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The 12 Highest Paid Actresses in Hollywood

The world’s most sought-after stars can collect in the neighborhood of $20 million for a movie or upwards of $1 million for a single 30-minute episode of television. 

This begs the question: Which celebs are making bank on the big screen as a paid actress or actor?

Names like Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Tom Hardy, and Ryan Gosling emerge as likely frontrunners for the men for their work on everything from Top Gun to Fury Road to Spider-Man, what about their leading lady counterparts? 

We’ve got you covered with this countdown of 12 of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses

12. Margot Robbie 

  • Birthdate: July 2, 1990 (33 years old)
  • Birthplace: Dalby, Queensland, Australia
  • Claim to Fame: Got her big break in The Wolf of Wall Street before rising to fame as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. 2023’s Barbie was her biggest moment yet. 
  • Estimated net worth: $60 million 
  • Income Sources: Acting, producing, and promotional deals 

While Robbie got her start on the Australian soap opera, Neighbours, her first big break came when she was cast in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.

Robbie went on to achieve worldwide recognition as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad among other roles. Recently, the phenomenal success of Barbie on the big screen catapulted Robbie to new levels. While she was initially paid $12.5 million for her work on the film, industry insiders say she made in the neighborhood of $50 million with box office bonuses and backend deals factored in. 

11.  Meryl Streep

  • Birthdate: June 22, 1949 (74 years old)
  • Birthplace: Summit, NJ 
  • Claim to Fame: Widely hailed as “the best actress of her generation” 
  • Estimated net worth: $100 million
  • Income Sources: Acting 

Few actresses are as critically acclaimed (and well-compensated) as Meryl Streep. 

Over the years, Streep has forged an impressive career with notable films like Kramer Vs. Kramer, Silkwood, Adaptation, Mamma Mia!, The Devil Wears Prada, Into the Woods (with Emily Blunt), and Julie & Julia. Her television credits include shows like Angels in America, Big Little Lies, and Only Murders in the Building. 

Today, Streep’s standard salary is a staggering $20 million per film.

10. Kaley Cuoco 

  • Birthdate: Nov 30, 1985 (38 years old)
  • Birthplace: Camarillo, California
  • Claim to Fame: Best known for playing Penny on The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco got her start on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules and recently won a Golden Globe nomination for her work on the The Flight Attendant 
  • Estimated net worth: $110 million 
  • Income Sources: Acting, singing, modeling, presenting, and endorsements

While Cuoco started as a child actress, her career took off with the massively successful The Big Bang Theory.

Not only did Cuoco become a household name on Big Bang, but she also became one of television’s highest-paid stars commanding $1 million for her role by the time the show reached its final two seasons. 

Cuoco has continued to build wealth through her Hollywood production company and endorsement deals with Priceline, Toyota, and Proactiv.

9. Melissa McCarthy 

  • Birthdate: Aug 26, 1970 (53 years old)
  • Birthplace: Plainfield, Illinois
  • Claim to Fame: Best known for roles in the movie Bridesmaids and the television show Mike & Molly, McCarthy is one of the most celebrated comedic actresses in the world
  • Estimated net worth: $90 million
  • Income Sources: Acting, screenwriting, producing, fashion design

Melissa McCarthy appeared in many movies and television shows before her starring role on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly made her a household name. While she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the show, her true breakout role was in the hit 2011 comedic film Bridesmaids. Since then, she’s starred in a long list of other movies, including Identity Thief, Tammy, and Ghostbusters. 

In addition to raking in millions every year for her acting roles, McCarthy’s diversified income streams include her own production company and fashion line.

8.  Jennifer Aniston

  • Birthdate: Feb 11, 1969 (54 years old)
  • Birthplace: Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Claim to Fame: Sky-rocketed to fame in the role of Rachel Green on Friends 
  • Estimated net worth:  $320 Million
  • Income Sources: Acting, directing, producing, and endorsements

During the last two seasons of Friends, Jennifer Aniston and her female co-stars were the highest-paid television actresses of all time. Their take? A whopping $1 million per episode. 

Aniston parlayed her Friends success into a successful movie career, starring in films like Bruce Almighty, Along Came Polly, We’re the Millers, and Netflix’s Murder Mystery movies. Most recently, she’s earned critical acclaim for her work on Apple TV’s The Morning Show. Today, she averages $25 to $30 million every year—not including royalties from Friends which can soar as high as $20 million. 

Aniston has amplified her fortune through her own fragrance line and endorsement partnerships with brands like L’Oreal, Emirates, and Aveeno. 

7. Jennifer Lawrence

  • Birthdate: Aug 15, 1990 (33 years old)
  • Birthplace: Louisville, KY
  • Claim to Fame: While Lawrence gained early recognition for her Academy Award-nominated work in Winter’s Bone, she hurtled to international fame in the career-making role of Katniss Everdeen
  • Estimated net worth: $160 million
  • Income Sources: Acting, modeling, producing, and endorsements

Discovered at just 14 while on vacation, Lawrence's first big break was on the TBS show The Bill Engvall Show. While Winter’s Bone was her first break-through role, her turns as Mystique in X-Men and Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games trilogy launched her career into the stratosphere. Her award-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook alongside co star Bradley Cooper also earned her critical acclaim.

Lawrence remains one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses, with a minimum paycheck of $15 million for a film. The star also has a $20 million contract as the “face of Dior."

6. Julia Roberts

  • Birthdate: Oct 28, 1967 (56 years old)
  • Birthplace: Smyrna, GA
  • Claim to Fame: Pretty Woman represented a massive breakout moment for the star, who remains one of Hollywood’s favorite stars
  • Estimated net worth: $250 Million
  • Income Sources: Acting, producing, and Endorsements

One of the highest-paid celebrities in the world for decades, Julia Roberts earns between $20 and $40 million annually between the box office and endorsements.

Her first big break came with her Oscar-nominated performance in Steel Magnolias. However, it wasn't until 1990’s Pretty Woman that Roberts became one of the planet’s most bankable stars. Other noteworthy hits have included blockbusters like Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, The Pelican Brief, and many others.  Her dramatic turn in Erin Brockovich not only landed her much more than a million but also the ultimate achievement: the Academy Award for Best Actress. 

Roberts also has her own production company, Red Om Films, and her pick of endorsement deals.

5. Gal Gadot (AKA Wonder Woman)

  • Birthdate: Apr 30, 1985 (38 years old)
  • Birthplace: Rosh HaAyin, Israel
  • Claim to Fame: Israeli actress and fashion model best known for landing the iconic lead role of Wonder Woman
  • Estimated net worth:  $40 Million
  • Income Sources: Acting, modeling, and endorsements

A former Miss Israel, Gal Gadot chose to leave behind the world of beauty pageants to pursue a modeling and acting career. That decision proved to be a lucrative one. Her career took off when she won the coveted lead in Wonder Woman. 

While Gadot was reportedly paid just $300,000 for her first DCU movie, the film's impressive box office performance saw her salary increase to $10 million for the follow-up film. Since then, Gal Gadot remains one of the industry’s most sought-after stars for films like Death on the Nile, Red Notice, and the forthcoming Snow White.

Gal Gadot also has numerous endorsement deals, including a partnership with global cosmetics brand Revlon. 

4. Angelina Jolie

  • Birthdate: Jun 4, 1975 (48 years old)
  • Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
  • Claim to Fame: Known for her beauty, transformative on-screen performances, and humanitarianism, she won an Academy Award for her role in Girl, Interrupted
  • Estimated net worth: $120 million
  • Income Sources: Acting, directing, and filmmaking

Commanding in the neighborhood of $20 million for a single role, Angelina Jolie has consistently been one of the world’s highest-paid actresses. 

While she was born into Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie quickly carved out a path of her own thanks to her extraordinary talent. Her dramatic turn in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted earned her critical acclaim—and an Academy Award. She then went on to take on the role of action heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which boosted her international profile. Subsequent roles like Maleficent in the eponymous Disney film added to both her clout and bank account.

In addition to acting, Angelina Jolie is also a film director and humanitarian. She amassed global influence while working as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and Special Envoy. 

Jolie has further diversified her income stream through a multitude of endorsement deals, including with St. John,  Louis Vuitton, and Guerlain. 

3. Reese Witherspoon

  • Birthdate: Mar 22, 1976 (47 years old)
  • Birthplace: New Orleans, LA
  • Claim to Fame: Standout performances in Legally Blonde and Walk the Line made Witherspoon a star, while strategic ventures in film production and business solidified her status as one of Hollywood’s most influential women
  • Estimated net worth:  $400 Million
  • Income Sources: Acting, producing, entrepreneurialism, endorsements

In addition to being one of the world’s most popular actresses, thanks to her award-winning film and television work on everything from Legally Blonde to Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon has also been incredibly successful in her producing and entrepreneurial pursuits. 

In 2016, Witherspoon founded her own production firm, Hello Sunshine. After producing a series of highly successful television shows and movies, she sold the company for around $900 million. Her lifestyle brand, Draper James, continues to enjoy monumental success. She’s also reportedly made nearly a billion through her book club.

Furthermore, Witherspoon has many lucrative endorsements and partnerships to her name, including with major brands like Avon and Crate & Barrel. 

2. Sofia Vergara

  • Birthdate:  July 2, 1990 (33 years old)
  • Birthplace: Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Claim to Fame: Vergara’s breakout role on Modern Family established her as an international phenomenon 
  • Estimated net worth:  $180 Million
  • Income Sources: Acting, modeling, television presenting, and producing

Sofia Vergara became a household name when she landed the role of Gloria Pritchard on Modern Family. The show was a smash hit for 11 seasons, during which Vergarda earned an impressive $500,000 per episode and was nominated for multiple Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe awards.  

But Modern Family was just the start. Since then, Vergara has continued to accumulate money as a successful Hollywood producer and through her work as a judge on America’s Got Talent, for which she reportedly earns $10 million a year. 

Vergara has leveraged her comedic charm and massive popularity into many lucrative endorsement deals, including Pepsi, CoverGirl, Head & Shoulders, and Synthroid.

Additionally, Vergara is building a retail empire with her own lines of jeans, furniture, and perfumes. 

1. Scarlett Johansson

  • Birthdate: Nov 22, 1984 (39 years old)
  • Birthplace: New York City
  • Claim to Fame: After breaking out with Lost in Translation, Johansson became one of the world’s most recognizable actresses for the role of Black Widow in the MCU  
  • Estimated net worth:  $165 million 
  • Income Sources: Acting and endorsements

While Scarlett Johansson may have gotten her start as an indie darling, she went on to establish herself as a bona fide Hollywood star and a major contender for the title of the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.

After gaining widespread critical acclaim for her breakthrough role in Lost in Translation, Johannson became known as a versatile actress with the rare range to seamlessly shift from action-packed blockbusters to serious dramas. Her movies have included Marriage Story, Her, Ghost World, Isle of Dogs, Under the Skin, In Good Company, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Sing, and many others. However, none had as transformative an impact on Johansson’s career as her turn as Black Widow in The Avengers and subsequent MCU movies. 

In addition to commanding high fees for her acting work and box office mojo, Johansson has secured many lucrative endorsement deals with the likes of Calvin Klein, Mango,  Dolce & Gabbana, L'Oréal, Louis Vuitton, and Moet & Chandon. 

Who Will Be the Next Highest Paid Actress in Hollywood?

Wondering which other leading ladies are bringing home the bacon? Sandra Bullock, Jamie Lee Curtis (AKA Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends), Anya Taylor Joy, Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Florence Pugh or Enola Holmes up-and-comer Millie Bobby Brown are also-rans on the list of top paid actresses in Hollywood. Each may be within one box office smash of making it onto next year's list. 

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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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