In the mid-1990s, Brett Butler (Anger Management) was making bank off her sitcom Grace Under Fire. A GoFundMe for the actress has brought awareness that she is in dire financial trouble and currently seeking $20,000 in donations. She currently has just over $15,000 from 308 donors.
At the peak of her career, Brett Butler was making $250,000 per episode of her hit ’90s series that was on ABC. When the 63-year-old became six months behind her rent, she hit the wall and asked for help from her friend and blogger of the supernatural, Lon Strickler, who set up the GoFundMe for Butler.
Hard times have hit the actress before. In the ’80s, Brett Butler tried to make it as a standup comedian in New York City, which followed after overcoming alcoholism and surviving an abusive marriage. It continued as she developed a pill addiction, which eventually killed Grace Under Fire as she became difficult to work with, leading to people quitting throughout. The series eventually ended in the middle of its fifth season, where it aired 14 out of 25 episodes. Fleeing Hollywood for the sanctuary of Georgia, Brett Butler did not find solace in her new home. The farm she found on the Internet was lost as she could not keep up with mortgage payments.
What turned things around for Brett Butler was Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men) in 2012. The two have had ties since the ’90s, and Sheen tried to get her a role as a waitress in his series Anger Management. It sustained her as she had a recurring role for two years. Since then, she has had steady jobs like The Comedian with Robert De Niro (The Irishman) and Danny Devito (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and a handful of episodes in shows like How to Get Away with Murder, Freedom Town, and The Walking Dead.
Since last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has struck Hollywood hard. Productions have been shut down, and projects have been delayed with some moving platforms from theatrical releases to streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. The lack of work brought her back to the days of struggling, thus leading to fundraising to keep a roof over her head.
The initial goal for Brett Butler on GoFundMe was $15,000. She and her friend agreed upon that to find a happy balance of what she needed and not coming off as “greedy.” The blogger eventually pushed it to $20,000 as it neared the original goal. Some of the top donations have seen people giving upwards of $500.
Hollywood certainly is not avoiding Brett Butler like when she was at rock bottom. Although COVID-19 overshadows the industry, she still has one gig up on her schedule. The actress will star in Beach Cougar Gigolo, an action-comedy from Shamus Murphy, making it his second feature-length project since 2002’s Cash Cowboy. The movie will see the Grace Under Fire star join with character actors Carole Davis (Sex and the City, Scrubs, Madam Secretary) and Sewell Whitney (Better Call Saul, Preacher, Doubt).