The Big Bang Theory has been one of the most popular sitcoms on television for the past decade. Debuting in 2007, the series is scheduled to wrap up this year in its 12thand final season, followed by a farewell special.
Given its success, the cast of the series has, not surprisingly, become some of the highest paid stars on television. In 2017, the original main cast members agreed to take a pay cut in order to justify a raise for the two newest cast members, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. Initially supporting characters, through the last few seasons, the two women have received equal screen time and are pivotal to the storylines.
Bottom line: every cast member on the show makes pretty big bank from their roles, as well as other projects. But just how much are they actually worth? Here’s a rundown, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com.
10 Jim Parsons - $100 million
With a salary of $1 million per episode on the show (now about $900,000 after the group pay cut), or about $25.5 million per year, Big Bang Theory has accounted for the majority of Parsons’ earnings. On the series, he plays the eccentric and emotionally awkward physicist Sheldon Cooper, a role for which he’s won numerous awards.
At one point in time, Parsons was the highest paid actor on television. Today, he continues to bring in big bank thanks to narrating the spin-off series Young Sheldon, appearing in movies like Hidden Figures and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, and voicing characters in animated films like Home.
9 Johnny Galecki - $50 million
The actor with the longest and most successful resume of the bunch prior to the show (Roseanne and, of course, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation were his most notable early credits), Galecki also brings in $900,000 per episode after a $100,000 per episode pay cut.
In addition to playing the experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter on the series, who eventually gets the girl next door and marries Penny, Galecki has also appeared on Broadway. Today, his Big Bang pay is also supplemented by appearances on the Roseanne spin-off The Conners.
8 Kaley Cuoco - $55 million
With a salary of $1 million per episode as well (or $900,000 after the deal) playing Penny, the waitress and aspiring actress turned pharmaceutical sales rep and wife to Leonard, Cuoco earns additional funds through small projects. She appeared in Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie in 2017, voiced the character of Eleanor in the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, The Road Chip, and will voice the character of Harley Quinn in an upcoming TV series.
In 2017, she founded her own production company, Yes, Norman Productions, which has already optioned the rights to a book called The Flight Attendant. Set to be developed into a limited series, Cuoco will both executive produce and star.
7 Simon Helberg - $45 million
Bringing in a respectable $800,000-$900,000 per episode of Big Bang, Helberg has a lengthy comedic resume, including appearing in one early season of MADtv, as well as movies like Evan Almighty and Reno 911!
He’s continued to appear in movies alongside his role as the geeky engineer and astronaut Howard Wolowitz in Big Bang, including as pianist Cosme McMoon in Florence Foster Jenkins, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.
6 Kunal Nayyar - $45 million
Given that Nayyar’s character Rajesh Koothrappali is best friends with Helberg’s, and they often appear on screen together, it makes total sense that their net worth would match, too. Nayyar also makes $800,000-$900,000 per episode (likely closer to the latter given the aforementioned agreement among the cast members).
In his spare time, he writes as well, including co-writing the play Cotton Candy in India. He has also appeared in some films and voiced characters in popular animated films Ice Age: Continental Drift and Trolls.
5 Melissa Rauch - $8 million
Making an average of about $500,000 per episode, which is below all of the other castmates but far above her initial salary on the show (thanks to the group pay cut), the pint-sized actor (she’s just 4’11’’) plays Howard’s wife Bernadette Rostenkowski, a smart and feisty Ph.D. in microbiology who works in a high-level job at a pharmaceutical company.
In addition to her role on the series, Rauch also appeared in the comedic stage show The Realest Real Housewives and co-wrote and co-produced the 2015 film The Bronze, in which she also starred. She’s also done voice work, including voicing the character of Harley Quinn in the animated film Batman and Harley Quinn and Light Thief in the episode "Light Riders" of the kids' cartoon Blaze and the Monster Machines.
4 Mayim Bialik - $25 million
She, too, makes about $500,000 per episode as Sheldon’s wife Dr. Amy Farrah-Fowler, a Ph.D. and neurobiologist. But while she does have just as much screen time these days, her paycheck jumped considerably in the last few seasons. Bialik’s net worth, however, is still fairly high considering her lengthy career in television, including her most notable previous role as the title character in the ‘90s sitcom Blossom.
As an accomplished neuroscientist in real life, Bialik is also the only cast member who can actually understand all of the scientific jargon in the show. When she’s not playing Amy, she also does a lot of voice acting.
3 Kevin Sussman - $3 million
As a supporting character on the series, Sussman plays the geeky, awkward, lonely, and self-deprecating comic book store owner Stuart who longs to be included in the group. He also appeared in the TV series Ugly Betty and has starred in a number of films, including Almost Famous, Sweet Home Alabama, and For Your Consideration. He appeared in episodes of TV series like The Sopranos and Weeds as well.
He reportedly makes about $50,000 per episode of Big Bang, making much of his net worth tied to the soon-to-be-ending series.
2 John Ross Bowie - $3 million
Playing one of Sheldon’s many nemeses, Barry Kripke, a physicist who also studies in the same area of string theory as Sheldon, Bowie only appears occasionally on the series.
But he always brings the laughs thanks to his Elmer Fudd-like voice (it's fake) and constant desire to frustrate Sheldon. He, too, reportedly makes about $50,000 per episode.
1 Wil Wheaton - $500,000
It’s surprising that Wheaton, Wesley Crusher in the original Star Trek: The Next Generation and lead in the iconic 1986 film Stand By Me, has the smallest net worth of them all.
Only appearing in a handful of episodes as a recurring character and playing an exaggerated version of himself and yet another frenemy of Sheldon’s, Wheaton apparently gets about $20,000 each time he appears on the show. Not bad for a day’s work.