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How Ellen Pompeo Achieved a Net Worth of $70 Million

Ellen Pompeo

Being one of the most popular actresses on one of the longest-running shows is bound to net you a fair sum. However, we've seen stars that grossed a colossal amount end up in the poor house before. Money management is a vital skill. It doesn't matter what you make if you have no clue what to do, other than spend all that cash. Fortunately for her, Ellen Pompeo is good with numbers, or at least her financial advisors are. Whatever the case, she's amassed an enormous sum. Here's how Ellen Pompeo achieved a net worth of $70 million.

Early Influences

Ellen was born on November 10th, 1969, in Everett, Massachusetts. She's the youngest of six children with three brothers and two sisters. Her mother passed away from a painkiller overdose while she was still very young, and Ellen cites that early experience as a part of why she appreciates life so much. Seeing someone you love, especially a parent die when they're still young themselves (Ellen's mother was 33), gives a young person perspective on the world. Doubtless, Ellen will always carry what she learned from that experience.

Once she reached adulthood, Ellen moved to Miami, Florida, where she began working as a barmaid and dating fashion photographer, Andrew Rosenthal. The couple eventually moved to New York City together in 1995, and it wasn't long before she was approached by a casting director who had her appear in ads for L'Oreal and Citibank. Her career seems to have started almost by accident. However, the casting director had a great eye and clearly knew their business because Ellen would go on to become wildly successful, though not just yet. How did she manage to go from slinging drinks in Miami to becoming one of the most well-paid actresses on television? It wasn't an easy path. Ellen took a lot of smaller roles at the beginning of her career. However, they paid off in the end.

Early Career

Ellen worked in New York for a while doing small independent films, ads, and other acting work. It was pretty standard fare for an up and coming actress. Her Television Debut came in 1996 when she guest-starred on an episode of NBC's Law and Order. It would be three years later in 1999 before she landed her first feature film role, a small part in Coming Soon. The next year she made a second appearance on Law and Order.

Over the next four years, Ellen would perform a series of roles in films and on television. Notably, this included playing the ex-girlfriend in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where all of her scenes were later cut from the film. Regardless, it was a project she'd enjoyed being a part of, and she mentioned her gratitude for the role. Altogether she worked on about eighteen different shows and movies during the time before her real 'big break,' which finally happened in 2005.

Dr. Meredith Grey

Getting the lead role as Dr. Meredith Grey in Greys' Anatomy was the significant role her talent had been waiting for. Throughout her early career, Ellen was often praised for her abilities, but the world didn't really get to see what she was capable of until Greys Anatomy. Taking on what would be the biggest, and possibly final role of her career was a serious endeavor. It was just a year later that Ellen first mentioned that Greys Anatomy would likely be her last role as an actress.

Though the cast couldn't have known it in advance Greys Anatomy, a word-play on the famous textbook Grays Anatomy, was a hit from the moment it first aired on March 27, 2005. Audiences and critics alike praised the show and Ellens' more than capable performance. Though she began as an intern, Dr. Grey would become the driving influence at her hospital over the next sixteen seasons. Likewise, Ellen would become one of the best-paid actresses of all time. In 2018 Ellen renegotiated her contract and agreed to be Meredith for another two seasons. At that time, she negotiated a phenomenal twenty million dollars a year salary for doing the show.

And Then Some

There was more in her agreement than that fantastic sum of money. Ellen has decided to transition out of acting and into producing. Her name is on the credits as a producer now if you're paying attention when the episodes end. Ellen has also become a co-producer on the series spinoff Station 19. The deal goes deeper than that. Ellen has created her own production house. Calamity Jane Productions has it's offices on Walt Disney Studios property. That may have been influenced subtly by her decision to lend her voice to the character Willow on a 2017 episode of Doc McStuffins, but we're not sure. Regardless the production company has already gotten off to a running start. They've developed ideas for two shows with ABC already, and there's plenty more where that came from.

Career and Money Savvy

If anyone understands how important it is to take a win and parlay it into a better situation, Ellen Pompeo is that woman. She wrote a piece on the gender wage gap for the January 2018 edition of The Hollywood Reporter, and she's not stopping there. By moving from the spotlight to behind the scenes, Ellen stands to continue her upward trend and increase her pay over time. If you thought she'd stop at a whopping twenty million a year, you were wrong. Ellen has long term plans that definitely don't involve retiring anytime soon. Times are changing, and women's equality is finally starting to get rolling. Ellen Pompeo is a woman who knows an excellent opportunity when she sees one, and we'll be fascinated to see where she goes next. Somehow we doubt Calamity Jane will be the end of her career aspirations, though we can't wait to start viewing more of her shows.

Final Thoughts

In a field that's salary-dominated by male actors, and run by mostly male producers and directors, women like Ellen Pompeo are blazing the trail for the next generation of women to keep moving forward and upward. It's fair to say that Ellen earned all her money the smart way, with her talent and her incredible savvy. She has an eye for what works and when to pounce on an opportunity or create one of your own. Though she made her first few million from the screen, like most self-made millionaires, Ellen is building a business model that will help keep her on top for years to come. Lookout (disgraced) Weinstein, the women are finally making their move to take half the pie, and ladies like Ellen are at the front of the line.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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