Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How little do actors work?

Sonny Tufts, Victor Mature

How much do actors get paid for a guest spot on a TV series? I ask because, look at Internet Movie Database. Most of these actors seem to work one job every two or three years if that. How do those poor devils make a living? And how do they keep in practice if they only act a few days a year? I know a lot of them are working other jobs.

Actors are like teachers. When I was in school, I realized that, no matter how little respect I had for certain teachers, they all knew so much more than me. And you look at, say, Sonny Tufts, regarded as a terrible actor. He came to Hollywood during World War Two. A football injury kept him out of the war and Hollywood needed male actors. All their regular guys had been drafted.

Tufts became a bit of a joke. His name came up on The Bullwinkle Show, The Monkees, Johnny Carson cruelly mocked him.

But the guy went to Yale, studied opera, auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera but ended up acting on Broadway before venturing off to Hollywood. No matter how little respect you have for him, Sonny Tufts was still better than you.

He must have had some talent and looking at imdb.com, he seemed to be doing pretty well, although one of his last credits was in Cottonpickin' Chickenpickers.

The poor guy died at 58. He was from a rich family, related to the guy for whom Tufts University was named. Maybe "Sonny Tufts" was a bad name for an actor. His real name was no picnic, either, Bowen Charlton Tufts III. It's hard to pronounce the name "Tufts", unless you give up and just say "Tuffs".

If you want to make sure your child doesn't grow up to be an actor, just give him a lousy name.

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