career

Does an Oscar mean more money for actors?

2011 Oscar Winners
Highlights
  • Is the "Oscar jinx" real?
  • Sometimes an actor will go "indie" to showcase their talents, but it usually comes back to money.
  • Even multiple awards don't always garner you great roles or a great paycheck.

And the Oscar goes to ... the guy dressed as a bunch of grapes to help sell underwear? Academy Award notoriety, as with any of the major entertainment awards, has a checkered history of cumulative success for an actor's career. An actor's exceptional performance in one capacity can serve as a bellwether for future high-quality roles and a successful resume, or it can become a shiny side note of a trivia question to an otherwise unremarkable career.

F. Murray Abraham began his career as talking fruit in a commercial for Fruit of the Loom, but he eventually found himself accepting a bevy of awards in 1985 for his performance in "Amadeus" -- including a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Though he has made around 80 appearances on screen since, it has been with the likes of " Muppets from Space" and " The All New Adventures of Laurel and Hardy in 'For Love or Mummy.'" His resume prompted the unofficial diagnosis of underwhelming post-award careers as "F. Murray Abraham Syndrome" within the industry.

Otherwise known as the "Oscar jinx," it is a fairly common reminder that award recognition in Hollywood is certainly not a guaranteed badge into the A-list club or A-list income.

"The Oscar is the single most important event of my career," Abraham has said. "I have dined with kings, shared equal billing with my idols, lectured at Harvard and Columbia. If this is a jinx, I'll take two."

Maybe so, but you might also end up with more roles in films like the forgettable " Sword of War," which only took in $835,469 at the box office in 2009 against a $9 million budget.

One of the most notorious offenders of the jinx list is Cuba Gooding Jr., who won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his supporting role in "Jerry Maguire." What happened next isn't pretty, with a decade and a half of a couple of bright spots overshadowed by fantastic failures such as "Boat Trip" and the sequel to "Daddy Day Care" -- "Daddy Day Camp" -- which only grossed around $13 million domestically and received an astonishingly bad 1 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Gooding Jr. never has renewed his Oscar glory, but his character's remarkably overused catch phrase lives on, with someone, somewhere showing him the money. His net worth is an estimated $42 million, which surely is due in part to his former acclaim.

"Everybody gets more money; the question is how much," says film critic Emmanuel Levy, author of "All About Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards." "A lot depends on who they were before they got the Oscar."

Levy added that it is better to win or be nominated for an Oscar earlier in one's career, which usually bodes best for their career and earnings.

Anna Paquin, who was the second youngest Oscar winner ever for her role in 1993's " The Piano," has certainly seen her talent and acclaim pay out. With an estimated net worth of $12 million, she takes in around $75,000 per episode of HBO's popular " True Blood."

"Million-dollar salaries are still million-dollar salaries," says producer Elizabeth Yoffe, "But the days of throwing $20 (million) to $25 million salaries around are disappearing, except for the top, top tier."

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