Last Updated: April 22, 2023
Richest CelebritiesDirectors
Net Worth:
$20 Million
Date of Birth:
Sep 5, 1942 (81 years old)
Place of Birth:
6 ft (1.85 m)
Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Opera Director, Television Director, Voice Actor, Film Editor, Author
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What is Werner Herzog's Net Worth?

Werner Herzog is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, author, and opera director who has a net worth of $20 million. Werner Herzog is considered to be one of the pioneers of the New German Cinema. He has written and directed over 60 feature films and documentaries since the late 1960s, with notable credits including "Fata Morgana"; "Aguirre, the Wrath of God"; "Stroszek"; "Fitzcarraldo"; "Little Dieter Needs to Fly"; "Grizzly Man"; and "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." Herzog has also published several books of prose and directed many operas. Werner has won just shy of 50 awards and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 for Best Documentary for "Encounters at the End of the World." In 2019 Werner appeared in the Disney+ series "The Mandalorian."

Early Life and Education

Werner Herzog was born as Werner Stipetić on September 5, 1942 in Munich, Germany to Elisabeth, an Austrian of Croatian ancestry, and Dietrich, a German. He was raised in the remote Bavarian village of Sachrang without running water or a flushing toilet. When he was young, his father abandoned the family. Eventually, Herzog moved back to Munich with his mother. He became involved with filmmaking and music as an adolescent, and at the age of 19 directed his first film, the short "Herakles." After finishing high school, Herzog traveled to England with his girlfriend and learned to speak English. He went on to briefly attend the University of Munich, where he studied literature and history, before attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Film Career

Along with such filmmakers as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff, Herzog was a pioneering figure of the New German Cinema, a movement inspired by the French New Wave and Italian Neorealism. His first feature film as writer and director, "Signs of Life," came out in 1968; a huge success, it won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Herzog's next film was his first documentary feature, "The Flying Doctors of East Africa." After that, he made "Even Dwarfs Started Small," released in 1970. The following year, he released three documentaries: "Handicapped Future," "Land of Silence and Darkness," and "Fata Morgana." Herzog's next release was the 1972 epic historical drama "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," his first of five collaborations with actor Klaus Kinski. The film was a major critical success. Herzog earned further acclaim with 1974's "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. The same year saw the release of his documentary "The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner."

In the latter half of the 1970s, Herzog wrote and directed the historical drama "Heart of Glass," the tragicomedy "Stroszek," the horror film "Nosferatu the Vampyre," and the drama "Woyzeck." The latter two films star Klaus Kinski. Herzog also made the documentary "How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck," about the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in New Holland, Pennsylvania. His first films in the 1980s were also documentaries: "Huie's Sermon" and "God's Angry Man." After those, Herzog released one of his most acclaimed works, "Fitzcarraldo." An epic adventure starring Klaus Kinski, the film won Herzog the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Its notoriously troubled production was chronicled in Les Blank's documentary "Burden of Dreams." Herzog's next films were the fiction feature "Where the Green Ants Dream" and the documentary "Ballad of the Little Soldier," both released in 1984. His other credits during the decade included the drama "Cobra Verde," his final collaboration with Kinski.

Werner Herzog

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Herzog began the 1990s with the documentary "Echoes from a Sombre Empire," about Central African Republic leader Jean-BĂ©del Bokassa. After that, he released the fiction film "Scream of Stone." Herzog focused primarily on documentaries for the remainder of the decade, directing such titles as "Lessons of Darkness," "Bells from the Deep," "The Transformation of the World into Music," and "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," about Vietnam War POW Dieter Dengler. In 1998, Herzog directed the made-for-TV documentary "Wings of Hope," about the sole survivor of Peruvian flight LANSA Flight 508, which disintegrated from a lightning strike in 1971. Herzog made the film because he had narrowly avoided taking that flight during his location scouting for "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." Closing out the decade, Herzog made the documentary "My Best Friend," focused on his turbulent professional partnership with Klaus Kinski.

Herzog returned to fiction filmmaking in 2001 with the drama "Invincible." He then made the documentaries "Wheel of Time" and "The White Diamond," released in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Herzog continued to be prolific as a documentarian, earning increasing acclaim from critics and the film industry. In 2005, he released one of his most famous documentaries, "Grizzly Man," about the life and tragic death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Three years after that, Herzog earned an Academy Award nomination for his Antarctica documentary "Encounters at the End of the World." He has also received acclaim for such documentaries as "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," "Into the Abyss," and "Into the Inferno." Meanwhile, Herzog has continued to write and direct fiction films, including "Rescue Dawn," "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," "Queen of the Desert," and "Salt and Fire."


Herzog has acted on some television shows. Due to his distinctive voice, he has played characters on many animated series, including "The Simpsons," "Metalocalypse," and "Rick and Morty." Herzog also appeared opposite Tom Cruise in the 2012 action film "Jack Reacher," and in 2019 joined the cast of the Disney+ live-action "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian."


Beyond film and television, Herzog has directed several operas since the 1980s. He has worked on productions of "Doktor Faust," "Lohengrin," "Il Guarany," "The Magic Flute," "Fidelio," and "Parsifal," among others.

Personal Life

In 1967, Herzog wed Martje Grohmann, with whom he had a son named Rudolph. The couple divorced in 1985. Earlier, in 1980, Herzog had a daughter named Hanna from an extramarital affair with actress Eva Mattes. He married his second wife, Christine Ebenberger, in 1987; they had a son named Simon before divorcing in 1997. Herzog subsequently wed Elena Pisetski in 1999. They reside in Los Angeles, California.

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