Billy Hayes Net Worth

December 30, 2023
1 min read

William Hayes was born on the 3rd April 1947 in New York City USA, and is a writer, actor and director best known to the world for his book “Midnight Express” (1977), which was then adapted into the same named film in 1978. After the release of the book and film, Billy continued to write, while also trying himself as an actor.

Have you ever wondered how rich Billy Hayes is, as of early 2017? According to authoritative sources it has been estimated that Hayes’ net worth is as high as $500,000, an amount earned through his successful careers.


Billy Hayes Net Worth $500,000


Billy became known to the world because of his escape from the Turkish İmralı prison by a rowboat. In 1970, Billy stayed in Turkey as an American student, however, when he tried to leave the country, he was caught with four pounds of hashish. As a result, he was sentenced to four years and two months, unfortunately, authorities decided to make him an example of him, and changed his sentence to life in prison. He was firstly imprisoned at Sağmalcılar Prison, but after an incident two years into his sentence, he was transferred to Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital, which is an asylum for mental patients. The US government tried to make a deal with the Turkish government on Hayes’ transfer to the US, however, this was denied, although Hayes’ sentence was reduced to 30 years , and he was transferred to İmralı prison in 1975.

Later that year, Billy managed to escape and reach Greece, and he was then deported to Frankfurt, eventually reaching the States. Two years later, Billy published the book about his experience in the prison and escape, entitled “Midnight Express”, which was extremely popular. The resulting film adaptation in 1978 starred Brad Davis portraying Billy Hayes, and won two Academy Awards among many other awards and nominations.. Following the success of his book, Billy published two sequels, “Midnight Return (Escaping Midnight Express)” and “The Midnight Express Letters–from a Turkish Prison”, the sales of which also increased his wealth.

Billy then launched an acting career, and made his debut in the TV drama series “Capitol” (1982), and then in 1987 appeared in the action thriller “Assassination”. In 1991 he had a role in the fantasy horror “Shakespeare’s Plan 12 from Outer Space”, and two years later featured in the sci-fi adventure “Babylon 5: The Gathering”, starring Michael O’Hare, Tamlyn Tomita and Jerry Doyle. Most recently, he appeared in the sci-fi action film “The Truth” in 2014.

Regarding his personal life, Billy was married to Wendy West from 1980 – 2010, but other details are lacking, as he tends to keep them out of public eyes.

For years, he feared to return to Turkey, but then in 2007 he attended the 2nd Istanbul Conference on Democracy and Global Security. During his stay, Billy made a public apology to Turkish people for comments he made in his book.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

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