Why once-famous TV actors find themselves in financial trouble

Why once-famous TV actors find themselves in financial trouble

Simply because actors star in reruns doesn’t imply they’re cashing massive checks.

Two actors from basic exhibits have been in the headlines in current days due to their respective cash woes. Geoffrey Owens, who performed Invoice Cosby’s son-in-law in “The Cosby Present,” was photographed bagging groceries at a New Jersey Dealer Joe’s, and Daybreak Wells, who performed Mary Ann in “Gilligan’s Island,” requested her followers for financial help due to medical payments and funding losses.

Followers of the respective actors questioned how this might occur. Hadn’t they starred in two main sitcoms? However simply because actors seem in reruns and nonetheless have a degree of identify recognition, it doesn’t imply they’re rolling in residuals. Tv actors get these royalty checks at any time when the exhibits they appeared in are proven on TV. Not all actors are entitled to those paychecks and, even once they do get a lower, it doesn’t at all times quantity to a lot.

Wells was as soon as rumored to be the one “Gilligan’s Island” castaway to get royalty checks, however she has since mentioned that’s not true. In an interview with Forbes journal in 2016, the actress mentioned it was a false impression that the forged members should all be rich. “We didn’t actually get a dime,” she mentioned. Wells mentioned that the present’s creator and producer, Sherwood Schwartz, who died in 2011, made an estimated $90 million on the reruns.

Nevertheless, Schwartz’s daughter Hope Juber dismissed that estimate as an city fable. “Whereas he, and my household have been actually snug, that sort of wild estimate is ridiculous and stunning,” she wrote in an electronic mail to MarketWatch. She mentioned her father made his personal take care of the studio identical to the forged members, however not for that sort of cash. She added, “If there may be $90 million, it have to be buried in a chest on the island someplace as a result of we’ve by no means seen it.”

Geoffrey Owens from "The Cosby Show" and Dawn Wells from "Gilligan’s Island."
Geoffrey Owens from “The Cosby Present” and Daybreak Wells from “Gilligan’s Island.”Everett Assortment

Equally, high-profile actors who’re entitled to residuals in more moderen exhibits seemingly received’t get as a lot as many followers might imagine. Drake, who performed a basketball participant in the mid-2000s teen tv present “Degrassi,” posted a picture of his residuals paycheck on Instagram final 12 months. It was $8.25. Mayim Bialik, who stars in “The Huge Bang Concept” on CBS however obtained a internet pay of 1 cent for her visitor look in “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” in response to a put up on her Instagram account.

Residuals are based mostly on how a lot time the actor spent on manufacturing and the place it’s proven, in response to the Display screen Actors Guild. When TV exhibits are syndicated, actors can count on their paychecks 4 months after air date. For fundamental cable, it’s often quarterly. In fact, not all actors make such small change. The six important forged members of “Associates” have been nonetheless reportedly making round $20 million a 12 months in residuals, and Charlie Sheen, who starred in “Two and a Half Males,” makes roughly $613,000 every month from residuals.

Owens, who has since give up his job at Dealer Joe’s, mentioned the lack of “The Cosby Present” residuals was an element in taking a job on the grocery retailer. Reruns of the 1980s sitcom stopped in 2014 after Invoice Cosby was accused of sexual assault. (Cosby was discovered responsible on three counts of sexual assault earlier this 12 months.) His former co-star Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who performed Cosby’s son Theo, mentioned pulling the present from syndication was “actually taking cash out of my pocket.”

The undesirable consideration Owens acquired after the Dealer Joe’s photograph went viral turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Many actors and celebrities took to Twitter to defend the actor, and producer Tyler Perry supplied the previous “Cosby” star a job. Owens was forged in Perry’s collection “The Haves and the Have Nots,” which broadcasts on the OWN community. He’ll seem in a number of episodes and, in years to return, he can seemingly look ahead to residuals from that.


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