What is Brett Butler’s net worth?
Brett Butler is an American actress, writer and stand-up comedian who has a net worth of $10 thousand. Brett Butler is best-known for starring on the 1990s sitcom “Grace Under Fire” which aired 112 episodes over five seasons between 1993 and 1998. At her peak Brett was one of the highest paid actors on television. She earned tens of millions of dollars in salary from the show. Unfortunately in recent years, especially after the COVID pandemic, she has experienced severe financial problems. More on these struggles in the next two sections.
At the peak of the show, Brett was one of the highest-paid actors in television, earning $250,000 per episode which worked out to around $5 million per season. After adjusting for inflation, that’s the same as earning around $9 million today. She also could have earned $1 million if the show had been released on DVD but for some reason that never happened.
According to a 2021 Hollywood Reporter interview, Brett earned $25 million during her time working on “Grace.” That’s the same as around $45 million in today’s money. Brett told the Hollywood Reporter that she blew the fortune on “profligate” spending, bad investments and just simply giving it away.
After her show ended, Brett bought a farm in Georgia. Unfortunately she lost the property after failing to keep up on the mortgage payments. In 2011 an Entertainment Tonight segment claimed she was homeless. Brett would later claim that these homeless allegations were totally fabricated.
Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic caused Brett’s work and finances to dry up completely. Things got so bad that a friend posted a GoFundMe fundraiser to help prevent her from being evicted.
Brett was born in Montgomery, Alabama on January 30, 1958. She grew up with her four younger sisters and with her parents Carol and Roland Decatur Anderson Jr. At the age of four, the family moved to Houston, Texas. Her mother then left her father, who was an abusive alcoholic, and moved her children to Miami, Florida. She suffered from depression and the family was quite poor throughout Butler’s childhood. After finishing high school, Butler attended the University of Georgia, though she did not graduate. She also worked as a cocktail waitress.
After beginning her career as a stand-up comedian in Miami for a few years, Butler moved to New York City in 1984 where she continued performing comedy. In 1987, she made her television debut on “The Tonight Show.” The same year, she also performed on Dolly Parton’s variety series, “Dolly.” Parton hired Butler to work as a writer on the remainder on the series for the rest of the season but the show was cancelled after only one season due to low ratings.
Grace Under Fire
Brett became a household name when she was given her own series, “Grace Under Fire” which premiered in 1993. The show was created by Chuck Lorre. Butler starred as the main character, Grace Kelly, a divorced single mother and recovering alcoholic. The show follows her as she starts her life over after divorcing her abusive alcoholic husband.
The show ran for five years and was quite popular, but due to substance abuse issues, she was ultimately let go from the production, and the show was cancelled. Brett’s addiction issues actually caused the show to be canceled after filming just 14 of the fifth season’s 25 episodes.
For her work, she received two Golden Globe nominations in the Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy category in 1995 and 1997. She also won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in 1994. She also played the role in “The Drew Carey Show” and “Ellen” in 1997.
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Butler took a break from acting following the cancellation of “Grace Under Fire.” She appeared in a few films, like “Bruno” and “Militia,” in 2000, but primarily stayed out of the public eye. In 2005, she appeared in the television film “Mrs. Harris” in addition to the film “Vampire Bats.” The same year, she also appeared in an episode of “My Name is Earl.” In 2006, she was cast as the host on the show “Moochers.”
In 2008, she headlined an art fundraiser and then appeared as herself in “Brett Butler Presents the Southern Belles of Comedy” in 2009. A couple of years later, she appeared on “The Rosie Show” and announced that she had been sober since 1998 and was interested in getting back into acting. She then voiced a character in the animated adult series “Archer” in 2012. The same year, she landed the recurring role of Beth Hortense in “The Young and the Restless.”
Butler then experienced a career comeback. Between 2012 and 2014 she appeared in 38 episodes of Anger Management alongside Charlie Sheen. Brett actually credits Charlie Sheen personally for helping her get the part on the show. He apparently lobbied producers on her behalf.
She also started performing again at comedy clubs in Los Angeles, particularly at the Downtown Comedy Club.
From 2015 to 2017, she appeared in two episodes of “The Leftovers” as the character of Sandy. She appeared in several episodes of “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2016, the same year in which she appeared as herself in the film “The Comedian.” In 2018, she booked the role of Tammy Rose Sutton in “The Walking Dead, appearing in six total episodes until 2019. While on the show, she also appeared in the film “Friday’s Child.” In 2019, she booked a recurring role on “The Morning Show,” in which she plays the mother of Reese Witherspoon’s character.
At the age of 20, in 1978, Butler married her first husband, Charles Michael Wilson. They had met only three months before their marriage. However, due to abuse in the marriage, Butler left Wilson in 1981. He has since admitted that he was violent towards her but also claims that she was also violent. Butler met her second husband, Ken Zieger, in New York City after moving there in 1984. They were married in 1987. They later divorced in 1999. Butler published a memoir, “Knee Deep in Paradise,” in 1996. The book candidly addresses much of her life before she became famous in “Grace Under Fire.”
Butler suffered from drug addiction throughout her time on “Grace Under Fire.” She spent time in rehab while on the show. Eventually, due to her erratic behavior and substance abuse, she was dismissed from the show in February of 1998 and the series was cancelled. After the cancellation, she moved from Los Angeles to a farm in Rome, Georgia. She then was able to get sober.
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