When word surfaced Tuesday that Stan Lee has put his Hollywood Hills West home on the market for $3.75 million, some commenters began to speculate about the legendary writer’s finances. Of course, they’re not the first.
Asked earlier this year by Playboy whether he at least received “a Tony Star-like helicopter” from Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel, the 91-year-old creator was quick to point out that he’s not as wealthy as some may think.
“My daughter was looking at the internet the other day and read that Stan Lee has an estimated $250 million,” Lee said. “I mean, that’s ridiculous! I don’t have $200 million. I don’t have $150 million. I don’t have $100 million or anywhere near that.”
Elaborating on why he shouldn’t rate George Lucas-scale wealth, he explained that, working at Marvel and its predecessors, “I was happy enough to get a nice paycheck and be treated well. I always got the highest rate; whatever Martin [Goodman] paid another writer, I got at least that much. It was a very good job. I was able to buy a house on Long Island. I never dreamed I should have $100 million or $250 million or whatever that crazy number is. All I know is I created a lot of characters and enjoyed the work I did.”
Lee does receive a $1 million annual salary for life from Marvel, and keeps busy with myriad other projects (the latest being a Bollywood adaptation of his comic Chakra the Invincible), but none of that likely pushes his wealth into those “ridiculous” figures. This website places his net worth at $50 million, which seems … far less ridiculous, and definitely nothing to sneeze at.