Last year was possibly one of the most favourable for women in the entertainment industry and the best paid TV actresses of 2014 are a testimony to this. Not only did women receive challenging roles in movies, but especially television production studios have been catering to screenwriters’ more feminist approach by hiring the best talents and paying them accordingly. From comedy, to drama, to thrillers, Hollywood certainly has its leading ladies in each field, and in some cases, they receive higher compensation for their work than their male cast mates.
If you’re trying to break into the business and are wondering what the best paid jobs in the film industry are, check out our previous article on that subject. Rest assured that acting is certainly one of the preferable options, but keep in mind that it can take years until you catch a big break. However, the ladies on this list prove that with determination, talent, and a little luck, you can reach the best paid actresses of 2014 podium.
7. Kerry Washington
2014 earnings: $6 million
It’s not that Kerry Washington wasn’t a familiar face before landing the lead role in Scandal, but the hit TV show really helped boost her income. Not only did her interpretation of Olivia Pope increase her fan base significantly, but it also made her a target for endorsement deals, which she closed with Neutrogena and Movado last year. And another bonus of 2014: Washington married her boyfriend Nmandi Asomugha, as well as giving birth to her daughter.
6. Mindy Kaling
2014 earnings: $6.5 million
Perhaps what amazes us most about Mindy Kaling is that with 34 years, she’s managed to take on a wide variety of projects almost simultaneously, and has been successful in all of them. As the writer, producer, and leading actress in her show The Mindy Project, she showcases her comedic talent, while still receiving profits from her time on The Office. However, her syndication deal with Hulu Plus and endorsement deal with XFinity also add some hefty cash to her bank account.
5. Amy Poehler
2014 earnings: $7 million
We just can’t get enough of Amy Poehler and her portrayal of overly ambitious Leslie Knope on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and the network knows it. That’s why they paid her $4.5 million to bless the show with her comedic talents, and offered her a three-year deal with the network. Furthermore, the actress also earned $2 million from her endorsement deal with Old Navy, making her one of the best paid actresses of 2014.
4. Alyson Hannigan
2014 earnings: $9.5 million
Although Alyson Hannigan had her big Hollywood break when she appeared in American Pie, it was How I Met Your Mother that catapulted her salary significantly. Receiving $340,000 per episode, in addition to the shows syndication rights, the 40-year-old’s gross earnings last year reached almost $10 million.
3. Cobie Smulders
2014 earnings: $10 million
Smulders’ combination of acting in movies like Captain America: Winter Soldier and her role as Robin in HIMYM was a well-planned money making strategy. Thus, in 2014 she increased her fortune significantly, especially through the $1.5 million in syndication revenues that she earned from CBS’s hit TV series.
2. Ellen Pompeo
2014 earnings: $10 million
It’s astonishing how landing the one perfect role can assure you years of fortune in Hollywood, especially in the TV realm. Such is the case for Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which has been running now for a total of 11 seasons. Considering it’s the most watched TV show, after Castle and Scandal, and that the actress just signed on for two additional seasons, she’s likely to be on our list next year as well.
1. Sofia Vergara
2014 earnings: $37 million
For the third consecutive year, this Colombian beauty proves that being business savvy can go a long way in Hollywood, especially when you’re lovable. Sofia Vergara earns $325,000 per episode of Modern Family, but the show actually did more for her popularity than her bank account, since it landed her endorsement deals with Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, AT&T, K-Mart, and many more. Furthermore, her entertainment marketing firm, Latin World Entertainment, just launched its Spanish tech news site, bringing in even more cash for the 41-year-old. By far, Vergara takes the crown of the best paid actresses of 2014.