New York product Judd Apatow headed west to study screenwriting at USC. He worked as a stand-up comedian and eventually pivoted to writing, producing and directing. He was behind the cult television hit Freaks and Geeks, and has since directed and produced such lovable R-rated comedies as Anchorman, Bridesmaids, 40 Year Old Virgin and Funny People with his wife, actress Leslie Mann. For all their Hollywood success, the couple is worth over $100 million collectively, by some estimates.
Apatow and Leslie move their philanthropy through the Apatow-Mann Foundation, which gave a little under $675,000 in a recent year. The couple are among the cadre of Hollywood donors to contribute major funds to the new Obama Foundation, with Apatow and Leslie giving the outfit between $10,000 and $100,000.
What else is this funny couple into?
Their giving includes a mix of causes, touching areas like education, health, human services, and unsurprisingly, the arts. Grantees include UCLA Fund, Save the Children, City Year Los Angeles, ACLU of Southern California, Inner-City Arts, American Film Institute, the Rape Foundation, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and NRDC.
Apatow and Leslie are also longtime supporters of 826LA, which encourages and develops the writing skills of disadvantaged youth. Apatow strongly believes in the power of literacy, and, as he put it, "I realized learning how to write was something that helped me survive. I think it's a good thing to provide that assistance to kids who don't have the money to pay for tutors."
In addition, Apatow and Leslie have earmarked funds for global organizations like Water.org, World Food Program, and Eastern Congo Initiative. Apatow is only 50, and Leslie is in her 40s, so expect plenty more from their entertainment careers in the coming years. However, since they've turned to philanthropy quite early, expect their charitable work to deepen as well.