Last week, we took a look at a slew of websites devoted to stingy celebrity tippers, and compiled our master list of the ten most notorious cheapskates. Now it's time to cross over to the sunny side of the street, where the "haves" have not just money, but class. The person who topped our prior post of tightwads was Tiger Woods; the person most gracious with gratuities has had just as rough a year. Here are ten tippers to whom we tip our cap:
10. Scott Storch was cited by Jacqueline Kravette, on Huffington Post, as one of the best tippers in Los Angeles. "Service people will drop whatever they are doing once he falls upon the scene," writes Kravette. "He rewarded a bellman at a trendy Hollywood hotel $100 to get him a pack of cigarettes." He has also been cited as "giving serious dinero over to (his) servers." This was all presumably before he "snorted his way to ruin."
9. Jessica Simpson: She may not be able to differentiate tuna from chicken, but Ms. Simpson apparently knows how to take care of wait staff. According to milliontalks.com, which placed Jessica among its Best Celebrity Tippers, Jessica recently dined with her mother, assistant, and two other friends at New York's Lavo restaurant and deposited a $300 tip on a $500 bill. But that's not all. She also left a note for the waitress: "You were amazing and make this world a better place, Love Jess."
8. Barack Obama: The President appears on many a list of generous tippers. According to the one assembled by the Christian Personal Finance website -- and they should know something about being charitable -- while in the Raleigh Times Bar in Raleigh, North Carolina, Obama "paid for a $2 beer with a twenty, and told the bartender to keep the change." Zimbio.com calls that "change we can believe in." TMZ.com originally broke this compelling story, and it also reported two weeks ago that President Obama "dropped more than $200" on a burger lunch for he and campaign staff at Ted's Bulletin Restaurant in Washington, D.C., and "tipped more than 35%." To be fair, it is said that the Republican Presidential candidates running against Barack have likewise been leaving hefty gratuities. Funny thing is, they give the tips to the corporate owners of the establishments rather than to the workers.
7. Paris Hilton: This sweet little thing has a heart of gold -- at least when it comes to treating workers right. The heiress shows up on list after list of magnanimous tippers (her presence each time described with the word "surprisingly"). Still, "She meets and greets everyone personally and is never rude," insists one source for The Sun. This view is echoed by glamorati.com on its Top 20 Tipper post: "Is said to always take care of wait staff and tip handsomely. She's also generous with hairdressers, manicurists, valets and drivers."
6. Russell Crowe: Every dark cloud has its silver lining, and Hollywood's tempestuous star has an apparent knack for brightening the moods of those who serve him. He comes in at number six on both christianpf.com and zimbio.com's 10 Best Celebrity Tippers. Who are we to argue? The latter site writes of a vacation in South Wales during which "Crowe stopped by the Carew Inn in Tenby for a quick pint with friends, and ended up leaving a 600 pound tip." He also played guitar and sang for the crowd.
5. Drew Barrymore: She has a widespread reputation for always tipping 100% -- "of whatever bill she is paying -- and sometimes more," adds The Sun. Anna Ortiz, the star of Ugly Betty, served Drew twice back when she was working as a waitress, and is quoted as saying that Drew would "double up the bill, tipping 100%." It is not difficult to imagine Ms. Barrymore being generous in this way; she fairly exudes that type of spirit.
4. Bill Murray: As with Barrymore, all the sites claim that Murray tips the amount of the check. "100% of the tab," concurs glamourvanity.com. One waiter claimed that Murray put down "a 120% tip on top of a $60 check." Zimbio.com adds to the tale, writing that Murray also "showed the waiter how to make lemon wedges juicier by rolling the lemon on the cutting board prior to slicing it." It is difficult to authenticate the anecdotal evidence alluded to in these and other best of/worst of lists. Anyone can say anything. Yet a personal, if second-hand experience lends credence to Murray being as giving with tips as is reported. An eight-year old nephew of a friend of mine was terminally ill, and through Make A Wish Foundation asked to meet Bill Murray -- who was riding high on Ghostbusters at the time. Murray ended up taking the kid to a few major league baseball games, visited him in his home and in the hospital, and eventually attended the funeral. So we believe that Murray probably is giving towards those who serve him.
3. David Beckham: Beckham scores with the working class and consistently comes in second place on best tipper sites. As the story goes, Beckham stopped in at Joxer Daily's Pub in Culver City, California, with some LA Galaxy teammates. They had beers and snacks, he stuck to mineral water, and racked up a $100 tab. Beckham kicked in an extra $900 as the tip. Then again, thesun.co.uk puts the Joxer bill at 70 pounds and the tip at 620 pounds. "He signed autographs for anyone who asked. He smelled so nice! I hugged him so tight and he didn't mind at all," volunteered one waitress. "David certainly tips well," a Beckham spokesperson agreed, "usually because of good service."
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2. Johnny Depp: We can't deny it: JD is extraordinarily liberal with gratuities. He comes in number one on every top tipper chart around. He is said to have left a $1,500 tip on a $2,600 tab. More recently, Depp reportedly plunked down $4,000 to a waiter at the Chicago steakhouse Gibsons. The waiter who received the tip, Mohammed A. Sekhani, says that Depp "is a very soft spoken guy who is charming and sweet -- when I wait for him he doesn't like to be too fussed over and is not in any way demanding." Sekhani has also waited on Robert DeNiro and Sean Connery, "but Johnny Depp is my favorite." We bet. He is everybody's favorite because he is such a cool dude. That's why he's not number one on our list. He's Johnny Depp: He is supposed to leave outrageously cool tips.
1. Charlie Sheen: When his daughter Cassandra Jade Estevez had her Sweet Sixteen party, Sheen slipped $200 to everyone who worked the event. That landed Sheen at #3 on Zimbio's celebrity tip list, and near the top of a number of others. "He has even been known to tip $100 at one of the local beauty salons," according to a 10 Best Celebrity Tipper list compiled by radio station 92.5 FM in Los Angeles. Yet as with Bill Murray, we have a more verifiable anecdote about Sheen. A waiter friend tells us that he waited on Charlie almost twenty years ago in an East Village lounge in New York. And although this was way before Sheen hit the CBS sitcom jackpot, he left a tip "as large as the bill -- and the bill was pretty large." That's just the way the rock star from Mars has always rolled.
Honorable Mentions: Dan Ackroyd, Drew Carey, Hillary Duff, Hulk Hogan, Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt, Floyd Mayweather, and Julia Roberts.