She Was A TV Star In The 90s, But Now She Can’t Afford Her Rent And Is In Desperate Need Of Cash
Back in the ’90s, Butler got her big break when the creators of the sitcom “Roseanne” approached her about having her own sitcom, “Grace Under Fire.” The two sitcoms were filmed on the same lot and were similar yet different. While Roseanne Bar‘s show was about a working class family, Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator, described “Grace Under Fire” as “a love letter to all the single, working moms out there.”
Things started out great, but Butler gained a reputation for being difficult to work with. Then Butler, who already struggled with alcoholism, got addicted to the prescription pain killer Vicodin after being prescribed it for sciatica.
Butler went to rehab several times to try to kick the addiction. Shooting of the show’s final season, season 5, was even delayed in order to work around Butler’s rehab, but in the end, the show couldn’t survive Butler’s behavior. Originally, the season was supposed to have 25 episodes, but it was canceled after just 14 episodes.
Butler knows it was her fault the show ended. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “At the bloody bitter end, I really was difficult. I was out of my mind. Drugs will do that to you. The show should have been pulled sooner than it was.”
She made about $25 million from the show, but to her own admission, she lost a lot of it from bad financial decisions. She explained, “I was a little bit too trusting with some people that worked for me, and I had a lot of things stolen. That’s just stupid on my part, not to have insurance for those things. And to loan and give a lot of money away. I really just felt so guilty for having it — I almost couldn’t get rid of it fast enough.”
Butler ended up leaving Hollywood to buy a farm in Georgia. She also rescued multiple cats, dogs and horses. In the end, she couldn’t pay the mortgage for the farm and literally lost the farm. Unlike some news sources reported, she did not end up in a homeless shelter. Instead, she returned to Hollywood in hopes of making a comeback.
As of 2021, Butler was renting an apartment for about $2500 a month, but she was having trouble paying the bills there too. Her friend Lon Strickler convinced her to set up a GoFundMe to help her with her expenses. The fundraiser is no longer accepting donations, but in the end, it raised almost $50,000 when the original goal was $15,000.
Butler has had a few acting jobs in recent years, but none of them pay as well as “Grace Under Fire.” She credits Charlie Sheen with getting her a part as a cocktail waitress on the show “Anger Management.” She also appeared on “How to Get Away with Murder,” “The Leftovers” and “The Walking Dead.” Most recently, she played Reese Witherspoon’s character’s mom on “The Morning Show.”