Roddy McDowall Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Roddy McDowall Net Worth

Roddy McDowall was an English-American actor, voice artist, director, and photographer whose net worth was $10 million at the time of his death in 1998. Actor Roddy McDowall gained a cult following after he played Cornelius in the 1968 film ‘Planet of the Apes.’

Roddy McDowall, an actor, and photographer was born Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude on September 17, 1928, in London, England. McDowall starred in How Green Was My Valley in 1941. He returned to film in Cleopatra after a stint in the theater. McDowall went on to play the villain The Bookworm in the 1960s Batman series.

He starred as Cornelius in the 1968 cult classic Planet of the Apes and later as Galen in the 1970s television series of the same name. McDowall appeared in dozens of television movies and shows throughout his career. Toward the end of his career, he provided voices for characters in a number of animated series. McDowall died in Los Angeles, California, on October 3, 1998.

To calculate the net worth of Roddy McDowall, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Roddy McDowall
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $200,000
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Actor, Film Director, Photographer, Voice Actor

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Early Life

Roddy McDowall was the only son of merchant seaman Thomas McDowall and his wife, Winifred. Roddy appeared in a number of British films as a child, including Yellow Sands (1938) and Just William (1939).

Roddy moved to America with his mother and sister in 1940 to escape the bombing of London during WWII. Soon after, Thomas McDowall joined his family. The family relocated to Hollywood, where Roddy was quickly hired by 20th Century Fox. He gave an outstanding performance as the young lead in John Ford’s Oscar-winning drama How Green Was My Valley in 1941. McDowall followed the success of the film with equally strong performances in the 1943 children’s classics My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home.

Acting Career

Like many child stars, McDowall had difficulty starring in adult films. Frustrated with dwindling opportunities in Hollywood, he turned to stage acting. McDowall toured vaudeville and summer theatres before moving to New York in 1954. He appeared in memorable Broadway productions, including Compulsion (1957) and The Fighting Cock (1959). For the latter, McDowall received a Tony Award for supporting actor.

McDowall returned to film in 1963, playing the more mature role of Octavian in the flamboyant film Cleopatra alongside Richard Burton and his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Taylor. Shortly after, he made a name for himself on television with a recurring role as the mischievous Bookworm in the 1966 Batman series, alongside Adam West, the caped crusader. His role as the Bookworm, one of Batman’s enemies, made McDowall a household name among younger viewers (other notable actors in the series included Julie Newmar’s Catwoman, Cesar Romero’s Joker and Vincent Price’s Egghead).

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‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968)

In 1968, McDowall starred as the sympathetic scientist Cornelius in the groundbreaking science fiction film Planet of the Apes. The film drew several sequels and gave McDowall a cult following. He reprised his role as Cornelius in the third installment, Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). In the two subsequent films, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), McDowall took on the role of Cornelius’ son Caesar.

McDowall moved to the small screen with the Planet of the Apes series ( TV ), appearing in several episodes as Galen in 1974. He continued to focus on television in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He appeared in the films TV The Rhineman Exchange (1977), The Martian Chronicles (1980) and Hollywood Wives (1985). During this period, McDowall’s most notable film role was that of a washed-up movie star in the acclaimed horror film Fright Night (1985).

Towards the end of his prolific career, McDowall lent his voice to numerous animated series, including Darkwing Duck (1992) and The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1994). In 1998 he gave the voice of Mr. Soil in the Disney/Pixar animated film A Bug’s Life, which was his last film role.

Notable Photographer

McDowall was also a talented portrait photographer, having shot Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Mia Farrow for Look and Life magazines. Double Exposure (1966), Double Exposure, Take Two (1989), Double Exposure, Take Three (1992), and Double Exposure, Take Four (1994) were his books (1993). McDowall was a well-known and well-liked member of the Hollywood community, serving on the executive boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

After a long battle with cancer, McDowall died on October 3, 1998, in Studio City, California. He was seventy years old.

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Favorite Roddy McDowall Quotes

I enjoyed being in movies when I was a boy. As a child you’re not acting – you believe. Ah, if an adult could only act as a child does with that insane, playing-at-toy- soldiers concentration!


Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.


They said I couldn’t play anything but an English boy. I knew I could. So I went to New York.


My whole life I’ve been trying to prove I’m not just yesterday.


Fortunately, I happened to go east at a time when live television was centered in New York.


I started to study, because I knew I had to learn a lot about myself as an actor; you can’t act the same as you did as a child.


I still have the actor’s disease. I always think I’ll never get another job.

View our larger collection of the best Roddy McDowall quotes.

Further Reading

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