11 Most Well Paid Animal Actors In History

by Carolena Trissel about a year ago in list

The dream of your animal making you money is actually a reality for some, which makes the most well paid animal actors in history stars in their own right.

11 Most Well Paid Animal Actors In History

Don’t we all wish that we were the owners of well paid animal actors? It turns out that some animals make a lot more than humans; and believe it or not, some of them are millionaires! However, being a highly paid animal actor isn’t as easy as it sounds. With millions of other animals up against them, the chances of being one of the top paid is pretty slim. It takes a lot of hard work and training for these animals to be considered before they are cast as a role in a movie, and this starring role in movies is reserved for only the best of the best animals. With that being said, some catch the break they deserve, and wind up making their owners rich in the process.

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise at all because this cat is truly everywhere. Grumpy cat! It’s the adorable cat that always looks like it is perpetually mad. Thankfully, it’s just this fluffy animal's face. Grumpy cat is usually not mad all of the time; however, it did make for some adorable viral content (just check out cat instagrams you must follow if you don't believe me). Grumpy cat was made into stuffed animals, calendars, and even a show! This cat didn’t have to act as anyone but themselves. Garnering over $100 million in profits, this is one cat that will never be rivaled.

If you haven’t seen Free Willy, what are you waiting for? This classic features a beautiful whale, but its real name is Keiko. Keiko is one movie star that was paid quite a lot of money for their starring role. With how often it has been played as a beloved classic, Keiko has made $36 million. Keiko was one of the last whales used in movie and television, and a lot of people are trying to get large animals like killer whales out of the movie spotlight because they should not be held prisoner. With the money brought in from its stardom though, we like to think he lived a pretty decent life.

Moose, perhaps the cutest dog ever, was the little terrier on Frasier. This show was wildly popular and lasted for over 10 years. Because of this, the dog got quite a lot of show time! People were obsessed with Moose, and some might say that Moose got more attention from fans than anyone else on the show. While we cannot tell you if this is true or not, could you blame the fans? Moose is absolutely adorable, and is a highly paid animal with over $3 million in profits.

Monkeys are adorable, and since they are so inherently smart with their opposable thumbs, we all love to watch them on the big screen. Crystal the monkey has been on plenty of movie and television series, but you may recognize her from Night at the Museum. Her crazy antics caused quite the scene throughout the movie. She’s small enough to fit on your shoulder, and cute enough to sit there all day if she wanted to. She’s one of the most famous animal actors because of how mischievous she is. Rumor has it that she was paid $12,000 per show she was on.

Rin Tin Tin, one of the cutest german shepherds that has ever lived, was not only one of the most well-paid animal actors in history, he was also one of the most famous animal actors, too. Despite the fact that his stardom was most prevalent in the 50s, in today’s market, his salary would have been $26,000 a week. With how often he was on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, that was an incredible amount of money. Rin Tin Tin earned this much because of how well behaved he was. He was the go-to dog for a lot of roles throughout his life. His story is especially unique because he was rescued during World War I on the battlefield. His owner, Lee Duncan, was the one who saved him in the middle of battle. After training him for a while, he was able to get him in a few silent films, and his work took off from there.


One of the most recognizable faces in history is Lassie, who was actually named Pal. This TV series back in 1954 followed the collie around on her many adventures. In today’s money, Pal would have been making $51,000 a week while filming. There were multiple films and TV series made about Lassie, and Pal was in them for as long as he was alive. He was a very good dog who ended up dying in June 1958.

One Facebook employee skyrocketed to fame not by what she did, but because of her cute dog. Pomeranians are already adorable, but Boo got a short hair cut that turned him into a celebrity. His short hair makes him look like a cute little teddy bear, and he has since become a viral sensation. In multiple clips on his Facebook and Instagram page, Boo isn’t going anywhere. This cutie makes $1 million a year, so he has been quite the goldmine for his owner! Since he is so well behaved, he’s pretty much the best paid animal out there.

An Alaskan brown bear named Bart has made $6 million over the course of his career. He lived for 23 years, and passed away on May 10, 2000. With a height of 8'10", this bear was truly larger than life. He was in a lot of different Hollywood films, and he was nominated for multiple academy awards. Throughout his life, he was beloved and well behaved, which is how he was able to make so much money as an actor. With a weight of 1,779 pounds though, this highly paid animal actor was not to be messed with.

This dog is named after the character of Patrick Swayze in Point Break. He is very handsome, and his good looks have made him one of the best dog models and movie stars out there. Bodhi is a Shiba Inu, and he’s just a little bit big for his breed. Those cute looks though are what make him $15,000 a month. Considering this is much more than most humans make, you could say that this animal really has it going on!

Isn’t there something so great about cats? Well, Maru just proves that cats are truly the animals that rule the world. Something about Maru makes Japan go crazy, and he has plenty of videos that have been viewed over 325 million times. Thanks to that, he holds the record for the most watched video of an individual animal on YouTube. He’s a Scottish Fold cat, and he has more facial expressions than you can count. With $180,000 a year, he's certainly one of the better paid animals to see the limelight!

Colonel Meow

Another cat that was able to garner the attention of millions was Colonel Meow. He died back in January 2014, but his videos and photos are still viewed today. He is a crossbred mix of Himalayan and Persian, and his face looks like he is scowling at everyone. There was even a time that he held the record for the longest cat locks. On YouTube, he was making $5,000 a month, which is a pretty penny for a cat, proving that animals can be stars just like the rest of us. Well paid animal actors may come in all shapes and sizes, but their talent is unparalleled.

Carolena Trissel
Carolena Trissel
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Carolena Trissel
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