10 Highest Paid Actors from Forbes List and the Charities They SupportCSR, CSR Business, CSR Canada, Fundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Telephone Fundraising | Elyse | August 10, 2012 at 12:01 am
I have featured several posts on celebrities and their philanthropic involvement here on the Miratel blog. For example, I have written about the 10 Top Forbes Power Celebrities and the Charities They Support, 10 Top Celebrity Charitable Contributions Based on Publicity Value and the 10 Highest Paid Celebrities Under 30 and their Philanthropic Efforts. Some may feel it’s done for the publicity but I believe that it stems from a genuine affection for the cause itself. Regardless of the reason, they are still drawing awareness to charities that might not otherwise have that exposure.
Forbes recently released a list of the highest paid actors and I researched some of the charities they support thanks to Look to the Stars. Forbes based this ranking on earnings made between May 2011 and May 2012 and considered “upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work.” They also “talked to manager, agents, lawyers and other in-the-know folks to come up with our estimates.”
The actors that made the top 10 were:
- 1) Tom Cruise ($75 million) who overcame dyslexia to become a top celebrity with a long list of hits to his credit. Tom was a founding Board Member for the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project that teaches kids how to read and succeed. Other charities the Mission Impossible star has supported includes Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, H.E.L.P., Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, Mentor LA, Raising Malawi, Stockings With Care and UNICEF.
- T-2) Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) has certainly come a long way from his Luke Brower days on Growing Pains to now being known for period pieces and playing complex characters in serious films (many by his pal Martin Scorsese). Leo is an avid environmentalist and has made several films to educate the public about earth issues including 11th Hour and co-created the global campaign Save Tigers Now with World Wildlife Fund. He founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and also supports Cinema For Peace, Declare Yourself, Feeding America, Film Foundation, Global Cool, Global Green, International Fund For Animal Welfare, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pediatric Epilepsy Project, Reef Check Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, Stop Global Warming, The Gorilla Organization, TreePeople, Unite for Japan and WildAid.
- T-2) Adam Sandler ($37 million) started out as a standup comic and has since become a successful movie star in his own right with a cult-like following for his movies. He spreads his riches around and has donated $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. He also supports Animal Rescue Foundation, Ante Up For Africa, Autism Speaks, Chris Farley Foundation, Clothes Off Our Back, EB Medical Research Foundation, ENOUGH Project, Feeding America, Life Rolls On Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Not On Our Watch and Toys for Tots.
4) Dwayne Johnson ($36 million) was formerly known as The Rock in his (successful) wrestling career before embarking on his (successful) movie career which soon will include reviving G.I. Joe. Dwayne devotes time to helping children through the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation and also as one of the directors of The Beacon Experience. He also supports Boot Campaign, I Have a Dream Foundation, Kids Wish Network, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Parkinson Society Maritime Region, Red Cross, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Until There’s a Cure.
- 5) Ben Stiller ($33 million) is one of the highest-paid comedians in Hollywood. His Meet the Parents and Night at the Museum film franchises have earned tons of money and his animated franchise, Madagascar, has grossed $1.6 billion at the global box office. He founded the Stiller Foundation in 2010 which promotes education and well-being of children worldwide through initiatives that focus on education. He also supports Artists for Peace and Justice, A Star For The Night, Centre For Environmental Education, Clinton Foundation, Declare Yourself, DNA Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Last Chance for Animals, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Oxfam, Rape Foundation, Red Cross, Robert F Kennedy Memorial, Save the Children, Starlight Children’s Foundation, STILLERSTRONG and Unite for Japan.
- 6) Sacha Baron Cohen ($30 million) is an actor, writer and comedian most known for his portrayal of Ali G, Borat, Brüno and most recently The Dictator. Sacha supports Charity Projects Entertainment Fund, Clothes Off Our Back, Comic Relief, Declare Yourself, Feeding America, International Medical Corps, Save the Children and UNICEF.
- 7) Johnny Depp ($30 million) is an award winning actor, musician, wine maker and restaurateur known for playing eccentric, misunderstood characters who usually have a flamboyant nature. Johnny once donated $2 million to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London that treated his daughter Lily-Rose for an E. Coli infection that caused kidney failure. Depp also supports Actors Fund of America, Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dogs Deserve Better, Environmental Justice Foundation, Helen & Douglas House, Julian House, Much Love Animal Rescue, Northampton Welfare Rights Advice Service, Orca Network, Parkinson Society Maritime Region, Project HOME, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Sophie’s Gift, Unite for Japan and War Child.
- Will Smith ($30 million) started out as the Fresh Prince and has since become a king of the silver screen. Along with the successes of the Men in Black and Bad Boys movie series, Will is box office gold and this A-list celeb is always in demand. With his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will founded the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation to benefit inner-city community development, youth educational projects and under-privileged children and their families. Smith also supports 46664, Dream Foundation, Feeding America, Florida Marlins Community Foundation, LIVESTRONG, Living Classrooms Foundation, Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, PACT, Red Cross and Youth Health Empowerment.
- 9) Mark Wahlberg ($27 million) has slowly become one of Hollywood’s most desirable actors playing both serious roles and comedic roles like Ted. The actor founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and also supports A Place Called Home, Elevate Hope Foundation, Felix Organization, LIVESTRONG, Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, Red Cross, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, The Art of Elysium, The Gentlemen’s Fund and The Saban Free Clinic.
- T-10) Taylor Lautner ($26.5 million) and his Twilight Saga costar Robert Pattinson are tied for 10th having earned the same money in this reporting period. This fall’s Breaking Dawn — Part 2 will be the final Twilight movie so it will be interesting to see what career decisions Taylor makes going forward as he’ll have to fight the Jacob type case. Taylor has been a long time supporter of the Lollipop Theater Network.
- T-10) Robert Pattinson ($26.5 million) has been pursuing work outside of the Twilight franchise in various roles so his post- Twilight career should be just fine. Robert has “donated auction lots for both the 2009 and 2010 GO Campaign galas.” Pattinson has also supported American Foundation for AIDS Research, GO Campaign, Midnight Mission, and PACT.
These talented actors have already made quite a mark in their industry but they are also making an impact when it comes to spreading cause awareness and nonprofit fundraising. They are also influencing their fans in a positive manner so it’s good all around.
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