Chris Rock (born Christopher Julius Rock) is an American actor, comedian, producer, director, and writer. He has been in stand-up comedy for several decades. He made his big screen debut in “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987) and spent three years on the cast of Saturday Night Live.
Chris Rock was discovered by Eddie Murphy and became one of the most famous actors of the 90s.
What are Chris Rock’s Net Worth and Salary?
The American actor, comedian, producer, director, and writer, Chris Rock has a net worth of $60 million at the time this article is written. He could have a much higher net worth, but in 2026 he lost approximately $40 million after his divorce from his wife, Malaak Compton with whom he has been married for 20 years.
Chris Rock’s Earnings
Chris Rock is one of the highest-paid comedians in the world. For instance, he earned almost $60 million between June 2016 and June 2017 and $30 million between June 2017 and June 2018.
Childhood and Teenage years
Born in South Carolina on February 7, 1965, Chris Rock grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Chris Rock was the oldest of the Rock family’s children and has three younger brothers, Jordan, Kenny, and Tony. His mother, Rosalie, was a teacher and social worker for the mentally challenged; his father, Julius Rock, was a truck driver and newspaper delivery man.
Rock’s family history was featured in the PBS series African American Lives 2 in 2008. A DNA test revealed that he is of Cameroonian descent, specifically the Udeme (Ouldémé) people of northern Cameroon.
Because the neighborhoods of Brooklyn were dominated by white people who made up the majority of the population, Chris Rock had to endure stinging racial discrimination because of the color of his skin. He remembers going to James Madison High School on a segregated bus that carried only black students.
He was regularly beaten and persecuted by white students, and the oppression intensified over the years. Eventually, he dropped out of high school for good, but nevertheless received a GED (general education diploma). His bitter experience with racism and bigotry during his school years had a major influence on his career as a comedian.
As a teenager, the star dreamed of becoming a comedian. His dream seemed to come true at the age of eighteen and that’s when he met Eddie Murphy, who was very impressed by his talent and featured with him in “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987).
After dropping out of school, Chris Rock worked at several fast-food restaurants and cafeterias to earn a living. He began his stand-up comedy career in 1984, taking the stage in nightclubs and comedy clubs in New York, including Catch a Rising Star.
Many famous comedians and satirists including Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, and Billy Crystal have improved their skills on Catch a Rising Star. For a short time, Chris Rock cleaned tables at New York’s oldest comedy club, The Comic Strip Live, to get some extra stage time.
Slowly, Chris Rock worked his way through the ranks of the New York comedy industry. His initial success and fame helped him land small roles in films such as “Comedy’s Dirtiest Dozen”, “Krush Grove” and ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”, as well as TV series such as “Miami Vice” and “Uptown Comedy Express”.
Eddie Murphy saw Chris while on stage at The Comic Strip. Impressed by his performance, Murphy offered him the role of a “playboy mansion valet” in the 1987 film “Beverly Hills Cop II”, which was his film debut.
Chris Rock was honored with a Hollywood star for his films, located on the north side, area 7000, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Saturday Night Live Fame
In 1990, he was tapped to host “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), the wildly popular comedy series, which pitted him against other newly recruited cast members such as Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. The following year, he came up with his first comedy project titled “Born Suspect”.
He hosted a total of 59 episodes of “Saturday Night Live” from 1990 to 1993 and during those three years, he gained national fame and recognition as a comedian. His performance in the striking and evocative role of “Pookie”, an addict in the movie “New Jack City” was praised by fans and film critics.
Chris was quietly planning to quit SNL after the end of the 1992-93 season, but was fired well before the season ended.
Other successful projects
He was featured as a guest star in a total of 6 episodes in the 1993-1994 season of the comedy series “In Living Color”, but the series was canceled shortly after. In 1993, he wrote the screenplay and co-produced the comedy movie, “CB4”, but also played a double role in the film.
“CB4”, which was made on a shoestring budget, was a modest success, earning nearly three times the film’s budget. Chris went on to appear in a string of HBO comedy specials from 1994 to 2008, which brought him unprecedented success and made him a household name in the entertainment industry.
Many other shows, films, television series, and even the 3 Emmy Awards and many other nominations followed, his work as a producer, screenwriter, and comedian always being praised and appreciated, even if his jokes hurt the pride of many personalities.
And his jokes also sparked a lot of controversy, especially when Chris Rock hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2015. Many left with a bitter taste from Rock’s off-the-cuff jokes, especially some of Hollywood’s veterans like Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, and Jude Law. One such comment in 2022 earned him a slap, literally, across the face from Will Smith, along with a swear word.
Netflix Special Earnings
Chris Rock had a huge success with his comedy specials and Netflix paid him $40 million for the release of two stand-up specials in 2016. The first one “Chris Rock: Tamborine” appeared in 2018.
Although Chris has been married for almost 20 years, that is no longer the case. But his personal life has always been part of his professional career. During his Netflix show, Chris Rock: Tamborine, he said that he was not a good husband to his ex-wife, lawyer Malaak Compton Rock. He cheated on her and developed an addiction to adult content during their marriage.
After nearly 20 years together, Chris and Malaak announced they were divorcing in December 2014. In a statement, Malaak kept her focus on her charity work. Additionally, she said her focus is on her children and wanted the public to respect her privacy. Together, she and Chris have two daughters: Zahra Savannah and Lola Simone Rock.
Chris Rock bought a house in Brooklyn, New York in 1994. He lived there for two years and after that, he rented it for $8,000 per month until 2017, when he sold the house for $3.25 million.
In 2001 Chris bought a house in Alpine, New Jersey for $3 million. His wife Malaak continued to live there after their divorce.