Stephen Tobolowsky Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Stephen Harold Tobolowsky was born on 30 May 1951, in Dallas, Texas USA, of Jewish descent. He is an actor, author and musician, but probably best known for his varied roles in the films “Groundhog Day”, “Memento”, “Sneakers”, “Freaky Friday”, “Garfield” and “Wild Hogs”, and in the television series “Deadwood”, “Heroes”, “Glee”, “Californication” and “Silicon Valley”.
A noted actor, how wealthy is Stephen Tobolowsky? Sources state that Tobolowsky has acquired a wealth of over $1.5 million, as of mid-2017, collected through his involvement in the entertainment industry.
Stephen Tobolowsky Net Worth $1.5 million
Tobolowsky grew up in Dallas, along with his brother. There he matriculated from Justin F. Kimball High School, and attended Southern Methodist University.
His acting career started in the ’70s, working primarily in theater, and aside from acting, he also wrote and directed several plays, such as “Two Idiots in Hollywood”, which later spawned the same-titled film in which he served as director.
The ’80s saw Tobolowsky landing several film roles, such as in “The Philadelphia Experiment”, “Breaking In” and “Great Balls of Fire!”, as well as numerous television guest appearances. His popularity grew and his wealth began to increase.
His film career really took off during the ’90s, and he went on to land roles in around 40 films by the end of the decade, establishing a great reputation in the acting world. His most notable parts of this time were in “Bird on a Wire”, “Basic Instinct”, “Groundhog Day”, “Radioland Murders”, “Mr. Magoo” and “The Insider”, to name a few. Aside from reinforcing his popularity and showing his great acting skills, these big screen projects greatly increased his fortune as well. The ’90s also saw Tobolowsky being extremely busy with small screen projects, making many TV guest appearances and appearing in several TV films, as well as landing recurring roles in series like “Against the Grain”, “Blue Skies”, “Dweebs” and “Mr. Rhodes”, further expanding his net worth.
Work continued to flow in steadily for Tobolowsky in the 2000s as well. He cemented his reputation as a true star by playing the role of the amnesiac Sammy Jankis in the neo-noir psychological thriller “Memento”, Werner Brandes in “Sneakers”, Mr. Bates in the teen fantasy-comedy film “Freaky Friday”, Happy Chapman in the comedy “Garfield” and Charley in the biker comedy “Wild Hogs”. His extensive television work during this time included the recurring part of Hugo Jarry in “Deadwood”, Bob Bishop in “Heroes” and Sandy Ryerson in “Glee”; his net worth became quite healthy!
From 2011 to 2014 Tobolowsky played Stu Beggs in the popular series “Californication”, and then portrayed Principal Ball in the series “The Goldbergs” from 2014 to 2017. All contributed to his wealth.
As of 2016 Tobolowsky has played Jack Barker in the comedy series “Sillicon Valley”, and since 2017 he has portrayed Dr. Berkowitz in the sitcom “One Day at a Time”. As for films, he is currently involved in several projects, including “Strange Nature” and “Monsters at Large”, set to be released in 2017.
Aside from acting, Tobolowsky has earned money by being the creator of the documentary films “Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party” and “The Primary Instinct”. He has also co-written the film “True Stories”.
In addition, he has run a monthly audio podcast called “The Tobolowsky Files”, containing his autobiographical stories, which he has also turned into books called “The Dangerous Animals Club” and “Cautionary Tales”, further improving his popularity status and his net worth as well. He also has a weekly podcast called “Big Problems – An Advice Podcast”.
Tobolowsky’s career, which has included over 200 films and television shows, writing screenplays, directing, as well as running podcasts and writing books, has enabled him to reach stardom. Being involved in such diverse projects has also enabled him to amass a sizable fortune.
Speaking about his personal life, Tobolowsky has been married to actress Ann Hearn since 1988. They have two children together.
Has a form of ESP he calls "hearing tones". While working with David Byrne on his film "True Stories", he told Byrne about his gift, who was inspired to write the song "Radio Head" about him. The band Radiohead took its name from this song.
Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 7, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
Played two characters with the last name "Ryerson". "Ned Ryerson" in Groundhog Day (1993) (movie) and "Sandy Ryerson" in Glee (2009) (TV).
Broke his neck in five places while horseback riding in Iceland underneath an active volcano after the wind picked he and the horse up off the ground and blew them off the road. He was required to wear a neck brace for three and a half months and maintains that the experience has taught him to cherish every day.
His aunt was the head librarian at Ben Franklin Junior High School in Dallas (now Hillcrest High School) for many years.
To develop a plotline for the 1986 film True Stories (1986) he and rocker David Byrne once stared wordlessly for two hours at Byrne's wall. On the wall were hundreds of pencil drawings of ideas for the film by Byrne. That very night, he wrote a thirty-page treatment for the film and was soon hired as a writer.
Was the lead singer in the first band formed by guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. They went to school together in Dallas.Not true. Please change to: In 1970, Tobolowsky recorded two songs on an album of Dallas garage bands called "A New Hi." Stevie Ray Vaughan played lead guitar with them. It was Stevie's first studio recording.
Was almost murdered twice in one week in Hartford, Connecticut by different people. As he admitted, "That's unusual." The first instance occurred when he was in a pub with Beth Henley. After a brawl with a man who was attacking Henley, he was held at gunpoint at the pub. Later that week, when he and Henley went to a pizza parlor next to the pub, where he was stabbed. Fortunately, the knife only partly penetrated his belt buckle.
Once held hostage at gunpoint at a supermarket in Snyder Plaza in Dallas.
Attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with actress Patricia Richardson and playwright Beth Henley during late 1960s and early 1970s.
He usually plays annoying business men-types that the heroes or villains loathe to deal with.
 The most difficult role I've ever had, but one of the most rewarding, was Memento (2000). I'll mention that because we had no lines in the script, and Chris [Christopher Nolan, writer-director] wanted us to improvise our part. I was playing someone with amnesia, which means you can't remember what you're doing, and Chris was going to cover it from different angles. So part of my brain had to remember what it was doing, and another part had to not remember what I was doing. And that was certainly the most difficult thing that I'd ever done. So that film was the most difficult, and in terms of script to stage, one of the most successful, in that when I read the script, I thought, "This could be the greatest scripts I've ever read", and when I saw the film, I thought, "This is an absolutely amazing film, and it lives up to the promises of the script". Ninety percent of the time, the final product of the film falls somewhat short of your reading of the script. And a few... Groundhog Day (1993) was an example of a script where I read it and the process and shooting of the film was superior to the original script. But "Memento" started off as a brilliant piece of writing, and ended up as a brilliant movie.
[2011, on working with Steven Seagal on The Glimmer Man (1996)] So I show up at Steven's home on Stone Canyon Road. My audition was at 10 a.m. And I sat in his living room, which was filled with saddles. Saddles. All over the place. Like, ornate saddles. And I waited until 12:30. Steven came downstairs. He had been asleep. And at that point, I was kind of... What do you call it? You know, when waiting to do an audition, you develop a certain amount of stress. Like athletes who build up lactic acid in their body. At that time, I was still with lactic acid. Or whatever. My body became a toxic-waste dump. So I really don't remember the audition too much, because I was so traumatized-there's the trauma - I was traumatized by waiting to audition. They wanted me to shoot one of the first days of shooting. They called me at 7 in the morning, which I'm used to, but the crew call was 9. So I came in two hours early. The reason they wanted me two hours early was that they wanted to discuss hair with the hairdresser. But because I was bald, the hairdresser didn't come in, so I was stuck waiting in the parking lot for someone to show up for two hours. When, finally, people showed up, John Gray came in and told me in a panic that Steven Seagal wanted to rewrite the script. He decided it was bad for his karma to constantly be killing people in movies, so he didn't want to kill me, anymore. And I said, "Well, it's important in the script that he kills me, because I'm, like, a serial killer". And he said, "Don't get into it with him. He believes it hurts his karmic development if he were to kill people". And Warner Brothers is furious, because they told Steven, "Steven, we hired you because you're good at killing people. And you know, you dance with who brought you. We're not casting you to do a peace-loving cop, we're casting you to murder people". So, we got in to rehearse our scene, and Steven says, "You wanna go over the lines?" And I go, "Sure". "By the way, I should mention I think we should change the end, because I shouldn't kill you". And John Gray is standing behind us doing the ix-nay sign, with his finger going across his throat, like, "Don't talk, don't talk, don't talk. Don't say anything". I said, "Steven, that is an amazing argument. I never really thought of that before. But coming from my character's perspective, I am trapped in hell, being a serial killer. It is the worst thing that I could imagine. So if you were to kill me, you would actually be freeing me to come back in a reincarnational form as something better, and I would be able to atone for my sins here on Earth. So I think you would be doing me a huge favor". And Steven said, "I never thought of it that way". So we shot the scene where he shoots me. We put in the prosthetics where my whole chest explodes when he shoots me, and then he walks up with the gun smoking, and looks down at me. We do this whole scene where I hold a priest hostage. He looks down at me, smoking, and John patted me on the back, and he said, "Thank you, Stephen, for getting us out of that one". Fade out. Fade in. Two and a half months later, I get a phone call from John Gray. He said, "Oh, dear. We're in trouble. Steven Seagal started ad-libbing in another scene about, "Thank God I didn't kill the guy in the church". So we have to find some way to add some lines to indicate that you're not dead. So can you come in and look at the scene and see if we can put something into the film to indicate that you are still alive?" So I'm watching the film. Keenen Ivory Wayans walks in to watch the scene. We do the whole scene where I'm holding the priest, Steven shoots me, my chest explodes in slow-motion! I mean, the entire chest cavity goes! I fall out of frame, Steven walks up with the smoking gun. And John Gray said, "Maybe you can add a line off-camera here". And I said, "Like what? What would I add? Like, 'You missed me!' or, 'Thank God it's just a flesh wound', or 'Oh no! I'm injured!'" I mean, my whole chest exploded. Keenen Ivory Wayans just rolls his eyes and walks out of the room. So I added, off-camera, "Finish me. Finish me off, you son of a bitch! Finish me!" It's ludicrous! And I don't know what they ended up showing. I don't know if they ended up cutting that entirely, cutting me getting shot, cutting what I said, but I knew we were in the area of high comedy at that point.
[2011, on Where the Day Takes You (1991)] My first pedophilic role. First of many, with Balthazar Getty. I worked with dear [director] Mark Rocco, who also has passed away now, way too young. And he also cast me later in Murder in the First (1995), another crime of opportunity, because Oliver Stone didn't show up to do a stunt-casting role they had had for him in the movie, "Murder in the First". So Mark called me up that morning and said, "Can you get to the studio and play Oliver Stone's part? We shoot it today". So, I ran over there and tried to learn the lines, and shot what we did that day. "Where the Day Takes You" was unusual, because I remember I told Mark, "Well, you know, I play the piano some. What if I do a scene, with Balthazar Getty, where I kind of play the piano and do the scene talking to him?" not knowing the hell I just volunteered myself for, of having to do the scene from many different angles, playing the piano and having it land at the same time. Mark was a pretty inventive filmmaker, and he got around it somehow, because I certainly wasn't good enough to act and play the piano exactly the same way in every shot. So Mark cut around that and made it work, and I think it is a great scene in the movie. That's one of those "Where are They Now?" films. We had Ricki Lake before she had her talk show, and we had Sean Astin there, before he went off to New Zealand. Also Balthazar Getty. It was a phenomenal cast...Will Smith was in the movie. I think it was his first film. When he was a rapper. It was splendid cinematography for that film. We did the entire film for $2 million. It was far richer and more troubling... I mean, it's a very worthwhile movie. And again, it makes me think of poor Mark Rocco. Way too young. Way too young, my goodness.
[2011, on landing Basic Instinct (1992)] I had auditioned for Paul Verhoeven three months before to play some different part in the movie. And Howard Feuer, the casting director who did Groundhog Day (1993) and cast me in In Country (1989). He was also the casting director of Basic Instinct (1992). Again, in terms of a crime of opportunity, Howard Feuer called me up at home and said, "Stephen, are you a fast study?" and I said, "I think so", and he said, "Well, we have this part that shoots tomorrow, and we have no one to play it. Mr. Verhoeven liked your original audition three months ago for some other part, and said it would be okay if you could play it. Can you come in and read this part for Paul Verhoeven, again, and see if he okays it?" So I drove over to the studio, and they threw the part at me, and it was a huge kind of expository speech, and whenever I get those things, I try to channel Robert Duvall, because he is the greatest expository actor that ever could be. I don't know how he's done it. He's done it for years, where he gets all of the speeches where he kind of explains to "Michael Corleone" about how the laws work and everything like this, and it's fascinating. And this was a speech that said basically nothing, as I recall. I think I say that the principal, Sharon Stone, was either a murderer pretending to be crazy, or that she was crazy pretending to be a murderer. The speech didn't make a ton of sense, but I think that's what it was, and I tried to channel Mr. Duvall. I don't remember a lot about that film. Except I was doing another film, and that was one of the few times I did two films in the same week. I did that movie on Monday, and then on Wednesday, I did Where the Day Takes You (1991).
 Swing Shift (1984) was the first movie where I had a make-up person start to draw in hair on my head because I looked too bald. I had no idea what she was doing, and she said, "Honey, I can see your skull". And that's when it dawned on me that I was going to end up being one of those bald character actors. But that was the first film where they started drawing hair. They still thought it was worth the effort to draw in the hair.
The very best character actors are made of equal parts discipline and madness, and the fact that our faces are more familiar than our names is not our curse, but our blessing. The character actor's goal, after all, is not to earn the adulation of the public; it is to give lives to a hundred nameless spirits who make us laugh or cry, who are both familiar and new, who show us that their journey is our journey, and who, like everyone in the audience, never get to kiss Renée Zellweger.
My first day on Groundhog Day (1993), Bill Murray shook hands with me and said, "Hello, nice to meet you - now show me what you're going to do". I jumped into a few enormously energetic moments of "Ned Ryerson" and Bill held up his hand. "Fine, fine, you can do that", he said. "It's funny". Bill walked away. I then asked the director, Harold Ramis, if I should play "Ned" a little more down to earth. Harold laughed and said: "No. Bill is the lead. He's the stew. When you are a supporting character, you are the spice in the stew. Have fun".
There was a part on Broadway...wow still hurts to talk about it. I flew to New York on my own dime. I had no career. But there was this part. I knew the playwright. He told me the role was perfect for me. I worked on the audition like crazy...I went in and killed on the audition. It was great. I got congrats from a lot of people. I was told I would be called back for final auditions in three weeks. I said I would be there. It meant me buying another plane ticket but I believed in myself and the play. I worked on the part for the next three weeks...then four weeks...then five...no phone call. Finally someone saw me with the script and asked what I was doing. I explained with some pride that I was going back to New York for a final call back on a Broadway show. She broke the news to me that the show had been in rehearsal for the last two weeks...ouch. I guess if I didn't run into that girl I would still be working on that audition! [on losing an important role]