Night after night, they’ve made us laugh with their antics as the stars of our favourite sitcoms. Being a sitcom actor isn’t a bad gig if you can get it — many of them have become household names. Some have stuck with comedy; others have gone on to other things. What they do have in common, though, is that sitcom stardom has helped make them very, very rich. To compile our list, our only criterion was that these actors had to have been members of the main cast of a TV sitcom at some point. Net worth estimates come from TheRichest and are given in US dollars.
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20. Kevin James
Net worth: $80 millionKevin James began his career as a stand-up comedian doing the talk show circuit. After moving to Los Angeles, he became friends with Ray Romano and guest starred in a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. This set the groundwork for creating his own hit sitcom, King of Queens, in which he starred as parcel delivery man Doug Hefferman.
James and Romano even had their sitcom characters become friends and made crossover appearances in each other’s shows. James also starred in some very funny movies and in 2016, returned to the world of situation comedy for two seasons of Kevin Can Wait.
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19. Roseanne Barr
Net worth: $80 millionIt’s a good thing that Roseanne Barr made enough from sitcom stardom because in effect, a single tweet caused her to have to retire with less money. Having started her career with stand-up, Barr broke new sitcom ground with Roseanne, which ran for nine seasons and won her an Emmy, a Golden Globe and three American Comedy Awards. She went on to have roles in numerous movies and TV shows, hosted awards shows and her own talk show and wrote three books, constantly courting controversy in between.
In 2018, Roseanne came back for a tenth season that was so successful that the network renewed it for another season. However, two months after this decision, the network cancelled the show instead after Barr sent the racist tweet that ended her career.
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18. Tim Allen
Net worth: $80 millionFor someone like Johnny Galecki to make it onto the list, he’d need a little more than $1 million-per-episode deal. Take Tim Allen, whose $1.25 million (about $2 million today) per episode of Home Improvement was more than the Big Bang Theory cast got paid. In 1994, the actor starred in the top rated TV series and the highest-grossing movie – The Santa Clause – and had a book at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, all within one week.
He would go on to win numerous awards, including a Golden Globe, write another book and star in numerous hit movies. He would also become the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise. It’s a good thing the star of current sitcom Last Man Standing changed his ways after serving a little over two years in prison for cocaine trafficking back when he was a struggling comedian.
Related: 25 richest criminals of all time.
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17. Bob Saget
Net worth: $100 millionFull House made the Olsen twins two of the richest child stars of all time but the grown-up cast members didn’t do too badly either. Bob Saget played the dad, Danny Tanner, from 1987 to 1995. More than a decade later, he would reprise the role in Fuller House. Saget also starred in Raising Dad and the very short-lived Surviving Suburbia and did the voice of future Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother.
In addition to his many other acting roles, directing and stand-up work, Saget has also been a very successful TV host. From 1989 to 1997, he introduced us to all of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
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16. Ray Romano
Net worth: $120 millionIn 2004, after having starred in his first sitcom role for the previous eight years, it was clear that everybody, indeed, loved Raymond: Ray Romano became the highest paid actor in TV history at the time with a pay check of $1.7 million per episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. That’s about $2.2 million in today’s money. The show won him three Emmys and three American Comedy Awards, among others.
While working on Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano started making movies too, most notably providing the voice for Manny the woolly mammoth in Ice Age and its sequels. After Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano starred in series like Men of a Certain Age, Vinyl and Get Shorty.
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15. Kelsey Grammer
Net worth: $120 millionKelsey Grammer had already had a few forgettable TV roles by the time he got a job acting in six episodes of the third season of popular 80's sitcom Cheers. Those six episodes turned into 203. After Cheers came to an end, Grammer got to continue playing the socially awkward psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane in the even more popular spin-off series Frasier, from 1993 to 2004, which won him four Emmys and two Golden Globes. Two more sitcoms followed: Back To You and Partners.
There were also drama series like Boss – which won him another Golden Globe – as well as guest roles and TV movies and lots of voice work, most notably two more Emmy-winning performances as Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons and as narrator of Trollhunters. Grammer’s third wife, Camille, was one of the original stars of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, where the episode in which she revealed that he wanted a divorce was the highest rated for that season.
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14. Charlie Sheen
Net worth: $125 millionToday, Sheldon Cooper actor Jim Parsons may be one of the highest paid TV actors per episode but back in 2010 and 2011, Charlie Sheen took home $1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men. Born into Hollywood royalty, Sheen first made a name for himself on the big screen, with lead roles in movies like Platoon, Wall Street, Hot Shots! and Young Guns.
His debut on the small screen was in the last two seasons of Spin City, where he replaced Michael J. Fox. After Spin City ended, Sheen landed the role of Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men, playing the role for eight seasons until a very public firing and breakdown. This was the perfect backdrop for his next sitcom, Anger Management, where he played an anger management therapist. In 2015, a year after Anger Management ended, Sheen’s announcement that he was HIV positive led to a 95% increase in the sale of over-the-counter HIV test kits, which researchers then called "The Charlie Sheen Effect".
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13. Rowan Atkinson
Net worth: $130 millionNon-British audiences mainly got to know Rowan Atkinson as one of the funniest people on TV in the early 90s, without him having spoken a word. Mr. Bean was actually his second sitcom, though — his first was Blackadder, which made history much funnier than one could think possible. After Mr. Bean, Atkinson played a police inspector in Ben Elton’s police sitcom The Thin Blue Line.
In addition to his sitcom roles, he has also had us in stitches with many comedy roles on TV, on stage and in the movies, where even cameo appearances could steal the show — who can ever forget him wrapping a gift in Love, Actually? We can safely say that we’re glad he never pursued his first career choice: he holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Oxford University.
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12. Ashton Kutcher
Net worth: $140 millionWhile studying biochemical engineering, Ashton Kutcher won a modelling competition which set his future on a completely different track. His first acting role outside of commercials was in That 70s Show, where he met current wife Mila Kunis. He portrayed the character Michael Kelso from 1998 to 2006 and made movies and the series Punk’d in between, while also marrying and later divorcing Demi Moore.
In 2011, after Charlie Sheen got fired from Two and a Half Men, Kutcher was brought in to play internet billionaire Walden Schmidt for the show’s last four seasons. His $755,000 per episode deal made him the highest paid actor on American TV at the time. Kutcher also has another career as venture capitalist who is very actively involved in tech. In 2013 he even became a product engineer with Lenovo.
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11. Miley Cyrus
Net worth: $160 millionWhen Miley Cyrus was eight, the family moved to Toronto, where dad Billy Ray was filming the TV series Doc. After her dad took her to a production of Mamma Mia! at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, she knew that she wanted to be an actress too. She was 11 when she auditioned for teen sitcom Hannah Montana, which made her a teen idol. This led to a successful singing career, controversial attempts to have a more mature image, world tours, some more acting roles and a gig on The Voice.
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10. Sofía Vergara
Net worth: $160 millionSofía Vergara’s first acting role was in a Mexican telenovela. In her twenties, after her brother was murdered during an attempt to kidnap him, she emigrated from Colombia to the United States. Here she landed bit parts in shows like Baywatch before being cast in her first sitcom, the short-lived Hot Properties.
Drama and comedy series and even another telenovela – she started to dye her naturally blonde hair darker to look the Latina part – before she had us in stitches as Gloria in Modern Family. During the show’s run, she became one of the world’s highest paid TV actresses and won a slew of awards, including four SAG Awards.
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9. Krysten Ritter
Net worth: $185 millionKrysten Ritter seems to gravitate towards roles that have her playing drug addicts, suicide survivors and other female TV characters who battled mental health. Including, her title role as Jessica Jones and Breaking Bad’s Jane Margolis. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that her big sitcom role was as Chloe, who the title >Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment B refers to. In addition to her acting work, Ritter has been a successful model, published a novel – a psychological thriller, of course – and is one half of Ex Vivian, an indie rock duo.
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8. Tracey Ullman
Net worth: $199.5 millionEven though she’s mainly known for her many hilarious sketch comedy series – including The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured regular animated shorts about a boy named Bart Simpson and his family – Tracey Ullman’s early TV work included a starring role in a popular British sitcom named Girls on Top. Her co-stars were Dawn French, Ruby Wax and Jennifer Saunders. In the 90's, she was seen playing a quirky therapist to Ally in Ally McBeal. Ullman also had a brief singing career, made movies like I Love You to Death, started an online clothing store and co-wrote a book about knitting. She has seven Emmys, two BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and twelve American Comedy Awards to her name.
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7. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Net worth: $200 millionBorn into the super wealthy Louis-Dreyfus family, Julia Louis-Dreyfus could have been just another socialite. Instead, she dropped out of university to join the cast of Saturday Night Live. She then became a household name as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, which also made her one of the highest paid TV actresses at the time.
After Seinfeld ended she could have sat back and enjoy her riches but instead, she made a few movies, acted in a few more TV shows and became the lead in two more hit sitcoms: The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep. She has more Emmys and SAG Awards on her mantelpiece than any other actor and definitely doesn’t need the family wealth.
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6. Jennifer Aniston
Net worth: $200 millionBack in the day, Jennifer Aniston and her Friends co-stars became the highest paid TV actors when they negotiated $1 million-per-episode deals. The show was immensely popular, made Aniston a superstar and inspired everyone to wear their hair in a style known as The Rachel. Friends wasn’t her first foray into the world of situation comedy but it was the first sitcom she starred in that wasn’t a complete dud.
In between filming episodes of Friends, she made movies and married Brad Pitt. The marriage broke down the same year Friends came to an end but Aniston went on to star in several more hit movies, appear in commercials and sign endorsement deals and launch her own perfume line. She now stars in The Morning Show, for which she gets paid $2 million per episode.
See also: Jennifer Aniston’s Style Evolution.
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5. Ellen DeGeneres
Net worth: $330 millionThese days we all know her for her talk show and her antics while hosting awards shows like the Oscars, so it’s easy to forget that she first made it onto our radar in sitcoms. In fact, she was cast in two short-lived, mostly forgotten sitcoms in the late 80s and early 90s before landing the lead in Ellen, which ran from 1994 to 1998.
She made Hollywood history when she came out as lesbian, both in her personal capacity and as her sitcom character. The decision nearly derailed her career and a follow-up sitcom only ran for 13 episodes. Ellen mastered the pivot, though, and in addition to her talk show and acting gigs, she also has her own lifestyle brand and record label.
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4. Will Smith
Net worth: $350 millionWill Smith first made a name for himself as a Grammy-winning 80's rapper named The Fresh Prince. This led to a lead role in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, which made him a household name and earned him two Golden Globe nominations. Sitcom stardom wasn’t enough, though, and Smith went on to become a major movie star with hits like Men in Black, Wild Wild West and I Am Legend raking in the dollars at the box office.
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3. Bill Cosby
Net worth: $400 millionThe Cosby Show was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 80's and Dr. Cliff Huxtable was everybody’s favourite TV dad. The series ended in 1992 but four years later, Bill Cosby and his co-star Phylicia Rashad returned with a new sitcom called Cosby, which ran until 2000. Cosby wrote numerous books, starred in various movies and TV shows, and made a bunch of comedy and music albums. He was awarded about 70 honorary degrees and won numerous Golden Globes, Emmys and Grammys.
It all came crashing down when it turned out that he had been a serial rapist since the 60's and in 2018, he was sent to prison. Where he belongs.
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2. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Net worth: $400 millionThe Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley were only six months old when they were cast to share the role of Michelle Tanner in Full House and started filming the sitcom when they were nine months old. They starred in Full House until its cancellation eight years later. They also starred in movies and other sitcoms like Two of a Kind and So Little Time and became a pop culture phenomenon. These famous sisters who conquered the world have earned much of their fortune from merchandise bearing their likenesses and from their fashion labels rather than from their acting pay checks.
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1. Jerry Seinfeld
Net worth: $920 millionFrom 1989 to 1998, a show about nothing had us glued to our seats and we all still find ourselves saying things like “Yada, yada, yada,” or “No soup for you!” The co-creator and star of the show was Jerry Seinfeld. Rumour has it that after the hugely popular sitcom ended, Seinfeld turned down an offer of $5 million per episode for a tenth series. Instead, he returned to stand-up and made a fortune from syndication deals and advertisements. No other sitcom star comes even close to the Jerry Seinfeld net worth of $920 million.
Written ByDoug Murray