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How Much Celebrities Earn in Residual Checks by the Numbers

Many working actors earn residual paychecks anytime that a TV show they appeared on air in reruns.

Such sums even help stars such as Mandy Moore and Glen Powell pay their living expenses between jobs.

“Ours is a fickle industry and in my 20+ years of being a performer, my career has ebbed and flowed,” Moore, who has been acting since she was a teenager, wrote via Instagram in July 2023. “I’ve had very lean years where I couldn’t get a job and those are precisely the moments when in years past, actors could rely on residuals from their past work to help them get by.”

Powell, for his part, tweeted that same month that he used to survive on residuals “for years” when he was still attempting to “make it as a working actor.”

Many actors have since seen their residual check amounts dwindle with the onset of streaming platforms. Due to the staggeringly low amounts, members of the SAG-AFTRA acting union called out the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for refusing to compromise on better terms regarding residual checks during contract negotiations. As a result, the SAG actors went on strike in July 2023 shortly after the Writers Guild of America stood up for similar causes.

Keep reading to find out how much the stars really make in residuals:

Mandy Moore

Milo Ventimiglia as Jack and Mandy Moore as Rebecca in ‘This Is Us.’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Moore has received 81-cent checks for streaming residuals of This Is Us, the Emmy-winning drama that she starred in between 2016 and 2022. “I was talking with my business manager who said he’s received a residual for a penny and two pennies,” she told The Hollywood Reporter on the picket lines in July 2023.

Robert Carradine

The Lizzie McGuire alum — who played Hilary Duff’s onscreen father on the Disney Channel series — once received a residual check in August 2019 for $0. While Carradine did not reveal what program the check was for, it had been sent by Walt Disney Pictures. (In addition to Lizzie, Carradine has starred in several other Disney projects.)

Carradine’s Lizzie McGuire costars have also seen similarly low residuals. Davida Williams, who played cheerleader Claire Miller, revealed on her Lizzie McGuire recap podcast in March 2023 that she usually gets a sum of $3.50 or less.

“It used to be, like, you’d have to take this huge stack of checks every month for residuals over to the bank and deposit them,” Jake Thomas (a.k.a. Lizzie’s little brother Matt) chimed in at the time. “But the huge stack would be like, ‘Oh, this is a massive stack. This is $8.’”

Kendrick Sampson

Sampson, who starred as Nathan on HBO’s Insecure between 2018 and 2021, received 56 residual checks in July 2023. However, they only totaled $86, which was not enough to cover his monthly bills, which he shared on Instagram.

William Stanford Davis

Davis, who is known for his role as Mr. Johnson on ABC’s Abbott Elementary, revealed via Instagram in July 2023 that he once got a check for 5 cents. “The postage, the paper, everything costs more than that. That’s what they think of us as actors,” he said at the time. “This is why we’re on strike for better wages, for better residuals [and] for a piece of the subscription.”

Kimiko Glenn

Kimiko Glenn as Brook Soso in ‘Orange in the New Black.’ JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Glenn, who played inmate Brook Soso on Orange Is The New Black, showed off a handful of residual paystubs via TikTok in July 2023. They only amounted to $27.

Constance Marie

Marie shared a copy of her paystubs via TikTok in July 2023, noting she’s gotten between 3 cents and 74 cents in residuals for repeat viewings of Freeform’s Switched at Birth. (Marie was one of the main characters on the show for five years, even sustaining an injury from excessive American Sign Language use.)

Heather Matarazzo

The Princess Diaries star clapped back at TikTok fans’ assertions that she was rich by showing her residuals. Several of the checks were less than 10 cents each.

Jana Schmieding

Jana Schmieding as Bev, Tamara Podemski as Teenie, Sarah Podemski as Rita, and Natalie Stadingcloud as Natalie on ‘Reservation Dogs.’ Shane Brown/FX

“To fans of my character Bev on Reservation Dogs, here’s a peek behind the IHS counter at what part of my residuals looks like for acting on a show that I love,” Schmieding tweeted in July 2023. “I pull in $.03 each quarter for UNLIMITED worldwide streams on fx/hulu/DISNEY.”

Brandee Evans

Evans, who is best known for her role as Mercedes Woodine on P-Valley, got three residual checks in July 2023 for $3.99, $4.67 and 1 cent, respectively.

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