The Screen Actors Guild, a union representing actors and actresses throughout Hollywood reports that the average television and film actor earns less than US$50,000 annually; the median hourly wage for actors was $18.80 in May 2015.
Actors sometimes alternate between theater, television, and film or even branch into other occupations within the entertainment industry such as becoming a singer, comedian, producer, or a television host in order to be monetarily diversified, as doing one gig pays comparatively very little. For instance, David Letterman is well known for branching into late night television as a talk show host while honing his skills as a stand-up comedian, Barbra Streisand ventured into acting while operating as a singer, and Clint Eastwood achieved even greater fame in Hollywood as a film director and producer than for his acting credentials.
According to American entertainment magnate Master P, entertainers and
professional athletes make up less than 1% of all millionaires in the entire
world. Less than 1% of all runway models are known to make more than US$1000 for
every fashion showcase. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the
median wage for commercial and print models was only $11.22 per hour in 2006 and
was also listed one of the top ten worst jobs in the United States.
Forbes Magazine releases an annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the highest-paid celebrities in the world. The total earnings for all top celebrity 100 earners totaled $4.5 billion in 2010 alone.
For instance, Forbes ranked media mogul and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey as the
top earner “Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the most powerful celebrities”,
with earnings of $290 million in the past year. Forbes cites that Lady Gaga
reportedly earned over $90 million in 2010. In 2011, golfer Tiger Woods was one
of highest-earning celebrity athletes, with an income of $74 million and is
consistently ranked one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. In 2013,
Madonna was ranked as the fifth most powerful and the highest-earning celebrity
of the year with earnings of $125 million. She has consistently been among the
most powerful and highest-earning celebrities in the world, occupying the third
place in Forbes Celebrity 100 2009 with $110 million of earnings, and getting
the tenth place in the 2011 edition of the list with annual earnings equal to
$58 million. Beyoncé has also appeared in the top ten in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017, and topped the list in 2014 with earnings of $115 million.
Numerous celebrities have ventured into becoming business moguls and established
themselves as entrepreneurs, idolizing many well known American business leaders
such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. For instance, basketball legend Michael
Jordan became an active entrepreneur involved with many sports-related ventures
including investing a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, Paul Newman
started his own salad dressing business after leaving behind a distinguished
acting career, and rap musician Birdman started his own record label, clothing
line, and an oil business while maintaining a career as a rap artist. Brazilian
football legend and World Cup winner Ronaldo became the majority owner of La
Liga club Real Valladolid in 2018. Other celebrities such as Tyler Perry, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg have become successful entrepreneurs through starting their own film production companies and running their own movie studios beyond their traditional activities of screenwriting, directing, animating, producing, and acting.