A-list, Shmay-list. Who needs the grueling schedule of a superstar when you can be just as rich, minus the popularity, and demanding overtime hours. These D-listers might miss out on the perks of never needing a reservation to be seated right away at the hottest most expensive restaurants in the world, but they can certainly afford to dine there. Provided they call weeks in advance, of course. To be a successful actor all you really need to do is land a regular gig on a smash hit television series, make the proper negotiations in your contract, and you can strike it rich for life. The former cast of Seinfield are presently earning the highest passive income in television history since the show’s syndication, purely off of reruns. The cast of The Simpsons is expected to eventually over-rule Seinfield with the highest earning royalties for cast members, once the show finally goes off air and into syndication. Here are 17 D-listers who never have to work again thanks to a hit television show.
17. Garcelle Beauvais $6 million – The Jamie Foxx Show
Most people would agree that $6 million isn’t quite worth retiring over, but if you take into account that 90% of Garcelle Beauvais’s net worth is the result of a steady stream of income for work she did nearly 20 years ago on The Jamie Foxx Show, then you probably wouldn’t be so eager to look for work yourself. Garcelle starred as Jamie Foxx’s love interest, Francesca ‘Fancy’ Monroe for 5 seasons on the hit television series. The actress reportedly earns over $700,000 a year in royalties, but hasn’t completely quit acting, securing small television roles here and there since The Jamie Foxx show‘s cancellation in 2001.
16. Jaleel White $10 million – Family Matters
Most of us remember Jaleel White as the adorable, charmingly annoying nerd, Steve Urkle on the popular hit comedy series, Family Matters. Although the actor has outgrown his quirky, teenage character and popularity, Jaleel is worth an impressive $10 million today, the majority of which derives from Family Matters re-runs. Surprisingly, the actor still remains fairly active in Hollywood, securing very small roles (some as small as an extra) making it safe to assume that most of his recent roles don’t pay nearly as much as his Family Matters syndication royalties.
15. Topher Grace $10 million – That 70’s Show
Best known for his role as the pot smoking teenager Eric Foreman, on hit television series That 70’s Show, Topher Grace is worth a reported $10 million today. Topher was paid upwards of $300,000 per episode within the final seasons of the show. While channel surfing on any given night in 2014, you’re still likely to see That 70’s Show airing on multiple different stations, which translates into a tremendous amount of passive income for the stars of the popular show. Topher’s career hasn’t quiet taken off since That 70’s Show‘s cancellation, but that clearly will have no effect on his future earnings.
14. Keisha Knight Pulliam $12 million – The Cosby Show
Keisha Knight Pulliam is continuously paid for work she did decades ago as a child on the iconic television series, The Cosby Show. As a result, the former child star is today worth an estimated $12 million. If you ever wondered what happens to those poor child stars who become famous overnight because of a hit show, then suddenly disappear into obscurity, you really needn’t feel so bad. They’re likely off somewhere collecting residual checks worth millions, for work they did before ever hitting puberty. Has been? Maybe. D-list millionaire? Sounds more like it.
13. Tisha Campbell Martin $15 million – Martin/My Wife and Kids
Actress Tisha Campbell Martin worked opposite Martin Lawrence on the hit comedy series, Martin for 5 years, and My Wife and Kids, opposite Damon Wayans for 4 years. We haven’t heard much from Tisha since her last regular gig on My Wife and Kids, and that may be due to the impressive $15 million net worth she’s accumulated just from starring on the two hit sitcoms. Unlike the cast of 7th Heaven, who now have to consider looking for work since the news of its syndication cancellation in light of Stephen Collins molestation scandal, which translates to no more residual income for the cast; Tisha can sit back, relax, and enjoy continuous mailbox money for work she completed 10 and 15 years ago.
12. Leah Remini $20 million – The King of Queens
For nine long seasons, Leah Remini starred on the very popular show The King of Queens as Carrie Heffernan, the no nonsense wife of UPS driver Doug Heffernan. Today, the actress is worth more than many of us might expect, an estimated $20 million, thanks to the role she is best recognized for, and reportedly earned $400,000 per episode towards the second last season. The King of Queens is yet another show that can still frequently be seen airing on multiple networks in 2014, 7 years after the show’s cancellation.
11. Patricia Richardson $25 million – Home Improvement
Actress Patricia Richardson hasn’t worked one day in the entire 2014 year, which in acting years, is practically equivalent to a decade. No actor would waste a year not working, or at least in search of work unless they were worth a comfortable $25 million, like Patricia Richardson is comfortably worth. Patricia is best known for her 8 season role as Jill Taylor, on the hit television series, Home Improvement.
10. James Belushi $25 million – According to Jim
James Belushi is best known for playing the well meaning father and husband on the popular sitcom, According to Jim for 8 years. Today, the actor is worth a tremendous $25 million, reportedly earning a hefty $500,000 per episode, as early as the second season. Even with guaranteed future residuals for work that ended no less than 5 years ago, James continues to work on various television and movie projects.
9. Katey Sagal $30 million – Married With Children
Katey Sagal is worth an estimated $30 million, 85% of which is due to her role on the popular 11 season series, Married With Children, as the ditsy Peggy Bundy. Before Family Guy, The Bundy’s were television’s most popular dysfunctional family. While Katey’s acting career has remained steadily active, she hasn’t quite repeated the same success on a TV series, like her former TV husband Ed O’Neill currently has with the successful show, Modern Family. That simple fact will have no affect on her future earnings, so long as Married With Children remains in syndication.
8. Patricia Heaton $40 million – Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton played Debra Barone, opposite Ray Romano on the ninth season running, hit TV show, Everybody Loves Raymond. Today, the actress is worth an astonishing $40 million. A substantial amount of which came from her time on the immensely popular television show. At the height of Everybody Loves Raymond‘s popularity, Patricia was earning a reported $450,000 per episode. The actress can currently be seen on her latest hit TV show The Middle, now in its sixth season. As a rule, a hit TV series is guaranteed a chance at syndication once 100 episodes or 5 seasons have been filmed, which promises even more residual income for Patricia.
7. John Stamos $40 million – Full House
John Stamos has remained very active on the small screen since the ending of his most recognizable role as uncle Jesse, on the classic TV series Full House, though he really doesn’t need the work very hard, because the actor is worth an estimated $40 million. The majority of which comes from his Full House residuals, a role that lasted for 8 seasons. Although he chooses to continue working, he really has no need to, and will still manage to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, for episodes he shot decades ago.
6. Frankie Muniz $40 million – Malcolm In The Middle
The quirky Frankie Muniz is best known for playing the neglected middle child Malcolm, on everyone’s favorite after school show, Malcolm in the Middle. These days he’s not the Superstar he once was, but that’ll have no effect on his bank account if Malcolm in The Middle re-runs have anything to do with it. In 2010, Frankie responded to a heckler on Twitter by confirming that he was able to retire at the ripe age of 19, after Malcolm in The Middle‘s cancellation. The now 29 year old is worth an astounding $40 million and counting.
5. George Wendt $45 million – Cheers
Best known for his role as Norm Pearson on the iconic television series Cheers, George Wendt was reportedly paid close to $300,000 per episode by the final season. When the show went off the air after 11 long seasons and into syndication, George Wendt was guaranteed multi-millionaire status, but that hasn’t stopped the actor from keeping busy in show business till this day. George is today worth an estimated $45 million, the majority of which comes from Cheers residual pay.
4. Jason Alexander $50 million – Seinfeld
Jason Alexander is best recognized as the hilarious George Costanza, the irritable best friend of Jerry Seinfeld, on one of the highest earning syndicated television show of all time, Seinfeld. Jason earned a reported $600,000 per episode at the peak of Seinfeld‘s popularity (even though it seems like the peak has lasted ever since). The actor is today worth an estimated $50 million thanks mainly to the iconic television show that still airs on many channels today.
3. Matt Le Blanc $60 million – Friends
Matt Le Blanc is most famous for his role as Joey Tribbiani on the hit TV series Friends. After 10 successful seasons on Friends, Matt’s character received a spin-off that lasted an unsuccessful 2 seasons, for which Matt will never make another dime off of. But that’s neither here nor there for the actor, because he still collects millions a year in residuals for the syndicated Friends. Today, Matt is worth a colossal $60 million and appears on a HBO show titled Episodes, which premiered in 2011 and Matt plays a fairly accurate version of himself.
2. Kevin James $80 million – King of Queens
Although he is recognized for appearing in many successful movies, such as Grown-Ups and its sequel, Kevin James played the lovable UPS guy and husband Doug Heffernan, for 9 seasons on The King Of Queens. The actor reportedly earned $400,000 per episode during the last season of the show. Today, re-runs of The King of Queens remain heavily popular worldwide, and Kevin is worth an estimated $80 million, the main source of which is derived from the hit comedy series.
1. Tim Allen $80 million – Home Improvement
Tim Allen is best recognized for his roles as Buzz Light year in the popular animated trilogy Toy Story, and the dearly loved Tim Taylor, in the television series Home Improvement. Tim reportedly earned $1.25 million per episode back in 1999, by the 8th and finale season of the hit show (that’s quite a lot of money for a show back in the 1990s), and is today worth an incredible $80 million and counting.