These Are The 10 Highest-Paid Actresses Of 2020

Some may surprise you

Forbes has released its list of highest-paid actresses in 2020, and if there’s one thing that is abundantly clear, it’s that the small screen brings in big money.

Based out the outlet’s annual list, television actresses were amongst the highest earners this year, with the vast majority of stars in the ranking having reaped most of their financial rewards from appearing in hit TV shows, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family.

The actress who placed ‘second’ last year officially surged ahead in 2020, thanks to her role as a reality TV show host, a hit sit-com and a number of endorsements, earning USD $43 million (AUD $60 million) this year alone.

This year also saw the inimitable Viola Davis make her debut on the list, thanks to her role in the hit show How To Get Away With Murder.

That said, there are a few other surprise entrants on the—and it must be said, overwhelmingly white—list. Scroll on to see the complete list of the 10 highest-paid actresses in Hollywood for 2020.

10. Viola Davis: USD $15 million (AUD $20.9 million)

Viola Davis

Appearing on the list for the first time (although we’d argue, based on her talent, she should have been here a long time ago), Viola Davis takes out the 10th spot, thanks to her roles as Annalise Keating in blockbuster series How To Get Away With Murder and Ma Rainey in Netflix’s film film adaption of the August Wilson play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

9. Elisabeth Moss: USD $16 million (AUD $22.3 million)

Elisabeth Moss

Blessed be the fruit! For her role in the dystopian TV series Handmaid’s TaleMoss is paid USD $1 million per episode (AUD $1.4 million). Forbes also revealed that her role in the surprise hit film Invisible Man also accounted for a large, undisclosed portion of her earnings in 2020.

8. Ellen Pompeo: USD $19 million (AUD $26.5 million)

Ellen Pompeo

Following a contract regnotiation in 2017, Pompeo earns about USD $550,000 (AUD $767,800) for her role in the iconic TV series Grey’s Anatomy. Per Forbes, she also pockets around USD $6 million per year (AUD $8.38 million) from her share of the show’s syndication profits.

7. Nicole Kidman: USD $22 million (AUD $30.7 million)

Nicole Kidman

According to Forbes, Nicole Kidman will be joining her Big Little Lies co-star Meryl Streep in Ryan Murphy’s The Prom on Netflix (due for release in December 2020) which will pay her an eight-figure upfront salary. She will also earn approximately USD $1 million (AUD $1.4 million) per episode for her role in the psychological thriller series The Undoing.

6. Emily Blunt: USD $22.5 million (AUD $31.4 million)

Emily Blunt

The first film in Emily Blunt’s A Quiet Place series grossed AUD $477 million on an AUD $23.73 million budget. Blunt has negotiated an upfront eight-figure salary for the sequel, to be released next year. Her part in the film Disney’s upcoming film The Jungle Cruise will also earn her a check in the high seven figures. 

5. Meryl Streep: USD $24 million (AUD $33.5 million)

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep reportedly made USD $5 million (AUD $6.98 million) between 2019 and 2020 from her HBO comedy film Let Them All Talk. The rest of her earnings came from her roles in the hit films Little Women and The Prom, alongside Kidman.

4. Melissa McCarthy: USD $25 million (AUD $34.9 million)

Melissa McCarthy

The comedy star maintains a regular income as the host of TV show Little Big Shots, but also bolstered her earnings by appearing in two films: Thunderforce and Superintelligence. Forbes also factored in her upcoming role as Ursula in the live-action version of The Little Mermaid to place her fourth on the list.

3. Gal Gadot: USD $31.5 million (AUD $43.98 million)

Gal Gadot

Although filming for Wonder Woman 1984 may be on hiatus, Gal Gadot’s partnership with Netflix proved to be rather fruitful, with the actress raking in over USD $20 million (AUD $27.9 million) for her role in the film Red Notice

2. Angelina Jolie: USD $35.5 million (AUD $49.53 million)

Angelina Jolie

One of the few actresses to make almost all of her earnings from traditional films, Angelina Jolie’s biggest money-maker for 2020 comes from her starring role in The Eternals, slated for release in November 2021.

1. Sofia Vergara: USD $43 million (AUD $60 million)

Sofia Vergara

And the top spot goes to: Sofia Vergara! Following the series finale of her internationally beloved show Modern Family in April 2020, the actress began her run as a judge on America’s Got Talent, with the vast majority of her earnings come from the reality TV show. Forbes also reports that Vergara padded out her pockets with a number of endorsements and licensing deals, including a line of jeans and furniture at US retailers Walmart and Rooms To Go, respectively.

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