Michael Richards is an American comedian, actor, writer, and television producer.
He is most well-known for his role as Cosmo Kramer on the television comedy ‘Seinfeld,’ for which he received widespread recognition.
|Born:||July 24, 1949|
|Height:||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Country of Origin:||United States of America|
|Source of Wealth:||Professional Actor|
Michael Anthony Richards was born in Culver City, California on July 24, 1949. He is the son of librarian Phyllis and engineer William Richards. Michael’s father tragically perished in a vehicle accident when he was just two years old.
Richards attended Thousand Oaks High School and the California Institute of the Arts, but in 1975 he earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater from The Evergreen State College. During this time, he also had a brief improvisational performance with Ed Begley Jr.
During the Vietnam War in 1970, he was drafted and spent two years in the Army before being honorably discharged.
In 1979, he made his television debut in Billy Crystal’s first cable TV special. In 1980, Richards appeared in the ABC sitcom “Fridays,” for which Larry David was a writer.
Richards worked on “Miami Vice,” “Cheers,” and Jay Leno’s show as a frequent guest throughout the 1980s. Richards starred in the 1989 Weird Al Yankovic comedy film “UHF.”
In 1989, Michael was cast as Cosmo Kramer in the NBC sitcom “Seinfeld,” which was produced by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, his former coworkers.
The program began slowly, but by the mid-1990s it had become one of the most popular sitcoms on television and finally one of the most successful shows ever. Richards received the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1993, 1994, and 1997, more than any other cast member.
“Seinfeld” ended its nine-year reign at the top of the Nielsen ratings in 1998. Richards and his co-stars offered interviews and audio commentary for the DVD release of “Seinfeld” in 2004.
Richards was also the initial candidate for the starring part in the television series “Monk.” Michael made notable film cameos in “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Air Heads,” “Coneheads,” and “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” among others. Richards began working on the new NBC sitcom “The Michael Richards Show” in 2000.
Richards was credited as both co-author and co-executive producer. Audiences rejected the initial pilot test, so NBC reworked the premise. However, it was discontinued after only a few weeks of airing due to low viewership and negative reviews.
Michael resigned from stand-up comedy and hasn’t been seen around Hollywood much since a 2006 incident at the Hollywood nightclub The Laugh Factory, where he directed a racist tirade towards a small group of Black audience members during a performance.
On “Late Night with David Letterman,” he issued a public apology that was not well received.
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Richards was married for 18 years to former casting director Cathleen Lyons. Together, they have a daughter, Sophia (b. 1975). They split up in 1992.
Richards is engaged to actress Beth Skipp in 2007, after dating her since 2002. They have a single son. He resides in Glendale, California at present.
Michael Richards Seinfeld Salary
Throughout the first several seasons of Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, and Jason Alexander got minimal compensation for their involvement in the program.
Before the fifth season in 1993, they successfully negotiated rises that increased their salaries to $150,000 per episode, or around $3.8 million per season.
In May 1997, the supporting cast members demanded a significant pay increase, intending to earn $1 million every episode. The network replied with $200,000, followed by $400,000.
In the end, they received $600,000 per episode for the show’s last season, which equated to around $15 million each. That is equivalent to earning almost $24 million today. In total, the supporting cast of Seinfeld received around $45 million in base salary before inflation.
Earnings From Syndicating Seinfeld
Julia, Michael, and Jason do not get considerable sums of money from “Seinfeld’s” syndication deals, which have reached approximately $4 billion as of this writing, contrary to popular assumption.
In order to profit from syndication sales, one must hold a certain amount of the show’s equity.
On the program, the supporting cast never received backside points. They do receive royalties when the show airs, but these payments amount to no more than a few hundred thousand dollars per year, not millions as many believe.
In contrast, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld earned $250 million from syndication sales alone in 1998. Larry and Jerry earned at least $50 million per year from syndication points a full decade later.
Although they were refused backend points in 1997, they were able to obtain profit-sharing points on DVD sales, resulting in a moderate windfall when people purchased DVDs.
Michael Richards is a well-known actor in the United States who is currently worth a total of $30 million.
Both an actor and a comedian, he is most recognized for his performance as Cosmo Kramer on the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” which aired in the 1990s.
In 1992, Michael paid $525,000 for a property in Studio City, California, according to public records. In 1998, just a few months following the conclusion of Seinfeld, he sold the house for $810,000.
Michael purchased a 6,000-square-foot property in the Pacific Palisades region of Los Angeles for $1.75 million in 1996. According to Michael, he fell instantly in love with the house while bicycling around the area.
There was a for sale sign in the front yard, so he wrote his name and phone number on a scrap of paper. The current lessees of the residence called him back and gave him the owner’s contact information.
As it turned out, one of the renters was a friend of Michael’s agent and contacted to verify whether or not the genuine Michael Richards had left his name and number in their mailbox along with an offer to purchase their home. The agent validated.
Michael toured the home with the owner and made an offer that was accepted at the moment. He paid in cash only.
The property, which was created by the renowned African-American architect Paul Williams in the 1920s, has expansive vistas of the Pacific Ocean from practically every room. Currently, the home is worth $8 to $10 million.
Michael was a huge fan of the comedian Red Skelton as a child. According to a Star Map, as a child, he would have his mother drop him off in Bel-Air in front of what he believed to be Red’s residence.
Red and Michael became buddies years later. Michael purchased Red’s complete collection of rare books upon his passing, which are now housed in his own library.