Last Updated: April 17, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$160 Million
$20 Million
Jun 10, 1965 (59 years old)
Impressionist, Singer, Comedian
United States of America
💰 Compare Terry Fator's Net Worth

What is Terry Fator's Net Worth, Salary, and Career Earnings?

Terry Fator is an American ventriloquist, impressionist, and stand-up comedian who rose to stardom after appearing on "America's Got Talent" and then landed a headliner contract for his own show in Las Vegas. He is one of the highest-paid entertainers in Las Vegas every year. He makes $20 million every year.

Early Life

Fator was born on June 19, 1965, in Dallas, Texas. He is the son of Jephtha Wesley and Edith Clifton. He grew up with his older brother, Jephtha Jr., and his younger sister, Deborah. Fator first became interested in ventriloquism in the fifth grade when he came across a book on the topic at the library. He soon after purchased a Willie Talk Dummy from Sears and began practicing for friends and family. When he was 18 years old, his mother gifted him his first puppet after saving money for several years. Fator attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, before embarking on his career as a comedian.


Fator began his career by touring as the lead singer of the band Freedom Jam in 1987 and 1988. The band visited middle and high schools across the United States and Canada, often performing in as many as three schools per day. In mid-1988, Fator became the lead singer for the showband Texas the Band, and began incorporating his puppet, Walter T. Airedale, into the shows.

He then left the band and began to develop his solo act. The act combined comedy and ventriloquism, but Fator struggled to find the right audience. He often traveled to different fairs and theaters and suffered a low point when the 1,000-seat theater he was set to perform in was only occupied by one guest. However, Fator's family encouraged him not to give up. He decided to expand his act by incorporating singing and impersonations of famous singers like Garth Brooks and James Taylor. While this decision didn't initially pay off, eventually, audiences started coming around to his act. He started booking large corporate clients like General Motors and AT&T and eventually landed contracts to be the opening act for big names like Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, and Styx.

In June of 2007, Fator caught his big break by landing a spot on "America's Got Talent." He eventually won the show, much to the surprise of the audience and judges who had initially been skeptical of a ventriloquist performance. Even the notoriously hard-to-please judges, Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell, loved his act.

After winning the show, Fator had to turn down appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman" fourteen times before he could finally schedule an appearance as his schedule had become so busy following the win. He also began performing at the Las Vegas Hilton, where Elvis Presley had performed for many years and sold out two shows back to back. A couple of months later, he signed a contract with the hotel to do three shows per month between January and May of 2008. During this time, he also appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and wowed the audience and Oprah with his renditions of songs by Marvin Gaye and the Bee Gees.

He ultimately signed a five-year $100 million contract to bring his show exclusively to The Mirage.

Terry Fator Net Worth

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In 2013, he was invited to voice a character on the Disney Channel show, "Mickey Mouse." He celebrated his 1,000th show at The Mirage in May of 2013, and his contract was eventually extended. After 11 years of residency at The Mirage, he wrapped his show there in 2019. He was set to start a new show at the New York-New York hotel, but plans were delayed after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he was one of the first performers to return to the stage in late 2020 and unveiled his new show, "Who's the Dummy Now?" at in the Liberty Loft theater space of New York-New York.

Fator has been one of only a few successful ventriloquist comedians, as the skill is often not taken very seriously. Fator has named Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell, Willie Tyler, and Jay Johnson as some of his inspirations for how to be successful in the niche market.

Earnings and Contracts

Following the conclusion of his contract with the Las Vegas Hilton, it was announced that Fator had signed a five-year, $100 million contract to perform nightly at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip, one of the largest comedy deals in history. The theater where he was set to perform was renamed the Terry Fator Theatre.

Personal Life

Fator met his first wife, Melinda, after she had begun to follow Fator while he was touring with Texas the Band, and she was a fan. They started dating and then married on January 8, 1991. They remained married for almost 20 years until Melinda left him in 2009 and filed for divorce.

Fator then married Taylor Makakoa in Hawaii in November of 2010. They were married for four years before divorcing. Soon after, Fator's sister set him up with Angela Fiore. The two began dating and were later married after Fator proposed to her on stage.

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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