Jaden Smith is said to be the richest child actor right now. The 19-year-old actor, songwriter, and rapper, with a net worth estimated to be $8 million, made his acting debut in 2006 with the film ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’.
He has since become a hit, walking into his father Will Smith’s footprints. But before Smith, there were other black child actors who were using their talent to get fat paychecks even before they could learn to drive.
While their peers were spending most of their time working on their skills or playing, these black youngsters were breaking barriers in the film and television industry and were already beginning to make millions.
From the likes of Ernest Fredric Morrison who became the first black child actor in the 1920s all the way to those who wowed audiences in the 1980s and the 2000s, here are some of the black child stars in history who were incredibly rich:
The successful child star appeared in the renowned show “Diff’rent Strokes”, earning one of television’s biggest salaries – $100,000 per episode. At the age of 11, he was reported to have become a millionaire, having an annual income of $610,000 and personal property valued at $420,000. Suffering from a congenital kidney illness and due to subsequent medications used to treat his condition, Coleman only grew to the height of 4 feet, 8 inches.
Nevertheless, he used his youthful appearance and witty comebacks to wow audiences worldwide. As he grew older, he realized that his parents had spent most of the money he earned. He sued them and declared bankruptcy. At the time of his death in 2010, the net worth of one of the biggest TV stars was estimated at only $75,000.
Tyler James Williams
Now 27 with a net worth of $5 million, Williams is best known for his role in the Chris-Rock-inspired sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, where he reportedly earned a salary of $250,000 per episode. Also known for his role as songwriter Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel movie Let It, Shine, Williams became the youngest person to win an NAACP Image Award at age 14. Appearing in television commercials, Williams has also starred in a number of films and series like The Walking Dead, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and Whiskey Cavalier.
The talented singer and actress earned big growing up as a child star. When she played the role of a 15-year-old vice president of a corporation in the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP (from 2008 to 2011), reports said she earned a salary of $20,000 per episode, making her the fifth-highest paid child actor at the time. Now 26, Palmer’s net worth is $7.5 million.