While a lot is made about the big money contracts that the biggest movie stars receive these days, that isn’t the only medium where actors can make a lot of money. You may then be able to guess that the other is on television where huge amounts of cash are earned each and every year. That is especially true when it comes to the people who star on ratings behemoths.
Over the years, television has become the home of seemingly ever-expanding types of storytelling. You have sports, soaps, talk shows, game shows, family shows, dramas, news, and enough more that if we attempted to list them all, our readers would quickly become bored. With that being said, there is no doubt about the fact that one of the most popular forms of TV entertainment has to be the sitcom which covers a huge amount of the television landscape that requires a long list of celebrities that star in them. Considering that fact and how fiscally rewarding TV stardom can be, we knew many people would qualify for a list of the fifteen richest sitcom stars of 2017.
In order for a someone to be up for consideration for this list, they must star in a sitcom that is set to debut or has begun airing and hasn’t been cancelled as of this writing. We’ve already mentioned that there is a wide variety of TV shows on today so in an effort to put this list together, we’ve chosen to only include people from North American shows that are listed as sitcoms on Wikipedia. Additionally, in order to make sure that we are only looking at the stars of these shows, they need to be listed as the main cast on Wikipedia as well. That means that guests and recurring stars were excluded from consideration. When it comes to the ranking of this list, we are considering the net worth of the stars in question rather than a single season or episode’s pay cheque. When it comes to net worth, we are obviously not the accountants of anyone involved so we have gone on the figures already compiled for this website based off of public information. The only other thing to keep in mind is that we went to great lengths to try and include every sitcom star we could but there is an outside chance that we missed out on some.
15. Anthony Anderson – $18 Million
One of the funniest men in Hollywood for years now, it is about time that Anthony Anderson finds himself the star instead of a supporting player. Previously seen in movies like Romeo Must Die, Me, Myself & Irene, Exit Wounds, Barbershop, The Last Stand, and so many more, anyone in the know could have told you how entertaining he can be. Blessed with an infectious laugh and incredible comic timing, he spent years as the go-to choice for projects that need to add a few laughs. Now the star of the ABC sitcom Black-ish, which has been on the air since 2014, it certainly has been financially rewarding for him. That is why it should come as no surprise that he currently has a net worth of eighteen million dollars.
14. Minnie Driver – $20 Million
A proper English actress who most would associate more with dramatic roles, it may come as a surprise to many that Minnie Driver is currently the star of a sitcom. Known for movies like Grosse Point Blank, Good Will Hunting, Princess Mononoke, and the incredibly underrated Owning Mahowny to name a few, she has been hanging around the TV scene for a while now. Having previously starred on television in both The Riches and About a Boy, apparently, she enjoyed the medium. We say that because she signed on to star in the show Speechless which is currently produced by ABC. In the show, she plays the mother of a family with very strong personalities. Currently worth twenty million dollars, judging by her resume, we’d assume she’s found some pretty nice pay cheques for her film and TV work.
13. Anna Faris – $20 Million
When the movie, Scream came out, it enhanced the careers of a lot of people but it wasn’t able to take an unknown person and turn them into a star. On the other hand, the film that spoofed it, Scary Movie, did just that for Anna Faris, as she became recognizable overnight. Going on to star in a long list of films since, including several more Scary Movie films, Waiting, Just Friends, The House Bunny, as well as Observe and Report, she has shown real staying power. That is to say nothing of the movie she appeared in called Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel which really needs to be seen by a lot more people, especially science fiction and comedy fans. She currently plays the lead role in the CBS sitcom Mom, as someone who has fought substance abuse problems and now that she’s sober, finds herself tangling with her mother who is played by Allison Janney. Currently worth twenty million dollars, she seems poised to increase that number even further as time goes on.
12. Jim Parsons – $28 Million
The Big Bang Theory has its fair share of lovers and haters. But none of that really matters to television executives while it continues to stay near the top of the television ratings heap. An ensemble show that features a rather large cast that are all important to its success, there is still no doubt that Jim Parsons, the actor that plays Sheldon Cooper, is positioned as its star. Nominated for several awards due to his work on the show, including at the Golden Globes, Emmys and more, Jim has also been rewarded financially as he is currently worth twenty-eight million dollars.
11. Katey Sagal – $30 Million
There are certain actors who are seen as television legends, including the likes of Bob Newhart, the Monty Python gang, Mary Tyler Moore, Jerry Seinfeld, and a lot more. If you ask us, Katey Sagal deserves to be right near the top of any list like that based off of her ability to play a part in a long list of historic TV series. Case in point, she starred in Married…with Children, Futurama, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and Sons of Anarchy which is simply amazing. Currently playing one of the main characters in yet another sitcom, CBS’s Superior Donuts, the series has already been renewed for a second season and at this point, we have to believe Katey has a lot to do with that.
10. George Lopez – $35 Million
A stand-up comedian and actor with a huge following, George Lopez seems to have the Midas touch because everything he puts his stamp on tends to find an audience. Appearing in movies like The Spy Next Door, Valentine’s Day, The Smurfs, Rio, and several others, he is actually better known for his work on television. Case in point, he previously starred in the sitcom George Lopez, hosted Lopez Tonight, and has filmed several HBO specials as a comedian. Currently starring in the TV Land sitcom Lopez, the show is in the midst of its second season. Worth thirty-five million dollars due to his multimedia dominance, it seems as though his bank account is always on the rise.
9. Patricia Heaton – $40 Million
One of the most beloved sitcom stars of recent years, Patricia Heaton’s stint as Debra Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond earned her millions of fans around the world. Although she has appeared in a handful of films to date (six to be exact), there is no doubt that television is the place to see her do her thing. Having previously been a regular on three other series, Room for Two, Back to You, and The Middle, she continues to prove that she is bankable. Starring in The Middle since 2009, the ABC sitcom was renewed for a ninth season in January of this year. Worth forty million dollars currently, after more than twenty seasons on various series, she is clearly worth every penny she is justly paid.
8. Ed O’Neill – $45 Million
We already touched on the career of Ed O’Neill’s television wife of yore, Katey Sagal, and it just seems right to us that they both belong on a list like this. Playing Al and Peg Bundy on the immensely popular and edgy sitcom Married… with Children, no matter how many characters they each play over the years, their careers will always be liked. While Ed hasn’t appeared in nearly as many series as Katey, the show that he stars in now, Modern Family, is arguably more popular than any of the shows she has starred on since their days together. Perhaps that is why he has beaten her out on this list, as he is now worth forty-five million dollars.
7. John Lithgow – $45 Million
An actor who has played a villain a lot over his long career, John Lithgow is memorable for movies like Footloose, Raising Cain, Cliffhanger, and playing a major part in a season of Dexter in hated roles. Despite that, there is no doubt that from some of his more comedic roles and appearances on talk shows, the man is nothing short of lovable. His television roles have proven that over the years, including a memorable recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, and of course his off-the-wall performance as Dick Solomon from 3rd Rock from the Sun, he has remained his footing in the entertainment industry. Currently starring in an NBC sitcom named Trial & Error, there is no way to tell how long the series will last but there is certainly good reason to have faith in it based on John’s supporting role. Worth forty-five million dollars, John’s wealth is an amazing achievement but he should be much prouder of the mark that he has made on many people’s hearts.
6. Kaley Cuoco – $51 Million
The second and last star of The Big Bang Theory to make this list is Kaley Cuoco. She plays a pivotal part on the show but isn’t positioned as the top star as her peer Jim Parsons is. That is why it may come as a surprise to some that she was able to beat him out in our rankings here just like Ed O’Neill beat out Katey Sagal and there are a couple of reasons for that. First off, she has gotten some movie roles of late including movies like The Wedding Ringer and Why Him?. However, the biggest reason why that seems to be is the fact that she previously starred in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, where she coincidentally enough co-starred with Katey. Currently worth fifty-one million dollars, it seems obvious that she shouldn’t have to worry about money for a long time now.
5. Matt LeBlanc – $60 Million
When a lot of people think about television in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the sitcom Friends will come to mind very quickly, which makes sense as it was nothing short of a behemoth. While Jennifer Aniston has been the most sought-after star of that show in the years since, Matt LeBlanc deserves oodles of respect for his part in one of the best television shows of recent years. Episodes is a co-production with BBC and while it isn’t a sitcom, it belongs on a list of the best series ongoing as evidenced by Matt being awarded a Golden Globe and its many fans. Of course, in order to appear here, Matt needs to be starring in a sitcom and he is. CBS’s Man with a Plan has been renewed for a second season. Worth sixty million dollars, his involvement in more than one celebrated series makes that figure far from surprising.
4. Matthew Perry – $70 Million
From one star of Friends to another, Matthew Perry’s career hasn’t been all that different from our previous entry, as he is mostly seen as a television star. Aside from the success of the movie The Whole Nine Yards, Matthew has been focused on TV stardom as evidenced by starring or recurring roles in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Good Wife, and Go On. Currently starring in the latest version of The Odd Couple, in this case, a CBS sitcom he also co-created, the show has been on the air since 2015 and co-stars Thomas Lennon, one of the funniest people around. Currently worth seventy million dollars, he seems to have taken full advantage of every fiscal opportunity he was granted.
3. Kevin James – $80 Million
Love him or hate him, Kevin James has absolutely killed it as an actor if the measure of such is the amount of money that he’s been paid. He first found lasting success on television as the star of The King of Queens that lasted for an always impressive nine years. In the years since that show ended, Kevin became largely known for being a part of Adam Sandler’s entourage which is why he appeared in the Grown Ups movies, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Pixels. Evidently deciding to make his return to the medium that made him famous recently, he is currently starring in the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait, which did well enough to already be renewed for a second season. Based on his years in the spotlight, it should come as no surprise that his finances are very much in order as he is worth eighty million dollars currently.
2. Tim Allen – $80 Million
A former stand-up comedian that became a star after playing the lead role in Home Improvement, Tim Allen is very good at what he does. It certainly seems like he will never be up for an Academy Award but he has been able to create a slew of memorable and beloved characters, including his roles in the Toy Story and Santa Clause movies. On top of that, he played the main role in one of the best sci-fi comedies of recent years, 1999’s Galaxy Quest, which introduced several beloved characters and was a great send-up of a type of storytelling too. Currently starring in the sitcom Last Man Standing aired by ABC and just finished airing its sixth season at the time of this writing, it is yet another hit in a long-lasting TV career. Worth eighty million dollars currently, after a lengthy career like his and the pleasure he has brought many people, he deserves to be near the top of a list like this.
1. Sofía Vergara – $100 Million
Modern Family is one of the most popular shows on television today and while it features an ensemble cast, including Ed O-Neill who made it to this list, Sofía Vergara could arguably be called its star. Being the family matriarch (through marriage) of the show, her character is typically at the center of a lot of drama and her comedy shops and large personality makes her a joy to watch. Also a former model and movie star who has been nominated for a slew of awards including Golden Globes, Emmys, and SAG Awards, she has become celebrated and beloved. Worth one-hundred million dollars at the time of this writing, a number like that is the thing of dreams for the millions of people that enjoy her show whenever it airs. Still, we’re guessing they’d be fine with that as long as it means she continues to entertain them.