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Fame & Fortune: Danny Bonaduce

Former child star bounces between failure and success
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Bankrate: What was the greatest financial move you ever made?

Danny Bonaduce: Marrying Gretchen. Wait -- one year, I traded my salary. I said, "Pay me nothing." They offered me -- these are made-up numbers -- this radio station was in the toilet. I said, "Why don't you pay me nothing at all, or, pay me a million dollars when we hit third, and a million dollars when we hit second and a million dollars when we hit first." And they did.

Bankrate: But a million dollars wasn't the real number?

Danny Bonaduce: No. The first payoff was not a million, and the (whole) payoff was not $3 million.

Bankrate: Was it less than a million?

Danny Bonaduce: Oh no -- it was more than a million. The original salary was less than a million. The payoff was well over a million and a half.

Bankrate: And you initiated that?

Danny Bonaduce: Yup. I just told somebody else that the other day. I was talking to this major radio company. Nobody keeps in mind ... (they think), Danny's so crazy from that TV show. Well, if I'm that crazy, exactly what network executive decided to sign up for another season? Who insured Danny if he's really that dangerous? In 16 years I've missed two days of work, and I've only been late twice. You don't get to say you're an outlaw and then not show up for work. You've got to be a superpro to live the way I live. You don't get to tell the wild stories and then come in hung over. You have to tell the wild stories and then be right on time and in perfect physical condition and ready to go. But, I just told a guy right now ... he said his company was a little reluctant. I'm tired of that, of having to tell the story of how I've never missed work. So I said, "Don't pay me." He said, "What?" I said, "Don't pay me a dime. Write out a contract that says you'll pay me $5 million, and don't pay me a penny of it until the end of the year. Then just write me a check. If I do one thing wrong in the meantime, kick me out and don't pay me a dime."

Bankrate: How did they react?

Danny Bonaduce: They didn't go for it. Now they're talking about a salary. But I'd do it again in a second. I'm confident in radio. I don't think I'm the world's greatest actor, but my radio show is awesome. I really like it. If somebody said, "We'll pay you nothing, or we'll pay you $10 million, but only if you beat the No. 1 guy in town," I'd take that bet.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Posted: Nov. 14, 2006
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