Father Christmas to the Stars
Brady White is not your typical mall Santa. As one of the most high-profile Kris Kringle's in the world, the actor turned professional Santa Claus has taken the typical seasonal business to another level.
As one of the world's most sought after Santas, he copyrighted the name "Santa to the Stars" and has his natural white beard insured with Lloyds of London for the past 25 years. He has entertained Hollywood celebrities, visited the White House, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II who called him “Sante Claus.” White is one of the few top-billing Santas who has leveraged his likeness to St. Nick into a full-time gig.
A fixture at Kim Kardashian's annual Christmas party for the past 25 years, Santa White has had more famous names sit on his lap than he can count. Since 1969, when the unemployed actor applied for a job as Santa at the Beverly Hills Mall, Brady White has maintained his Christmas image year-round. After winning a local contest where he was named the best Santa in Beverly Hills, agents sought him out offering $5,000 an appearance.
By the following summer, he was flying to the Swiss Alps for a photoshoot that would be featured in the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog. After the photo was featured in Vanity Fair, his life changed. Since then he’s gone on to build up an impressive portfolio in print and commercial advertisements in addition to annual appearances at Cartier and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The average Santa earns $8,000 to $15,000 during the holiday season, but particularly talented ones can pull in as much as $70,000. White's fee is a closely guarded Hollywood secret, but he is said to be the highest paid professional in the business with a fee of $7,000 for a 2-hour appearance. In the off-season, he is said to charge $80,000 a day for commercials and photoshoots. And while he won't reveal how much he earns, he has said, "People can work six months and not make what I make in four hours."
In the end, the true meaning of Christmas is one of giving, and Brady White leverages his talent and celebrity status to help raise awareness for Alzheimer's Respite Care. In addition, he's been known to squeeze in surprise visits to children's hospitals in between high profile holiday gigs as well as donate his time to numerous charities.
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