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How Much Did These Popular Commercial Stars Make?

By: Stephen Hodessy | Last updated: Jul 30, 2021

The tabloids always manage to show you the extravagant lives your favorite celebrities. As you see these celebrities living extravagantly, you probably wonder how much money they actually make? TV commercials not only sell us our favorite products but often create our favorite commercial stars. Flo from Progressive must have crossed your mind a few times.

All these advertisement stars you know are people with real lives. The only thing that makes their experience different from your regular life is that they got substantial amounts of money from some of their notable projects. Let’s find out just how much money these commercial stars make!

1. The Maytag Man

Colin Furhason started by playing a Cop on Eureka. His character’s personality soon switched up when he acted in Vampire Diaries and Christmas Paradise. In 2014, he became the Maytag man, where he signed a $1 million contract to be their mascot.

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He has been on a break for a while, but we can still expect him to appear on our screens soon.

2. Mr. Dumass

Stu Williams appeared in the most famous Superbowl Commercial in 1990 as Mr. Dumass, not pronounced as Doo-mas. A&W financed the project to come up with this ad, and the number of resources they poured into the project was quite substantial.

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Stu describes his time in character fondly. He earned $50,000, which might seem less now but was quite a significant amount then. He has a YouTube Channel where he uploaded this commercial, and since Stu still is under contract with A&W, he is still earning from it.

3. Dr. Pepper Girl (1960)

Before she started getting noticed for her powerful vocals, Donna Loren was a model. She got to combine her magical voice with acting in a commercial for Pepsi, earning $500. That amount was a little, but Donna took it as a lesson to look out for corporations who might take advantage of her.

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From then on, she could skip through roles that paid little money, which turned out to shape the rest of her career.

4. T-Mobile Girl

After answering an advertisement in 2009, Carly Foulkes got called for a gig. That commercial opened doors for her as she took part in more commercials between 2010 and 2013. Her Role in T -Mobile allows her significant occasional payment from T-Mobile and still makes more commercials.

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The T- Mobile Commercial gave her one million dollars. You could say that it’s enough money to get a few speeder bikes custom painted or go for the original T -Mobile pink, but that’s not possible since trademarked.

5. Pillsbury Doughboy

The voice behind your favorite adorable lump of dough character was Paul Frees. He did the Pillsbury Doughboy Commercial in the 1960s. His part in this commercial was proceeded by other voice acting gigs.

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For example, he was the voices of both Rudolph and Frosty in Rudolph and Frosty. Also, he voiced Santa in Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Jack Frost in Jack Frost. For his role as Pillsbury Dough Boy, he got one million dollars.

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6. The Slingers

Nick Offerman was in the Sling Tv Ads with his wife, Megan Mulley. They played the role of an easy-going family whose goal was to orient fellow slingers into their way of life. They only got $50,000 from the gig.

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That amount was little, considering that Sling Tv used their likeness on social media, radio, and print ads. The only reason Offerman agreed to take the meager pay was so that he could work on set with his wife, and he felt that he could help rescue the failing Sing TV franchise.

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7. The Snapple Lady

Wendy Kaufman played the role of the Snapple Lady. Not only was she on their commercials, but she also answered their fan mail meant for her. Stakeholders felt that the $100,000 she made from Snapple’s Commercials was not enough and that they could have paid her more.

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In ten years, Snapple went from $23 million to a $750 million franchise. LATER, Snapple sold out to Quake Oats, which led to Wendy losing her gig, but since she was a vital part of their growth, the new management recalled her.

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8. The Red Robin Lady

Melanie Paxson has been in dozens of commercials before landing a role with Red Robin. Some of her works were for Gladware, and took up minor roles on The Drew Carey Show Joey, Kitchen Confidential, CSI, Rules of Engagement, The Exes, and Medium. Currently, she plays as Sara Brennan on Happy Family.

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Her paycheck from Red Robin was worth $50,249, which is not much, but it exposed her to a new world of opportunities.

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9. The Pine-Sol Lady

Diane Amos will always remain recognized for the permanent face of Pine-Sol as much as other actors have tried to take up the role but can’t gain popularity. She is loved for her sassy and lovable personality by most of her fans. Before her commercial role, she took up other gigs but then chose to be a TV actress in the long run.

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Pine-Sol gave her $250,000. They felt that she was deserving of the amount because she has recognition in the industry. Had they used someone else in the commercial, their sales would have remained under.

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10. GoDaddy Nerd

This guy stole the show during the 2013 Superbowl when he stole a kiss for Bar Rafaeli on live TV. He is an actor, and getting kisses from models is what he does best. The kiss became a sensation during the Superbowl, and it was for a good reason.

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Jesse Heiman, that’s his name, became famous after the GoDaddy Commercial. Apart from the $900,000 he got from the commercial, it also got his Hollywood career going.

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11. The Wendy's Girl

Some might say that Morgan Smith -Goodwin got hired for her red hair. She took Wendy’s Commercial by storm from 2012 to 2016. After graduating from college, the Alabama native moved to the Big Apple to pursue her passion as an actress.

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Her first role was for Freckleface Strawberry on Broadway. Also, she got a lead role in Circumstance and Sweet Charity. She dyes her hair orange-red for the commercials. Her hard work bore her fruits as she has earned over $3 million from Wendy’s commercials.

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12. The Old Spice Guy

For the Longest time, Isaiah Mustafa was the face of Old Spice. He ditched his football career for acting, starting with Soap Operas and followed by TV spots and commercials.

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His affiliation with Old Spice opened doors for him, which led to him getting calls for more acting gigs. Old Spice paid him $5 million. You can spot him on Horrible Bosses, It Chapter Two, sand on Luke Cage.

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13. The Sonic Guy

T.J. Jagodowski is a graduate of Syracuse University, an actor from Chicago, and an improv comedian. Sonic picked him after seeing his application tape. When he received news that he got the gig, he got his improv friend Pete Grosz to do it with him, and that is how the legendary Sonic Commercial came to be.

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He obtained recognition as the best improviser around the time when the Sonic Commercial blew up. Apart from commercials, he got called for roles in Get Hard, The Ice Harvest, Stranger than Fiction, and even Prison Break. He garnered over $300,000 from the Sonic project.

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14. The Target Lady

Maria Bamford is three things. An exceptional comedian, an actress, and a revolutionist when it came to the way commercials appear. Initially, she aspired to be a voice actor but started as a comedian.

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After a few comedy tours and a role in Lucky Numbers, she then starred in Target Commercials. Right now, her energy goes into voice acting with gigs on American Dad, BoJack Horseman, Cat Dog, and Adventure Time. Her ads with Target earned her $300,000.

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15. Dos Equis- The Most Interesting Man In The World

Jonathan Goldsmith has been on your screen since 1963, where he mostly appeared in Western Moves. His success pushed forward from his roles in those movies. His popularity came from the fact that their profits increased by 15.4% in a year after making commercials with Dos Equis.

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It’s only right to assume that they awarded him a little extra money apart from the $1 million he had contracted with them.

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16. The Toyota Girl

Apart from her Toyota Commercials, which earned her the Toyota Girl Title, Laurel Coppock has appeared in other projects such as Hot Cleveland, Arrested Development, The Office, and Modern Family. Toyota paid $1 million for her commercial with them.

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When it came to marketing for Toyota, she went as far as showing up in car dealerships to play an employee’s role. Apart from a few parts now and then, she lives a quiet life now that she feels she has enough money in her account.

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17. The "It's Not That Complicated Guy"

He is one of those actors who had a passion for acting since childhood. He started small and then worked his way up until he got to star in a commercial. Beck Bennet began his journey after a gig from AT&T.

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His role as the “It’s Not That Complicated” Guy made him $250,000, which also attracted SNL, where he plays as Donald Trump Jr. and Mitch McConnell. It seems he is just getting started with his role-playing.

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18. The Orbit Gum Girl

All Farris Patton had to do was wear attractive outfits and smile as tell the camera to chew Orbit Gum to earn $500,000. Currently, she is a skit actor on Jimmy Kimmel.

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Apart from that, she starred in Famous Faces, which was a movie about people who make commercials.

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19. The AT&T Lady

Milana Vayntrubm was a model cum actor since she was five years old. Her AT&T role happened during her Hollywood journey, where she picked up gigs as a source of income. It was only after her family fully settled in Hollywood that she took up acting permanently.

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At first, Milana took part in barbie Commercials and later on participated in the web series Let’s Talk About Something More Interesting, which gained her recognition, earning her a role in AT&T. She made $500,000 from the AT&T commercials.

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20. The "Can You Hear Me Now" Guy

For over ten years, Paul Marcarelli was the face of Verizon. He Currently works for Sprint, which for him, was a more lucrative deal. Merely saying the words “Can you hear me now” netted him $9 million.

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That’s the amount he earned in ten years. If that’s the amount he made with Verizon, imagine how much he is making with Sprint?

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21. Mr. Mayhem

Mr. mayhem became a sensation after Dean Winters got hired by Allstate to be their mascot. The campaign doors for Dean Winters as he got roles on Law & Order SVU, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Battle Creek.

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Dean made $4,750 every time his ad aired. He is currently more into acting than making commercials.

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22. ShamWow Vince (Among Other Things)

Vince became a celebrity by accident. He started acting to put food on the table. At around the time that Vince started working, commercial gigs started to come his way. He recognized the opportunities that came with commercial gigs, and soon he began doing infomercials.

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After familiarizing himself with commercials, Vince soon started writing and directing them. In all the commercials he appears in, he writes them. The Shamshow commercial earned him $2 million.

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23. Flo, From Progressive

Stephanie Cortney earned $8 million from her Progressive days. Initially, she was part of an underground theater club where she discovered and became a famous salesperson on TV.

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Her personality in the ad is quite attractive, which perhaps led to her getting other roles. Cortney has appeared on shows like Mad Men, Cavemen, Men of Certain Age, and The Goldberg’s.

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24. Little Mikey

Millennials may not recognize him, but Little Mickey was an advertiser for Life Cereal. In the ad, Little Mickey’s brother tries to convince him to try the cereal.

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John Gilchrist, who played Little Mikey, got to build a career out of the ad. He earned $10 million from the commercial.

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25. The Dell Dude

Anyone fond of watching tv in early 2000 can remember Benjamin Curtis as the Dell Dude. He is from Tennessee and was only a commercial actor before taking part in the Dell Gig.

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His talents do not stop there as he was also a magician. He earned $50,000 from the ad, but instead of his career shooting, it spiraled.

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26. The 7 Up Guy

Orlando James is a writer who tuned out to do better acting on MADtv. He also has for over ten years taken part in sketch comedy shows. 7 Up awarded his time with them a $500,000 check.

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After the soft drinks commercial, he started participating in more and more opportunities.

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27. The Trivago Guy

Trivago has come to be known as one of the most efficient websites that you can use to search for hotels. Trivago became well known through the intervention of Timothy Williams, who did an advert for them.

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He as his roots in Germany, although he was born in Texas. Timothy acted for a while German in movies but later moved to Hollywood for film and commercials. Although Trivago wasn’t one of his biggest gigs, he earned $20,000 from it.

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28. The Bush's Baked Beans Guy and Dog

Jay Bush apart owner of the Bush’s Baked Beans Franchise, who does his commercials with his dog, Duke Jay, a golden retriever that many have spotted in his commercials.

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Their latest commercials have Jay’s son, who is popularly known as Bean Boy. Jay’s grandfather came up with the beans’ recipe, and Jay has taken up the custodian’s role.

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29. Alka-Seltzer That's A Spicy Meatball

Jack Somack participated in shooting the Alka-Seltzer commercial. The commercial has a unique set of jokes performed by the commercials’ actors, generation after generation.

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Apart from shooting commercials also appeared in feature films. Although the commercial is famous, Somack only got $10,000 from the gig.

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30. Mr. Whipple

In this commercial, Dick Wilson played the role of a clerk who wanted to know everything that didn’t concern him. His character was a grumpy guy who hated it when his Charmain toilet paper got squeezed in the commercial.

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He was surprised at the commercial’s simplicity but went ahead to take part in 500 more commercials. He earned $300,000 from the commercial, which was peanuts considering he did over 500 commercials if you think about it.

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31. Captain Morgan's Chief Party Officer

His role in Workaholics got him identified as a potential Chief Party Officer of the Captain Morgan Company. The company must have reasoned that having a celebrity endorse their product could hike their sales. Captain Morgan offered him $3 million.

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All that money to bring rum to parties! Apart from delivering drinks, there was also a record for him to break.

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32. The Gas Station Pepsi Girl

Cindy Crawford is no stranger when it comes to shooting exciting content. She is one of the most recognized supermodels remembered for her Pepsi advert.

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The commercial was straightforward, and all Cindy ahead to do was sip Pepsi and look at the camera, and believe it or not, Crawford got $5 million for it. She recently, in 2018, reshot the commercial during the Superbowl.

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33. The Pepperidge Farm Guy

His name has come you in the popular adult animated series Family Guy. You may fail to realize that Charles C. Welch was a pitchman for Pepperidge Farm’s bakery for at least 16 years. He worked with renowned theatre actors such as Sammy Davis, Mary Tyler Moore, and Angela Lansbury in his lifetime.

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All Welch had to do was say “Pepperidge Farm Remembers” for him to earn $200,000. Apart from the commercial, he made appearances on General Hospital and Days of our Lives.

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34. Charles Stone, Creator of The “Whassup? Guy

Charles Stone is an American film director best known for creating the “Whassup?” Budweiser campaign back in 1999. He directed Drumline, a movie that features Nick Cannon, Mr. 3000 that features Bernie Mac and Paid in Full that features Wood Harris. He’s also produced numerous tv shows, including Black-ish, Greenleaf, and Bigger.

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Stone has made music videos for various artists, including A Tribe Called Quest, Collin James, and Living Colour. Stone graduated from Central High School, Philadelphia, in 1984. For the Budweiser campaign, Stone took home eight million dollars.

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35. Terry Crews: Another Old Spice Guy

Terry Crews is an American actor, artist, tv host, comedian, and bodybuilder. He played pro football for a while before venturing into acting. Terry is best known for his role as Julius Rock on the sitcom; Everybody Hates Chris. He’s acted in numerous tv shows and movies, including White Chicks, The Expendables Series, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Terry hosts many TV shows, including Who wants to be a Millionaire and America’s Got Talent. Terry made about six million dollars in salaries for the Old Spice Commercials.

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36. Read Maclean - 47 Partnership for a Drug-Free America’s Bad Dad

Reid Maclean played the bad dad in one of the anti-drug commercials in the nineties. His other notable accolades include playing Private Jim Merrill in Gettysburg and The Winter of The Beard. He is also an accomplished singer, having released an album titled Bright Fading Star.

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For his work in the Drug-Free America campaign, he made ten thousand dollars.

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37. “Air Jordan” and “Hare Jordan”

When arguably the best basketball player in the world, Michael Jordan, released his Nike Air Jordan 7s sneakers back in 1992, he needed a little help from bugs bunny. This collaboration happened way before Space Jam became a cult classic.

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At the time, Michael was working on his first three-peat with the Chicago Bulls. Michael made one million dollars from the commercial but would make a lot more money from his collaborations with Nike on their Air Jordan line.

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38. Hot Construction Worker Drinking Diet Coke

John Vanous became famous after appearing shirtless in a diet coke commercial. He is an actor and model with roles in tv series including Pacific Palisades and 18 Wheels of Justice.

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John served in the military before becoming a model. Now at 59, he has worked with coke for many other advertisements. He played a construction worker who takes a diet coke shirtless, distracting ladies in the office block nearby. The commercial was a play on the overdone hot girl campaigns of the day. For his role in the coke commercial, John Vanous made a million dollars.

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39. The Noxema Girl with Joe Namath

Farrah Fawcett was an award-winning American artist, actress, and fashion model. She worked on numerous award-winning shows in her lifetime including, Charlies Angels, Harry O, and the Six Million Dollar Man. She also did multiple films, including Cannonball Run, Burning Bed, and Small Sacrifices.

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With Joe Namath, she appeared as the girl for Noxema Shaving Cream in the seventies. Her blue eyes and lovely hair made her one of the most idolized women in the world. She made $10,000 for this commercial.

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40. FedEx’s Fast-Talker

John Moschitta is a fast talker, literally. John was the Guinness world record  holder for the world’s fastest talker in the 1980s, but that record has been broken twice. John is an actor, director, singer, and spokesperson and is sometimes referred to as Motormouth because of his fast-talking.

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Before working with FedEx, John Moschitta was the fast talker on the over one hundred Micro Machines commercials. He voiced Blurr in the TV animations series Transformers and Transformers: Animated. He has directed two films that went straight-to-video. With FedEx, Moschitta made three million dollars.

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41. The Beard Guru for James Harden

Pete Gardner is an American actor famous for playing Whitefeather in the comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He also has a few film credits including, Good Advice, Son of Zorn, and Labor Pains.

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He plays a bearded guru for the NBA 2K15 ad, giving James Harden advice on his beard game. He has done adverts for companies like Juicy Fruit, Castrol, and USPS. Pete earned ten thousand dollars for this advertisement.

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42. The Doritos Kid

Before becoming the Friendly Neighborhood masked superhero, we call Spiderman, Tobey Maguire was famous for asking people, “Who’s Bob?” Tobey has numerous films to his credit, including the Spiderman-Trilogy, The Great Gatsby, and Brothers.

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For his performance in the Doritos ad, Tobey made five thousand dollars. Fun fact: Tobey now hates Doritos because he had to eat a lot of them during takes.

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43. Sandra Savealot

Alyssa Milano is an American actress famous for playing Phoebe Halliwell in Charmed. She aside from acting, Alyssa also dabbles in production, singing, writing, and activism. She is known for her Charmed, Melrose Place, My Name is Earl, Mistresses, among others.

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In this commercial, she saved payphone users who did not have enough money to pay for phone calls. She brought a lot of business to the company and earned every one of the one million dollars she was paid for the role.

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44. Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders was an American businessman credited with inventing the beloved Kentucky Fried Chicken. While he began serving chicken during the depression on a small stand, the business had grown to be worth two million dollars (sixteen million dollars in today’s money) when he sold it in 1974. For his iconic look, he wore a white suit and a black bowtie.

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Harlan Sanders continued to act as the company’s brand ambassador and symbol for an annual salary of $40,000 until the time of his passing. KFC still uses his image and name for branding to this day. The “Colonel” in his name was an honorary title bestowed upon him by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is not a military title.

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45. The Safeguard Singer

Before swapping faces with Nicolas Cage on Face/Off, John Travolta was a shower singing basketball player for Safeguard Bath Soap. John Travolta has been in numerous films, including Grease, Pulp Fiction, The Punisher, and Swordfish. He also owns four airplanes and loves flying.

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For his role as a Safeguard singer, he made $70,000. This was the first time the world was introduced to John Travolta’s singing ability.

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46. Dunkin Donuts’ Fred the Baker

Michael Vale made the phrase “time to make the donuts” popular as Fred the baker, a role he was featured in for fifteen years. Michael also did commercials for Dunkin Donuts’ cereal. He is credited with a couple of films, including Guerilla Girl,  A Hatful of Rain, and Marathon Man. Michael also acted in a George Bernard Shaw production of Androcles and the Lion, and this was one of the first times he performed.

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He made one million dollars from working for Dunkin Donuts. For his send-off, Dunkin Donuts gave away six million doughnuts, and Boston gave him a parade.

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