeles with Anita. Howard has two brothers (Antonio and Tyrone Jr.), a half-brother (Darnell), and a half-sister (Ariana), and his great-grandmother, actress Minnie Gentry, instilled a love of acting in him. Terrence was emancipated at age 16, and he later studied chemical engineering at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute but dropped out before earning his degree. Howard was diagnosed with Bell's palsy as a teenager and has said that he cured it by shocking his face.

Terrence Howard

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Audiences were first introduced to Terrence in the ABC miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream," in which he played Jackie Jackson. He had guest roles on the popular shows "Family Matters," "Living Single," "Coach," and "Picket Fences" before finding success in 1995's "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "Dead Presidents." From 1996 to 1998, Howard starred on the UPN sitcom "Sparks," and in 1999, he appeared in "The Best Man," which earned him an NAACP Image Award as well as nominations from the Black Reel Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association, and Independent Spirit Awards. In 2004, he starred in "Crash," which earned Terrence several supporting actor awards and nominations, and he shared a Screen Actors Guild Award with his castmates. Howard was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of aspiring rapper Djay in "Hustle & Flow," and "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (which he performed in the film) won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 2008, Terrence played Colonel James Rhodes in "Iron Man" and was the movie's highest-paid actor; for the sequel, the producers reportedly offered him $1 million instead of the $8 million that was agreed to in his contract and eventually replaced him with Don Cheadle. Howard was a series regular on "Law & Order: LA" from 2010 to 2011 and appeared in 2011's "Winnie Mandela" (playing Nelson Mandela), 2013's "The Butler," and 2014's "The Best Man Holiday" before landing a role on "Empire" in 2015. Terrence appeared in 102 episodes, and his portrayal of dying hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyon earned him a BET Award. In addition to his films and television shows, Howard also earned awards and nominations for the made-for-TV movies "Boycott" (2001) and "Lackawanna Blues" (2005), and he has appeared in music videos for Madonna, Mary J. Blige, and Ashanti. Terrence announced his retirement from acting in September 2019.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Personal Life

Terrence was married to Lori McCommas from 1989 to 2003 and from 2005-2007. They had two daughters, Aubrey and Heaven, and a son, Hunter, together. Howard married Michelle Ghent in 2010, and in February 2011, Michelle filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized in 2013, and the following year, Ghent sued him for allegedly owing $325,000 in unpaid spousal support. Howard claimed that he was blackmailed into signing an unfair agreement and couldn't pay because he was only making $5,800 per month. In the same court case, Terrence revealed that the majority of his income actually goes directly to his first wife to support their kids. Things were so bad that Terrence was technically on his first wife's payroll. At the time, he would receive $5,800 per month directly from her account after his obligations were met. The judge overturned the original divorce agreement in 2015 but reinstated it in 2017.

Terrence married Mira Pak in 2013, and they have two sons together, Qirin (born in 2015) and Hero (born in 2016). The couple divorced in 2015, but they became engaged again in December 2018.


He was arrested for assaulting a flight attendant in 2000 and for punching, harassing, and stalking McCommas in 2001. Ghent was granted restraining orders against Howard in 2011 and 2013 due to claims that he had assaulted her. In 2008, composer Tex Allen sued Terrence for $5 million after he allegedly attacked Allen during a "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" rehearsal.

In 2012, Terrence's one-time manager Victoria Fredrick, filed a lawsuit against Howard that made the claim that she was owed $137,500 for her service during Howard's time working on the films Winnie and Fighting. During this time, Howard earned a total of $2.75 million, and Fredrick felt she was entitled to a piece. The lawsuit also went on to claim that she was entitled to a stake in some of the more notable movies Howard appeared in while she was in his employ: Movies like Hustle and Flow, Iron Man, and Get Rich or Die Tryin'. As if that weren't enough, she also claimed a stake in more than 100 future films that haven't even gone into production yet!

Howard didn't take the suit lightly, responding that while Victoria Fredrick was indeed an employee of his, she was merely a "personal manager" who did things like answer phones or run errands for the actor. Howard said that she was not a business manager, nor was she responsible for any aspects of his career, disputing her claim to a stake in Howard's movie earnings. He claimed to have adequately compensated Fredrick for her services (compensation which allegedly included some commissions from his acting roles) and that her claims to the contrary were false and in bad faith.

But, he must not have wanted to go to court for it because the two reached a settlement to the tune of an undisclosed sum a few days ago. Whatever the amount, it was almost certainly significantly less than the 6-figure sum Fredrick originally filed suit for.

Awards and Honors

Howard has earned more than 30 awards for his work, including 2 BET Awards (2006 and 2015), a Black Movie Award (2005), and a Satellite Award (2005). He has been nominated for 12 NAACP Image Awards, winning in 2000, 2006, 2011, and 2016. Terrence has also won awards from the African-American Film Critics Association as well as critics associations in Austin, Florida, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.

Terrence Howard Career Earnings

  • Winnie
    $1 Million
  • Fighting
    $1.8 Million
  • Idlewild
    $40 Thousand
  • Hustle & Flow
    $12 Thousand
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.
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