What is Dick Cavett’s net worth and salary?
Dick Cavett is a former American television talk show host who has a net worth of $60 million. As we detail at the bottom of this article, the majority of Dick Cavett’s net worth actually is derived from wise real estate investments. Primarily one investment in the Hamptons town of Montauk. Dick Cavett hosted “The Dick Cavett Show” in various formats from 1968 to 2007. On the show, he was known for his sophisticated, intellectual style of interviewing and for showcasing a wide range of guests, some of them controversial. In his later years, Cavett began writing an online column for the New York Times.
Early Life and Education
Dick Cavett was born on November 19, 1936 in Gibbon, Nebraska to teachers Alva and Erabel. He is primarily of English, Scottish, and Irish descent. After beginning his education at Wasmer Elementary School, Cavett attended Capitol, Prescott, and Irving schools, and then Lincoln High School, where he was a star gymnast. When Cavett was ten, his mother passed away, and his father got remarried to a teacher named Dorcas Deland.
After graduating from high school, Cavett worked as a caddie and as a magician. He then went off to Yale University, where he was heavily involved with the campus radio station WYBC; additionally, he acted in some school plays. Cavett graduated from Yale with a drama degree in 1958, and then took a number of odd jobs.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
While still at Yale, Cavett joined the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in its 16th season. He performed in productions of “Richard III,” “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Titus Andronicus,” among other Shakespeare plays.
The Tonight Show
Cavett started appearing on television in the late 50s and early 60s as an extra. During this time, he was working as a gofer for Time magazine, and decided to hand some jokes he wrote to then-“Tonight Show” host Jack Paar. Cavett continued to supply Paar with jokes for the show, and was eventually hired as a talent coordinator. He remained on “The Tonight Show” when Johnny Carson took over hosting duties in 1962, but left not long after that.
In 1964, Cavett launched a short-lived career in stand-up comedy. He performed at such venues as the Bitter End in New York, Mr. Kelly’s in Chicago, and the hungry i in San Francisco. Cavett went on to appear on some television game shows, including “What’s My Line.” He also appeared on “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
The Dick Cavett Show
In 1968, Cavett was hired as the host of the ABC program “This Morning.” Because executives found the show to be too sophisticated for a morning audience, the network moved the program to primetime, and then to a late-night slot opposite “The Tonight Show.” Soon, “This Morning” evolved into “The Dick Cavett Show,” which initial ran on ABC until 1974. Over the decades that followed, the program aired in various formats on a range of television and radio networks. In 1975, it was broadcast on CBS, and from 1977 to 1982 had its home on PBS. After that, “The Dick Cavett Show” aired on USA Network and the Olympia Broadcasting radio station. It returned to ABC from 1986 to 1987, and then moved to CNBC from 1989 to 1996. “The Dick Cavett Show” ran its final iteration from 2006 to 2007 on Turner Classic Movies.
As host of his own talk show, Cavett established a reputation for his intellectual style of interviewing and erudite conversations with a wide array of guests. He was also known for his keen listening skill, sonorous voice, and relaxed manner. While most episodes had several guests, Cavett would sometimes devote an entire episode to one person; he did this for such celebrities as Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Ray Charles, David Bowie, and Alfred Hitchcock. “The Dick Cavett Show” also often featured political guests, including Lester Maddox, John Kerry, and John O’Neill. For the show, Cavett earned numerous Emmy Award nominations and won three.
Cavett has made numerous appearances in films and television series, typically as himself. In 1977, he played himself in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” and in 1978 played himself in the political thriller “Power Play.” He also narrated the 1979 HBO documentary series “Time Was.” In 1981, Cavett hosted the popular Swedish special “Dick Cavett Meets ABBA.” Later in the decade, he made guest appearances on the television sitcoms “Kate & Allie” and “Cheers.” Cavett went on to appear in a dream sequence in the 1987 slasher sequel film “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.” The year after that, he had a brief role as Delia’s agent Bernard in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice.”
In his later media appearances, Cavett acted in a rare role other than himself in the 2012 romcom “Excuse Me for Living”; he played Reverend Pilatus. Cavett also performed in the play “Hellman v. McCarthy (Literary Legends Declare War!),” which opened off-Broadway in 2014.
In 1964, Cavett married his former Yale classmate Carrie Nye, with whom he had acted in summer theater in Williamstown, Massachusetts following their graduation. The couple remained together until Nye’s passing in 2006. Four years after that, Cavett wed author and businesswoman Martha Rogers. He has two stepchildren through the marriage.
Cavett also owns a valuable apartment in Manhattan but by far his best investment ever was a property in the Hamptons. Roughly 50 years ago, Dick purchased around 100 acres of land in Montauk, Long Island. He sold 77 acres of the property to the US government in 2008 for $18 million. That land is now a nature preserve. The remaining roughly 20 acres were listed for sale in June 2017 for $65 million. The property features a home that burned completely down in 1997. The home was re-built almost exactly to its previous specifications. The home is 7000 square feet. Dick had to reduce the asking price a number of times before he finally accepted $26 million for the property in October 2021. Here’s a video tour of the incredible property: