What Is ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul’ Showrunner Vince Gilligan’s Net Worth?

Vince Gilligan is a creative genius, but perhaps the best part is that despite his amazing career success, he remains so humble. The award-winning director, producer, and writer has every right to be smug. Instead, he remains refreshingly down-to-earth despite his unbelievable success — and the millions he has in the bank.

Gilligan is best known for creating the Emmy award-winning series Breaking Bad. The show, which aired from 2008 – 2013, is often counted among the greatest television series of all time.

Without Gilligan’s imagination, we wouldn’t have Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, or Saul Goodman. And what kind of world would that be?

Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC

Vince Gilligan loved being behind the camera from a young age

George Vincent Gilligan Jr. was born on Feb. 10, 1967 in Richmond, Virginia to a teacher mom and insurance claims adjustor father. He had an average upbringing until a chance meeting changed the course of his destiny. Gilligan and his childhood friend, Angus Wall, played around making amateur films with the help of Wall’s mom Jackie, who lent them her Super 8 camera and encouraged their creativity.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for [Jackie Wall],” Gilligan said in an interview. “She was a wonderful lady and a real inspiration.” Gilligan went on to graduate from the Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Production.

He got his start as a writer

Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Dean Norris
Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan and Dean Norris | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Gilligan got his first real Hollywood break while he was still in school when he wrote the screenplay for Home Fries, which earned him the Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting Award in 1989. His work was later adapted into a feature film starring Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson.

Next, Gilligan got hired as a writer on The X-Files after submitting a script to Fox for an episode. He also wrote for an X-Files spinoff he helped create, The Lone Gunmen. The show only lasted one season before getting canceled.

Gilligan was also a co-writer for the 2008 Will Smith superhero comedy, Hancock.

Gilligan’s star exploded with the creation of ‘Breaking Bad’

No one could have predicted the insane success of Gilligan’s show about a nerdy high school chemistry teacher who becomes a drug kingpin on a relentless quest for power. Gilligan was the show’s creator, director, and producer. In an instant, he went from a television writer with a moderate amount of success to one of the most sought-after names in the business.

Gilligan earned multiple awards for his efforts on Breaking Bad, including three Primetime Emmy Awards, six Writers Guild of America Awards, two Critics’ Choice Television Awards and Producers Guild of America Awards, one Directors Guild of America Award, and a BAFTA.

After Breaking Bad, Gilligan worked as a co-creator on the spinoff series, Better Call Saul. He also wrote and directed the made-for-TV movie sequel, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

He’s amassed an impressive net worth

Gilligan said he got the idea for Breaking Bad when brainstorming ideas for how to make money before his career took off. One of those daydreams — the one about cooking meth in the back of an old RV — stuck with him. Eventually, he used that unlikely fantasy to create one of the most revered television shows of all time.

The 53-year-old showrunner didn’t need to break the law to achieve financial success. In 2020, Gilligan has an estimated net worth of $35 million.

Gilligan lives with his girlfriend Holly Rice, who he’s been with since 1991. He’s currently planning his next project which he claims will be separate from the Breaking Bad universe he’s profited so handsomely from. But no promises.