Child stars … they’re just like Us? Kid actors may have the added bonus of raking in the dough before most people get their first job, but dealing with fame at such a young age has been infamously difficult for many young celebs. As with their Hollywood experiences, the money they’ve earned from their hit series and films varies wildly from actor to actor, show to show, movie to movie.
The salary Josh Peck earned on Drake and Josh — the hit Nickelodeon show that ran from 2004 to 2007 — was “certainly a great amount of money, but not enough to set you up for life,” he revealed on the “Trading Secrets” podcast in April 2022. “And a lot of it we lived on. … I’m not gonna brag: My mom and I had a used BMW five series. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment with amenities. … We lived a very middle-class life.”
The Happy People Are Annoying author added that there are “no residuals on kids’ television,” so he doesn’t earn any money from the show’s reruns today. “It was like we had 18 months of runway,” he recalled. “It’s as though someone had lost their job.”
He explained, “When all is said and done, we were sort of left after agents and managers and taxes [were paid].”
Peck also touched on the idea that child stars on long-running hit shows most likely earn so much money that they are able to live comfortably for the rest of their lives — without ever having to work again.
“I can only speak to my experience, but I think it’s quite public that if you were on a show like Two and a Half Men or Modern Family, and you were the kid on a massive network, syndicated show … the case could be made that you’d have enough money to last you for the rest of your life,” he noted on the podcast.
The Wackness star might not be off base. Angus T. Jones of Two and a Half Men made three times as much money per episode than Peck made for an entire season of Drake and Josh. The young Modern Family actors — Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez — were also earning more per episode of their hit series than the former Nick star made in a season.