Last Updated: September 21, 2023
Richest CelebritiesDirectors
Net Worth:
$80 Million
May 14, 1952 (71 years old)
6 ft (1.83 m)
Film director, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Television Director, Television producer, Pilot
United States of America
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What is Robert Zemeckis's Net Worth?

Robert Zemeckis is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer who has a net worth of $80 million.

Robert Zemeckis is known for directing such major Hollywood films as "Romancing the Stone," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "Forrest Gump," and the "Back to the Future" trilogy. For "Forrest Gump," he won the Academy Award for Best Director. Considered an innovator in the use of special effects, including performance capture, Zemeckis has also directed such computer-animated films as "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf."

Early Life and Education

Robert Zemeckis was born on May 14, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois to Rose and Alphonse. He has a sister named Carol. Raised on the city's South Side, he attended a Catholic grade school and then Fenger Academy High School. As a kid, Zemeckis was fascinated by his parents' 8 mm film camera, and would film various family events. Eventually, he started making narrative films with his friends that included special effects such as stop-motion animation. After seeing Arthur Penn's 1967 film "Bonnie and Clyde," Zemeckis decided he wanted to go to film school. He first attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb before transferring to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. At USC, Zemeckis earned a Student Academy Award for his short film "A Field of Honor," which drew the attention of fellow filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

First Feature Films

Zemeckis made his feature film directorial debut in 1978 with the historical comedy "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," which he co-wrote with his fellow USC alum Bob Gale. It follows a group of teenagers over the course of one day as they try to get into the Beatles' first live appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in early 1964. Zemeckis next collaborated with Gale on the screenplay to the 1979 war comedy "1941," directed by Steven Spielberg. The following year, Zemeckis released his second film as director, the black comedy "Used Cars," which was co-written by Gale and starred Kurt Russell and Jack Warden.

Commercial Breakthroughs

After "Used Cars," Zemeckis had trouble finding work in the industry. He was eventually hired by Michael Douglas to direct the action-adventure romantic comedy "Romancing the Stone," starring Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Released in 1984, the film became a sleeper hit, marking Zemeckis's commercial breakthrough. He had an even bigger hit in 1985 with the science-fiction film "Back to the Future," which he was finally able to get made after his script had been turned down by every major studio earlier in the decade. Starring Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, and Christopher Lloyd, the time-travel film was a smash hit, and earned Zemeckis his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Original Screenplay. "Back to the Future" spawned two sequels in 1989 and 1990. Before the release of the sequels, Zemeckis directed the fantasy period comedy "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," which featured an innovative blend of live-action and traditional animation. A huge success both commercially and critically, it won three Academy Awards, including Best Visual Effects.

What is Robert Zemeckis' Net Worth?

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Further Film Career

After completing the "Back to the Future" trilogy, Zemeckis co-wrote the action film "Trespass" and directed the black comedy fantasy film "Death Becomes Her," both released in 1992. He went on to score the biggest hit of his career in 1994 with the epic dramedy "Forrest Gump," based on the novel by Winston Groom. Starring Tom Hanks as the titular character, a dimwitted man who unwittingly participates in some of the most significant cultural events of the 20th century, "Forrest Gump" was the highest-grossing film in the US in 1994. It also won six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Zemeckis and Best Picture. Zemeckis's next film as director was the 1997 science-fiction film "Contact," based on the novel by Carl Sagan and starring Jodie Foster. He subsequently directed two films that were released in 2000: the supernatural horror film "What Lies Beneath," starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, and the survival drama "Cast Away," starring an Academy Award-nominated Tom Hanks. Both were commercial hits.

In 2004, Zemeckis co-wrote and directed his first computer-animated film, an adaptation of the children's Christmas book "The Polar Express." His third film with Hanks, it utilized the performance capture technique of digital animation. Zemeckis used performance capture technology again in his next film, a retelling of the Old English epic poem "Beowulf." It was released in 2007. Zemeckis subsequently wrote and directed another computer-animated film with performance capture, an adaptation of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." Starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, it came out in 2009. Zemeckis returned to live-action filmmaking with his 2012 drama "Flight," starring Denzel Washington in an Academy Award-nominated performance. He next co-wrote and directed the 2015 biographical drama "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as famed French high-wire artist Philippe Petit. Since then, Zemeckis has directed such films as "Allied," "Welcome to Marwen," and "Here."

Personal Life

In 1980, Zemeckis married actress Mary Ellen Trainor. The pair had a son named Alexander before divorcing in 2000. Zemeckis subsequently wed actress Leslie Harter in late 2001; they have three children together named Zane, Rhys, and Zsa Zsa.

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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