Last Updated: April 14, 2023

What Is The Coen Brothers' Net Worth?

The Coen Brothers are an American team of two comedic screenwriters, Joel and Ethan Coen, who have a combined net worth of $160 million. Joel Coen's $100 million net worth is larger than Ethan Coen's $60 million net worth thanks to his marriage to Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand.

The Coen Brothers are film directors, screenwriters, producers, and editors who have won numerous awards, including four Academy Awards. They are known for films such as "Raising Arizona" (1987), "The Hudsucker Proxy" (1994), "Fargo" (1996), "The Big Lebowski" (1998), "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000), "No Country for Old Men" (2007), "Burn After Reading" (2008), "A Serious Man" (2009), "True Grit" (2010), and "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013). The Coen Brothers have also written several films that they did not direct, including "Crimewave" (1985), "Gambit" (2012), "Unbroken" (2014), and "Bridge of Spies" (2015). In 2014, "Fargo" was adapted into an FX television series, and Joel and Ethan serve as executive producers on the Emmy-winning show, which was renewed for a fifth season in early 2022.

Early Life

Joel Coen was born Joel Daniel Coen on November 29, 1954, and Ethan Coen was born Ethan Jesse Coen on September 21, 1957, both in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Their mother, Rena, who passed away in 2001, was an art historian who worked at St. Cloud State University. Their father, Edward, died in 2012 and worked at the University of Minnesota as a Professor of Economics. Joel and Ethan have an older sister named Deborah, who is a psychiatrist. Both the maternal and paternal sides of the Coen family have Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. The Coen Brothers became interested in cinema at an early age and grew up watching Tarzan movies, Italian films, and comedy. Joel began mowing lawns for money in the mid-1960s and used the money he saved up to buy a Vivitar Super 8 camera. The brothers started remaking films they had seen on TV, with their friend Mark Zimering starring in the movies.

Joel graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1973, followed by Ethan in 1976, and they both attended Bard College at Simon's Rock in Massachusetts. After college, Joel enrolled in New York University's undergraduate film program, where he spent four years and made a half-hour thesis film titled "Soundings." In the late '70s, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin's graduate film program because he had married a woman who was studying in the school's graduate linguistics program. The marriage didn't last long, and Joel left the school after nine months. After Bard College, Ethan graduated with an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Princeton in 1979. His 41-page senior thesis was titled "Two Views of Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy."


After graduating from NYU, Joel began working as a production assistant on music videos and industrial films. He met director Sam Raimi while he was working as an assistant film editor on Raimi's 1981 film "The Evil Dead," and the Coen Brothers later co-wrote the 1994 film "The Hudsucker Proxy" with Sam and wrote the screenplay for his 1985 film "Crimewave."

The first Coen Brothers feature film was 1984's "Blood Simple," which was directed by Joel and won the Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival. The film starred Frances McDormand, who would go on to become a frequent collaborator as well as Joel's wife.

Up until 2004's "The Ladykillers," Joel was credited as the director and Ethan as the producer on each Coen Brothers film. Their second film, 1987's "Raising Arizona," starred Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter and earned the brothers a National Society of Film Critics Award nomination for Best Screenplay. They followed it with 1990's "Miller's Crossing," 1994's "The Hudsucker Proxy," 1996's "Fargo," and 1998's "The Big Lebowski," winning their first Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) for "Fargo." The film earned seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and in 1998, it was featured on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films.


The Coen Brothers kicked off the 2000s with "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," which starred George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson and earned Joel and Ethan an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Next, they released the neo-noir crime film "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001) and the romantic comedy "Intolerable Cruelty" (2003).

Joel and Ethan co-directed the 2004 Tom Hanks crime thriller "The Ladykillers," followed by the "Tuileries" segment in 2006's "Paris, je t'aime" and the "World Cinema" segment in 2007's "Chacun son cinéma." Their 2007 film "No Country for Old Men," starring Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin, won more than 75 awards, including four of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for. The Coen Brothers followed the success of "No Country for Old Men" with the 2008 black comedy "Burn After Reading," and 2009's "A Serious Man" earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Their 2010 Western "True Grit" was also nominated for Best Picture, and it received a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination as well. The Coen Brothers then released 2013's "Inside Llewyn Davis," 2016's "Hail, Caesar!," and 2018's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," with "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" earning an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. They also executive produce FX's "Fargo" series (2014 –present), which has won more than 50 awards as of this writing, including a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series (2014) and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Television Film (2015).

Personal Life

Joel married actress Frances McDormand on April 1, 1984, and they adopted son Pedro from Paraguay in 1995 when he was six months old. Frances has appeared in numerous Coen Brothers films, such as "Raising Arizona," "Fargo," and "Burn After Reading," and "Fargo" earned her an Academy Award. Ethan wed film editor Tricia Cooke on October 2, 1990, and they have welcomed two children together, son Buster and daughter Dusty. Buster worked as an editorial intern on "A Serious Man" and as a post-production assistant on "No Country for Old Men."

Awards and Nominations

The Coen Brothers have earned more than a dozen Academy Award nominations, four each for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, three each for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and two for Best Editing. They won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay for "No Country for Old Men" and Best Original Screenplay for "Fargo." They have received 12 Golden Globe nominations, taking home the prize for Best Screenplay for "No Country for Old Men." They won a BAFTA Award for Best Direction for "No Country for Old Men," and Joel won in that category for "Fargo." "No Country for Old Men" earned Critics Choice Movie Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, and Ethan won Best Picture for "Fargo." The Coen Brothers won a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and a Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures for "No Country for Old Men," and in both 2015 and 2016, the "Fargo" TV series earned them Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television awards from the Producers Guild. They have won Writers Guild of America Awards for Best Original Screenplay for "Fargo" and Best Adapted Screenplay for "No Country for Old Men." At the Independent Spirit Awards, they were honored with the Robert Altman Award for "A Serious Man," won Best Screenplay for "Fargo," and Joel was named Best Director for "Fargo" and "Blood Simple." The Coen Brothers have also won numerous awards from film festivals and critics associations.

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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