|Source Of Wealth
|7th January 1964
|Nicolas Kim Coppola
His wild behavior, eccentric habits, and even Nicolas Cages net worth have all been the subject of gossip and tall tales. But how much truth is there to any stories?
To find out, let's take a look back at his past, his present, and his likely future.
Before He Was Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage did not exist. Instead, Nicholas Kim Coppola was born on January 7, 1964, in Long Beach, California. parents were choreographer Joy Vogelsang and literature professor August Coppola.
And if the name Coppola sounds auspicious, it should.
Nicolas is the nephew of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola. If you're lucky enough to get paid to watch movies, Coppola films like The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, or The Conversation are some of the best selections that you could make.
This also makes Nicolas cousins with writer/director Sophia Coppola, writer/director Roman Coppola, and producer/actor Gian-Carlo Coppola.
During Nicolas Cage early life, he would visit his uncle Francis' San Francisco home often. And it was while taking a summer class at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco that the 15-year-old Nicolas discovered a love of acting.
He was so smitten that he dropped out of Beverly Hills high school to get an early start on his acting career.
Breakout and Early Career
Nicolas Coppola landed his first role in the 1981 TV movie The Best of Times. The film about seven teenage buddies singing and dancing would cast Nicolas alongside a young Crispin Glover, future scream queen Jill Schoelen, and former Mouseketeer Julie Piekarski.
His big screen debut came the following year when he landed a bit part as one of Judge Reinhold's unnamed buddies in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And then in 1983, he landed another small role in his uncle's film Rumble Fish.
But it would seem that working for his uncle was a sensitive subject for the young Nicolas. If he was going to make it, he wanted it to be known that he'd succeeded on his own merits.
So he dropped the Coppola name to differentiate himself from his extended showbiz family. Being a huge comic book fan, he took the surname "Cage" from Marvel's Luke Cage character.
He scored his first leading role in 1983's Valley Girl, now billed under his current name. The light rom-com about the titular Valley Girl falling for a bad-boy punk rocker opened doors for Cage, and he'd take on a range of roles over the next few years.
By this point, Cage was a big proponent of the Stanislavsky method, an acting style pioneered in the late 19th century. Made famous by actors like Marlon Brando, it's gone on to inspire the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Harvey Keitel, and Tom Cruise.
A Rising Talent
Having changed his name and evolved his acting technique, Nicolas Cage began his career proper in the mid-80s. He again worked for his uncle, appearing in 1984's The Cotton Club. The films Racing with the Moon and Birdy would further test his acting chops.
In the late 80s, he would star in several comedies as well. The most notable of these would be Peggy Sue Got Married in 1986 and the Coen brothers’ Raising Arizona in 1987. The latter, which saw him as a small-time crook kidnapping a set of quintuples, would foreshadow many of the off-beat roles he'd go on to play.
His career would slow down in the early 90s, characterized by a series of lackluster and financially disappointing outings. But he wouldn't stay in the doldrums for long.
Critical and Commercial Peak
In 1995, Nicolas Cage starred as the lead in Leaving Las Vegas, a drama about an alcoholic, self-destructive writer. Based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by John O'Brien, it was the meatiest role Cage had played yet.
And people noticed.
The film was a hit with critics and audiences alike and went on to win Cage the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
This success paved the way for a string of big-budget crowd pleasers. He did action films The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off one right after another. The following decade would see him appearing in similar popcorn flicks like Gone in 60 Seconds and the National Treasure films.
But it wasn't all blockbusters. He'd also get to stretch his legs in Spike Jonez's Adaptation, where he played twin brothers, Charlie and Donald Kaufman. The dual roles netted him a second Oscar nomination.
He also got to sink himself into some darker material with Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. The film cast him as a drug-addled, psychotic cop navigating the underworld of The Big Easy.
Alas, even with that impressive resume, the good times wouldn't last forever.
Lean Years and Cult Resurgence
By the late 2000s, the state of the Nicolas Cage career was looking rough. He'd fallen on hard financial times, and a series of box-office bombs meant that he could no longer command the typical Nicolas Cage salary.
Once worked with some of the most lauded filmmakers alive, he was now appearing in straight-to-video dreck and a remake of Left Behind.
But all the same, he managed to find ways to branch out.
The 2018 psychedelic-horror masterpiece Mandy took critics by surprise, garnering near-universal praise. And the following year he voiced Spiderman Noir in the crowd-pleasing animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The 2021 drama Pig, though a small-scale film, was also met with overwhelming praise. And most recently, the semi-autobiographical action/comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent sees Cage playing himself and poking some good-natured fun at his failures and foibles.
Nicolas Cage Family and Personal Life
Though he's played a variety of roles over his long career, Nicolas Cage is best known for his eccentric, bombastic performances. And that seems to be a reflection of who he is in real life.
Those who know him tell of his eclectic interests and energetic personality. And above all else, his passion for method acting is legendary.
As Intense Off-Screen as He Is On-Screen
For the film Birdy, it's said that he had two teeth pulled. He is also supposed to have slashed his arm for Racing With the Moon and swallowed a live cockroach for Vampire's Kiss.
These tales are often difficult, if not impossible, to corroborate. But the fact that they seem plausible speaks to Cage's intense reputation.
The Nicolas Cage Family
He's also had a rocky romantic life. He had a long-term relationship with actress and model Christina Fulton that produced a son, Weston Coppola Cage, in 1990. But the relationship wouldn't last.
His first wife was Patricia Arquette, marrying in 1995 only to divorce in 2001. His second marriage was to singer/songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. Married on August 10, 2002, they filed for divorce only 107 days later.
His third marriage to actress Alice Kim lasted the longest. Married in 2004, they had one son together and remained together through many of Cage's leanest years. Their union finally ended in 2016.
In 2019, Cage married makeup artist Erika Koike in Las Vegas. They had their marriage annulled only four days later, with a divorce granted three months later.
Most recently, he married Riko Shibata, a young woman he met in Japan while filming 2021's Prisoners of the Ghostland. The two were introduced through a mutual friend and were wed on February 16, 2021. The two would have a daughter together in 2022.
Nicolas Cages Net Worth
We already touched on the fact that Nicolas Cage experienced a period of financial difficulty during the 2000s. And there's a very good explanation for how he got to that point.
The story of his financial struggles is best divided into three parts: the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and his climb back up to the top.
If you're at all family with Nicolas Cage, you've probably heard stories of his extravagant spending habits. His real-estate portfolio alone attests to eccentric tastes.
A $25 million beach house is pretty standard for an A-List actor. Even a private island in the Bahamas wouldn't be too far out of bounds. But a pair of European castles and the infamously haunted LaLaurie mansion in New Orleans is where even most celebs would tilt their heads.
All told, his real-estate holdings once totaled 15 private residences. And his personal spending habits were even more outrageous.
One highlight was his fleet of cars, including spending $450,000 on a Lamborghini once owned by the late Shah of Iran. As a huge superhero fan, he spent $150,000 on a copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman. And he spent another $150,000 on a pet octopus.
Probably the most notable personal purchase was $276,000 for a 7 million-year-old dinosaur skull. Though when he learned that the skull was stolen, Cage graciously returned the artifact to its rightful owners.
Hitting Rock Bottom
These expenses decimated his wealth. Though he'd once had a net worth of around $150 million, he eventually blew nearly all of it. And to make matters worse, he wound up owing millions in unpaid taxes to the IRS.
This would only be the beginning of the star's troubles.
His Way Out
For a while, it seemed like things couldn't get much worse. But despite the urging of many of his friends and associates, he refused to let his situation decline to the point that he declare bankruptcy.
Instead, he began a long period of paying off his debts the hard way.
First, he started liquidating many of his assets. He sold nearly all of his real estate holdings. And he even sold his copy of Action Comics #1 for a record $2.1 million, making him a profit on that particular investment.
And then he got to work.
Cage took any job if the check cleared, from big-budget bombs like The Sorcerer's Apprentice to VOD shlock like Season of the Witch. But to this day, Cage insists that he never phoned it in on set.
And the fans seemed to agree. Over the years, he built up his cult-film status by appearing in low-budget exploitation films like Drive Angry and Willy's Wonderland. This opened the door to more ambitious projects like Mandy, The Color Out of Space, and so on.
Eventually built up the kind of cult reputation that paved his way to critically-lauded material like Pig and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. And by the time he did Unbearable Weight, not only was Cage out of debt. He'd rebuilt his wealth to a very respectable $30 million.
On the Cusp of a Career Renaissance
After several dodgy years of taking any jobs that came his way, Nicolas Cage successfully reinvented himself by appearing in smaller films that better match his gonzo acting style. And he seems better for it. Even Nicolas Cages net worth is in better shape than it has been in years.
He succeeded by creating a niche he could where thrive when one didn't exist for him. And that's something many of us can learn from.
Our net worths are for entertainment purposes only. We do our best to provide accurate figures, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. The figures are based on public information and estimates, and may not reflect the true value of assets or liabilities.