When an actor or actress get a part on television, it is expected that they are going to get a great cut of the profits, depending on their exact role in the series. These television portrayals often give the actor or actress such a crazy amount of money that the rest of us average Joes just feel sick to our stomachs. We work a 9-5 for minimum wage, whereas they show up on set for a few hours of reading lines and are paid over half a million. Life’s just not fair.
Even though we may pout when comparing our annual salary to theirs, not all stars were made to handle the big bucks. In fact, all 20 of the sitcom stars we have here have little to no control over their own spending habits. Some waste their money on frivolous purchases whereas others have spent their hard earned money on a lifetime of parties and bad behavior. Others still have lost most of their money in legal issues, back taxes and child support payments. Medical issues have also taken their toll on a few of these famous names as well.
It goes to show that even though you might be top dog on the hit sitcom of the century, your reign will eventually come to an end. The only stars that seem come out the other side with their sanity, morals, and bank accounts intact are the few that get their paycheck and save instead of spend. Too bad none of these stars thought that far ahead in their careers.
20 Jennifer Aniston - Friends
This American actress is known for numerous spots in the film industry but she is probably most well-known for her ten year (1994-2004) portrayal of Rachel Green in the sitcom Friends. In addition to Friends, the movies she stars in, such as Marley & Me, Horrible Bosses, and We’re the Millers, were big hits at the box office. As of 2017, Jennifer has a net worth of more than $200 million dollars, and she sure does know how to spend it. Back in 2012, Business Insider gave readers an inside look at how Jennifer had managed to keep her ethereal glow at the age of 43.
They basically break down her beauty regime for the entire year, which totals up to $141,037.
Some other expenses were found listed in a Daily Mail article, which included $900 per week yoga sessions, and trips from a private dietitian costing $680 per week. Now, she certainly could have shaved off some of these extravagant expenses but seeing that she still looks just as fabulous today as she did in the 90s, we feel it’s safe to say that she is still spending money on her appearance. Surely it’s money well spent.
19 Natasha Lyonne - Orange Is The New Black
Like Aniston, Natasha is known for portraying roles on several television shows and movies. Also like Jen, she is most known for one role specifically, in Natasha’s case, this would be the dramedy called Orange Is The New Black. Natasha has been a part of the stage life since the age of six when she began modeling with the Ford Modeling Agency with her first break coming with the role of Opal on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Although she had a bright future as a child, the harsh reality of child stardom mixed with bad habits took its toll on the rising star and she began to fall.
Before her bad personal issues really took over, she played roles in American Pie, But I’m A Cheerleader and Slums of Beverly Hills. The income from these parts fueled the fire when it came to her issues, which ultimately led to her hospitalization with a collapsed lung and hepatitis C. Although she told Entertainment Weekly that she “did not think [she] was coming back” from her struggles, she has managed to do just that. Now, she enjoys a renewed life in the Hollywood spotlight as Nicky Nichols in OITNB.
18 Dave Foley - NewsRadio
Now, Dave Foley wasn’t at fault for making a bunch of bad purchases as much as he was just responsible for a few really bad decisions. As Cracked accounts, Mr. and Mrs. Foley broke up in the heyday of Dave Foley’s career. He played a major part in the TV favorite, NewsRadio. His character on the show, Dave Nelson, was actually created for him by Paul Simms, the creator of NewsRadio. Back when Foley and his wife broke up, he was making over a million dollars a year because of the popularity of the show so when she demanded $17,000 a month to support their two kids, he waved it off as pocket change and never tried bargaining for a better deal.
Unfortunately, not so long after, NewsRadio was canceled and the funds that came along with the viewers all but dried up. In court, he told the judge that he now made less than $4,000 every month.
Regardless, the judge ordered that the expensive child support continue since the children were already accustomed to that sort of lifestyle. In 2011, Foley mentioned that he was unable to step foot back in Canada due to owing more than half a million in back payment because of this.
17 Matt LeBlanc - Friends
For whatever reason, the stars of Friends seem to have some serious spending issues. Just like Jennifer Aniston and her beauty regime purchases, Matt LeBlanc, or Joey Tribbiani, has spent his fair share of money on some pretty extravagant items as well. At the ripe young age of 17, LeBlanc moved to New York to become a model. He branched into acting with his first role in a Heinz ketchup commercial back in 1987. It wasn’t until he found the role of Joey in Friends that his career in acting truly became a success.
The show went on successfully for ten years, after which LeBlanc was given his own spin-off series titled Joey. That show was met with little success and was canceled after just two years. After the cancellation of Joey, LeBlanc said he was taking a break from television acting for a year which later turned into five. After this hiatus, Matt came back as a fictionalized version of himself in a show called Episodes.
He admits to The Washington Post that the “fictional” purchases made by his character in the show are actually based off of the ridiculous purchases he has wasted his money on in the past.
Some purchases can be expected of an actor of this caliber, like the Ferrari he bought himself, but others, like the giant tractor, were proof that he had no control over his spending habits.
16 Shelley Morrison - Will & Grace
You may remember the name Rosario as the maid of Karen, then wife, then ex-wife of Jack, Will’s dad on Will and Grace. She may have only had minor roles in the American sitcom, but she still raked in a large chunk of change. Even so, People Magazine reported that the Will & Grace star had been picked up and charged with shoplifting. What was it that she just had to have? $446 worth of costume jewelry. She stole the items from a Robinsons-May department store in Los Angeles, California. Even though stealing items in a quantity totalling in excess $400 or more is considered to be a felony, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office decided to drop it down to a misdemeanor because it was just over $400 and she didn’t have any prior record.
Morrison, whose real name is actually Rachel Dominguez, was later released after she posted the required $20,000 bond. She claims when the incident happened, she had no other recollection other than her going into the store to purchase a pair of shoes. She came out of her daze to find herself surrounded by security guards demanding that she empty out the contents of her pockets. After spending almost three weeks in the house with the phone unplugged, Shelley finally began embracing life again when once she received the support of her friends from the show. She has since stayed away from this budding life of misbehavior.
15 Jaimee Foxworth - Family Matters
Jaimee Foxworth was the endearing face of Judy Winslow on the show Family Matters. Judy was the youngest daughter of police officer Carl Winslow who was supposed to be a beam of carefree innocence in the Winslow household. Foxworth was eventually written off the show after the appearance of Steve Urkel who quickly became a fan favorite.
Between budget cuts and competing for screen time with Urkel, Jaimee got less and less stage time, and eventually, producers felt it best that her part was written off.
The character Judy simply disappeared without a trace or any sort of explanation whatsoever and from that point forward, Carl and Harriette Winslow only referred to Eddie and Laura as their children. After her part was written off, Jaimee struggled to get another foothold in acting and eventually turned to other ventures to make an income. Of course, certain kinds of environments and lifestyles come with some other problems, like too much partying and eventual addiction, both of which she succumbed to. She told Oprah that it wasn’t until she was pregnant with her son that she dedicated herself to changing her life.
14 Jodie Sweetin - Full House
Sweetin was once known as anything but sweet. Sure, at first she acted as the sweet, innocent Stephanie Tanner on the afternoon special, Full House. She mirrored her character’s behavior because she was paid to, but once her teenage and young adult self got a hold of all that cash, she started spending it in the worst of ways. Like the rest of the child actors listed here, Jodie fell under the control of bad habits. Lots of money and youth create a bad combination. It didn’t take very long after Full House wrapped up filming that Sweetin really began to take to bad habits and bad decisions. She was still very young at the time.
Her penned memoir, unSweetined, which came out in 2009, detailed her personal struggles, she claims came about because she felt bored with her life.
As Us Magazine writes, she also gives details about her difficult times. As most know, she is now doing better in every aspect of her life and is on the Netflix revival, Fuller House, where she and her older sister, D.J. come back to the house they grew up in to raise D.J.’s three young boys after they lose their fire-fighting father. The series has been renewed for a fourth season.
13 Kelsey Grammer - Frasier
Kelsey Grammer had a tougher childhood than most, being raised by his grandparents. When his grandfather passed, it was tough, but it was even worse when his father passed two years after that. Still, he managed to make a name for himself on stage with his song and performance during his schooling at Pine Crest School, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He won a scholarship to the prestigious school of Juilliard, from which he was expelled not long after for skipping class. After Juilliard, Grammer went to act on stage and eventually got into television with the role of Stephen Smith in Kennedy, a miniseries on NBC. That role led to his part on the NBC hit show Cheers where he portrayed Dr. Frasier Crane. His character was obviously a hit since his character came to be the star of his own spin-off, Frasier, which is arguably one of the most popular spin-off television series of all times.
In 2005, after Frasier, Kelsey played roles in various other TV shows, all of which were canceled soon after they first aired.
TMZ even reported that he had to begin selling some of his properties since he could no longer afford them. Every show that he got his hands on was canceled, leading this guy to reevaluate his assets.
12 Jason Bateman - Arrested Development
Bateman began acting as a child and was on the show Little House on the Prairie growing up. After that, he played a variety of roles in Silver Spoons, and on The Hogan Family. It wasn’t until he played the part of Michael Bluth in the sitcom Arrested Development that Jason Bateman really rose to stardom and became a household name. Even though the fame didn’t blow up until his time as Bluth, Bateman reveals to Us Magazine that life was “like Risky Business” for about ten years of his young life.
His parents were always out of town, he had a ton of money, fame, and free rein around the house. By the time Bateman turned 20 years old, he was partying like the best of them.
He says he worked “so hard by the time [he] was 20, [he] wanted to play hard.” And that he did. Some men settle down and stop partying and blowing money when they find the woman of their dreams. Unfortunately, this was just not the case with Jason. After marrying Amanda Anka, a woman he’d known since he was 18, the partying simply continued as if he hadn’t made any sort of commitment whatsoever. Not so long after, Amanda gave Bateman an ultimatum; give up the partying or she’d leave. It wasn’t until he was alone on a cold Christmas morning that he finally decided to go to an AA meeting to seek treatment.
11 Barry Williams - The Brady Bunch
More often recognized as the eldest son, Greg, in The Brady Bunch is the American actor, Barry Williams. Of course, he did make a fair amount of money when the show was on air but after The Brady Bunch ended, he didn’t really get another solid part. Yes, he did make a multitude of guest appearances and spent some time on stage but no matter what role he took on, he has never hit it big in the career jackpot. We know that some of his money has gone to bad habits, in telltale interviews with Dr. Drew back in 2008 when Barry appeared on season six of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, but where did the rest go? As RadarOnline tells it, fifty years after making a name for himself on national TV, Barry Williams is losing cash like crazy and trying to reason with the court. Between medical bills, health expenses, back pay owed for child support, and partying, Barry Williams claims to be poorer than your average Joe. His ex-lover and mother of his daughter, Elizabeth Kennedy says that he actually has an account with over $11 million in it so he should have no problem paying up. Whether he has the money or not, he doesn’t seem to be able to spend it how he pleases.
10 Mackenzie Phillips - One Day At A Time
Mackenzie Phillips is both a singer and an actress most known for her roles in American Graffiti, One Day At A Time, and the Disney Channel’s So Weird. During her time on One Day At A Time, she pulled in $50,000 a week, which is the equivalent to more than $227,000 today. All of that money has since been squandered away due to her long-time history of addiction, a struggle that was brought about by her father. In turn, partying played a part in Phillips losing her income as she spiralled out of control. As Us Magazine recounts, Mackenzie spills her family’s dark secrets to none other than Oprah Winfrey. In this interview with Oprah, Mackenzie goes on to explain how her father encouraged her bad habits.
She continued to struggle with personal issues and during the third season of One Day At A Time, she was often late or too out of it to work at rehearsals. Phillips was sent away for a six-week treatment plan but was ultimately fired in 1980. She then spent some time in various treatment centers and was invited back to the show One Day At A Time at a later date. This part of her journey didn’t last very long. However, and Phillips was fired again and her character was then written out of the show. Despite the past run-ins with the law, the consensual relationship she had with her father, and her personal struggles she seems to have turned her life around by becoming a rehab counselor.
9 Darius McCrary - Family Matters
If you have ever seen the hilarious sitcom Family Matters, then you are more than familiar with the face of Darius McCrary, otherwise known as Eddie Winslow, the son of cop Carl Winslow. It is believed that the son of a cop couldn’t make all that much money, but Darius wasn’t simply the son of a cop, he was an actor with a fair sum of money at his disposal. Or so we thought. As it turns out, he has no money as it was reported in the media that he only took home $500 from working back in 2016. TMZ says that McCrary had recently gotten a restraining order for his ex-wife after she lied about him treating their children poorly.
In November 2017, McCrary went to the courts to beg for a child support break since he couldn’t afford to pay it. According to the documents he filed, he only worked a six-day acting gig the entire year of 2016, totalling to a payment of $600, which he had yet to receive. In addition to making next to nothing, McCrary says that he still owes Mr. Sam $90K in back taxes. Even if he hits a high point in his career, his money won’t be his until he pays the IRS and the supposed child support that’s due.
8 Willie Aames - Eight Is Enough
Although Willie Aames began acting as a child back in the 1960s, his acting career didn’t take off until he played the son of Tom Bradford, on the show Eight Is Enough. The show followed a newspaper columnist who had eight children with his wife, Joan. Playing the part of Tommy Bradford, Aames became extremely close with father-figure Dick Van Patten. At some point during his fame and friendship his friend Dick Van Patten and his career as a successful actor, Willie Aames fell under the spell of partying and spent years struggling with serious issues. By the time 2008 rolled around, he had been in a worse state.
He ended up declaring bankruptcy and began working odd construction jobs after losing even more money to a failed TV show investment.
The Huffington Post reports that the actor was forced to find shelter under bushes and inside parking garages after filing for bankruptcy left him homeless. Aames has since gotten clean and now works as a cruise ship director. Seems like a far cry salary wise in comparison to being an actor, but then again, he hadn’t been pulling in very much by acting in recent years.
7 Orlando Brown - That’s So Raven
Orlando Brown was also a child star who first got a taste of fame at a very young age. After roles in Major Payne and on The Jamie Foxx Show, he was sought after for the position of one of Raven’s best friends alongside Chelsea on the Disney Channel show, That’s So Raven. Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t seen much more of Mr. Brown since his last episode of the Disney show. Since those days acting on the Disney Channel, Brown hasn’t been busy making money; he’s been busy catching a multitude of charges. Buzzfeed recounts his arrest for possession in 2008, as well as his arrests in both 2011 and 2012. A few years later, in 2016, he was arrested in Torrance, California and hit with not one or two, but five charges, and that definitely took a toll on his bank account – and his dignity. Brown hasn’t seemed to learn much from these run-ins since he was arrested in January of 2018 after threatening the lives and well-being of his girlfriend and her mother. The remaining members of the That’s So Raven cast have tried to reach out and have done so in vain. If his past history is any indication of his future, Brown has a very bleak future indeed.
6 Donald Faison - Scrubs
When you think of the sitcom Scrubs, you think of the two main characters, J.D., the ever zany Christopher Turk, and all of their hospital shenanigans. Just like most of the actors and actresses in this list, Donald had famous parts prior to the role he is most famous for. Having more than one success, however, doesn’t stop one from having a bout of financial mishaps. One of Faison’s first financial faux pas was his first purchase after his part in Clueless, a teenage chick flick. He went out and bought a $20,000 car in New York City where you could take the public transport for a buck or two.
The issue with this purchase is that the car cost more money than he had made for his acting role and he was in the negative by $8,000.
Donald then looked to friends and family for the rest of the money. A few years after that disastrous purchase he bought a house so that his kids could have a home. Regardless of how admirable that may be, he paid for a down payment on a home he couldn’t afford to keep. He has since tried to remedy his spending problems by hiring a business manager to track his every expense. We haven’t seen anything like the report from Bossip back in 2010 which said the bank foreclosed his home after he neglected to pay rent which hopefully means that having a business manager is working for him and his finances.
5 Charlie Sheen - Two And A Half Men
Just two years ago, Charlie Sheen was begging the judge to drastically reduce the amount of child support he was paying since he is now running broke. The Two And A Half Men star has had a long history of excessive partying and extremely bad habits, but that isn’t what has been causing him to go broke lately. As TMZ reports, Sheen pays ex Brooke Mueller an incredible $55,000 each month to take care of their twins, Bob and Max. His monthly salary from Two And A Half Men totalled to just over $613,000.
However, he said that he had to sell those rights for a lump sum of $26,750,000. TMZ says he doesn’t report where that money ran off to but he fails to bring it up again. Despite the missing lump sum, Charlie claims that the popular sitcom only brings him a little over $87,000 each month. Between his drastically lowered income, his expenses that total to over $105,000 a month and a variety of costs that his medical insurance doesn’t cover, he simply cannot afford the exuberant child support any longer. To add icing on top of the cake, Sheen also throws in the fact that he owes nearly a million dollars just in legal fees as well as $600K in credit card debt.
4 Katey Sagal - Married With Children
Catherine Sagal is better known as Katey Sagal or one of her many popular portrayals. Early on, Sagal attended the California Institute of the Arts where she studied both singing and acting. She began her acting career in the early 70s in several made-for-TV movies. After being scouted in the television show Mary, Katey was hired to play her first most recognizable role as Peggy Bundy in Married With Children. In 1998, Matt Groening made her the voice of Leela, the mutant spaceship captain in the animated show Futurama. She later when on to play the role of Gemma Teller Morrow in Sons of Anarchy. The Daily Mail says that it wasn’t until she wrote her book that her secret battle with diet pills and other addictions was revealed to the world. Sagal describes how the partying lifestyle and everything associated with it was normalized when she was a child. She goes on to tell about how she grew up down the street from Judy Garland who was widely known to have personal problems. Sagal played alongside Garland’s daughter and was very much a part of the crazy Hollywood lifestyle at such a young age. Although she’s a better person now that she’s sober, there was a 15-year period where she spent most of her money on utter nonsense.
3 Dustin Diamond - Saved By The Bell
Dustin Diamond, better known as “Screech” on Saved By The Bell, is one of the most talked about celebrities when it comes to stars who have fallen from stardom. Independent UK calls an article the “Downfall of Dustin” whereas CBS News claims Screech “cannot be saved by the bell.” It appears that Dustin isn’t as nerdy or lovable as his character Screech. He had several run-ins with the law after the end of the TV show and didn’t have much to show so he resorted to unsavory ways of getting attention, like most failing celebs seem to do.
These unseemly endeavors didn’t make him the money he had hoped so during an interview with Oprah he saved face by trying to pretend that it wasn't him who was involved in these desperate attempts to regain fame and attention from the masses. That didn’t really help his case, which is most likely why he got angry and started a fight with someone in a bar in 2014. YourTango says that he has also not only declared bankruptcy but has also had to resort to selling $15 t-shirts to make ends meet in the past.
2 Erin Moran - Happy Days
If you remember watching the 1970s sitcom The Happy Days, then you remember the happy go lucky child, Joanie Cunningham. This character was portrayed by child actress Erin Moran. She stuck with the show until a spin-off was made to which she reluctantly agreed to star in since the show, Joanie Loves Chachi, revolved around her own character. After the spin-off was canceled, however, Moran rejoined the cast of The Happy Days for the show’s final season. After the show ended, Erin, alongside three of her Happy Days co-stars filed a lawsuit against the owners of the show, CBS, for unpaid wages. They claimed that the company owed them for using their image and likeness on branded items such as t-shirts, trading cards, games, and other miscellaneous merchandise.
The lawsuit was rejected and Moran fell into depression and on hard times. She moved away from California after her home was foreclosed on and began living in her mother-in-law’s trailer home in Indiana. She was later evicted from the trailer park due to her excessive partying. Moran eventually passed away after her battle with throat cancer in April 2017, a condition she had hide from the majority of the world.
1 Maureen McCormick - The Brady Bunch
Another Brady Bunch star that blew through all of her hard earned cash is Maureen McCormick, otherwise known as Marcia Brady on the ABC TV show. Despite earning a decent sum of money and being a part of several Brady Bunch spin-off series, Maureen struggled to find work and an income following the final season of the beloved series. In addition to dealing with a variety of different health issues, McCormick has had a long-fought battle against addiction as well.
The Telegraph writes her account of her trials and tribulations multiple occasions, and the extent she went to to get what she needed. Maureen also goes on to later recount in detail the tough times she experienced as a result of these personal issues. Maureen even messed up an audition for Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark after she showed up without having slept for several days because of her partying. She has been treated in a psych ward as well as numerous treatment facilities some of which finally helped the actress kick her addiction. Nowadays she lives a much more Brady-like lifestyle with her husband and daughter.
Sources: businessinsider.com, dailymail.uk.co, ew.com, cracked.com, people.com, usmagazine.com, tmz.com, radaronline.com, hollywoodreporter.com, huffingtonpost.com, buzzfeed.com, yourtango.com, stars.topix.com, telegraph.co.uk, washingtonpost.com