Actor Ed O’Neill might not be the best-known name in your household. But drop the name Al Bundy and everyone knows who that is. Well, these two people are one and the same. Ed O’Neill is the American actor who played Al Bundy in TV’s Married… with Children. Of course, that’s not all he’s done in his career. But it’s certainly the role he gained the most attention for.
O’Neill has been in the acting game for four decades, and even before that, he found success in football. So, what is Ed O’Neill’s net worth, and how much does he get paid for his acting work?
We’re going to dig into this star’s finances and Ed O’Neill’s career history both on and off the screen.
Ed O’Neill Net Worth and Salary
Like most actors, Ed O’Neill is generally paid per episode or performance that he does rather than taking in a consistent salary. Furthermore, as his star grew and grew, O’Neill was able to command a larger and larger rate. Take Ed O’Neill’s starring role on Modern Family as an example.
When he signed on to star in this quirky cringe sitcom, the ABC network paid him about $100,000 per episode. But, by 2014, the popularity of the show and his main role in it allowed him to ask for $200,000 for each episode. Then for the last few seasons from 2018-2020, he was commanding $500,000 per episode.
If that sounds like a whole heck of a lot of money, that’s because it is!
That’s also how much he was making in the later seasons of Married… with Children. So, the actor felt that he was worth this much to the network.
With 11 seasons each of Married… with Children and Modern Family under his belt, O’Neill was paid for a total of (259 MWC + 250 MF) 509 episodes. Even if we take an average of just $100,000 per episode, that’s still over $50 million in gross income for the actor.
And, of course, that’s not even close to all of the work he has done in his career. We have to account for taxes and fees and expenses, and probably a whole ton of money blown on having fun. But that should still leave him with an Uncle Scrooge-sized pile of cash, shouldn’t it? As a matter of fact, it has.
Ed O’Neill’s current net worth is estimated at $65 million…
And, while he has more than enough to retire on, O’Neill shows no real signs that he’s ready to get out of the acting game. At the distinguished age of 77, he’s still working and pulling in big paychecks.
Early Life and Education
Ed O’Neill is currently 77 years old and was born on the 12th of April 1946. His full name is Edward Leonard O’Neill, and he was named Edward after his father.
O’Neill was born and raised in the city of Youngstown, Ohio, in America’s Rust Belt. His father worked in a steel mill and as a truck driver, while his mother worked as a social worker. The family was decidedly blue-collar and working class. And, if you can’t tell by the name, he had an Irish Catholic heritage.
When he was just 14…
Ed O’Neill already started contributing to the family’s income by working part-time while he was still in school. He helped on construction sites and later followed his father into work at the steel mill.
While attending Ursuline High School, a Catholic school in Youngstown, O’Neill began to distinguish himself as a football player. He did well enough that. As a result, after he graduated in 1964, he was able to continue his education in Athens on a football scholarship to Ohio University.
Although he was enrolled in History studies, he was more interested in pursuing a career in professional football. Ed was a talented defensive linesman and was known for his speed and aggressive tackles.
After two years at Ohio University…
O’Neill transferred back home to study and play football for Youngstown University for two more years at the collegiate level. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in history and high hopes of playing in the NFL.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite good enough…
In 1969, O’Neill wasn’t picked up in the NFL draft. However, he was signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a short run in training camp, though, he was cut from the team and sent packing. He ended his career without having played a single game of professional football.
Understandably, this was a major setback in Ed O’Neill’s life and a major blow to his self-esteem. With his dreams dashed, he had no choice but to find a new career, and his history degree wasn’t a great deal of help.
For the next ten years, he worked odd jobs, including at a hotel and back in the steel mill, using his old skills. Eventually, he returned to Ursuline high school, this time as a substitute teacher. But, he also re-enrolled in Youngstown University to study acting, and we can be pretty thankful that he did.
Ed O’Neill’s Acting Career
There must have always been something in Ed O’Neill’s character that made him crave the spotlight. When his dream of becoming a famous NFL athlete died at the Steelers’ training camp, some part of him must have been thinking about another way that he could achieve fame.
His decision to pursue acting was a good one. It was something he took to like a duck to water, and he found that he was able to channel his life experiences into convincing performances.
By 1977, O’Neill was convinced that this was his destiny, and he moved to New York like so many other hopefuls to try to make it in the entertainment business. He sold his car and found a job bussing tables to pay his way while he also studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School.
In 1979, O’Neill got his first break in the business…
Thanks to his acting skill and his athletic build, he was hired on as an understudy for the lead role of a boxing contender in the Broadway play Knockout. When the lead actor suddenly left the production, O’Neill stepped in to take his place. This led to his next big break when his performance was seen by director William Friedkin.
Friedkin was impressed and brought him into the movie he was working on. The film was 1980’s Cruising, starring Al Pacino, and O’Neill played a detective. That same year, he got TV work and also acted in the film, The Dogs of War.
For the rest of the 1980s, he got steady work in TV…
O’Neill did ads and played minor and major parts, even being given a lead role in a pilot that wasn’t optioned. Eventually, Ed went back to the stage, and again his acting talent there shone through.
In a production of the play Of Mice and Men, he was seen by a Fox Network exec who was thoroughly impressed. He was invited to audition for the role of Al Bundy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Married… with Children
Ed O’Neil was an immediate shoo-in for Al Bundy, a character he helped develop by modeling him on one of his own misanthropic uncles. O’Neill’s character is a down-and-out ex-football star (sound familiar?) who accidentally started a family after getting his girlfriend pregnant. This role allowed O’Neill to draw from his similar life experiences, and he quickly became the show’s fan’s favorite character.
MWC was on the air from 1987-1997, filming 11 seasons with a total of 259 episodes. It was one of the longest-running shows on television and was fairly successful, although it was canceled before its 12th season.
Other TV and Film Roles
Despite his show being canceled, or perhaps because of it, O’Neill was ready to take on new roles. Ed had already done lots of work on the side during his run on MWC, including performances on Saturday Night Live and In Living Color.
During that decade, some of Ed O’Neill’s minor movie roles included K-9, Blue Chips, Prefontaine, and the Wayne’s World franchise. He also starred in the family comedies Dutch (1991) and Little Giants (1994) in his characteristic dad roles.
Once MWC was canceled, O’Neill was much freer…
He had minor roles in films like The Spanish Prisoner, The Bone Collector, Lucky Numbers, Spartan, and Redbelt. But he mostly focused on TV work. Finding both one-off and repeating roles in a diverse range of shows, including the big productions Dragnet and The West Wing.
After 11 seasons playing Al Bundy, and a dozen more playing dozens of roles, O’Neill became Jay Pritchett. This made him a wealthy business tycoon and patriarch of a mixed-up and complicated “modern family.” Not to mention adding considerably to the Ed O’Neill net worth figure.
The show premiered in September 2009 and was developed as a mockumentary-style show which was in vogue at the time. It was an instant success. And, as we’ve seen, it ended up running for 11 seasons, ending in April 2020.
Throughout the show’s 11 seasons and 250 episodes…
O’Neill proved to be a fantastic actor and one more than comfortable in the cringe comedy space. He also made himself a fortune. Not only that but as the highest-paid cast member on the show, he also helped petition the network, ABC, to pay his co-stars more because the show was so successful. Still, it made oodles of money for ABC and was a major piece of 2010’s culture.
During his run on this show, O’Neil also took on roles in movies like Sun Dogs and The Last Shift and appeared on TV in Weird City and the reality series Real Husbands of Hollywood. These simply added to the Ed O’Neill net worth number, which was already substantial.
Thanks to his massive success with Modern Family and his Married… with Children cult following, Ed O’Neill developed a dedicated following. Ed O’Neill’s voice, with its gruff yet somewhat defeated tone, also became very recognizable. And producers had caught on.
During the 2010s, he was very much in demand for voice work. He voiced the role of Mr. Litwak in the Wreck-it-Ralph franchise and played Hank the Octopus in Disney’s Finding Dory. Likewise, he has voiced characters in shows like WordGirl, Family Guy, Kickbuttowski, and The Penguins of Madagascar.
But he hasn’t just played characters. O’Neill also does voice-over work, most notably for the medication Zyrtec and Walmart.
After a career in TV and movies spanning four decades, it’s no surprise that Ed O’Neill has had his share of awards and nominations. For Married… with Children, he was nominated twice, in 1992 and 1993, as best actor in a comedy, though he didn’t take home the award. When the show was complete, he won a 2009 TV Land Award for his innovative work on MWC.
For Modern Family, he and the cast were nominated nine times for Screen Actors Guild Awards. As part of the cast, he won this award four times in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In addition to these honors, O’Neil has also been nominated for several other awards, including the Golden Nymph Award, Critic’s Choice Television Award, and the much coveted Primetime Emmy Award. Although he didn’t end up winning any of these, even being nominated is a huge honor.
Family and Personal Life
Ed O’Neil was born on the 12th of April, and that makes him an Aries. Perhaps that’s why he had the desire and intense energy to go after acting once his football dream had bitten the dust. Even though he never had the pro sports career that he wanted earlier in life, O’Neill still found a way to express himself through sport.
O’Neill got into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has trained for an incredible 22 years under Rorion Gracie of the famous Gracie family. He got his black belt in 2007, which he holds as one of the greatest accomplishments in his life. The others are marrying actress Catherine Rusoff in 1986 and fathering two daughters, Sophia and Claire.
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Ed O’Neill Net Worth Summarized
The actor Ed O’Neill is known for his long-lived TV roles as Al Bundy and Jay Pritchett. He spent over 20 years in these two roles combined, contributing over 500 episodes to television history. Additionally, he also managed to do a whole variety of TV, film, and voice work since he took up acting in the late 70s.
He has been paid everything from peanuts up to $500,000 per episode for some of his biggest roles. This has helped Ed O’Neill amass a net worth of an estimated $65 million and given him a tremendous amount of star power. Now, all he needs is for people to stop calling him “Al.”
Until next time, may you find your success story.
1. What is Ed O’Neill’s net worth?
Ed O’Neill’s net worth is estimated to be $65 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
2. What was Ed O’Neill’s first acting role?
Ed O’Neill’s first acting role was in the film “Deliverance” in 1972.
3. Does Ed O’Neill have any children?
Ed O’Neill has two daughters, one of whom is also an actress.
4. What is Ed O’Neill’s most famous role?
Ed O’Neill’s most famous role is that of Al Bundy on the hit TV show “Married… With Children”.
5. What martial art does Ed O’Neill practice?
Ed O’Neill practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
6. How many properties does Ed O’Neill own?
Ed O’Neill owns several properties, including a mansion in Malibu, a home in Honolulu, and several properties in Ohio.
7. How has martial arts impacted Ed O’Neill’s life?
According to Ed O’Neill, martial arts has kept him grounded and focused on the task at hand.
8. What was the title of Ed O’Neill’s Broadway debut?
Ed O’Neill’s Broadway debut was in the production of “Knockout”.
9. Does Ed O’Neill have any major awards or nominations?
Ed O’Neill has been nominated for three Emmy Awards for his role on “Modern Family”.
10. What was the name of the character Ed O’Neill played on “Married… With Children”?
Ed O’Neill played the character Al Bundy on “Married… With Children”.
11. Has Ed O’Neill ever been divorced?
Ed O’Neill has been married twice but has never been divorced.
12. What is the name of Ed O’Neill’s daughter who is also an actress?
Ed O’Neill’s daughter who is also an actress is named Claire.
13. What was the name of the character Ed O’Neill played on “Modern Family”?
Ed O’Neill played the character Jay Pritchett on “Modern Family”.
14. Where did Ed O’Neill go to college?
Ed O’Neill attended The Ohio State University and Youngstown State University.
15. Does Ed O’Neill have any upcoming projects?
There are currently no announced upcoming projects for Ed O’Neill.