Daniel Radcliffe made $110 million as a child star—and now he’s defying the negative stereotypes at 34

Getty Images—Kristina Bumphrey

Daniel Radcliffe is a complete acting wizard—both literally and figuratively. Surprisingly, however, Radcliffe, who played the titular Harry Potter in the beloved film series from 2001 to 2011 and is worth a whopping $110 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, had never earned a major award for his enchanting acting—until this weekend.

Radcliffe won a Tony for his performance as Charley Kringas in “Merrily We Roll Along,” a Broadway musical that chronicles the lives and friendships of three friends over the course of 20 years. It was a natural fit for Radcliffe, who started his role as Potter at age 11 and went on to spend an entire decade growing up onscreen with colleagues Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

“When I finished Potter, I had no idea what my career was going to be,” Radcliffe said in a video posted on X after accepting his award on Sunday. “Playing one character for so long kind of builds up in you a desire to do as many things as you possibly can.”

By winning his first major award relatively late in his career at age 34, Radcliffe defies the negative stereotype of child stars who crash and burn after their time in the spotlight. Take Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin, and Haley Joel Osment, who all struggled to find their place in Hollywood after successful child acting runs. They each also struggled with substance or alcohol abuse, an adult-life trend unfortunately associated with childhood stardom. Other stars, including Mouseketeer turned pop star Britney Spears and Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes, were forced under conservatorship after experiencing psychiatric episodes.

The original child actor, Judy Garland, started performing before she was 3 and was a full-fledged star by her teens—but she struggled with the pressures of fame, on-and-off physical and mental illness, and a rocky personal life, marrying five times. When Garland died of a drug overdose at just 47, the New York Times declared her personal life to have been “a fruitless search for the happiness promised in 'Over the Rainbow,' the song she made famous in the movie The Wizard of Oz."

Not only has Radcliffe defied the child actor curse in terms of his personal life, he’s also continued to have a successful acting career. Since retiring his wand and cloak of invisibility, Radcliffe has gone on to star in a variety of films including Kill Your Darlings, Swiss Army Man, and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

“I have a kind of autonomy and freedom that any actor would kill for, and I would feel so dumb if I didn’t use that,” Radcliffe told the Hollywood Reporter in 2022, crediting his “great parents and great people” around him with keeping him level-headed.

How Radcliffe earned his fortune

Unsurprisingly, a hefty portion of Radcliffe’s fortune comes from his long stint as The Boy Who Lived. His total earnings from the franchise amount to about $95.6 million, with his salary for each movie increasing incrementally.

For his first Potter movie, Radcliffe brought home $1 million in 2001; by the time he hit his fifth movie, his salary had reached $11 million. In the final two movies of the series, Radcliffe’s “riddikulus” salary was $25 million for each film, according to entertainment news outlet Parade.

A Daily Mail investigation also showed that Radcliffe had doubled his cash reserves to the equivalent of more than $20 million, including property worth more than $4 million, according to financial filings. In 2022, he had about $11 million in the bank, a figure that doubled by late 2023. The accounts belong to Gilmore Jacobs, a firm run by Radcliffe and his parents that provides “live theatrical presentations, such as road companies and summer theaters,” according to Bloomberg. The firm also generates income from “several lucrative investments, including a property portfolio,” according to the Daily Mail.

While it's no Hogwarts, Radcliffe also previously owned a multimillion-dollar condo in New York City’s West Village neighborhood, which he sold in late 2022 for $5.3 million. He bought the property at the One Morton Square building—where other actors including the Olsen twins, Amy Poehler, and his late, great former Harry Potter colleague Alan Rickman have previously lived—for $4.9 million in 2008.

Despite a success-filled career, Radcliffe stays humble, reminding himself of just how similar he was to his long-term character, Harry Potter. Growing up, he had feelings of “social insecurity” and “definitely had a feeling of being different,” he told Elle in a 2013 interview in conjunction with the premiere of Kill Your Darlings.

“There is something inherently valuable about being a misfit,” Radcliffe said. “It's not to say that every person who has artistic talent was a social outcast, but there is definitely a value for identifying yourself differently and being proud that you are different.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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