Last Updated: March 26, 2024
Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$20 Million
Sep 1, 1955 (68 years old)
5 ft 11 in (1.82 m)
Actor, Martial Artist, Fitness professional
United States of America
💰 Compare Billy Blanks' Net Worth

What Is Billy Blanks' Net Worth?

Billy Blanks is an American fitness guru, martial artist, and actor who has a net worth of $20 million. Billy Blanks is famous for inventing the Tae Bo exercise program, which became a major American fitness craze. Tae Bo sold more than 1.5 million VHS tapes in its first year of release alone, generating $80 million in sales. To date, Tae Bo has generated well over $150 million in total revenue.

Early Life

Billy Blanks was born William Wayne Blanks on September 1, 1955, in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is the fourth of fifteen children. While growing up, he suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia. Blanks was born with an anomaly in his hip joints that impaired his movement. This caused him to be clumsy as a child, and he did not excel at athletics. When he saw a Bruce Lee movie on television, he decided he wanted to be a martial arts champion, and through studying karate, Billy found his calling.

Martial Arts Career

Blanks was originally hired as security/bodyguard for Catherine Bach, the lead actress in a film called "Driving Force," which was shot in Manila during a time of major political unrest. He was able to impress the film's producers on such a level that he was written into the script, landing a supporting role in the process. Blanks worked on a number of martial arts films, which include "King of the Kickboxers" and "Bloodfist."

Blanks also appeared in films like Tony Scott's "The Last Boy Scout," playing a pro football player on the brink of self-destruction. He also played Ashley Judd's kickboxing instructor in the 1997 film "Kiss the Girls."

David Livingston/Getty Images

Tae Bo

Blanks continued to develop his Tae Bo workout, which he did while running/operating his own taekwondo studio located in Quincy, Massachusetts. He incorporated components of martial arts training as well as boxing. The name Tae Bo is actually a portmanteau consisting of "Tae" (referring to taekwondo) and "Bo" (referring to boxing). Blanks opened his own fitness center in the Los Angeles area so he could teach this new workout, bringing it to the masses. He had plans to use his location and status to attract major celebrity clients — like Paula Abdul, for instance. The popularity of Blanks's Tae Bo workouts grew quickly. Billy and his Tae Bo workouts and videos ended up becoming a major pop culture phenomenon. The videos were mass-marketed, which had a major influence on Blanks's net worth overall.

Personal Life

Blanks married Gayle H. Godfrey in his twenties after meeting her in karate class in 1974. He ended up adopting Godfrey's daughter, Shellie. Shellie Blanks Cimarosti happens to be prominently featured in many of Blanks's Tae Bo videos due to the fact that she is a martial artist herself. Shellie also ended up producing her own Tae Bo Postnatal Power videos in addition to hosting Blanks's "Tae Bo T3" videos, which had to do with Total Transformation Training. Blanks and Godfrey had a son together, who they named Billy Blanks, Jr.

Blanks and Godfrey were married for 33 years but ended up getting a divorce in 2008. The two cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their divorce. Billy had another daughter, Angelika, with his Japanese interpreter. Blanks and Tomoko Sato were married in 2009, at which point he adopted her daughters, Marriett and Erika Peterson.

Blanks identifies as a Christian and released his own special line of workouts titled the "Believer's" series. This series was an offshoot of his own Tae Bo workouts that also featured supplemental motivational prayers and additional Christian components.

Real Estate

Blanks turned his Tae Bo legacy into some major real estate profits. In 2001, he put his signature on the paperwork to sell his home in Hidden Hills, CA, which was sold to an unknown purchaser for $7.3 million.

Billy and Gayle paid $1.4 million for the home on January 31, 2000. Blanks constructed his massive estate to his liking, initially trying to sell it for the sum of $11.5 million but ultimately ended up settling for $7.3 million.

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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