What Is Mary Lou Retton’s Net Worth, and How Much Did She Get Paid for ‘Dancing with the Stars’? 

It’s been more than 30 years since Mary Lou Retton shot to fame at the 1984 Olympics. As a 16-year-old, she became the first American woman to win gold in the all-around competition; she also won two silver and two bronze medals in the competition. Two years later, she retired from gymnastics, but she didn’t retire from the spotlight. Find out more about what Mary Lou Retton has been doing since winning Olympic gold and how much she’s worth today.

Mary Lou Retton’s post-Olympics career

Mary Lou Retton

Mary Lou Retton in 1989. | Ken Levine /Allsport

After winning big at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (she took home five medals), Retton was a hot commodity. She became the first woman to appear on the front of a Wheaties box and was named Sportswoman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. In 1985, she won the American Cup all-around competition and then officially retired from the sport in 1986.

In 1985, she starred in ABC Fun Fit, a series of short exercise videos for kids broadcast during Saturday morning cartoons. She also made cameo appearances in the movies Scrooged and Naked Gun 33 1/3, and on TV shows like Knots Landing and Baywatch.

Retton has also worked as a TV commentator for gymnastics competitions, including the 1988 and 1996 Olympics, and wrote a gymnastics column for USA Today. She appeared in ads for RadioShack and the now-defunct pharmacy chain Revco and wrote a book titled Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Prosperous, More Satisfying Life.

Currently, Retton is available for speaking engagement through the Washington Speakers Bureau. She charges between $25,001 and $40,000 per appearance.

What she was paid for Dancing with the Stars


Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber perform during Disney night on Dancing with the Stars | Eric McCandless/ABC

In 2018, the 50-year-old Retton joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with Sasha Farber. Though Retton and Farber were the fifth couple to be eliminated on Season 27, she said she was happy with her performance on the show, even though she didn’t take home the Mirror Ball Trophy.

“I hadn’t challenged myself in decades,” Retton said, “and I challenged myself and I’m off to a fresh start.”

Celebrity dancers like Retton are reportedly paid $125,000 for signing up to appear on DWTS. (That number is from 2010; salaries could be larger now.) They earn more the longer they stick around, with stars who make to episodes 3 and 4 earning an additional $10,000 per episode. Those would make it to the subsequent episodes get an additional $20,000 to $30,000. Retton made it to episode 8, meaning she may have earned another $100,000 on top of her initial fee.

Mary Lou Retton’s net worth

Today, Mary Lou Retton is worth an estimated $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She married former college football star Shannon Kelley in 1990, though the two recently divorced. After his football career ended, Kelley earned an MBA and became a successful real estate developer and investor in Houston. In 2009, he returned to the world of college football, first as a coach at Fairmont State University in West Virginia and then at Houston Baptist University.

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