Clerow Wilson Jr. was born on 8 December 1933, in Jersey City, New Jersey USA, and was an actor and comedian, best known for his variety series entitled “The Flip Wilson Show”. He earned two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe from the series, and all of his efforts helped put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 1998.
How rich was Flip Wilson? As of mid-2016, sources estimate a net worth that was at $6 million, mostly earned through a successful career in comedy encompassing film, television and stand-up. He was called “TV’s first black superstar” by Time magazine, and made appearances in a lot of popular shows. All of these ensured the position of his wealth.
Flip Wilson Net Worth $6 million
Due to poverty brought about by the Great Depression, Flip’s mother would abandon the family and his father would then put them to foster homes as he could not take care of them. Wilson moved around various foster homes and then went to reform school. At the age of 16, he joined the United States Air Force, lying about his true age, and would soon earn popularity due to his comedy skills, getting the nickname Flip from his friends which he would then use as his stage name. After being discharged in 1954, he worked as a bellhop for the Manor Plaza Hotel in San Francisco, and then found work at the hotel’s nightclub, slowly earning his popularity in stand-up.
In the 1960s, he started becoming a regular guest on TV in such as “The Ed Sullivan Show”, “The Tonight Show” and “Laugh-In”. He also released the comedy album entitled “The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress” and it won him a Grammy Award. After a routine entitled “Columbus” became popular, Flip started to get noticed in Hollywood. In the 1970s, he started his own “The Flip Wilson Show” airing on NBC, in which he performed comedy sketches and had many big names as guests including the Jackson Five, the Supremes, the Temptations and even basketball legend Bill Russell. His writer George Carlin also made appearances in the show. During this time, he popularized the lines “What you see is what you get” and “The devil made me do it”. The show would become very popular, getting consistently high ratings and viewership, and steadily increasing his net worth.
After the show’s run, Flip would then appear in various shows including “Here’s Lucy” and “The Dean Martin Show”, and in films such as “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh and “Uptown Saturday Night”. In 1976, he became part of the television musical “Pinocchio” and then made a cameo appearance in “Living Single”.
During the late 70s, Wilson started to appear less in front of the camera and prioritize spending time with his family. However, in 1984 Wilson was the host of “People Are Funny “, a remake, and in 1985-86 he starred in “Charlie & Co”, a CBS sitcom. Flip’s last appearance was a cameo in the sitcom “Living Single” in late 1993.
For his personal life, he was married to Lavenia Dean from 1957 to 1967. In 1979, he married Tuanchai MacKenzie but they would also divorce in 1984. He was also an active lighter-than-air pilot, but stopped after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He passed away in 1998 because of the disease.
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