The highest paid actresses in the world earned a combined total of $186 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018, up 17% from 2017 figures. But according to a 2016 study, women are currently only featured in 28.7% of speaking roles, meaning female stars have fewer opportunities to bring home the megabucks. This past year, only two women were able to rise above the $20 million marks, down from three in 2017 and four in 2016. George Clooney, the highest paid male actor, earns more than all of the top-paid actresses combined.
Being Wonder Woman is clearly working wonders for Gal. The Israeli actress finds herself among the top 10 for the first time this year, thanks to her 2019 sequel Wonder Woman 1984 and a recent endorsement for Revlon. Other famous roles: Starring alongside Vin Diesel in the Fast and Furious movies Before fame: She was the winner of the Miss Israel pageant in 2004. Fun fact: Her first name means “wave” and her last name means “shores” in Hebrew.
Earnings: $12 million
Melissa is currently lining her pockets with her earnings from The Happytime Murders and Can You Ever Forgive Me?Other famous roles: Playing Sookie St. James in Gilmour Girls, starring in the Ghostbusters remake, and co-starring with Sandra Bullock in HeatBefore fame: She was a standup comic and member of the Groundlings, a Los Angeles-based comedy team. Fun fact: She is the cousin of controversial Playboy playmate and TV host Jenny McCarthy.
Cate has been feathering her nest with family-friendly films lately. The bulk of the Australian actress’ earnings come from The Clock in its Wall and Thor: Ragnarok. Other famous roles: Playing Queen Elizabeth I in the acclaimed 1998 hit ElizabethBefore fame: She studied Fine Art and Economics at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Fun fact: Her father, who was a Texan advertising exec, died suddenly of a heart attack when Cate was only 10 years old.
Earnings: $13 million Wonder grossed $310 million worldwide, Julia’s biggest box office hit in over a decade. The veteran actress is still pocketing paychecks from her older movies, as well as a Lancôme endorsement. Other famous roles: Headlining the comedy movie, Pretty WomanBefore fame: Her dream was to become a veterinarian, but she started working as a model in New York instead. Fun fact: She played clarinet in high school.
Earnings: $16 million
Mila continues to ride the wave of success after she scored herself another box office hit with Bad Moms Christmas, a sequel which grossed $130 million. Other famous roles: The voice of Meg on the long-running animated adult series Family Guy, and Jackie on That 70’s Show. Before fame: She was born in Ukraine, but moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven. Fun fact: She was in a long term relationship with former child star Macaulay Culkin of Home Alone fame from 2002 to 2011.
Reese seems to be finding more success on the small screen these days, but her $1 million per episode salary for Season 2 of Big Little Lies is nothing to be sniffed at. Her previous movie earnings make up half her paycheck and keep her securely in the ranks. Other famous roles: Starring as Elle Woods in Legally BlondeBefore fame: At the age of seven, she was selected to be a model for a florist’s TV ads. Fun Fact: Her name, “Reese”, is actually her mother’s maiden name.
Earnings: $18 million
Although her movies, Mother! and Red Sparrow were flops at the box office, the Hunger Games actress still rolls in the dough thanks to her role in the X-Men movies, as well as her contract with Dior. Other famous roles: Playing Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games series Before fame: She worked as an assistant nurse at her mother’s summer camp. Fun fact: She graduated high school in just two years, with a 3.9-grade point average.
Jennifer is still raking in the big bucks 15 years after Friends ended, through her ongoing endorsements of Emirates Airlines, Aveeno, and Smartwater. Rumor has it her paycheck will hit the roof this year when production begins on her upcoming Apple series with another top earner Reese Witherspoon. She will receive about $1.25 million per episode. Other famous roles: Playing the waitress who wears “flare” in the cult hit movie Office Space Before fame: She worked as a bike messenger, telemarketer, and waitress to support her acting career. Fun fact: In 1996, she appeared in the music video for “Walls” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Earnings: $28 million
The Hollywood humanitarian might be channeling most of her focus into her work as a UN special envoy these days, but she is still a top earner in Tinseltown, demanding double-digit millions for major roles. Her upcoming movie, Maleficent 2, accounts for the majority of her earnings these days. Other famous roles: Starring as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series Before fame: She quit acting class at the age of 14 and had aspirations to become a funeral director. Fun fact: She is the daughter of famed actor Jon Voight.
By helping to save the world in the Avengers films, Scarlett has saved herself the top spot as the highest paid actress in the world. Her role as Black Widow in the wildly successful superhero conglomerate has quadrupled her earnings from 2017. Other famous roles: Starred alongside Bill Murray in Lost In TranslationBefore fame: She made her big screen debut at the age of nine, in the film North. Fun fact: She is a twin! Her twin brother’s name is Hunter, and he appeared alongside her in the film Manny and Mo.
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