What is Ellen Burstyn’s Net Worth and Salary?
Ellen Burstyn, born Edna Rae Gillooly, is and American actress with roots in theaters who has a net worth of $20 million. Ellen Burstyn is an actress of the screen and stage, known for her performances in such films as “The Last Picture Show,” “The Exorcist,” “Resurrection,” “Requiem for a Dream,” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. On stage, she won a Tony for her work in the play “Same Time, Next Year.” Among Burstyn’s notable television credits are “That’s Life,” “Political Animals,” “House of Cards,” and two spinoffs of “Law & Order.”
Burstyn was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her first Academy Award from her role in the much-acclaimed drama, “The Last Picture” in 1971. Her second nomination came shortly after her rise to fame with her performance for “The Exorcist” in 1973. She finally took home the Academy Award in 1974 for her role Alice Hyatt in the featured Martin Scorsese film, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”
Burstyn’s impressive career saw her winning the Tony Award in 1975 for her leading role in the Broadway film “Same Time, Next Year,” in which she went on to receive a Golden Globe Award and her 4th nomination for an Academy Award for her work in the film version of the Broadway production.
Early Life and Education
Ellen Burstyn was born as Edna Rae Gillooly on December 7, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan to John and Correine. She has an older brother named Jack and a younger brother named Steve. When Burstyn was young, her parents divorced, and she was subsequently raised by her mother and stepfather. She was educated at Cass Technical High School, where she studied fashion illustration. Burstyn ended up failing her classes, causing her to drop out during her senior year.
After dropping out of high school, Burstyn became a dancer under the stage name Kerri Flynn; she then worked as a model until she was 23. Burstyn lived in Dallas, Texas for a while before moving to New York City.
Film Career, Part 1
Using the name Ellen McRae, Burstyn made her first appearances on the big screen in the 1964 films “Goodbye Charlie” and “For Those Who Think Young.” She went on to appear in “Pit Stop,” “Alex in Wonderland,” and “Tropic of Cancer.” In 1971, Burstyn had her breakthrough role in Peter Bogdanovich’s coming-of-age film “The Last Picture Show,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She next starred in Bob Rafelson’s 1972 film “The King of Marvin Gardens.” The year after that, she scored her biggest commercial success with William Friedkin’s horror film “The Exorcist,” which became one of the highest-grossing films of all time in the US. Moreover, Burstyn was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as Chris MacNeil, the mother of a daughter possessed by the devil. In 1974, she finally took home the Academy Award for her performance as the titular widow in Martin Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” Also that year, Burstyn had a supporting role in “Harry and Tonto,” which won the Best Actor Academy Award for Art Carney. Later in the decade, she starred in “Providence,” “A Dream of Passion,” and “Same Time, Next Year,” an adaptation of the play in which she also starred.
Burstyn began the 1980s starring as a seemingly divine healer in “Resurrection,” for which she earned her fifth Academy Award nomination. She was subsequently in “Silence of the North,” “The Ambassador,” “Twice in a Lifetime,” and “Hanna’s War.” In the 90s, Burstyn appeared in such films as “Grand Isle,” “The Cemetery Club,” “How to Make an American Quilt,” “Roommates,” “The Spitfire Grill,” “You Can Thank Me Later,” and “Walking Across Egypt.”
Film Career, Part 2
Kicking off the new millennium, Burstyn gave one of her most acclaimed film performances in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological drama “Requiem for a Dream.” For her performance as Sara Goldfarb, the amphetamine-addicted mother of a heroin addict, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Burstyn went on to appear in a wide range of films after that, including the crime film “The Yards”; the literary adaptation “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”; Aronofsky’s epic romantic drama “The Fountain”; the horror remake “The Wicker Man”; the romance “Lovely, Still”; the biopic “W.”; and the drama “According to Greta.”
Burstyn continued to work steadily throughout the 2010s. Her notable credits that decade include “Main Street,” “Another Happy Day,” “Interstellar,” “The Age of Adaline,” “Wiener-Dog,” “The House of Tomorrow,” “The Tale,” and “Lucy in the Sky.” In 2020, Burstyn earned praise for her performance as the mother of Vanessa Kirby’s main character in “Pieces of a Woman.” Her later credits include “Queen Bees,” “Three Months,” and a series of new sequels to “The Exorcist.”
Burstyn has been equally prolific on the small screen as she has on the big one. Early in her career, she appeared in episodes of numerous shows, including “Dr. Kildare,” “Surfside 6,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Cheyenne,” “Gunsmoke,” “Bus Stop,” “Perry Mason,” “The Defenders,” “Wagon Train,” and “The Doctors.” Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Burstyn mostly appeared in television films, such as “Thursday’s Game,” “The People vs. Jean Harris,” “Act of Vengeance,” “Pack of Lies,” “Trick of the Eye,” “Getting Gotti,” and “Flash.” She also starred on her own sitcom, “The Ellen Burstyn Show,” which aired on ABC from 1986 to 1987.
Burstyn had her longest-running role yet from 2000 to 2002 on the CBS series “That’s Life.” During that time, she also starred in the television film “Mermaid.” Burstyn continued to appear in television films, including “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” “For One More Day,” and “Mrs. Harris,” the lattermost of which earned her an Emmy nomination. She subsequently had a main role on the short-lived NBC series “The Book of Daniel.” From 2007 to 2011, Burstyn played the recurring role of Nancy Davis Dutton on “Big Love,” for which she received another Emmy nomination. She finally won her first Emmy Award for her guest appearance on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2008. Burstyn reprised that role in a recurring capacity on “Law & Order: Organized Crime” from 2021 to 2022. Among her other major credits, she had recurring roles on “Political Animals,” “House of Cards,” “Louie,” and “The First Lady,” and appeared in the Lifetime television films “Flowers in the Attic” and “Petals on the Wind.”
Burstyn’s Broadway debut was in 1958 in the play “Fair Game.” She didn’t return to Broadway until 1975, when she starred in the play “Same Time, Next Year” and won a Tony for her work. Burstyn continued to act regularly on Broadway over the decades, with credits including “84 Charing Cross Road,” “Shirley Valentine,” “Sacrilege,” “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” and “Picnic.”
Burstyn has been married and divorced multiple times. She was wed to her first husband, William Alexander, from 1950 to 1957. The year after their divorce, she married Paul Roberts, with whom she had an adopted son named Jefferson. They divorced soon after. Burstyn married her third husband, actor Neil Nephew, in 1964. Afflicted with schizophrenia and prone to violence, including a reported rape, he eventually left the relationship, and the couple divorced in 1972. Nephew later killed himself in 1978.
Although raised Catholic, Burstyn embraces a form of Sufism that encompasses multiple schools of spiritual practice. Alongside Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino, she has served as co-president of the Actors Studio since 2000.
Ellen’s primary residence is a 3000 square foot home in New York’s Hudson Valley region which she purchased in 1989 for $750,000. She reportedly spent several million dollars renovating the home. Similar homes in the area routinely sell for $4-5 million.