Britain’s got talent, that’s for sure. Some of the top actors and actresses in films today are from the UK and there isn’t one on this list that you won’t recognize. Most of them have won Academy Awards, BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television) and a myriad of other accolades. For some, it took years of gaining momentum to finally make a splash on the international scene; for others, it was almost immediate. They have all come from varied backgrounds, educations, acting disciplines and therefore, have had different levels of financial success.
Financial success in acting is rarely because the actor is better than others, but rather because he/she was lucky enough to land a recurring role in a hot franchise series. However, that is often the biggest negotiating card they hold in order to levy their future asking prices. Rather than measuring highest earnings by film, we created this list from each actors’ estimated net worth. Actors’ prices per film are not easily compared, as some may take a lower upfront salary and a percentage of the profit and/or merchandising. The types of arrangements vary by actor and his or her interest in the financial success of the film. Once an actor is fully ensconced in a recurring franchise role, they often take on additional credits, such as associate producer. So we ranked this list based on total wealth instead.
10. Judi Dench
She has been in over 50 films and many of them box office hits. It’s no wonder that Judi Dench is always in high demand. She’s been co-starring in James Bond movies since 1997 (Tomorrow Never Dies) and hit her first ball out of the park in Mrs. Brown (1997). She continues to surprise us with the breadth of roles she chooses. Dame Judy is estimated at a net worth of $16 million and going strong.
9. Daniel Day-Lewis
When Daniel Day-Lewis is involved in a film, it’s a pretty good guess it’s a blockbuster or epic of some kind. Son of a Poet, Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon, Daniel’s acting training came early. Known for being a method actor, he has starred and won Academy Awards for his roles in My Left Foot (1990), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012). He is known by his fellow actors as one of the strongest method actors of all times. He spent nearly a year researching the role of Lincoln and stayed in character at all times during filming. He even instructed others to relate to him as Lincoln. His estimated net worth is $40 million and climbing.
8. Catherine Zeta-Jones
This British lovely made her big debut as Elena, daughter of Don Diego De La Vega, in the fun-adventure film The Mask of Zorro, also co-starring Antonio Banderas. The film was a big hit and she was noted as being one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the big screen. The film’s sequel was equally loved and Zeta-Jones quickly became a sought-after actress, co-starring in movies like Entrapment, Chicago, America’s Sweethearts and Ocean’s Twelve. Of course, everyone knows she is the separated wife of Michael Douglas, which happened in 2013. They have been considered one of Hollywood’s power couples for years, so we hope it is temporary. Zeta-Jones is said to have an estimated net worth of $45 million, not including Douglas’ green.
7. Daniel Craig
Since 2006, Daniel Craig has become an international superstar for his recurring role as James Bond, although he has had over 50 other roles in his career. He is classically trained as an actor yet, has been most successful as an action star. Besides the Bond films, Mr. Craig has starred in other highly successful films, such as Munich, Road to Perdition and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. His latest Bond film, Skyfall (2012) is the ninth highest-grossing film of all time. We’re guessing this actor will continue to increase his $45 million estimated net worth.
6. Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is as beautiful as she is talented. She began acting as a child in television in 1995, when she was just ten-years-old. When she was 14, she had a supporting role in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Her big break came when she co-starred as the young soccer player in, Bend It Like Beckham and Love Actually. Her career really took off after co-starring as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean series which continues to entertain large audiences worldwide. Her net worth is currently estimated at $48 million and she is so young, we know she will continue to be a rising star.
5. Hugh Grant
Actor and film producer, Hugh Grant has a net worth of $67.5 million, so we would imagine he really doesn’t need to do much acting anymore. Two of his most popular roles, as William Thacker in Notting Hill and the British Prime Minister in Love Actually, made the world his oyster. He has continued to dip in and out of the film business, but has more recently turned his attention to buying real estate.
4. Daniel Radcliffe
The star of eight Harry Potter movies started acting in the series at the age of 11, after a couple of roles in BBC television movies, such as David Copperfield. His parents did not want their son to take the role because he had to agree to film six or seven in Los Angeles. They finally struck a deal and had two of the sequels filmed in the UK – which was a good decision for everyone as the series was an instant success. In 2007, Radcliffe started expanding his scope and got into stage acting in London and New York, and continues to do so now that his Potter commitments are complete. He is clearly one of the wealthiest young millionaires in Britain with an estimated net worth of $86 million.
3. Kate Winslet
This young Oscar-winning actress brought millions to tears in the box office hit, Titanic and it made her an international star overnight. Young Kate studied drama from childhood and began working in British television by the time she was 16. Some of her other notable roles are The Holiday, All The King’s Men, The Reader and Contagion. She is considered a serious actress, although her comedic timing is spot on. Ms. Winslet’s career has given her an estimated net worth of $90 million.
2. Sir Anthony Hopkins
Just looking at this photo would scare the bejesus out of anyone, right? Sir Anthony Hopkins made his worldwide mark when he played Hannibal Lector, the flesh-eating serial killer in Silence of the Lambs and won an Academy Award for the performance. He had made several movies prior, but this is the role that set him apart forever. Since then, he has acted in roles covering the entire spectrum in movies such as The Mask of Zorro, Meet Joe Black, Mission Impossible II, Nixon and Hitchcock. His body of work spans more than five decades. His estimated net worth is $90 million and he is still going strong.
1. Sacha Baron Cohen
For such a handsome man, Sacha is known for playing goofballs in many of his roles. After all, he got his start in modeling and then began hosting a weekly television program. Not long after, Baron Cohen made his first feature film in the British comedy, The Jolly Boys’ Last Stand but his real notoriety began when he created the character, Ali G, a boring junglist, who appeared on the Paramount Comedy Channel in 1998. Da Ali G Show began in 2000 and for that he won the BAFTA for Best Comedy in 2001. Through the years, he has interviewed politicians, journalists and other celebrities as interviewer, Ali G. Yet it was his role in Borat that ultimately made him an international star with an estimated net worth of $100 million.