Ex-Georgian Brett Butler explains how she went from $25M to GoFundMe plea

Brett Butler played a role in season 9 of "The Walking Dead" shot in Georgia. (Photo: AMC)

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Brett Butler played a role in season 9 of "The Walking Dead" shot in Georgia. (Photo: AMC)

The ‘Grace Under Fire’ star has struggled with depression and a lack of steady work.

Former Georgia resident and sitcom star Brett Butler opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about her travails over the past three decades and why a friend recently posted a GoFundMe site asking for $20,000 to keep her from being evicted from her Los Angeles apartment.

“Brett has exhausted all of her resources and the stress of looming eviction is straining her mentally and physically,” her friend Lon Strickler wrote in mid-June.

“I told him, ‘I might’ve waited too long to do this, but I am so screwed right now,’” Butler, 63, told the publication. “’I’ve been ashamed. Almost ashamed to death.”

When the story came out Thursday, the GoFundMe site was around $12,000. As of early Sunday morning, that total has nearly tripled to $35,943.

Butler grew up in Marietta in the 1960s and briefly attended the University of Georgia. She had a farm in Rome for a while, too. According to an interview she did with The Hollywood Reporter in 2011, she eventually lost her farm when she could no longer make mortgage payments.

Her life was never easy. She had an abusive alcoholic father, then suffered through alcoholism and an abusive marriage before starring in “Grace Under Fire” on ABC in the early 1990s, which was a huge hit its first two seasons. But as her painkiller addiction took hold, she admitted to being a terror on the TV set. Her erratic behavior and frequent disappearances led to a truncated fifth season and an abrupt cancellation.

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Brett Butler starred as Grace Kelly in "Grace Under Fire," which aired on ABC from 1993 to 1998. (Photo: ABC, 1994)

Credit: BOB D AMICO

Brett Butler starred as Grace Kelly in "Grace Under Fire," which aired on ABC from 1993 to 1998. (Photo: ABC, 1994)

Credit: BOB D AMICO

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Brett Butler starred as Grace Kelly in "Grace Under Fire," which aired on ABC from 1993 to 1998. (Photo: ABC, 1994)

Credit: BOB D AMICO

Credit: BOB D AMICO

She said she made $25 million from “Grace Under Fire” and became sober from all drugs and alcohol by 1998. But she admitted to poor financial decisions.

“I was a little bit too trusting with some people that worked for me, and I had a lot of things stolen,” she told the publication. “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.”

Work has not been steady for her over the years. Charlie Sheen gave her a recurring role on his show “Anger Management” in 2012 for two seasons. More recently she’s had small roles in ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” HBO’s “The Leftovers,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show.”

But none of that was enough steady income. And she told the publication about a serious bout of depression that hit her in 2019.

A former stand-up comic, Butler is now working on a new routine, jotting jokes down in a notebook. “I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done that,” she said. “I was so grateful. It was like something I did at the beginning, when there was no roof on my dreams.”

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