Spike Lee Net Worth: Career & Lifestyle

SPike
Spike Lee (Source: Rolling Stone)

An American actor, producer, film director, screenwriter, and professor Spike Lee’s net worth is a whopping $50 million.

He has produced more than 35 movies through his production company, 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks.

Similarly, Mr. Lee made his directorial debut in 1986 with She’s Gotta Have It.

Spike Lee is one of the most respected figures in Hollywood, with tons of accolades to his name.

Spike Lee
Spike Lee (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Lee has received an Honorary BAFTA Award, Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and Academy Honorary Award, among others.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Lee became the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Academy Award at the age of 58 in 2015.

Moreover, a few of his films, including Malcolm X, were selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Spike Lee | Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about Spike Lee:

Birth Name Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee
Professional Name Spike Lee
Nick Name Lee, Spike
Birth Date March 20, 1957
Age 65 Years Old
Birth Place Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Current Residence New York City, New York, United States
Height 1.68 m, 5 feet 6 inches, 168 cm
Weight 68 kg, 149.5 lbs
Religion Not Known
Gender Male
Nationality American
Distinctive Feature
  • Keeps French beard
  • Often wears thick-rimmed glasses
  • Usually wears a cap
Build Slim
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Black
Profession Director, Producer, Actor, and Filmmaker
Father’s Name William James Edward Lee III
Mother’s Name Jacqueline Carroll
Siblings Joie Lee (Sister), Cinqué Lee (Brother), David Lee (Brother)
Horoscope Pisces
Ethnicity Afro-American
High School
  • John Dewey High School
  • Morehouse College
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • New York University – Tisch School of the Arts
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Married
Spouse Tonya Lewis Lee (m. 1993)
Former Partners Veronica Webb (1990-1991)
Children Jackson Lee (Son), Satchel Lee (Daughter)
Active Since 1977-Present
Manager
  • 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks
  • ICM Partners, Talent and Literary Agency
Best Known For Malcolm X (1992), 25th Hour (2002), Inside Man (2006), Do The Right Thing (1989)
First Film She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
First TV Show Nightlife (1986)
Favorite Film The Deer Hunter (1978)
Favorite Place To Lunch Fred’s at Barneys
Merch Signed Script, Signed Photo, Do The Right Thing Script
Social Media Instagram
Website Spike Lee
Last Update October 2022

Spike Lee | Net Worth & Income

An American movie director, producer, writer, college professor Spike Lee’s net worth is a staggering $50 million.

Mr. Lee has garnered a vast fortune with his successful career in Hollywood.

Spike Lee is a multitalented individual and has dabbled in several professions throughout his career.

His directed films have grossed over $500 million in the global box office collection.

Aside from his films, Spike Lee has a solid real estate portfolio. More about it in the Houses section.

Talking about his income, Spike earned a cool $3 million from 1992’s Malcolm X as a director.

While his other film income has not been revealed, it’s safe to say that he made at least $3 million from his other film endeavors, given his previous salary.

Moreover, in 2013, Lee won The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which came with a $300,000 paycheck along with the honors.

Furthermore, his two production firms have produced more than 35 films combined to date, further enhancing Lee’s fortune.

Lee is also a tenured professor at his alma mater New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

A tenured professor in the states makes anywhere between $72,660 and $123,811 per year on average.

Net Worth of Spike Lee in Different Currencies

Here is what Spike Lee’s net worth looks like in different currencies:

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 45.26 Million
Pound Sterling £ 37.95 Million
Australian Dollar A$ 67.44 Million
Canadian Dollar C$ 62.96 Million
Indian Rupee ₹ 3,806,425,000
Bitcoin ฿ 1,171.44

Spike Lee | Houses & Cars

Houses

Spike has invested heavily in the real estate business over the years.

Lee has a massive townhome in Manhattan’s most expensive Upper Side zip code. He purchased this former Vanderbilt family-owned landmark back in 1998 for $4.75 million.

The property consists of two separate three-story buildings.

According to Zillow, the property is estimated to be worth between $19 to $90 million in 10 years.

Spike Lee's Manhattan Residence
Spike Lee’s Manhattan Residence (Source: Nimvo)

Nonetheless, the property today is worth an estimated $40 million.

Similarly, his production film Forty Acres and a Mule is based in a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York.

Lee had purchased this place back in 1991 for $820,000, which is worth $3-$4 million today.

Moreover, Lee owns a two-acre estate just off the 18th hole of Farm Neck Golf Club. He purchased this one for $400,000 in 1989.

After purchasing land, he built a four-bedroom mansion which is worth today around $4 million.

Cars

Spike Lee is a car guy and has a huge collection.

He has a couple of vintages and also some of the ultra-modern wheels looking pretty in his garage.

Lee owns a Jaguar X-type sedan and Volvo 780 Coupe.

Similarly, Lee’s collection includes a $100,000 Cadillac Escalade, $362,000 Bentley Continental, $93,000 Mercedes CL 500, and Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon worth around $150,000.

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Spike Lee | Lifestyle & Vacations

Lee has a colorful personality. He is a rich guy and lives like one.

He spends his money on his well-being, his family’s comfort, and finer things in life.

Similarly, he is a guy with faith and often seeks happiness in helping ones in need.

As a matter of fact, when asked about his religious belief and whether or not he believed in God by the BBC, he simply replied, “Yes. I have faith that there is a higher being. All this cannot be an accident”.

Moreover, Lee and his wife, attorney Tonya Lewis Lee met in 1992 and got married the following year in New York.

Together they share a daughter Satchel and a son Jackson.

Spike Lee on New York Knicks Game
Spike Lee on New York Knicks Game (Source: Polygon)

Astonishingly, Lee is a massive fan of the New York Knicks, a basketball team, the New York Rangers, the ice hockey team, and the New York Yankees, a baseball team.

You think that’s the crazy part?

Check this out!

Spike Lee, the great director, has spent approximately $10 million on Knicks tickets over the last three decades.

How, you might ask?

On average, a courtside ticket for the New York Knicks costs anywhere from $2,650 to $5,600, and the guy has been going to the game for over three decades.

I am no math major, but that’s a lot of mansions, cars, and exotic gateways.

With all that money, he could have gotten himself a personal entrance. I’m just saying!

Moreover, he also is an avid fan of the English soccer club Arsenal.

Furthermore, Spike Lee pursued an injunction against Spike TV in order to prevent them from using his name.

In this case, he claimed that because of fame, viewers might get the wrong idea about him owning the network.

In the 2020 Presidential elections, Spike supported Joe Biden and celebrated after his win with champagne on the street of Brooklyn. His celebration videos and snaps went viral on social media.

Spike Lee | Charity

As mentioned before, Spike Lee seeks happiness in helping others.

He never shies away from donating his time, money, and effort to make a difference.

Over the years, the director and actor have supported nonprofits such as Aid Still Required, Aid Still Required, Champions for Children, Creative Coalition, MASSIVEGOOD, and Soles4Souls.

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Spike Lee | Movies, Commercials & Books

Movies

Spike Lee’s movies are usually referred to as “Spike Lee Joints.”

His films have a theme based on colorism, race relations, urban crime, poverty, and political issues.

Lee is a friend of his fellow director, Martin Scorsese. They became friends after attending a screening of After Hours at NYU.

He has cited Martin to be one of his influences. In fact, Martin’s film Mean Streets is one of Lee’s favorite films.

 a Movie
Spike Lee on a Movie (Source: Variety)

Since his directorial debut in 1986, Lee has written and directed tons of films, including Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, Inside Man, and Da 5 Bloods.

Similarly, Lee has also acted in ten of his films.

Along with Malcolm X, his other films, Do the Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have It, were also selected by the Library of Congress for preservation for being culturally and historically significant.

Commercials

Lee’s area of expertise is not limited to film directing but also can be seen in commercials.

If not, why would big companies like Levi’s, Taco Bell, and Converse hire him to direct commercials?

Lee directed a commercial for Levi’s 501 button-fly jeans in the mid-1990.

Similarly, Lee was offered a job by Nike’s marketing executives to direct commercials for the company.

The executives wanted to merge Lee’s character from the 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It, Mars Blackmon, who admired Michael Jordan and Jordan himself in a campaign for the Air Jordan line.

Aside from these, Lee has directed commercials for Taco Bell, Jaguar, and Ben & Jerry’s from 40 Aces and a Mule’s marketing wing.

Book Publications

Spike Lee has authored a handful of books over the course of his career.

In 1987, he published a book titled Spike Lee’s Gotta Have It, which includes the success story of She’s Gotta Have It, the independent film of 1986.

Similarly, the next year Lee published another book titled Uplift The Race. The book highlights his transition from struggling independently to being a mainstream filmmaker.

Spike Lee | Career

Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to his mother, Jacqueline, art and black literature teacher, and father, William, a jazz musician and composer.

He grew up with three younger siblings.

Lee moved to Brooklyn from Atlanta along with his family when he was a child.

He enrolled in John Dewey High School in Brooklyn.

Career
Spike Lee (Source: Another Man)

For college, he went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he made his first student film.

The film was titled Last Hustle in Brooklyn.

In 1978, Lee graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts.

His film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads became the first student film to be screened in Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films Festival.

Unknown Facts About Spike Lee

  • Three-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee was Spike Lee’s assistant director.
  • Spike Lee’s first full-length film, She’s Gotta Have It, was filmed in 12 days on a $175,000 budget.
  • The first-ever film allowed to shoot in the Muslim holy city of Mecca was Spike Lee’s Malcolm X.

FAQs

What happened to Spike Lee’s sister?

Spike Lee’s actress sister died of cancer in 1976.

Is Crooklyn based on a true story?

The film is about Spike Lee’s own childhood days growing up along with his siblings in Brooklyn, New York.

Who inspired Spike Lee?

James Bond films and the career of actor, director, and diplomat Sidney Poitier greatly inspired Spike.

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