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How Simon Helberg Achieved a Net Worth of $45 Million

Simon Helberg

People may or may not recognize Simon Helberg's name. However, chances are good that they will recognize his face. After all, Helberg played Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory, which is one of the most successful sitcoms of the 2000s and 2010s. As such, everyone in that show's main cast are very recognizable.

What Is Simon Helberg's Current Net Worth?

The salaries paid to the cast members of The Big Bang Theory were a topic of much discussion. In particular, it is worth mentioning that Helberg was paid $1 million per episode at one point in time, which was something that he shared with a number of the other cast members. Thanks to this, it is no wonder that there are sources such as Celebrity Net Worth that estimate that he has a net worth of approximately $45 million. There is a limit to how much these estimates should be believed. Still, they are useful for getting a general sense of things, if only on the opinions of curious outsiders.

How Did Simon Helberg Reach His Current Net Worth?

There are a lot of people who head to Los Angeles to fulfill their dream of becoming an actor. However, Helberg wasn't one of them. After all, he was born in Los Angeles. Furthermore, both of his parents were involved in the entertainment industry. Helberg's mother was a casting director. Meanwhile, Helberg's father was an actor. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that he eventually went to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he picked up valuable experience at the Atlantic Theater Company.

Besides this, it is interesting to note that Helberg was raised Jewish, starting out Conservative but moving more towards Reform over time. If that makes no sense, it should be mentioned that the main division in Jewish religious movements in the United States is between traditional Judaism and Reform. Traditional Judaism consists of not one but two religious movements, which would be Orthodox and Conservative. Orthodox Judaism believes in strict observance of Jewish law that has been interpreted using traditional methods and nothing but traditional methods because the system is grounded in divine revelation. Meanwhile, Conservative Judaism believes that the authority of Jewish law comes more from the assent of the Jewish people over the generations than from divine revelation, with the result that it is willing to consider historical-critical research in addition to traditional methods. As for Reform Judaism, it believes in a continuous revelation that is connected to human reason, as shown by how it considers Jewish law to be non-binding.

In any case, Helberg started out in comedy in the early 2000s. In those days, he often worked with Derek Waters as the sketch comedy duo Derek & Simon. The two managed a degree of success, as shown by how they were able to make a web series plus a couple of short movies. Something that meant more in those times than in the present. At one point, Derek & Simon even had a HBO pilot, though nothing further ever came from that. Simultaneously, Helberg was also showing up in various movies and TV shows in roles that tended to be comedic in nature. To name some examples, he was in Van Wilder, Old School, and A Cinderella Story, though he wasn't very notable in any one of them. Similarly, Helberg also had bit roles in everything from Arrested Development to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Still, these experiences paid off because he was eventually cast as Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory in 2007. For those who are unfamiliar, Helberg's character wasn't one of the main characters from the very start of the show. That was true for just three characters, which were played by Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and Kaley Cuoco. However, he and Kunal Nayyar are nonetheless notable in that their characters were always there from the very start rather than relative late-comers who became popular enough to become permanent cast members. Moreover, they were always relatively important before becoming more so as their characters received more narrative focus, meaning that it wasn't too long before they became main cast members as well.

Naturally, these considerations had an impact on how the cast members were compensated for their work. Initially, the three main cast members were paid at most $60,000 per episode. By the fourth season, they had become popular enough that they were earning $200,000 per episode. Something that would continue to rise until the three main cast members were being paid $350,000 per episode in Season 7. Before the filming for Season 8 started up, the cast members renegotiated, which proved to be very beneficial for Helberg and Nayyar. Originally, they were being paid about $100,000 per episode by that point, but they had become important enough that they started pushing for equal pay as the three original main cast members. In response, the studio plus the producers threatened to write their characters out of the story if they couldn't reach a deal before filming started up. Eventually, everyone came to an agreement. Helberg and Nayyar didn't get equal pay right away, but they did see an increase in compensation. Moreover, they were paid more and more until they eventually reached equal pay at $1 million per episode for Season 10. Later in March of 2017, the five agreed to a 10 percent pay cut so that two other main cast members Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch could see a pay raise, though the latter two still fell far short at $500,000 rather than $900,000 per episode. Naturally, there were other benefits involved as well.

Further Considerations

Helberg has been involved in other projects during The Big Bang Theory as well as after The Big Bang Theory. Indeed, he remains quite active in this regard, being involved in both movies and TV shows. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that Helberg made most of his money because of the show that he is most associated with.

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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