- Richest Celebrities › Directors
- Net Worth:
- $20 Million
- Date of Birth:
- Oct 23, 1954 (68 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- Chaojhou, Pingtung
- 5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
- Film director, Film Producer, Screenwriter
- United States of America
💰 Compare Ang Lee’s Net Worth
- Early Life and Education
- Start of Film Career
- Move to Hollywood
- Film Career in the 21st Century
- Personal Life
What is Ang Lee’s Net Worth?
Ang Lee is a Taiwanese filmmaker who has a net worth of $20 million. Ang Lee began his career in Asia with the acclaimed films “Pushing Hands,” “The Wedding Banquet,” and “Eat Drink Man Woman.” He then had his breakthrough in Hollywood with “Sense and Sensibility,” released in 1995. Lee went on to direct such films as “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain,” and “Life of Pi,” winning Academy Awards for Best Director for the latter two.
Some of his biggest films by worldwide box office include “Life of Pi” (2012), which grossed over $609 million worldwide and won several Academy Awards, including Best Director for Lee. Another major box office success for Lee was “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), which grossed over $178 million worldwide and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Other notable films directed by Lee include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), which grossed over $213 million worldwide and won four Academy Awards, and “Hulk” (2003), which grossed over $245 million worldwide.
Early Life and Education
Ang Lee was born on October 23, 1954 in Pingtung County, Taiwan to mainland Chinese parents. As a teenager, he went to Provincial Tainan First Senior High School, where his father was the principal. After twice failing to pass the college entrance exam, Lee enrolled at the National Arts School, a three-year college. He graduated from the school in 1975. Lee subsequently served his mandatory military service in the Republic of China Navy. Following that, he moved to the United States to study at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, from which he graduated with a BA in theater in 1980. Although he was initially interested in acting, Lee’s difficulty speaking English prompted him to turn to directing instead. He went on to attend graduate school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, earning his MFA in film production. Lee’s thesis film, “Fine Line,” won NYU’s Wasserman Award for Outstanding Direction.
Start of Film Career
In 1990, Lee submitted two of his screenplays to a competition sponsored by the Government Information Office of Taiwan; they were “Pushing Hands” and “The Wedding Banquet.” The scripts came in first and second place, respectively, and elicited the attention of studio manager Hsu Li-kong, who invited Lee to direct “Pushing Hands.” Released in 1991, the film was a major critical success in both Taiwan and abroad. Lee went on to direct “The Wedding Banquet,” which came out in 1993 to further acclaim, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. He garnered a second consecutive Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 1994 for “Eat Drink Man Woman.” Taken together, Lee’s first three films have been dubbed the “Father Knows Best” trilogy.
Move to Hollywood
Lee had his breakthrough in Hollywood in 1995 with his version of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Sense and Sensibility.” Written by and starring Emma Thompson, the film earned seven Academy Award nominations and won for Thompson’s screenplay. Lee directed two more Hollywood films after that, both adapted from novels: the drama “The Ice Storm,” released in 1997, and the revisionist Western “Ride with the Devil,” released in 1999. Both were critically lauded, but were less successful at the box office.
Film Career in the 21st Century
Lee began the 21st century with one of his most acclaimed films, the Chinese-language wuxia drama “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The film was an international smash, grossing over $213 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing foreign film ever in many countries, including the United States. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” broke further records when it received 10 Academy Award nominations, the most ever for a film not in the English language. Among its nominations were Best Picture and Best Director for Lee. The film ultimately won four Academy Awards. Lee returned to Hollywood for his next movie, the comic book adaptation “Hulk,” which came out in 2003. He subsequently directed the gay romantic drama “Brokeback Mountain,” which starred Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway and was based on Annie Proulx’s short story. A massive critical and commercial success throughout the world, the film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and earned Lee his first Academy Award for Best Director.
Lee followed the success of “Brokeback Mountain” with another romantic drama, the Mandarin-language “Lust, Caution.” Upon its premiere in 2007, the erotic espionage film became Lee’s second Golden Lion winner at the Venice Film Festival. The director returned to English-language cinema in 2009 with the historical dramedy “Taking Woodstock.” He then directed the fantasy adventure drama “Life of Pi,” based on the eponymous novel by Yann Martel. The film claimed 11 Academy Award nominations and won four trophies, including Lee’s second for Best Director. He struggled to regain his critical and commercial success after that, as both his 2016 war drama “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and his 2019 science-fiction action thriller “Gemini Man” flopped. Notably, Lee experimented with high frame-rate 3D technology on both projects, to mixed reception.
In 1983, Lee married microbiologist Jane Lin, whom he had met when they were both students at U of I. Together, they have two sons and reside in Larchmont in Westchester County, New York.