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Peter Criss Net Worth: Peter Criss is an American rock star and actor who has a net worth of $5 million. Peter Criss is most-famous for being one of the original members of the band, Kiss. He joined Kiss after placing a work wanted ad in “Rolling Stone”, which was answered by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. He was a member of the group for 14 albums. He left in 1980 to pursue a solo career, releasing two albums and traveling from band to band until he rejoined Kiss and took part in a reunion tour from 1996-1997. The group released an album in 1998, though Criss drew criticism for only drumming on “Into the Void”. He again left the band after destroying his drums on stage in 2000 before returning once again in 2002. Finally, he left for good in 2004 and attempted another solo album with the 2007 release of “One for All”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of Kiss in 2014.
Early Life: Peter Criss was born Peter George John Criscoula on Dec. 20, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. He is the oldest of five children from parents Loretta and Joseph Criscoula. The Criscoulas were a middle-class family that lived and worked in Brooklyn, and owned an antique shop.
Criss was not one for formal education; his interests in art in music began at an early age, and he had a particular affinity for painting and swing music.
Career: Criss began drumming for a few small bands in New York in the early 1970s. Not achieving the level of success he had hoped for, he took out an ad in Rolling Stone Magazine looking for like-minded bandmates to form a new group.
Aspiring musicians Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons responded to the ad, and according to Simmons, once they heard Criss perform, they knew he was what they had been looking for.
In 1973, the trio became the founding members of Kiss, a costumed, makeup-wearing rock and roll group that straddles the genres of hard and glam rock; giving live performances that are part concert and part theatrical spectacular with fire, lights, and copious amounts of interaction with the audience.
That year, the band became the first group signed to Casablanca Records, but three albums into their record deal, they were seeing only mediocre success. Despite less than stellar record sales, they were gaining a respectable reputation and following from their live performances; as a result, a live album was recorded at Detroit’s Cobo Arena and released in 1975 as Alive!, a double live album that reached Gold record status.
Destroyer was released in 1976, and contained what would be huge anthemic hits for Kiss, including Shout It out Loud, Rock and Roll All Nite, and Detroit Rock City; but the ballad Beth, written and sung by Criss, was the albums biggest commercial success, and the bands highest-rated single, reaching number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning a People’s Choice award in 1977.
Kiss would release six more albums before 1980.
Success took its toll on the group, relationships were strained, and Criss as well as guitarist Ace Frehley suffered from addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Though Criss claims he quit the group, others say he was fired and that his issues with addiction may have contributed to the drummer’s 1980 departure from the band.
Criss went on to work on solo projects, work in music production, and made guest appearances on a number of albums.
Several times since his initial departure from Kiss, Criss has reunited with the group for performances, recordings, and tours; but the hot and cold nature of the interpersonal relationships of the band have prevented a lasting reunion with the original members.
Criss retired from touring in 2017.
Acting: Beyond playing himself in the 1978 made-for-television sci-fi movie “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park”, Criss has made appearances in Fox networks “Millennium” and in 2002 played Martin Montgomery in the HBO drama “Oz.”
Imposter: In 1991, Star magazine ran an interview with a man claiming to be Peter Criss. In the article, Criss was depicted as broke and homeless, and living on the streets of Los Angeles.
But the man giving the interview wasn’t Criss, he was a drifter named Christopher Dickinson who claimed he made a deal with a reporter from Star magazine to do the interview as Criss in exchange for $500 and a room at a motel.
Criss confronted his impostor on The Phil Donahue Show, a national television talk show later that year. On the show Dickinson admitted he impersonated Criss, and claimed to have been under the influence of alcohol for much of it; but Criss later found that it was not an isolated incident and that Dickinson had been presenting himself as Criss for some time.
Health: Criss had issues with drugs and alcohol through the 1970s and 1980, specifically with cocaine. And some reports claim his problems with drugs and alcohol led to behaviors that created tensions amongst his bandmates and contributed to his leaving the band. But Criss says his party days are behind him and claims he has been clean since 1984.
In 2008, Criss was diagnosed with male breast cancer after noticing a lump in his chest during a workout. He was treated with a lumpectomy, where the affected area is removed along with surrounding tissue, and as of 2021 remains cancer-free.
Personal Life: Peter Criss has been married three times.
He was the first member of Kiss to marry when he married Lydia Di Leonardy in 1970; they divorced in 1979. Shortly thereafter, Criss married former Playboy Playmate Debra Jensen; they divorced in 1994. Criss has been married to Gigi Criss since 1998.
Criss has one daughter, Jenilee, who was born in 1981.
Real Estate: Peter lives in a large house in Wall Township, New Jersey.
Source: Celebrity Net Worth