Ulysses Klaue may be a supervillain in Marvel’s Black Panther, but the character has also helped boost actor Andy Serkis’ net worth. Premiering in February 2018, Black Panther was a box-office smash, earning $1.3 billion worldwide, second only to Avengers: Infinity War. As a result, Serkis’ popularity and net worth skyrocketed, landing him among the world’s most successful supporting actors.
‘Spider-Man’ actor J.K. Simmons and other successful supporting actors
Supporting characters — whether friends or foes — add depth to a story. Some might even say a story is made by its supporting roles and how they affect the main character. As such, some of Hollywood’s biggest earners have made careers out of not playing the lead.
Take, for example, J.K. Simmons. He’s best known for portraying J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man, along with roles in Whiplash, La La Land, and Juno — all of which were supporting roles. Ranking as the fifth highest-earning supporting actor on the list at The Numbers, Simmons has appeared in 52 films making over $11 billion worldwide.
Other top earners are Samuel L. Jackson at number 11, with 52 films earning nearly $10 billion; Bill Hader at number 16, with 27 films totaling $8.7 million; and Stanley Tucci at number 17, with 48 films raking in $8.6 million.
Andy Serkis: ‘Black Panther’ and a franchise fortune
Coming in at number eight on the list is Andy Serkis of Black Panther, whose movies have made nearly $10.5 billion at the box office worldwide.
It’s important to note that although Serkis ranks below Simmons and other big earners on the list, Serkis’ number is a result of only 16 films — far fewer than most of the other supporting actors on the list. That means Serkis’ films are higher earners individually, averaging $650 million each.
Among them are Hollywood heavyweights such as the Planet of the Apes franchise, in which Serkis plays Caesar; The Batman, where he portrays Alfred; The Lord of the Rings franchise, which sees Serkis as Gollum; and the Star Wars franchise, with the actor as Supreme Leader Snoke in the films and Kino Loy in the Disney+ series Andor. And, of course, there’s his turn as Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Appearing first in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Serkis’ villainous Black Panther character is among the actor’s most famous roles. It has helped make Serkis one of the “highest-grossing actors of all time,” according to Celebrity Net Worth. Andy Serkis’ net worth is an estimated $18 million.
Warwick Davis: The ‘Harry Potter’ actor is the biggest supporting box-office star
Ranking first among the world’s most successful supporting actors is another Hollywood franchise favorite: Warwick Davis.
Like Serkis, Davis has appeared in a relatively low number of films, with the actor’s overall box-office earnings based on 18 films. However, according to The Numbers, those films averaged $803 million each and combined into a whopping $14.4 billion worldwide.
Davis’ Harry Potter characters include Professor Flitwick and Griphook. The actor is also known for his roles in the Star Wars franchise, beginning as Wicket in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi in 1983.
Celebrity Net Worth estimates Warwick Davis’ net worth at $10 million. Although that number falls short of Andy Serkis’ net worth, there’s no denying that being a sidekick can be a goldmine.