Would you rather be rich, or rich & famous?

Just like the title says. You can choose between two professions that pay fantastically, equally well: one which involves being very well known (star actor, musician, athlete, etc.), and one which does not. Assume that you’d enjoy the jobs themselves equally.

For the “fame” option, you don’t have to assume a Michael Jackson / Tom Hanks / Michael Jordan level of mega-fame where you can’t go anywhere without being mobbed, but you’ll be at least famous enough that, were you to walk around New York all afternoon without your hat/sunglasses, you’d almost certainly be recognized by several people, and chances are good that a couple of them would feel the need to talk to you. You also have to do your share of interviews, charity appearances, etc. OTOH, you’ll have the opportunity to supplement your income *somewhat *with your fame (i.e., from endorsements and the like), should you choose to do so.

In the early going it’s a shutout (6-0) for anonymous. If it develops as a total blowout in that direction, I guess I’ll be a little surprised. I know there are lots of people out there who want to be famous.

In case I undersold being famous in the OP, I should also point out that you can use your fame to help others (like Bono except, you know, not so much), and obviously you get a lot of free shit and special consideration from strangers.

Can I choose the degree of fame? “Known locally as a good X” sounds fine. So does, “Known in certain circles as an expert on X”. But being Somebody in pop culture is something I could do without.

Rich only. Rich and famous would be amusing at first as I frustrated people’s explanation (“No, Larry King, I will not tell you how I feel about my mother’s death, because it’s none of your fucking business”) but would quickly grow wearisome.

I’m assuming at least some amount of pop culture notoriety. Doesn’t have to be a lot, but there has to be at least some chance that a typical Joe Public from Anytown, USA might recognize you.
I don’t know, what level of fame is desirable for most people? What level would people be willing to put up with to make $2,000,000 (US) a year instead of $60,000?

WAG - People who want to be famous want you to know that they want to be famous, 'cause that will help make them famous, whereas people (like me) who have no particular interest in it keep a low profile.

Rich and anonymous for me, thanks. Wealth gets you plenty of stuff and special consideration (if that’s what you want) just like being famous can.

I’ve had my 15 minutes in the spotlight and there were a good 14 minutes of “This is kind of a pain in the butt” for every minute of “Someone saw me on TV and they think I’m cool”.

Plus look at the public exposure of famous people, how many of us would want that? There was an article on CNN the other day about what some big-name celebrities spend on the private security that they need, it can hit $1M/year. No thank you.

I already had my 15 minutes of local fame, several times.

Being tapped in the shoulder at the supermarket by someone who doesn’t really know me but who has been told I’ve done (X) and wants to know whether it’s true got tired the first time.

Well, they said fame was lonely…

I want to be rich, but I don’t want people to know. I think it has become very dangerous to be known as wealthy. You have all kinds of con men after you, and constant requests from charities.
Nope, I want a big house, in a gated community, and anonymity!

People want to be famous because being famous makes you rich.

I want enough money that I can hide in my cabin in the mountains by the lake and be that funny looking old lady in the plaid fannel coat and big mack boots that stumps around town harumphing and seeming grumpy and then looks up at you with a twinkle in her eye and gives you a $20 tip.

Anonymity, baby, all the way.

Ah, crap, I picked the wrong one :smack:

Clicked in the basic vicinity, assumed I clicked the one I wanted, and hit submit … therefore, I deserve neither riches nor fame.

My official answer is #2 - Riches, no fame. My voted answer is not that answer.
I’d still like the riches, though.

“Out there,” maybe – but I think Dopers skew way differently than the general population, at least that part of the population that’s looking for a shot on a reality show, if not their own series. This is a group that hangs out on an anonymous message board, after all …

Not always, and that’s really got to suck because most people assume it does. Most recently, the star of Precious corrected someone who called hers a ‘rags to riches story’ by explaining that she is not rich. A while ago some fan complimented Courtney Love on her weight loss and Love spat back that she lost weight because she was too poor to eat (although that is likely not true, she has had major financial ups and downs). Not sure what Lindsay Lohan’s current situation is, but in the past she’s been shown to be deeply in debt, at least relative to other sometime members of her entourage like Paris Hilton and Sam Ronson (both from rich families). Britney’s still a millionaire, but she doesn’t make money every time her name is mentioned, magazine publishers do – and she and other stars are often seen as money grubbing when they do something that will directly profit them rather than someone else (e.g. endorsing products, selling baby or wedding pictures before a paparazzo can).

On the other hand, I know people who have had a few recurring television roles and were thrilled to be making so much, as well as smart enough to save some and use the rest wisely. But then I’ve also met rich people who yearn to be somewhat famous (usually though modeling or movies). Young poor filmmakers depend on a lot of them for money!

Rich & infamous?

With all the paparazzi and other nutcases out there, I can only imagine that those celebrities that develop a degree of paranoia have a pretty good reason for it. Wealth and obscurity suits me just fine, should cut down on the number of complete strangers who’ll want me to lend them money too.

I’ve never much been able to process the notion of being famous. It seems like the cons vastly outweigh the pros.

Change “lady” to “man” and this could be me. Secret wealth rocks.