You may be wondering about Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth. It’s common knowledge that Ellen is one of the richest women on TV. As the host of the The Ellen DeGeneres Show for almost two decades, Ellen has made bank from her multi-million-dollar salary. And let’s just say that even if her talk show was cancelled from daytime television, she would be just fine. In fact, Ellen has made so much money from her career (which includes comedy specials, books and even a home decor line) that she likely could survive anything—even a cancellation.
But before we talk about Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth and how much she’s made from daytime TV, let’s look back on her career: Before she was a talk show host, Ellen made a name for herself as a stand-up comedian in the ’80s. One of her most memorable gigs was an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1986. Ellen’s big break on TV came in the ’90s when she starred as the lead of her own sitcom, Ellen, which ran from 1994 to 1998. In 1997, during the fourth season of Ellen, Ellen came out as a lesbian in an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, making her one of the first openly gay actors to star as the lead of a TV show. Her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to her therapist around the same time.
Her career as a TV host started in 2003 when The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered on NBC. After that, Ellen’s career exploded. She provided the voice for Dory in 2003’s Finding Nemo and its 2016 sequel, Finding Dory. She had a short stint as a judge on American Idol in 2010. She’s hosted the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys (and won a few herself.) But of course, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth doesn’t only include her on-air career. The comedian has also made big bucks as a founder for several popular businesses. In 2015, she launched her lifestyle brand, ED by Ellen DeGeneres, which includes clothes, shoes, and pet, baby and home items. In 2018, she partnered with Walmart for the fashion brand EV1, which is meant to be a low-cost alternative to ED by Ellen DeGeneres. She’s also released several books, including memoirs My Point…And I Do Have One, The Funny Thing Is…, Seriously…I’m Kidding and lifestyle book Home.
All of this, of course, adds to Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth. Read more about how much she makes from her talk show, which underwent some serious drama in 2020, ahead.
What happened to The Ellen Degeneres Show?
Ellen Degeneres’ net worth may make her one of the richest women on TV, but that doesn’t mean she’s well-liked by everyone. In March 2020, Ellen came under fire after one of the Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s former employees, Kevin T. Porter, started a now-viral Twitter thread where he called her “one of the meanest people alive” and urged others to share their stories about Ellen. The responses poured in with dozens of Twitter users speaking out about Ellen’s alleged not-so-nice persona. The stories ranged from Ellen having a “sensitive nose” and demanding that “everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her” and sending people home “if she thinks you smell that day,” to wilder accusations of stealing audience submissions and bullying service workers.
In July 2020, BuzzFeed published an investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where anonymous former employees made similar claims about the mistreatment of staff. “That ‘be kind’ bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former employee BuzzFeed. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.” In April 2020, Variety also published a report where anonymous staffers slammed Ellen for her lack of care and transparency amid the health crisis at the time. Per Variety’s sources, Ellen’s employees were not given any written communication about their working hours or pay for more than a month into the crisis. The Ellen DeGeneres Show may have made the comedian one of the wealthiest celebrities in Hollywood, but Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth seemed to have cost her reputation with her employees.
In July 2020, Ellen responded to her employees’ claims of mistreatment in a letter to her crew. “Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” her letter started. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
She continued, “I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again. I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
After the controversy, there were reports in 2020 that the show would be cancelled. However, as of September 2020, it looks the Ellen Show is still on air and that Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth still includes her TV host salary.
How much does Ellen DeGeneres make from Ellen?
So, so much. It should come as no surprise that most of Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth comes from her massive talk show earnings. In fact, her salary is almost double the net worth of some of the Kardashian sisters. According to a 2020 report by Variety, Ellen earns “more than $50 million per year from her Telepictures deal,” and that includes “about 60 percent of advertising, carrying fee, and product placement profits,” on her show, reports Business Insider.
While her exact salary is unclear, Forbes lists her yearly earnings as anywhere up to $84 million. Aside from Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth also includes income that she makes from her with work at her own production company, A Very Good Production, and endorsement deals with brands ranging from American Express to JCPenney.
In a 2011 interview with Good Housekeeping, Ellen explained how her wealth is different than how she was raised. “We never owned a house when I was growing up,” she said.“We rented, and we moved about every two years, just far enough to have to start at a new school. My mother was a real estate agent for a little while, so I was always looking at houses with her. We couldn’t afford to buy one, so it was a frustrating thing as a kid. You’re imagining, ‘This is going to be my room,’ and then it was like, ‘Oh, we can’t afford it.’”
Given that Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth is in the multi-millions now, her life has changed a lot in the past several decades. In an interview with Ali Wong on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2018, Ellen revealed that she never thought she would be as rich as she is now. “I just was like, ‘I am never going to have that attitude about money,’” she said at the time. Though Wong confessed that she’s still “super duper cheap,” Ellen said that she’s had the “opposite effect” when it comes to money and spends on anything that makes her happy. “I had the opposite effect,” she said. “I am always going to just get what I want, I’m going to do what I want. Because I know there is an abundance and I will always have enough,” she says. “That’s how I live my life. You shouldn’t live your life in fear of money.”
What is Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth in 2020?
So how much money does Ellen DeGeneres have, you ask? Well, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth is estimated to be anywhere between $330 million up to $490 million as of 2020, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Of course, how much she earns each year from her books, comedy specials and lifestyle brands, her net worth can fluctuate. But, given that her Ellen Show salary has more or less the same for the past several years, how much Ellen DeGeneres is worth will likely always be in the multi-millions.
Though it’s hard to imagine the comedian as anything but a millionaire, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth wasn’t always as high as it is now. In fact, the comic told her audience in a 2018 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that her current income is astronomically more than what she grew up with. “I was poor growing up,” she said at the time.
In Lisa Iannucci’s 2008 book, Ellen DeGeneres: A Biography, the author also wrote about how the comedian used to do a bunch of side gigs to make cash before Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth was what it is today. Ianucci wrote that Ellen used to “sold clothes at the Merry-Go-Round chain store at the Lakeside Shopping Center, served food, painted houses, worked at a car wash, bar-tended, wrapped gifts…sold Hoover vacuums and shucked oysters” when she was younger to support herself. The Ellen in the biography sounds far from the Ellen we know today. So while Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth may be in the multi-millions now, that wasn’t always the case.