What is Danny Elfman Net Worth? His Salary & Career Earnings



How much money is Danny Elfman worth?

Danny Elfman is a $50 million dollar American composer, singer, songwriter, and actor. Elfman is best known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo (1979–1995) and as the composer of music for a variety of television shows and films. He has composed scores for over 100 feature films to date, including 16 Tim Burton films, including “Pee-Big wee’s Adventure” (1985), “Batman” (1989), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), and “Big Fish” (1990). (2003). Danny has also composed scores or theme music for a variety of television shows, most notably “The Simpsons” (1989) and “Desperate Housewives” (2001). (2004). Elfman appeared in the films “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” (1977), “Forbidden Zone” (1980), “Back to School” (1986), and “The Gift” (2000), and lent his voice to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005), and “Corpse Bride” (2007). (2005). He also worked on “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as an associate producer.


Royalties from “The Simpsons”

In 1998, Elfman composed the theme song for “The Simpsons.” At the very beginning, you can hear his voice sing “The Simpsonnnnss” over three notes. This is critical because singing the notes entitles Danny to perpetual performance royalties (as long as “The Simpsons” airs, which is likely forever). Danny has implied in interviews that those three notes “made him wealthy,” earning him far more than he earned composing the tune.



Danny Elfman was born Daniel Robert Elfman in Los Angeles, California on May 29, 1953. He grew up in a Jewish family with his mother Blossom (a teacher and author), father Milton (a teacher and Air Force veteran), and brother Richard, an actor, journalist, and musician. Elfman spent his youth at the Baldwin Hills neighborhood cinema, where he watched horror, science-fiction, and fantasy films and was introduced to composers Franz Waxman and Bernard Herrmann’s scores. Danny was rejected from the school orchestra in elementary school due to his “lack of musical aptitude,” but in high school, he became friends with classmates who were musically inclined and introduced him to jazz and Stravinsky.


Elfman completed his studies early and decided to travel the world. He traveled to France with his brother Richard, where he played violin with the musical theater group Le Grand Magic Circus. He then spent ten months traveling through Africa, contracting malaria three times. When he returned to Los Angeles, he “Richard had formed a street troupe called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and on his second day home, he informed Danny, “You’re the musical director.” Now that I’m aware you have hepatitis, I’m guessing you’ll be inactive for a few weeks. However, you can begin listening and soaking it all in!” Elfman took classes and performed at CalArts’ Indonesian music department for a few years, but he never enrolled officially.



The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo performed in Los Angeles nightclubs and on the streets until Richard left to pursue a career as a filmmaker in the late 1970s. Richard directed a film based on the group’s stage performances, “Forbidden Zone,” and Danny composed the film’s songs as well as the score. Danny took over the group after Richard left, and The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo became Oingo Boingo, a new wave band. Between 1981 and 1994, the group released eight studio albums, with their single “Weird Science” serving as the theme song for the film and television series of the same name. Tim Burton and Paul Reubens, fans of Oingo Boingo, commissioned Danny to compose the score for the 1985 film “Pee-Big wee’s Adventure,” and Elfman went on to compose the scores for “Back to School” (1986), “Wisdom” (1986), “Summer School” (1987), “Beetlejuice” (1988), “Midnight Run” (1988), “Big Top Pee-wee” (1988), “Hot to (1988). He won a Grammy for composing the score to 1989’s “Batman,” as well as for composing the score to 1992’s “Batman Returns.”


Danny composed music for 25 films during the 1990s, beginning with 1990’s “Nightbreed,” “Dick Tracy,” “Darkman,” and “Edward Scissorhands” and concluding with 1999’s “Instinct,” “Anywhere but Here,” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Additionally, he wrote the score and ten songs for 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington. Elfman scored the 1997 film “Men in Black,” as well as 2002’s “Men in Black II,” 2012’s “Men in Black 3,” and 2019’s “Men in Black: International,” for which he received a Grammy nomination. He received Grammy nominations for his work on 2001’s “Planet of the Apes,” 2002’s “Spider-Man,” and 2003’s “Big Fish.” He also scored “Chicago” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Charlotte’s Web” (2006), “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008), and “Terminator Salvation” (2008). (2009). Elfman scored “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, “Dark Shadows,” “Frankenweenie,” and “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2012, and “Oz the Great and Powerful” in 2013, as well as “Epic” and “American Hustle” in 2013. He scored all three “Fifty Shades of Grey” films from 2015 to 2019, as well as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), “Goosebumps” (2015), “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016), “The Girl on the Train” (2016), “Justice League” (2017), “The Grinch” (2018), “Dumbo” (2019), “Dolittle” (2020), and “The Woman in the Window” (2020). (2021).


Danny has composed theme music and scored episodes for a variety of television projects, beginning with an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” directed by Tim Burton in 1985. He composed the music for four episodes of “Pee-Playhouse” wee’s in 1986, as well as for “Sledge Hammer!” (1986), “Tales from the Crypt” (1989), and “Beetlejuice: The Animated Series” (1990). (1989). Elfman wrote the theme song for “The Simpsons” in 1989, earning him a Primetime Emmy nomination, and he won an Emmy for writing the theme song for “Desperate Housewives” in 2005. He wrote the themes for “The Flash” (1990), “Family Dog” (1993), “Perversions of Science” (1997), and “Dilbert” (1999) in the 1990s, as well as the main title and end credits for “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992). Danny also composed the theme for the 2005 television series “Point Pleasant,” and he collaborated with Chris Bacon on the 2017 miniseries “When We Rise.” Numerous his compositions have been staged, including “Serenada Schizophrana” at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and “Danny Elfman’s Music from Tim Burton’s Films” at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007. (2013). Elfman released the single “Happy” in 2020, followed by five more singles in early 2021: “Love In The Time of COVID,” “Sorry,” “True,” “Kick Me,” and “Insects.” On June 11, 2021, Elfman released the album “Big Mess.”

Private Life

Danny dated future Sonic Youth vocalist/guitarist/bassist Kim Gordon during his adolescent years, and he later married Geri Eisenmenger, with whom he had two daughters, Lola (born in 1979) and Mali (born in 1984). Elfman married actress Bridget Fonda on November 29, 2003, and the couple welcomed their son Oliver on January 21, 2005. Danny’s nephew is actor Bodhi Elfman, who is married to Jenna Elfman of “Dharma & Greg.” Danny has stated that he became an atheist when he was 11 or 12 years old, and in a 2015 interview, he described himself as a “cynic-ologist.” He campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008, and he scored a video about Joe Biden that aired during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, just before Biden accepted the presidential nomination. Elfman’s hearing was significantly harmed during his tenure with Oingo Boingo, which contributed to his departure from the band. Danny was awarded an honorary doctorate by the North Carolina School of the Arts in 2007.


Nominations and Awards

Elfman has received four Academy Award nominations: for Best Original Dramatic Score for “Good Will Hunting,” for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score for “Men in Black,” for Best Original Score for “Big Fish,” and for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score for “Milk.” He has been nominated for three Primetime Emmys, winning for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music for “Desperate Housewives” and Outstanding Music Direction for the “Live from Lincoln Center” episode “Danny Elfman’s Music from Tim Burton’s Films.” Danny has received 15 Saturn Awards nominations and has won Best Music for “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Mars Attacks!,” “Men in Black,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Spider-Man,” and “Frankenweenie.” He has received over 40 BMI Film Music Awards, including the 2002 Richard Kirk Career Achievement Award, as well as four 20/20 Awards and seven International Film Music Critics Awards.


Elfman has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one for Best Instrumental Composition for “Batman Theme,” and was inducted into the Online Film & Television Association’s Film Hall of Fame in 1999. He has won three Chainsaw Awards from “Fangoria,” including Best Soundtrack for “Army of Darkness” and Best Score for “The Frighteners” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Danny received a Special Career Award at the 2000 Fantasporto festival, and was named Composer of the Year by the Hollywood Film Awards in 2008. Additionally, he has received awards from the GoldSpirit Awards (Best Horror Theme for “Corpse Bride”), the International Cinephile Society Awards (Best Original Score for “Milk”), the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards (Best Score for “A Simple Plan”), the Palm Springs International Film Festival (Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composition), the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards (Best Original Score for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), and the Satellite Awards (Best Original Score (Best Original Score for “Sleepy Hollow”).


Residential Real Estate

Danny paid $2.13 million for a home in Los Angeles’s Hancock Park neighborhood in 2000, according to public records. Danny and Bridget spent three years and approximately $3 million renovating the 1920s home, and in 2015, they purchased the adjacent house for $3.6 million. Elfman and Fonda plan to sell the combined estate for $14.6 million in October 2020. The larger original home was listed for $8.8 million, while the smaller home was listed for $5.8 million if sold separately. Ultimately, the homes were sold separately, with the larger one fetching $8.8 million and the smaller one fetching $4.2 million at a discount. Danny and Bridget spent a combined $8 million in 2021, over two transactions separated by several months, on two side-by-side homes in Encino, California. The combined property has a total area of 2.2 acres. Additionally, they own a ranch in Santa Barbara that Danny purchased in the mid-1990s.

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