Twenty years ago, Dwayne Johnson was hoping to make a career as a football player—until a knee injury dashed those dreams.
Fast forward to 2016, though, and Johnson is the highest-paid actor in the world.
Talk about a change in fortune.
Johnson made the 2016 Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the highest-paid celebrities on the planet, coming in at No. 19—the first actor on the list. Johnson’s earnings amounted to $64 million, and that comes after a hugely successful 2015 that saw his films make $1.3 billion at the box office.
And here’s the thing: The so-called “hardest-working man in Hollywood” will likely continue to rise on the list, if only because of all the projects he has coming up.Ballers season 2 premieres on HBO on July 17, Baywatch and Fast 8 will both be released in 2017, and other films like Jumanji and Doc Savage are also on the horizon.
Not bad for a guy who once made $250 a week as a practice squad player in the Canadian Football League.
Johnson’s co-star in Central Intelligence, Kevin Hart, also made the Forbes list, but his main source of revenue was listed as “comedy,” leaving Johnson to take the mantle as the highest-paid actor in the world.
Unsurprisingly, a number of athletes topped the list, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Kevin Durant, Cam Newton, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, and the recently retired Kobe Bryant.
Ronaldo, who led Portugal to its first major international tournament victory in the European Championships, is the highest-paid athlete in the world, landing fourth on the list with nearly $90 million in earnings. Messi ranked in the top 10 with $81 million, while “King” James came in as the highest-paid American athlete at $77 million.
by Matthew Jussim