Of all the difficult ways in the world to earn money, acting has to be one of the best. Now imagine acting for a living and becoming rich. Well, Jami Gertz managed to become quite a bit more than simply rich — she acted her way to being a billionaire. Well, sort of.
The Chicago born actress is best known for the parts she played in Sixteen Candles, Crossroads, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero, Quicksilver, and from the popular 80s Square Pegs series on TV. What’s impressive about Gertz, too, is that she is from a modest background and didn’t really have any helping-hand from Mr Privilege.
And yet, 50-year-old Gertz is worth a whopping $2 billion from her roles in various films and TV shows. But bear with us, because that’s not the only place the billionaires money came from.
Her father, Waltz, was a builder, so not exactly of much use for media industry contacts. But talent can surpass privilege on occasion and it did in Jami’s case when she was potted in an America-wide talent search, which saw her career start as a child in the mentioned shows.
But despite her acting being her prime profession (for which she got no leg-up) and from which she earned plenty of cash, the majority of her wealth actually comes from her marriage to billionaire Tony Ressler, a man who used to own American baseball team Milwaukee Brewers. He also pitched to buy some of the other key clubs.
More recently she has found guest roles in the hilariously good sitcom Modern Family, which has been a worldwide hit and pulls in millions of viewers, which again, no doubt gave Gertz an undoubtedly handsome pay check.
The billionaires — who have three children together — also play their hands at being philanthropists, which we never fail to note is a common theme-come-hobby for the mega wealthy.
Gertz did almost walk away from her career as an actress at some point, though. In the 80s she moved to France where she worked as a ‘perfume designer’, but eventually returned to her acting career — where she starred in popular shows such as Ally McBeal and Seinfeld.
It’s probably fair to say that her acting and her marriage saw her bank balance rise more than designing scents.
But critical appraisal is always hard to come by, especially if you starred — as Gertz did — in the old last decade classic Twister. You know, the one about the deadly tornado.
Despite the film’s technical crew picking up Oscar nominations (which of course, is quite laughable by today’s standards) — Gertz was selected as the Worst Supporting Actress, while the film itself was nominated as the ‘worst film ever written’, and it cost over $100 million.
Sounds like the sort of sum that Gertz and her husband could squander on a good meal.