Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Feb 6, 1957 (67 years old)
Film Producer, Actor, Screenwriter, Film director, Comedian, Television producer, Television Director, Writer
United States of America
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What is Robert Townsend's Net Worth?

Robert Townsend is an American actor, comedian, film director, and writer who has a net worth of $5 million. Robert Townsend is known for directing and starring in such films as "Hollywood Shuffle," "The Meteor Man," and "The Five Heartbeats," as well as various stand-up comedy specials. He is also well-known for co-creating and starring on the 90s television sitcom "The Parent 'Hood." Townsend has made many other notable appearances over the years, including in the films "A Soldier's Story," "Odd Jobs," and "The Mighty Quinn."

Early Life and Education

Robert Townsend was born on February 6, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois as the second of four children of Ed and Shirley. He was raised by his mother on the city's West Side, where he went to Austin High School as a teenager. It was during that time Townsend developed his interest in acting. He soon caught the attention of Chicago's Experimental Black Actors Guild, for which he did a number of auditions. Townsend also performed in local plays and studied improv at the Second City. After graduating from high school in 1975, he attended Illinois State University for a year, and then moved to New York City to join the Negro Ensemble Company. Townsend ultimately chose to leave school to pursue a full-time acting career.

Career Beginnings on Film

Townsend began appearing on the big screen in 1975 when he had an uncredited part in the coming-of-age film "Cooley High." He followed that with another brief appearance in the 1976 blaxploitation film "The Monkey Hustle." In the 80s, Townsend had bigger supporting roles in such films as "Streets of Fire," "A Soldier's Story," "American Flyers," and "Ratboy." Two of his most substantial parts were in "Odd Jobs," in which he starred alongside Paul Reiser, and "The Mighty Quinn," in which he starred opposite Denzel Washington.

Film Directing

Townsend launched his career as a film director with the 1987 satirical comedy "Hollywood Shuffle," which he also co-wrote and starred in. Reflecting the difficulties he faced coming up in the film industry as a black actor, the movie was a significant hit. Robert spent $60,000 of his own to make Hollywood Shuffle. He would go on to earn a significant windfall when the movie earned $5 million at the box office.

Townsend next directed the stand-up comedy film "Eddie Murphy Raw," which was an even bigger success. His third film as director was the 1991 musical drama "The Five Heartbeats," about the titular fictional R&B vocal group. Townsend also co-wrote and starred in the film. Two years after that, he wrote, directed, and starred in the superhero comedy "The Meteor Man," one of the first superhero films focused on a black character. The final theatrical film directed by Townsend in the 90s was the female buddy comedy "B.A.P.S," starring Halle Berry, Natalie Desselle, and Martin Landau.

In the early 00s, Townsend directed his first non-comedy film, the crime drama "Black Listed." He also starred in the film alongside Vanessa Williams and Harry Lennix. Townsend went on to direct the 2008 biographical sports drama "Phantom Punch," starring Ving Rhames as legendary boxer Sonny Liston. Four years after that saw the release of his film "In the Hive," starring the late Michael Clarke Duncan in the first of his posthumous releases. Townsend subsequently directed and starred in the basketball romantic comedy "Playin' for Love," released in early 2015.

Robert Townsend Net Worth


Television Directing

Townsend has also been prolific on television as a director and show creator. In the early 90s, he created two variety shows: HBO's "Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime" and Fox's "Townsend Television," on both of which he also performed. His biggest show was the WB sitcom "The Parent 'Hood," which ran from 1995 to 1999; he starred on the show alongside Suzzanne Douglas. Townsend also directed the 1999 Lifetime television film "Jackie's Back!," starring Jenifer Lewis and Tim Curry.

Starting off the new millennium, Townsend directed and starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie "Up, Up and Away." The same year, he directed the NBC biographical television film "Little Richard" and the Showtime television film "Holiday Heart," starring Ving Rhames and Alfre Woodard as a gay drag queen and a drug-addicted single mother, respectively. Townsend continued directing television films over the next two years, his credits being MTV's "Carmen: A Hip Hop Opera," NBC's "Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story," and Showtime's "10,000 Black Men Named George." He also appeared in a supporting role in the television film "I Was a Teenage Faust," directed by Thom Eberhardt. Townsend later moved back behind the camera, directing episodes of the television series "Black Lightning," "American Soul," and the reboot of "The Wonder Years."

Personal Life

In 1990, Townsend married Cheri Jones. The couple had a son named Isiah and two daughters named Sierra and Skye before divorcing in 2001. Both daughters went on to enter show business.

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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