We all know actor Ashton Kutcher as an actor. He has found roles in such big television series such as That ‘70s Show, Two and a Half Men, and most recently The Ranch. While there was a time Kutcher’s career was red hot and he was pulling in one of the largest salaries for a TV star, Ashton has slowly been stepping away from acting for a quite surprising career turn as an investor.
THAT ‘70S SHOW
When Ashton Kutcher first dipped his toe into the entertainment business, it was more a leap than a dip. That ‘70s Show immediately made Kutcher a star. As Michael Kelso, Kutcher fully encapsulated the idiotic nature of his fictional character. He was one of a great cast of young and older actors who gained fame from the series which included Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama, Laura Prepon, Debra Jo Rupp, and Kurtwood Smith. The series lasted eight seasons with Kutcher being a regular for the first seven then, because he was filming the movie The Guardian, he could only appear as a guest star in the series final season.
In what would be a case of life imitating art, Kutcher would spend the first half of That ‘70s Show in a relationship with Kunis’s character, Jackie Burkhart, and six years after the end of the series, Kutcher and Kunis would begin to date. In 2015, the pair would tie the knot.
Ashton Kutcher’s early career didn’t revolve entirely around That ‘70s Show. His immediate success on the show allowed him to branch out into feature film territory. He was in Coming Soon and Down to You, then cemented his ability to play stupid by taking on Dude, Where’s My Car? Throughout the rest of his time on That ‘70s Show he was also seen in the features Texas Rangers, Just Married, My Boss’s Daughter, The Butterfly Effect, and Guess Who.
Ashton Kutcher was not only acting during this time. Using his growing Hollywood clout, Kutcher started Katalyst Films, a production company with his then partner Jason Goldberg, that was responsible for another of Kutcher’s big hits, MTV’s Punk’d. Kutcher was the host of this show that centered on practical jokes on celebrities. Katalyst Films was also responsible for other shows such as Beauty and the Geek, Adventures in Hollyhood, The Real Wedding Crashers, and Opportunity Knocks.
For five years following the end of That ‘70s Show, Ashton Kutcher continued to further his career in features. He was in What Happens in Vegas opposite Cameron Diaz, Spread, Valentine’s Day, Killers, No Strings Attached, New Year’s Eve, and Jobs.
Kutcher would eventually find his way back to television in a big way when it was announced that he would be taking over for Charlie Sheen in the hit comedy series Two and a Half Men. After CBS fired Sheen for what they called “moral turpitude”, Kutcher was brought on to huge numbers. When he premiered as Walden Schmidt, it was seen by nearly 29 million viewers, which was more than any individual episode in the show’s first eight seasons in which Sheen appeared in. Seems he hadn’t lost a step with TV comedy.
ASHTON KUTCHER’S TWO MARRIAGES
Ashton Kutcher married actress Demi Moore in 2005. On the surface, a Hollywood marriage is just that and perhaps age difference is the norm. Typically, though, Hollywood marriages include men who are much older than their wives. In this marriage, it was Moore who had a 16-year age advantage over Kutcher. Not only that, but Moore was the ex-wife of Hollywood action star Bruce Willis and they had three children together.
Kutcher and Moore made it last for eight years, and for the most part it seemed a decent relationship. That was until Moore came out with her memoir titled Inside Out. Demi aired their dirty laundry, including Kutcher’s cheating on her and their numerous three ways they engaged in. She also hinted that Kutcher was the one who convinced her to pick up the bottle again after twenty years of sobriety. Seems it wasn’t all wine and roses, more wine than anything.
The end of his marriage to Demi Moore wasn’t the only controversy surrounding Ashton Kutcher at that time. In 2012, the actor appeared in an ad for Popchips (a brand of potato and corn popped chips) in which he played an Indian man looking for love. His use of brown-face as well as his use of an Indian accent was the cause of this controversy and created a great backlash against the actor.
Mila Kunis was aware of the details in Moore’s memoirs but wasn’t about to let it affect her marriage to Ashton Kutcher. The pair, who first met on the set of That ‘70s Show, were wed in 2015 and have two children. They apparently have a complete understanding of each other’s past and have worked through any issue that has arisen from either their past or their present. In fact, they have partnered recently to save lives. Kutcher and Kunis, together with Nocking Point Wines, have combined to create Quarantine Wine, with 100% of the funds raised to be split between four charities.
ASHTON KUTCHER NARROWLY AVOIDS MURDER
While this next bit isn’t so much controversy but more tragedy. In 2019, Ashton Kutcher appeared at the trial of the Hollywood Ripper, the man accused, then convicted, of the murder of 3-10 women. One of his brutal murders was of Ashley Ellerin, a young lady with whom Ashton picked up that night on a date. When he arrived at her house, he knocked on the door to no answer.
“I knocked on the door and there was no answer,” Kutcher said in court via AP NEWS. “I knocked again, and once again, no answer. At this point I pretty well assumed she had left for the night, and that I was late, and she was upset.” He then went to the window, looking in. “I thought it odd the lights were all on, I didn’t want to be the guy looking through her window.”
Kutcher then added that the place looked a bit of a mess. “Then I saw what I thought was red wine on the carpet.” Still, not getting an answer, he left. “I remember the next day after I heard about what happened, I went to the detectives and said, ‘My fingerprints are on the door,’” Ashton Kutcher testified in court. “I was freaking out.” He was never a suspect in the murder.
A-GRADE INVESTMENTS, SOUND VENTURES, AND THE RANCH
Looking at the past five years of Ashton Kutcher’s career you’ll see one thing on his resume: The Ranch. This is a series he stars in opposite Sam Elliott and plays an ex- semi-pro football player who comes home to Colorado to run the family business. Other than The Ranch, he has been Hollywood MIA. But why? This may surprise you, given the many idiotic roles Kutcher has played in the past. Ashton Kutcher is an investor.
Along with investment partner Guy Oseary, they started A-Grade Investments, which recently birthed Sound Ventures. The duo has been a part of big tech start-ups which include names such as Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, Skype, Pinterest, Shazam, and Warby Parker as well as Nest, SmartThings, Zenefits, Flexport, and Socialcam.
His portfolio is vast and he, along with Oseary, have turned their initial $30 million into a $250 million powerhouse. He has become so investor savvy that in February 2020 Business Insider named Ashton Kutcher the most active celebrity investor in Silicon Valley.
With Ashton Kutcher’s main focus on building his investment portfolio, it doesn’t look like a full-time return to acting is in his cards. It’s certainly nice to have options though.