Kenneth John Ortega was born on 18 April 1950 in Palo Alto, California USA, of Spanish descent, and is a film director, producer and choreographer. His most popular works have included directing ‘Hocus Pocus’, the ‘High School Musical trilogy’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ concerts.
So just how rich is Kenny Ortega? Current indications are that Kenny has an estimated net worth of $10 million; the sources of Kenny’s wealth are films, television, music and concerts, as Ortega has accumulated his wealth while working in all these media.
Kenny Ortega Net Worth $10 Million
Kenny Ortega’s family was average, with his mother, Madeline, being a waitress and his father, Octavio ‘Tibby’ Ortega, a factory worker. Kenny was educated at Sequioa High School in Redwood City, California, but then took some time to find his way into the entertainment industry. His net worth account was opened in 1980, with ‘Xanadu’, the romantic musical fantasy film written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel, and directed by Robert Greenwald on which Kenny worked as a choreographer. He continued with ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ directed by Joel Schumacher, ‘Pretty in Pink’ directed by Howard Deutch, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ produced and directed by John Hughes, ‘Salsa’ directed by Boaz Davidson, ‘Shag’ directed by Zelda Barron, and in particular ‘Dirty Dancing’ directed by Emile Ardolino, which became iconic in the world of film musicals.
Kenny increased his net worth while working not only as a choreographer, but also a director in the musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, ‘Newsies’ produced by Michael Finnell, teen/children’s romantic comedy musical television film ‘High School Musical’ trilogy, and the musical ‘The Cheetah Girls 2’ produced by Deborah Gregory and Whitney Houston. Ortega also raised his net worth by directing the horror comedy film ‘Hocus Pocus’, and ‘Michael Jackson‘s This Is It’ documentary–concert film, among others.
Furthermore, Kenny Ortega added to his net worth while working in television. He directed two episodes of the television series ‘Dirty Dancing’, two episodes of the musical teen drama series ‘Hull High’, an episode of the television drama ‘Second Noah’, two episodes of ‘Chicago Hope’ – medical drama television series created by David E. Kelley, an episode of ‘Resurrection Blvd.’, an episode of the sitcom ‘Grounded for Life’, comedy drama series ‘Ally McBeal’, episodes of the ‘Gilmore Girls’ comedy drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, an episode of ‘Phineas and Ferb’ musical comedy and an episode of ‘Bunheads’ comedy drama series.
Moreover, a big part of Kenny’s work was in concerts, so he increased his net worth while being the director and choreographer of Cher’s ‘Heart of Stone’ tour, Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous World’, ‘HIStory’ world tours and ‘This is It’ concerts. Ortega’s net worth rose after he worked as a choreographer and director of Gloria Estefan’s ‘Live & Unwrapped’, and Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus‘ ‘Best of Both’ world tours. Kenny Ortega added further to his net worth showing himself on the big screen in the film ‘Mario’, Paul Thomas Paw role in ‘The Revenge Rampage’ and Puncher John role in ‘Spies’.
In 2008, Kenny received ALMA Award Special, Achievement Award Outstanding Director. In 2009, he received Outstanding Achievement Award from National Association of Latino Independent Producers and Jackie Coogan Award, Contribution to Youth, from 30th Young Artist Awards.
Kenny is very careful to keep his personal life private – consequently rumours abound of his sexuality, which bother him not at all.
There's an old Fred Astaire movie where the stage becomes bigger and deeper and more complex. Moments like that really did impact on me and influence me. I want to bring a little of that to High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)--that the whole world is a stage.
[on what he learned from his mentor, Gene Kelly] If you didn't understand how to design your choreography for the camera, then you were shortchanging yourself and would never come to fully realize your worth. It would have meant very little if I hadn't come to understand technically how to put the work up.