Gene Hackman's Net Worth Revealed

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With an impressive entertainment career that spanned decades, Oscar-winning performer Gene Hackman has proven his talent, so, of course, it comes as no surprise that the "Heist" star is worth a stunning $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Though Hackman's memorable performances have made him a notable figure in the industry, it wasn't always smooth sailing for this Hollywood star. Though it was far from his first acting credit, Hackman's big break was the 1964 film "Lilith," in which he starred alongside the legendary Warren Beatty.

Afterwards, Hackman's notoriety grew, and along with some assistance from Beatty, he would eventually appear as Buck Barrow in 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde." From there, his career in Hollywood (along with his increasingly expanding bank account) would only continue to flourish, and Hackman would go on to star in films like "The French Connection," "The Conversation," and "Unforgiven." But even with his extensive acting resume, health reasons would eventually lead Hackman to hang up his hat for good, with his final film premiering in 2004. With plenty of accomplishments during his long and successful career, it's no surprise that Gene Hackman's net worth is equally impressive.

Gene Hackman explored other options before pursuing acting

Nowadays, Gene Hackman is known for giving truly memorable performances on the big screen. However, before he rose to fame, Hackman had a somewhat rocky transition into the entertainment field. According to an interview with the Independent, his childhood wasn't exactly easy. Hackman was born in 1930 in San Bernardino, California, but grew up in Illinois after his family went to live with Hackman's grandparents. Unfortunately, Hackman's father walked out on the family when he was just 13 years old, which deeply affected the former Hollywood star. During the interview, Hackman shared that his dad's abandonment left him filled with "hurt and disappointment."

Just three years later, when he was 16 years old, Hackman dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, lying about his age in order to qualify for enrollment. The "Wyatt Earp" star also worked on the Armed Forces Radio Service during his time with the Marines. Hackman was later discharged in 1952. According to Britannica, the award-winning actor then attended the University of Illinois, where he studied journalism and television production. However, Hackman would eventually drop out to study at the Pasadena Playhouse in California after realizing that acting was his true calling.

His acting pursuits weren't an instant success

Knowing what career path you want to pursue doesn't mean that you'll be automatically successful; just ask Gene Hackman. According to Britannica, the Hollywood star experienced a mixed bag of highs and lows once he began to seek acting jobs. The outlet states that Hackman managed to find work in summer productions and Off-Broadway in New York. Then in 1961, Hackman received his first onscreen (uncredited) role in the film "Mad Dog Coll," in which he played an unnamed police officer. From there, his luck would continue, and in 1964, Hackman landed his first Broadway role in "Any Wednesday."

His work on Broadway proved to be just what Hackman needed in order to boost his career, as his noteworthy performance attracted the attention of Hollywood agents and led to the "Scarecrow" star's big break with his role in the film "Lilith." As previously mentioned, the film starred the famous Warren Beatty, who would prove to be a great ally to Hackman, helping the still relatively unknown actor get a supporting role in the popular movie "Bonnie and Clyde" (via the Independent). Finally, Hackman's acting resume was truly beginning to show that this rising star would soon be an unstoppable (and high-earning) force in the industry.

After a successful career, Gene Hackman retired from acting

The '70s proved to be a successful period for Gene Hackman's career. His role as detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the 1971 action drama "The French Connection" wasn't just a commercial success but a critical one as well. Hackman's performance earned him an Academy Award for best actor, and it also helped him secure even more leading roles in popular '70s films. These movies included the 1972 action drama "The Poseidon Adventure," 1974's drama mystery "The Conversation," and 1975's crime drama "Night Moves."

Of course, even with his impressive and ever-expanding resume of whodunits and adventure thrillers, Hackman also chose to show off his comedic side with lighthearted films like Mel Brooks' memorable 1974 satire "Young Frankenstein." Hackman's willingness to explore various genres led him to deliver plenty of solid performances in films, some of which even earned him award nominations and wins. This work included the 1988's historical crime drama "Mississippi Burning," which earned Hackman a Best Actor Academy Award nomination, and 1992's western drama "Unforgiven” which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

By the late '90s and early 2000s, Hackman was still starring alongside other big-name celebrities like Robin Williams in the 1996 comedy "The Birdcage" and Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Murray in the 2001 comedy-drama "The Royal Tenenbaums." Before retiring, his final film was the 2004 romantic comedy "Welcome to Mooseport," in which he starred alongside Ray Romano. All these impressive roles no doubt added a substantial amount to Gene Hackman's net worth.

The actor is also a novelist

After finishing a long and successful career, most retirees are ready to spend their newfound free time relaxing. However, that wasn't the case for Gene Hackman. During an interview with Empire, Hackman officially stated that health concerns were behind his decision to leave his days on the big screen behind. But even though Hackman admitted that he appreciated having downtime to watch movies with his wife and enjoy hobbies such as fishing and painting, he was still looking for more to do.

Hackman's desire to fill up his free time eventually led the retired star to team up with his friend Daniel Lenihan to co-author the third book in a series of historical adventure novels. Previously Hackman and Lenihan had released "Wake of the Perdido Star" in 1999 and its sequel "Justice For None" in 2004, right after Hackman officially retired. Together the duo released the third and final book "Escape From Andersonville: A Novel of the Civil War" in 2008. For Hackman, the process of crafting a book is a reward in itself. "It's very relaxing for me," he said while discussing his approach. Still, Hackman admitted that his writing talents aren't quite at the same level as his acting skills. "I don't picture myself as a great writer, but I really enjoy the process." Regardless, Hackman clearly had a passion for writing and later authored a western called "Payback at Morning Peak" in 2011 and a crime thriller called "Pursuit" in 2013.

Gene Hackman was a celebrity car racer

In addition to his other career pursuits, Gene Hackman also took his love for car racing to the next level. During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hackman spoke about his experience as a celebrity racer. According to the outlet, when it comes to car racing Hackman is most well known for his car chase scene in "The French Connection." However, the author admitted to the news source that he did "only 60%" of the driving for the famous scene (and destroyed two cars in the process).

In the late 1970s, Hackman drove in his first celebrity race at Long Beach, where he, unfortunately, totaled another car. Still, Hackman's determination to master the sport led him to take classes at the Bondurant school, where he improved his technique. By the late '70s and early '80s, the award-winning star was winning races at Long Beach, Watkins Glen, and Riverside. But, despite admitting that he had a passion for racing, Hackman ultimately decided that he didn't have the "personality" for it, stating that he believed an excellent driver had to be resilient, cautious, and "very competitive." Hackman also recognized that he wouldn't be able to put in the time that was required if he wanted to be a serious driver. One thing's for sure: Hackman doesn't take his career plans lightly, something which has ultimately led him to plenty of success, both professionally and financially.

He's made a pretty penny in real estate

While his successful acting career helped Gene Hackman add plenty of zeros to his bank account, his real estate decisions only furthered his already impressive financial status, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Throughout the years, Hackman has bought and sold multiple properties, such as his sizable home in Montecito, California, which he owned in the '80s and later sold in 1985 for $5.5 million. The source states that the actor's current residence is a 12-acre property in Sante Fe, New Mexico, that he and his wife, Betsy Arakawa, remodeled and re-designed.

In an interview with Architectural Digest, Hackman spoke in detail about the work that went into his Sante Fe home, stating that he was initially drawn to the area after going there for film work. "It had a kind of magic in it," he said. According to the article,  Hackman brought in architects Harry Daple and Stephen Samuelson to transform the property into the perfect living quarters. Renovations included removing 90% of the roof and tearing down walls to create open spaces. Furnishings were another expense in itself, with Hackman saying, "We bought a few things in Santa Fe. Other things came from auctions in New York, an antiques shop in Germany that Betsy and I found, and from Los Angeles."

Gene Hackman has done voice-over work

Like other celebrities, Gene Hackman knows that there's plenty of money in doing commercials for big-name brands because, naturally, getting a star to speak about your product isn't going to come cheap. Though the exact figures for obtaining Hackman's signature voice aren't listed, we can only imagine that this Oscar-winning celebrity with an extensive acting resume was paid handsomely for his work. Though perhaps fans might not have realized that the familiar raspy tone they heard in TV commercials belonged to the famous "Heartbreakers" star.

Hackman has done commercials for companies like Oppenheimer Funds, as noted by his IMDb page. In one black and white ad, the star compared running a marathon to investing with Oppenheimer. Hackman also did ads for Lowe's hardware stores. In one commercial, the former actor's voice can be heard at the end of the promotion, stating the benefits of choosing the brand. Hackman also lent his voice to '90s commercials for United Airlines and GTE.

He now lives a quiet life

After achieving plenty of success, Gene Hackman now prefers to live a low-key life with his wife, pianist Betsy Arakawa. However, despite his preference to keep out of the spotlight, Hackman still did a rare interview with the New York Post in 2021 to discuss his famous film "The French Connection" on the movie's 50th anniversary. While speaking about the film's impact, Hackman said, "Filmmaking has always been risky — both physically and emotionally — but I do choose to consider that film a moment in a checkered career of hits and misses."

Even so, the retired star also admits that he hasn't seen "The French Connection" in a long time, saying that his last watch was "in a dark, tiny viewing room in a post-production company's facility 50 years ago." Without context, one might assume that Hackman isn't the biggest fan of the 1971 award-winning crime drama. However, the "Superman" star said that even though he hasn't watched the film in a long time, Hackman recognizes the influence that the film had on his career (and presumably his net worth too) and added that he's "grateful for that."