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For every actor that starts landing major roles from a young age, there are legions that work in small parts for decades before getting recognition. Dominic Chianese, the actor who played Uncle Junior on The Sopranos, is an example of a great actor who didn’t get a break until he was almost 40.

For Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the problem wasn’t so much getting his break. Rockwell landed a major role in Box of Moonlight in his late 20s and appeared in The Green Mile shortly after.

In Rockwell’s case, the issue was more finding the right roles in subsequent movies he got offered. He hasn’t shied away from turning down parts that would have earned him serious money. (At one point, he actually rejected the Chris O’Donnell part in Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino).

“Money’s part of the equation, but you’ve gotta have more than just that,” Rockwell told The Hollywood Reporter just before his Oscar win. With 100 acting credits to his name, he’s found the money as well as the “more” right as he turned 50.

Rockwell’s 3 decades in film leading up to his new FX show

Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell of FX’s ‘Fosse/Verdon’ pose for a portrait during the 2019 Winter TCA Getty Images Portrait Studio. | Rich Fury/Getty Images

Fans of independent films began noticing Rockwell back in the early ’90s. Parts in In the Soup and Paul Schrader’s Light Sleeper still stand out, and he continued playing small roles until Box of Moonlight hit at Sundance.

From there, after George Clooney cast him in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) and he made the most out of Matchstick Men (2003), Rockwell seemed to be on the brink of stardom. (2009’s Frost/Nixon was another big film during this stretch.)

Rockwell in Jon Favreau’s ‘Made’| Artisan Entertainment

Regardless of the size of his roles, Rockwell was working a ton and collecting paychecks in films he could be proud of. (Choke was an excellent lead role for him.) In 2010, his career took a distinct turn when he acted in Martin McDonagh’s A Behanding in Spokane on Broadway.

After that, McDonagh cast Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths with Christopher Walken and Colin Farrell. In 2017, his Oscar-winning role in Three Billboards kept the collaboration with McDonagh going.

This April, Rockwell is going to break this long run in movies with Fosse/Verdon, a limited series on FX co-starring Michelle Williams.

Rockwell’s net worth estimated between $15-20 million

Sam Rockwell poses in the press room with the Oscar for Actor in a Supporting Role during the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

As an actor in small-budget films for most of his career, it’s difficult to get salary data for Rockwell. However, we do know that anyone working as regularly he has makes an excellent living.

In fact, someone working in 3-5 films per year for decades (as Rockwell has) can amass quite a fortune in the business. An Oscar win can only help that run. In 2019, Celebrity Net Worth estimated his fortune at $30 million.

While we certainly would be happy to learn that’s the case, our data can’t back up that figure. We’d estimate Rockwell’s net worth at $15-20 million. With his Oscar-nominated role in Vice done and Fosse/Verdon (plus several other films) coming up, Rockwell has been making the most of his trophy.

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