‘Harlem Nights’: How Much Wealth Did the Stars of the Gangster Flick Make in Real Life?
The 1989 film Harlem Nights features a cast of comedy superstars led by Eddie Murphy. The characters in the R-rated ‘30s-era gangster movie raked in stacks of cash. Likewise, the actors who played them built impressive amounts of personal wealth.
‘Harlem Nights’ boasts a roster of comedy icons
Stand-up comic-turned-filmmaker Murphy wrote, directed, and stars in Harlem Nights as the young and ruthless racketeer, Quick. As a child, Quick was adopted by Harlem mover-and-shaker Sugar Ray, portrayed by comedy legend Richard Pryor.
Sugar Ray was the proprietor of the after-hours bar and casino, Club Sugar Ray, and Quick grew up to be Sugar Ray’s right-hand man in the lucrative criminal enterprise. Also, on Sugar Ray’s payroll was the sharp-tongued craps dealer, Bennie Wilson, with stand-up icon Redd Foxx in the role.
In addition to drinking, dancing, and gambling, Club Sugar Ray offered a call-girl service. Acting veteran Della Reese played Vera, the no-nonsense madam with a mean right hook. Vera’s most popular girl on the staff was the beautiful and magnetic Sunshine, brought to life by Lela Rochon.
In the film, Sugar Ray’s crew hatched a plan to rob rival kingpin Bugsy Calhoune, played by Michael Lerner. Rounding out the cast were Jasmine Guy as Dominique La Rue, the femme fatale in Calhoune’s gang, Danny Aiello as dirty cop Phil Cantone, and Arsenio Hall as the Crying Man seeking vengeance for his brother’s murder.
The stars of the film built sizable personal fortunes
At the end of Harlem Nights, Sugar Ray’s squad successfully executed their plan, swindled Calhoune, and scored big bucks. With that in mind, here’s a peek at how much wealth the stars of the movie gained in real life, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Eddie Murphy as ‘Quick’
As the suave hoodlum in charge of the bar and gambling tables at Club Sugar Ray, Murphy brought humor and style to the role of Quick. Next up, fans can check him out in Coming 2 America. The A-lister is estimated to be worth $200 million.
Richard Pryor as ‘Sugar Ray’
Pryor played Sugar Ray with poise and class. At the time of his death in 2005, the stand-up megastar was estimated to possess $40 million in net worth.
Arsenio Hall as ‘Crying Man’
Murphy’s frequent collaborator, Hall, will soon reprise his role as Semmi in the comedy sequel, Coming 2 America. The TV personality, movie star, and comedian boasts an estimated fortune of $16 million.
Lela Rochon as ‘Sunshine’
Acting veteran Rochon brought Sunshine to life in Harlem Nights. The entertainer is worth an estimated $10 million.
Danny Aiello as ‘Phil Cantone’
Phil Cantone portrayer, Aiello, passed away in 2019. At the time of his death, estimates placed his net worth at $6 million.
Jasmine Guy as ‘Dominique La Rue’
A Different World alum Guy brought sensuality to Harlem Nights. The star has amassed an estimated $4 million in personal wealth.
Della Reese as ‘Vera’
Scene-stealer Reese possessed impeccable comedic timing. At the time of her death, her net worth was estimated to equal $3 million.
Michael Lerner as ‘Bugsy Calhoune’
Bugsy Calhoune portrayer Lerner has performed in nearly 200 acting roles. Along with his long line of credits, the actor has earned an estimated $3 million.
Redd Foxx as ‘Bennie Wilson’
As the hilarious craps dealer in desperate need of eyeglasses, Foxx garnered laughs as Bennie. But before Harlem Nights, he headlined the classic sitcom Sanford and Son. At the time of his death in 1991, estimates placed the icon $3.5 million in debt.
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