What happens to actors once they can no longer get roles?
For instance, an actor lands a supporting role on a popular show, is on that show for 10 seasons and then it's over and they can't get any work afterwards. What do they do? How do they pay the bills? Can you live off of residuals? What about health insurance?
Get a real job? Have their spouse support them? Go back to being okay auditioning for roles? Make "personal appearances" for Saudi princes?
If an actor is a series regular on something that lasts ten seasons, if they are smart and do not live beyond their means, thinking they're going to make this kind of money forever, they should be set for life. And also able to do other projects based on the notoriety the series have given them, perhaps.
They move to Utah or Wyoming or some other state where a dollar goes a lot farther than it does in LA/NYC.
It's all been downhill for old actors since the end of "The Love Boat" and "Murder She Wrote."
Someone on a popular show for 10 seasons should always have opportunities afterward, unless they had a terrible reputation in the industry. They might not be the opportunities they want, of course. Lifetime movies, infomercials, reality show contestant, mommy blogger, convention appearances, etc.
How many series run ten seasons, R3?
Yes, you can make serious money on a series, particularly if it runs long enough to live on in syndication. The danger is that you become so closely identified with a particular role that you may never, ever work again.
And that's the lucky, talented, successful actors. The vast majority of others drop out of the biz sooner or later, having rarely or never worked at all. But we never hear about those people.
It was OP who floated the ten seasons marker, not I. Hell, even five to ten seasons will net an actor a lot of money. And yes, not many series last that long and those actors are very, very fortunate.
They become Realtors. Or porn stars.
Did you say 'rolls'.
I'll bet most of the actors from the Sopranos rarely work again except Michael Imperioli and Aida Tuturro. Little Stephen doesn't have to worry because he has the EStreet Band. But Paulie Walnuts, Charmaine and Artie Bucco, Big Pussy and his wife, Patsy Paresi, etc. Of course Steve Buscemi will always get work as a "leading character actor" and Lorraine Bracco was a well-known film actress already.
But an actor like Billy Batts/Phil will get small roles as a mobster in a few films, but that's about it.
R11 Excuse me?
Really bad example, OP. A supporting actor on a TV show would get paid between 40-100k per episode, depending on the popularity of the show. Even if it's a non network show (therefore 12 eps instead of 22), that means, on the low end, that means the actor made 4,800,000 over the course of his career on just that show. Minus taxes and agent/lawyer fees, he's made 2,400,000. That's a helluva lot of money for anyone. And if that money is invested well, he should be able to live relatively comfortably, plus get guest spots for a long time afterwards.
If an actress is lucky, she'll find a guy with money to marry. A lot of them go that route when their careers slow down and getting work is tough.
I know an "actress" (mostly waitress) whose sister was on several MTM shows as a regular character and was a regular on an HBO show. She went to a financial advisor who banked a lot of her money, invested in stable stocks and put her on an allowance. This is done because so many actors think they've hit it big on a tv show, then rarely or never act again. Think Philip Michael Thomas, Lea Thompson. If they blow their money in two or three years, they're in bad shape.
Most actresses have about a 10 year lifespan on TV. So they are advised to save a lot of their money, invest in stable stocks and try to live off interest/dividends.
If an actor is kind of washed up on tv but has a lot of contacts/family in Hollywood, he can become a director of tv episodes.
In middle age, former child stars can go to autograph shows and make some money.
Can you live off of residuals alone?
Just recently I saw the actor who played Big Pussy on two other shows. Also see the guy who played Uncle Junior a lot... character actors, they can get parts. It's the shiny, bland, toothy sitcom actors who don't last.
Dinner theatre and infomercials!
If you don't have a major drug habit or other luxurious tastes, you should be able to live comfortably off residuals and investments.
Some just drink heavily and get into altercations with police officers.
Vicki Lawrence, who enjoyed a huge run on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and then MAMA'S FAMILY (and had a recording and nightclub career, to boot)?
Almost filed for bankruptcy in the 90s. The jobs, the endorsements, and the money all dried up, which led to her (unsuccessful) TV talk show. She said that (at the time) she couldn't even pay her SAG member dues.
Not sure how she turned things around, but I'm glad she did.
Matt Keeslar, who was in a number of indie films and did some TV, became a nurse.
A lot of actors from the Star Trek franchises got into directing and producing, starting their alternate careers during their runs on the show.
I also see a lot of older actors in Hallmark TV movies.
A lot of actors in general have gone behind the camera, as directors and producers. Peter Bonerz (Bob Newhart show) and Eric Laneuville (St. Elsewhere) have had even better careers as directors as they did as actors.
I'll share the advice I gave Glenn and Sigourney: Invest wisely, dears.
They do Hello, Dolly! again.
r15 No clues about who the sister is?
In the old days they did "dinner theatre". Usually it was light comedies but occasionally somebody would manage to get a serious role that would enable them to do something they'd never be cast to do on tv or in film (Paul Lynde in Strindberg, Martha Raye in Ebsen, that kin od thing).
A lot of people do voice work or Japanese commercials.
Character actors can probably work forever as long they can play a type that's often needed. Sometimes they inherent role like Lanie Kazan doing the shamefully stereotypical Jewish mothers after Shelley Winters died.
[quote]Martha Raye in Ebsen
They take out adds in Variety!
They write their autobiogra[hies
R27, you actually posted good pictures. Have you seen her recently?
I agree R39 on Lea Thompson. Lea has also done ok since Caroline in the City. She has done some bad TV movies and TV show work. Right now, she is on an ABC Family show that will likely be around for a couple of more years.
Lea thompson, why did she become such a reject? like the lamest frau ever. i was only a kid in the 80s but she was somewhat cool then.
Howard the Duck is what mostly did her in, I'm guessing r44.
"Caroline and the City" was well after "Howard the Duck." That show was successful, and had three of the hottest young men on TV (Malcolm Gets, Datalounge icon Eric Lutes, and Andy Lauer. the little guy on rollerskates who had the hottest ass of TV at the time), but it wasn't at all funny.
r41...he's a TV director now
There is no one answer....some managed their money well and are set for life...some become producers, directors, get married, get regular jobs, some do cheapo made for DVD stuff and voiceovers to survive. Some live in poverty and fade from view.
Steve Sandvoss (actual name Max Sandvoss) from Latter Days is now a goat farmer with his brother in New York.
Lea's daughter looks a like lot her and is talented. She was in The Ringer a couple years ago.
Typically, they marry other has-beens and hope the pairing will generate enough interest to spark interest in their otherwise middling careers.
most actresses marry money and have kids....(or it least they used to back when people had money)
They return to Broadway!
They do either Viagra or Depends commercials
[quote]Howard the Duck is what mostly did her in, I'm guessing.
Nope. She did many films after Howard the Duck. Her first post-Howard film was the iconic John Hughes flick "Some Kind of Wonderful".
Brenda Vaccaro once had to do tampon TV commercials, much to her chagrin and to the delight of Joan Rivers who included her professional demise in her comical monologues.
Date an over-the-hill rock singer and impersonate a duck.
r13 Exactly. The only TV actors that go bankrupt are those that live above their means or thought they would continue getting work to support an expensive life-style. Even supporting actors on basic cable make enough money to put them in the top 10% of income earners.
[quote]The only thing better than the actual commercial was the SCTV parody
A lot of sci-fi and fantasy actors make very comfortable livings from appearances at conventions. They charge for signatures AND photo ops, so they get between $5-30K per weekend for those, even the small ones, and there are hundreds all over the world every year.
r16 Absolutely not. A lot of people don't know but residuals often times only go in effect for the first year of syndication. After that most of it goes to non-creative people(basically the producer and network).
The rules for syndication are a lot better than they were in the 1950's-1970's when actors got very little. But very few people can live off residuals. In addition, how much an actor gets depends on how much they negotiated. Some actors have terrible agents so they get screwed in terms of syndication. It really depends on the show and the contract.
low bone density commercials
It wasn't until the 80s that you started hearing about the huge salaries TV stars could demand and get. Vicki Lawrence and others from the 70s and before got screwed on royalties as it was pretty standard to only get paid for maybe two cycles of syndicated repeats. "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch," for two examples, have been in constant reruns for over 40 years but the stars haven't seen any money from their shows in years while the network and producers have made millions.
I'm on a fairly well-known TV actor's Facebook page, and he recently posted a pic of one of his residual checks that was for a penny. A $0.01 check. Why even bother printing that?
I see you trolling Misha Collins' Facebook page, R66.
They have to sell their very nice houses, albeit for a sizable profit, and move to a much more modest house - and live off the balance, since I have no more income.
'Teri Garr sells Brentwood home for $ 3,944,500 . She bought the house in 1992 for $1,455,000'. Garr, sadly is battling multiple sclerosis, and had a brain aneurysm in 2006'
I'm sure the Star Trek actors make a killing at conventions, as do horror movie actors.
They teach acting
get out a TV Guide from 10 or even 5 years ago; it's got lots of names in of people who never worked much again.
but they probably needed/need to
Not just the Star Trek people, R69. People like Kevin Sorbo and a lot of the nobodies from shows like Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis, etc. especially the Canadian actors, are regulars on the convention circuit. Supernatural conventions make huge profits, too. I don't blame them, that's very easy money.
In the UK they appear on reality shows like I am a celebrity get me out of here, strictly come dancing or celebrity big brother.
There was a news article some months back about Joanie on Happy days (erin Moran) who was getting kicked out of her trailer home because she has no money. So, some slip into poverty.
Artie Lange says that he got paid $30K per episode of the Norm McDonald sitcom. So, yeah, they make a lot of money. This is before he became famous on the Howard Stern show.
They go to autograph shows, do commercials for local businesses, and sell drugs. Sometimes a local business hires them as a greeter for the cache.
Does the convention gig work for the Enterprise stars? I have a feeling that everything or everyone that's related to that show is considered contagious. More topic related: Someone once posted that some of the actors on ENT planned for a seven year run of the show and went through some financial trouble after the show got cancelled after four years. I suppose the financial meltdown in 2007 didn't help. Not sure about residuals. Is that show in syndication? Ever?
But isn't Joanie a batshit drug addict? Both those things can eat away at your money and career.
A lot of opportunities for doing legitimate theater dried up when the Burt Reynold's Dinner Theater closed. I was fortunate to attend several performances there. I don't remember who any of the actors were though. I have a commemorative glass stored somewhere.
r66, every actor [or the few that have actually worked] get residual checks for pennies. After a certain amount of cycles the residual commitment to the actor decreases. Ultimately, if you did a show 15 years ago, you will be getting checks that don't cover the postage on a number of projects.
This isn't a sign of failure or any such thing. Meryl Streep gets those checks, Dustin Hoffman, every big name you can think of get those small residual checks.
The union agreement demands it.
As to what happens to actors who book a series after the series is over it all depends on the actor.
If you continue to be marketable you will get work.
If you don't want to put the effort into a career anymore and you have the passive income from a reasonable syndication deal, you live off that.
Smart actors from the richest to the poorest do not live above their means.
Character actors have the best longevity because A. they tend to be more talented and B. they can be used at any age.
Hopefully, if they didn't have drug habits and had the sense to invest well, they should be perfectly fine.
Face it, most actors and actresses are grossly overpaid, especially by real life standards, the money they make is absurd! If they've been on a long running show or had a long career in movies, they should have more than enough money to support their great grandchildren!
I recall reading that one of the blonds who joined "Three's Company" when Suzanne Somers left, started buying tons of real estate, she became quite well off.
Real estate is always a great investment. A friend's husband, a fireman who retired in his early 40s, started buying tracts of real estate all over Long Island. He then started selling them off, they were made into those generic mini-malls. Between his real estate holdings and his fireman pension, the guy is loaded.
Another friend paid only $1,600 for a small area of land in Florida, he later sold it for $85,000!
I have no sympathy for for famous celebs who don't know how to manage their money, most of the world lives on much less!
These people have basically been either given a gift of talent/looks or in the cases of minimal talent, incredible dumb luck, if they end up druggies and alkies like Lindsey Lohan, well, too bad.
An education and critical thinking goes a long way to help these celebs after their roles have dried up. A lack of education is a big problem with success at young age, most times these kids cannot replicate their success as adults.
Lohan proves that an education is important. Besides coming across as a moron, she unfortunately comes from a family of low life grifters who have used her as a cash cow.
I've been a regular on 4 different series: 2 lasted only one season, 1 lasted 4 seasons, and 1 lasted 5 seasons. Am I set for life? Probably, but not a 'large' life, just a modest one.
A couple of notes from what I've read on this thread: your impression of salaries is inflated. I've earned as little as $15K an ep. and as much as $35K an ep. And these were all network series. Cable salaries are even lower. Producers have a way of keeping salaries lower, especially for supporting actors. CBS's Moonves has flat out said that every series has one central character and if you're not that character, good luck getting serious bumps in salary. (And please don't bring up NCIS's actors salaries... when you're the #1 show on television, all bets are off.) Yes, you have a 7-year negotiated deal when you start the series, but producers can come to you and say, 'hey, we need to lower our production costs to get picked up. We're asking all actors to take a 10% cut." What do you do? I usually said, OK.
Expenses are even higher: after taxes, commissions, publicist, lawyer, you're looking at 33%-40% left of your original salary. Incorporating helps (more expenses are deductible, better retirement plan) but still, you're only looking at about a third of your salary actually reaching your pockets.
Residuals are also overstated. The first couple years, they're nice. And by nice I mean very low six figures. The first foreign residuals are great and the first year of syndication is sweet. But they quickly drop to very little. Not zero but close. I would guess that if you've really only done one series and then don't work after that, you'd stop qualifying for health insurance from the union in about 4 or 5 years.
So where does that leave you? For me, it means a paid-off house, charming but small, in a better than OK, but certainly not the best neighborhood in LA. About $1.5 million in IRAs and my corporate pension plan (not including my union pension.) And about a million in other investments. Set for life? I guess. But life can be expensive.
Nicole Richie is a perfect example of a person who has re-invented herself, she's a former party girl, she was a heroin addict who wasted her time hanging with that brain-dead moron Paris Hilton.
Nicole has become a fashion designer and a style icon, it could have gone the other way, but it didn't. Perhaps she woke up or she had family and friends who forced her to wake up. Others, like Lohan, surround themselves with leeches who just want her money, her own family have used her and continue to do so. Her mother knows Lindsey is an alcoholic, yet goes out drinking with her, that's pretty vile. Unfortunately, Lindsey doesn't have the brains or backbone to tell her grifter family to take a hike!
Nicole appears to be extremely serious about her career, she's taken her love of vintage clothing and basically turned it into a career. Being a mother has probably also forced her to grow up. If you have no real resposibilties in your life, you will continue with the partying etc.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to have positive intelligent people in your inner circle, people who actually care about you and not just your money or your fame. I also assume Nicole's father Lionel intervened.
[quote] They teach acting
That's what I'm doing now.
What about health insurance? Doesn't SAG-AFTRA require actors to work a certain number of shows a year?
One of the things I've gathered from this thread is to book a SciFi show, because once you do you can get on the lucrative convention circuit.
[quote]So where does that leave you? For me, it means a paid-off house, charming but small, in a better than OK, but certainly not the best neighborhood in LA. About $1.5 million in IRAs and my corporate pension plan (not including my union pension.) And about a million in other investments. Set for life? I guess. But life can be expensive.
Give me a break, most people in this country could only wish they had over 2 million to retire on. Please, shut up. Life can be expensive? Leave CA when you retire!
If you go back to a regular life, that is surely more than enough to live on.
I do realize many in showbiz get used to all the perks, all the free stuff at events in those little goodie bags etc. Getting comped at restaurants and clubs etc. What a joke that is, actors and actresses who can now afford expensive items get them for free?! Of course, I am quite aware giving celebs all those items is free publicity for the companies, restaurants, clubs etc.
Most people, and YOU, can live quite comfortably on 2+ million, two pensions (many of us don't have pensions we've had to invest into our own retirement plans) and social security, especially without a mortgage and all the other expenses you'd no longer have when you drop the publicist etc.
Cry me a river! Boo-hoo!
Was your corporate pension from a previous career?
The unions, SAG and AFTRA have merged. The health plans have not. Yet.
Qualifying: SAG offers 2 levels of insurance, Plan 1 and Plan 2. To qualify for Plan 1 you must earn at least $30K. To qualify for Plan 2 (higher deductibles and co-payments, less coverage) you must earn $15K OR work 76 days.
[quote] What about health insurance? Doesn't SAG-AFTRA require actors to work a certain number of shows a year?
IIRC, an actor has to work at least one production a year to keep their insurance from lapsing. There was a thread on here about Tracy Nelson. She didn't act in anything for several years when she had her children. Her insurance lapsed and she faced financial problems when she got cancer.
A talented, hard-working actor can have a very long career. Tom Skerritt has been an actor for over 50 years. He is almost 80 years old and he is still getting roles.
No, R89, by 'corporate pension' I mean my own personal corporation. When I'm hired as an actor, producers in effect contract with my corporation for my services. I am the sole owner of that corp and have a profit sharing plan associated with that corp.
And R88, your hostility is bizarre. I'm not pretending I'm not well off.
And trust me, any of the corporate officers of all the networks and studios I've worked for have TONS more money than I do. And yet you have no hostility for them.
Thank you for answering my post and also for sharing about your life.
[quote]And [R88], your hostility is bizarre. I'm not pretending I'm not well off. And trust me, any of the corporate officers of all the networks and studios I've worked for have TONS more money than I do. And yet you have no hostility for them.
R93, you took my post as hostile? Sorry, it's just the reality of showbusiness. I have relatives out in LA who are accountants for celebs, the stories they tell me are absurd. The entitlement issues are laughable.
Most people in showbiz are spectacularly rewarded, they shouldn't act otherwise, especially when college grads with enormous debt are now working for minimum wage, because they cannot find decent jobs, unless they have family connections for better jobs, they are struggling.
Most people don't make $30,000-$40,000 a year let alone per episode of a TV series! Hollywood people live in a bubble.
This thread is about actors and actresses, not corporate officers or studio heads. They are just as bad as corporate CEOs, I see no difference.
There's a ton of uber wealthy people who basically do nothing, yet get paid way too much. Their job is too keep salaries low while they reap the benefits and keep investors happy. These people fire most of their workers so they can get even larger bonuses while the remaining workers do triple the work, nothing new there.
CEOs and overpaid bosses are just two of the reasons I'm self-employed, I never want to be around that sort of nonsense ever again.
Sorry you took my post as hostile, but the reality is actors and actresses, especially the super famous ones, make way too much money, especially as they aren't curing cancer or AIDs!
Actors and actresses are entertainers, most have way too inflated egos considered that their jobs aren't all that important in the scheme of things. I blame the public for putting them, and musicians, on pedestals.
r84 is right on target. Actors are a bargain compared to what they generate for producers.
R88, where is all that putrid bitterness coming from? Get some help with that venom.
My GOD r88, r96 you are unhinged. Every actor or self employed person who begins to make a certain amount of money INCORPORATES for a variety of reasons.
Get a grip.
They move to the South where the cost of living is cheaper, because "they want to get away from that Hollywood atmosphere." LOL! Then they sell real estate and drugs.
Actors salaries just aren't comparable to real world salaries and it is silly to compare what an actor makes compared to what Joe Sixpack makes. The jobs are different, the stress level is different and quite frankly Joe Sixpacks construction job is more stable than an actor's career, which means they are paid accordingly.
How quickly we forget! Sandvoss was the HOTNESS when LATTER DAYS premiered. There were half a dozen threads about him on DL. Some predicted he was gonna break out and make it huge. I can't believe it was a full decade ago.
I hope he's happy with his goats and cheese, anyway.
I remember when VH1 had that whatever happened to series..... I swear the answer for every former bombshell was "they now teach yoga"
they toss webmaster salad for privileged postins.
[quote]IIRC, an actor has to work at least one production a year to keep their insurance from lapsing. There was a thread on here about Tracy Nelson. She didn't act in anything for several years when she had her children. Her insurance lapsed and she faced financial problems when she got cancer.
Didn't she have some mental problems or am I thinking about her mother? One of the Nelsons was a bit loony. Isn't Tracey the niece of the NCIS guy, Mark Harmon? Isn't her mom his sister? Her dad was one of the singing Nelson Brothers, Ozzie & Harriet Nelson's kids?
Can we really have sympathy for a woman who has children and no health insurance for them? No health insurance at all for herself or the kids? Do what I did, get your own. I am far from wealthy, yet I managed to get health insurance, that was MY priority before an expensive car, which I didn't need anyway, as I live in Manhattan.
If her insurance lapsed, surely Ms. Nelson could have applied for private health insurance? If she was considered poor, she could have applied for Medicaid. Seriously.
Here in NY state, you can make $1,000 a month as a single person and be eligible for Medicaid, this has been the case for the past 6-8 years. I know a few single people on Medicaid.
Many people who were formerly ineligible, now can get Medicaid, there are different tiers and requiremnts. I have no idea how the rules might change once the Affordable Healthcare Act goes full throttle, because you know the GOP will get involved and try to keep many off Medicaid, the GOP certainly do not want more people to receive Medicaid.
Currently, you can own a home, co-op or condo and receive Medicaid. It's best to no longer have a mortgage. Years ago, people needed to be nearly homeless, with no funds at all, to get Medicaid, not anymore. You can not have a high mortgage, high maintenance or high rent, your monthly income must be $1000 or less, it can be higher if you have children.
I've been self-employed since the mid 1980s, I'm a freelance Art Director. I've had my own health insurance for years. I pay out of pocket. My premium rate has remained fairly low because I've had the same insurance for many years. I also get a discount if I pay the entire premium once a year. I was told this plan no longer exists anymore, if I were to drop it, I cannot get the locked in rates back.
There is no excuse in this day and age for any American citizen to not have health insurance, unless they are totally unaware of their options. Especially as so many aliens, illegal and otherwise, sure do know how to go about getting health insurance in this country, Americans should be aware and eligible too.
Here's a video Tracey Nelson made about health care.
[quote]Does the convention gig work for the Enterprise stars? I have a feeling that everything or everyone that's related to that show is considered contagious.
Yes, I've met quite a few of them on the convention circuit. Scott Bakula doesn't need the money so he's rarer to see, Linda Park is a horrible privileged snot who thinks she's above it all, but Connor Trinnear does a LOT of conventions and since he was "the hot one" from that show and the biggest name from the series that does the convention circuit, he does very well with photo ops, meet and greets and panels. And, yes, it is in syndication, as well as a staple on Netflix. Jolene Blalock is also a very gracious and intelligent woman. She's a little shyer than Connor, but she's on the convention circuit pretty regularly, too.
From Star Trek: Voyager, Garrett Wang rarely works as an actor anymore, but he actually works as the director for several Star Trek conventions and convention programming tracks himself, for any actors who no longer have contracts with Creation Entertainment, the corporation that runs the big official Star Trek conventions. He and Tim Russ both do it, actually, and they are very good to the fans who attend because they know what the fans want vs some corporate entity like Creation Entertainment.
You do a con once a month, you can live very comfortably without ever acting again. The money those make can't be understated. Thousands of people paying hundreds of dollars every weekend. I know a guy who played a Klingon in 3 episodes on TNG and has lived off the convention circuit for decades ever since.
*can't be overstated, that should say.
Justin Lazard who appeared on the show called Central Park West is now a born again Christian.
Some out of work actors get totally unhinged. They break up with partners, announce that they no longer drink, and get ugly tattoos up and down their arms.
[quote] A lot of people do voice work or Japanese commercials.
My mother's high school best friend has a son who earned millions of dollars doing motorcycle commercials in Japan in the 1970s. In the US he is virtually unknown, but he became almost like a pop star over there due to his commercials.
He makes a good living as a session musician, but he banked some of his Japanese motorcycle millions and invested in high tech stocks and he is very, very comfortable indeed.
The take-away from this thread is that most out of work actors and/or third-leads on sitcoms that last aired in 1982 are wealthy beyond comprehension.
They get put down op.
The join the cast of "Chicago"
R84, were your salaries per episode ($15 - $35 K) relatively low because you were a lower-level supporting actor? How did you feel about the lead stars making so much more money than you? Are the salaries reported by TV GUIDE and other publications just PR aka BS?
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, it *seemed* like TV stars' salaries were becoming so huge, even excluding the cast of FRIENDS and SEINFELD. Over the last five or so years, production companies and networks really seem to have cut down on salaries.
Well to be fair tv ratings aren't what they used to be r114. Kinda a good thing because it reflects increased competition but the facts are the facts.
As a physicist I can't think of a single reason why they wouldn't turn into a black hole? Of course, they would have to have been a very big star to collapse into a black hole.
R114, my salaries are what they are because I wasn't a lead and because none of the series I was on was a huge ratings hit. Leads get paid what they do for many reasons -- the line about Moonves alludes to that. Moonves, and thus CBS, will pay the lead of a series huge amounts of money. The supporting cast, not so much. The reporting of star's salaries seems fairly accurate. At least from my limited direct knowledge. And please note: you'll see lots of stories about what Mariska earns on L&O,SVU, but nothing on what Dann Florek earns.
And how do I feel about it? Fine. It's the way it is. I would love to earn more but understand why I don't.
Don't make the mistake in assuming that the salaries on hit shows like 'Friends' and 'Seinfeld' give you any indication on what the salaries are like on, say, 'Mike and Molly.'
Are you Bai Ling?
Justin Lazard is a born again? The guy spent an entire "Species" movie naked, and was actually hot.
Oh, I WISH I were, R118!
BAI LING WELCOME TO DATALOUNGE!
They shrivel up and die, OP. Once they stop getting work they become invisible and then they just disappear! Poof!
There's no special farm upstate r123?
Paul Petersen owns this thread.
Thanks for the responses R84 / R117.
Is there something in the contract that states that the actor is playing Lead versus Supporting? For instance, there are some TV shows that have three main stars that could be considered lead. Do contracts use the words 'Lead' and 'Supporting' on them?
Last year, TV GUIDE published salaries for the 2012 - 2013 season, and I was surprised that Lucy Liu was being paid $125,000, yet Johnny Lee Miller was being paid 'just' $65,000. I know that Liu is much more famous than he is, but ELEMENTARY revolves around his character, Sherlock Holmes.
Here is a list of the salaries:
[quote]BAI LING WELCOME TO DATALOUNGE!
She gets a great WiFi signal on the roof!
R126, the only part of your contract that might indicate if you're a lead or supporting is the section on billing. If you're a lead, you're guaranteed first or second position on a separate card. Every series regular usually gets a separate card, but supporting actors show up later in the crawl.
And Lucy Liu earns more than Johnny Lee Miller for a couple reasons: She has more and higher 'quotes.' And he's a Brit -- one of the unspoken reasons for the English/Australian/Canadian invasion of American television is that they're generally cheaper. At home, they're accustomed to working on television and earning much less.
I also suspect that producers find English-speaking foreigners more attractive employment prospects because down the road they will not be drawing on the limited funds in the SAG Health Fund or the AFTRA Health Fund. Retired actors get health insurance through those funds, but I think it's only if they live in the U.S. Many of these people will go back to the countries from whence they came and rely on the free health insurance there.
If an actress is lucky, she'll marry a guy with $$$. One that immediately comes to mind is Jolene Blalock, who played the Vulcan on Enterprise. She married the CEO of Live Nation, so she doesn't have to worry about getting acting jobs anymore.
Yeah, that doesn't always work out for everyone, R131.
Funny. Jeri Ryan is one of my guesses for who R84 is.
That is funny, R133. Could be, but she milks the convention circuit, too, she's not just relying on pensions and investments.
R120 If you are Jeri Ryan, I fucking love you girl.You are so fucking hot(I'm a gay guy BTW). It's too bad that your French husband doesn't like corn!
Why can't actors treat their success casually? Like, yeah I was on a sitcom for a few years, made some good money- now I'm in real estate.
A hit show is like being on a roll in Vegas; might not happen again. Most likely won't.
I for one get tired of the same old actors resurrected again and again, decade after decade. It's like hey there's Swoozie Kurtz *yawn*
I don't think showbiz is a "career".
R136, Swoozie Kurtz has worked constantly over the last twenty years.
well r136, we will let "shobiz" know you do not consider it a career.
I am sure it will be devastated.
Self important cunt
Hey r88? I thought your post was very hostile....and pissy!
Go get yourself a pension. The actor guy WORKED FOR IT!
Clark Johnson (Meldrick Lewis on Homicide) still acts, but he's a director now with some great credits: The Wire, The Shield, Kings, Homeland.
R88 needs to change her fucking tampon already.
If they invest well, and dont have a crazy drug habit, they can do very well long after they have appeared in anything. A perfect example is Billy Mumy, a child actor from the 1960s. Everything he earned was invested, mostly in real estate, so by the time he became an adult he had no need to keep working, which was great because the job offers were not what they used to be. He really lucked out because he has spent pretty much his whole adulthood doing whatever the fuck he wants to do and not care about maintaining his celebrity status or earning a living.
R84 and others, how much do guest-starring roles on a broadcast network (FOX, CBS, The CW, ABC, NBC) pay? What about cable shows?
Can former supporting and lead actors make enough money by guest-starring on shows?
R143, 'top of show' -- the prevailing rate most actors are paid to guest on a series -- is about $7,500 for an hour long show and $4,800 for a half hour. I think. I can never keep those numbers in my head. Cable is less than that. Many shows will absolutely not 'break top' (pay more than top of show). But some will. I usually break top. But I have guested on shows at top of show if I really want to do the show.
So can you earn a living just by guesting? Sure. But you won't get rich. I find it very hard to string together more 10 guest gigs a year. Hell, I'm happy if I get six guest eps in a year.
When I was growing up there was cadre of actors who were professional guest stars.. One week you would see one or more of them on Medical Center, the next week Mannix, the week after that on Barnaby Jones.
Few ever seemed to get their own series, and fewer yet ever got work on the big screen.
The fraternity include actors such as Bradford Dillman, John Vernon, Jason Evers, Dane Clark, Paul Burke and Lloyd Blocher.
The sorority included Lois Nettleton, Jessica Walters, Nancy Kovack, Joanna Barnes, Salome Jens, and Anne Francis
Do young or middle age actors nowadays have the same opportunities for work as guest stars?
R145, now that so many productions have moved to Vancouver because of how cheap it is to film up there, you see the same Canadian guest stars over and over and over. So... maybe still in Canada.
Lloyd Bochner, father of Hart Bochner.
Yes, R145, actors still have opportunities to work as guest stars. In fact they have even more today.
When i was growing up, there were three broadcast channels, that's it. So it was relatively easy to keep track of what actor was guesting on which show.
Today, it's... what? 5, 6 channels? Plus how many cable channels with fiction programming? A dozen? The number of guest star roles is many times larger today than it was 3 decades ago. So many that it's actually difficult to follow who exactly is working where.
I have no bones with what R84 earned.
The pathetic whine at the end that "life is expensive" with more than a million to retire on is laughable.
Especially when he adds later that he's "not pretending" he's "not well off".
You're rich, dude. Top of the bracket in the U.S.
America's value system is so out of whack.
I agree with R148, there are quite a bit of guest starrring roles these days. There are some actors who have "on deck" type agreements with broadcast and cable networks for guest starring or reccuring roles.
Well this site has gone to the shits.
How did we get this far into the thread and not ask R84 / R145 if he or she is gay, and what he or she is doing on DL?
So much more interesting than this residual bullshit.
Exactly r151. Also have we ever gossiped about him/her.
The key question has to be when were the 4 season / 5 season series on.
All big three network.
If we can't figure this out, we should hang it up.
Dave Foley is the actor with the scoop on things.
watching him guest on Hot in Cleveland.
What are these "on deck" agreements, R150? I know an actor who's been recurring on a show, and he never knows from one episode to the next whether they want him back. Sometimes they tell him he'll be working in a couple of weeks only to cancel at the last minute.
I think R150 is referring to a talent holding deal where a network can contract with an actor they're hot on.
They'll sign the actor for a term, usually a year, during which they get exclusive rights to have him as a regular in a series or pilot. These deals usually include minimum compensations which can include a negotiated number of guest gigs on their network studio shows. If no pilot or series comes of it, they still have to pay them some minimum compensation.
They went out of favor ten years ago but have started popping up again in the last 5 years.
On a related note, networks used to promise their series stars a TV movie to sweeten their series contract. In the late-80s, I once saw a list of all the CBS talent that were owed TV movies. Top of the list? Sherman Hemsley who was owed FIVE TV movies.
And sorry, R153, but I purposefully left things vague or even misleading enough to make figuring out who I am nearly impossible.
You're not getting off that easily, if that's the phrase, R156.
Clearly one thing one does when one is no longer a series regular is haunts DL. :)
Can't you at least answer the question if you're male or female, gay, and how you ended up here, suddenly in our midst...?
Please do stay anonymous. We lose all of our best insiders (and the best gossip) when the DL detectives start sniffing out details. Look what happened to SWF.
By the way, SWF--if you're out there, come back!
What networks are handing out these talent holding deals, R156? Never heard of contracts like this. Maybe it's because my friend is represented by second or third tier agency. Are they only making these deals with actors represented by the big five?
Some of the names mentioned here are bringing back memories. I remember when Matt Keeslar and Steve Sandvoss were "it boys" at the datalounge and now they aren't even acting anymore.
All of them are, R159. I'm not sure how you've missed them, they tend to get lots of publicity when it happens. ABC signed Vanessa Williams to one when Desperate Housewives was cancelled. Jason O'Mara and Scott Michael Foster also had agreements at ABC. Lucy Griffiths has one at CBS.
It really isn't a matter of what agency you're with, it's a matter of being perceived as hot. And not sexually hot, rather professionally hot.
[quote]"Caroline and the City" was well after "Howard the Duck." That show was successful, and had three of the hottest young men on TV (Malcolm Gets, Datalounge icon Eric Lutes, and Andy Lauer. the little guy on rollerskates who had the hottest ass of TV at the time)
Don't know if anyone here saw him but Andy Lauer was one of the contestants last week on ABC's "Wipeout." They tagged him with the title "Middle Aged Guy" or something like that (he looks pretty aged in the face but still has a pretty hot body). He didn't win, btw.
I think Jennifer Aniston is a good example of what OP means. She was on Friends that was on enough seasons for syndication. Her last season she got $1 million per episode. I think she made $22 or $24 million that year. Not sure what she gets for residuals. She's invested well, been in a number of loser films, but she's still quite rich and lives well.
Wow. I just Googled myself (bad idea and yet I occasionally can't resist) and discovered this site. For the record, I'm not gay. Neither is my publicist :)
The web master now has your IP address.
You in danger, girl.
R84 what wud someone like Patty Duke get 4 guest starring in a network show and also a cable show?
Wow, thought Steve Sandvoss was working pretty steadily in the industry. I guess he just decided to walk away.
Here's hoping some of the cast of Spartacus hit it big, just like the two leads from the cast of HBO's Rome. Well, one is doing well on Grey's Anatomy, the other had a few bombs.
Let's take Desperate Housewives as an example. Who is going to hire a bunch of 40something broads these days? I think Felicity whats her name had something of a career and might be employable, but who is gonna hire Marcia Cross and the one who played Lois Lane. The only genre hiring 40something women is daytime soaps. Eva seems to be transitioning to politics and producing.
Years ago it seemed there were somewhat different choices.
Some actors whose careers had dried up went the route of ex-athletes and lent their names (and faces) as front men to car dealerships, furniture and carpeting stores (with unbeatable prices), or restaurants.
Real estate has long been a factor, and probably rescued more than a few actors who had the good luck of timing to have bought big and then sold bigger in L.A. The real estate business, both as celebrity/realtor and as development partner, has long offered opportunity for transition out of acting.
Relocation continues to play a role, though the advent of reality shows and other "opportunities" seems to see a lot of ex-celebrities clinging to Hollywood rather than cashing out their real estate and buying a llama ranch (see link to article about Timothy Bottoms, an actor's bad choices and bad luck, and training wild horses on his ranch in Big Sur). A lot of ex-actors went the route of being a big (if slightly washed up) name in a small pond where their money and name went further, now they just seem to cling on pinning all hopes of a celebrity edition of Big Brother.
The actors who give up on their careers before their careers irrevocably give up on them are always more admirable than the sad souls who cling to their 1983 hair style and hold out for a big comeback.
[quote] I think Felicity whats her name had something of a career and might be employable, but who is gonna hire Marcia Cross and the one who played Lois Lane.
I think Marcia Cross could end up on another primetime soap later on.
There's a distinction between people who become celebrities because they've acted in various projects, but aren't committed to the art and skill of acting, and people who are dedicated actors. The latter will pursue any opportunity to practice their craft. Someone who achieves a little bit of fame as an actor and then becomes, say, a realtor was never a true actor in the first place.
[quote] If her insurance lapsed, surely Ms. Nelson could have applied for private health insurance?
She had cancer. No one would insure her.
Desperate Housewives wasn't the first successful show Marcia has starred on. She had been in the business 20 years before DH came along, she's well established as a soap star. She's had a pretty great career already even if she were never to work again (which I doubt will be the case).
Wow, R170. Thanks for posting that Timothy Bottoms interview. Absolutely fascinating.
R16 In the old days no. Reaiduals were small. I THINK some of the stars of long running shows, the oncemwhomare making a half million or a million permisode, may be taking someon that money in the form of delayed residuals, so in their cases,if I am correct, yes.
[quote]What happens to actors once they can no longer get roles?
They spontaneously ignite while simultaneously an angel loses his wings.
Mark Wahlberg on 9/11: "If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.'"
I like Felicity Huffman but think Marcia Cross is more likely to resurface on TV for reasons R174 stated. And Felicity lacks Marcia's glamor.
Felicity should go back to theatre, where she started. I don't think she and Bill Macy are hurting for money.
Didn't they lose some money to Madoff r180?
R181 that was Kevin Bacon and Kyra Segewick.
If an actor appears in the credits but doesn't actually appear in that episode, does that actor get paid anyway? It seems that a lot of series regulars are not in an episode or two a year.
bump for more WEHT stories. Who's selling real estate? Working in a bar/restaurant? Selling air conditioners at Sears?
I wud like an answer to r184 question
R184, it depends on the actor's deal. Although many series regulars are guaranteed "all shows produced" as part of their contract, many are not. "All shows produced" means exactly that: an actor gets paid for all shows produced in a season even if he doesn't appear in one or more of them.
Many actors, however, have a "10/13ths" or even "7/13ths" deal. That means that for every 13 episodes they are guaranteed to be in 10 or 7 of them. Thus for a regular 22 episode season order, they would be in a minimum of 17 (for 10/13) or 12 (for 7/13) episodes. Their names will still be in the credits as a regular, but they don't appear in the episode and don't get paid.
If, however, they're guaranteed 'all shows produced' and for whatever reason they're not in a particular episode, they still have to be paid. There is a question about whether they receive residuals for that episode, however... I'm not sure of the answer to that question.
We rob a cleaners, do a soft-core porn flick, then OD. If we're lucky, our offspring will follow in our footsteps.
The majority become alcoholic, slur incessantly about how the biz ate them up and spit them out, refer frequently to their 8 x 10 glossies and die.
Its an enchanted life.
I gave flying my best shot.
Fairly interesting link about child actors who have left the biz to pursue other interests. I didn't recognize all of them, but still.
So much for the idea that being regular on a TV series leaves you "set for life."