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Originally published December 07, 2012

Eddie Murphy Tops List of Overpaid Actors

by Alexis Taylor
AFRO Staff Writer

  •   Click on the photo to view additional Photos.
    Eddie Murphy poses at "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only," a celebration of Murphy's career at the Saban Theater on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


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With a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, more than 30 movie titles, a wildly successful career in the volatile business of comedy and five studio albums to his name, actor and comedian Eddie Murphy just garnered a new distinction: most overpaid.

The 51-year-old star who was recently the focus of a star-studded, two-hour tribute on Spike TV, topped Forbes Magazine’s overpaid list of Hollywood’s most overpaid performers, ahead of Katherine Heigl, Reese Witherspoon, and Sandra Bullock and Jack Black.

“His string of flops lands Murphy at the top of our Most Overpaid Actors list for 2012,” said the magazine in their online spread of the list. “We estimate that for every $1 Murphy was paid for his last three films, they returned an average of $2.30 at the box office.”

Murphy ranked number two on the 2011 version of the list.

Forbes said that to complete the list they looked at the three most recent films a performer completed in the past three years, took into account salary information, and box office ticket sale totals compiled by Box Office Mojo.

Murphy’s career has included several hits for child audiences with animated films “Mulan” to “Shrek” drawing millions to the box office. And while the actor has received less than savory reviews for his ventures onto the silver screen, fans don’t seem to be holding films like 2008’s “Meet Dave” or this year’s “A Thousand Words” against him.

According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Murphy is the second-highest grossing actor of all time and now has a net worth of $75 million. Witherspoon’s net worth is estimated at $80 million, with $18 million attributed to Heigl, and $125 million for Sandra Bullock. Black’s net worth is $20 million.

“HE IS FUNNY, and always has been,” said one comment by Anna Reznik, in response to the article on the Forbes website. “I would much rather go see a movie that he is in than sit at a Brad Pitt movie.”

Born Edward Regan Murphy, the Brooklyn, N.Y. native first gained national fame as the Black member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live’s repertory cast from 1981 to 1984.
From SNL his movie career took off with roles in movies such as “48 Hours” starring Nick Nolte, “Trading Places,” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” where he starred in a role originally written for Sly Stallone, according to The Biography Channel Eddie Murphy profile.

Even in 2012, sides are still at risk of splitting from classics such as “Coming to America,” and “Life,” where he starred alongside Martin Lawrence, another successful comedian.

"Eddie is so funny, he made my prettiest aunt in my family laugh so hard she farted,” said comedian Tracy Morgan at last month’s televised tribute. “Those are the standards Eddie Murphy set."