Highest Paid TV Actors

by hagennelson | last updated - 20 Dec 2013 | Public

1. Charlie Sheen

Actor | Two and a Half Men

Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estévez on September 3, 1965, in New York City. His father, actor Martin Sheen (born Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez), was at the time just breaking into the business, with performances on Broadway. His mother, Janet Sheen (née Templeton), was a former New York art ...

$48 Million

Two and a Half Men

2. Ray Romano

Actor | Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Romano grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He performed in the NYC comedy club circuit before landing a guest spot on The Letterman Show. It was here that he propelled his TV show Everybody Loves Raymond.

He was also the voice of the Mammoth in the extremely successful Ice Age Series Movies.

He is ...

$44 Million

Everybody Loves Raymond

3. Sofía Vergara

Actress | Hot Pursuit

Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her mother, Margarita Vergara Dávila de Vergara, is a housewife. Her father, Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, provides cattle to the meat industry. She has five siblings. She was educated at a private bilingual Spanish/...

$30 Million

Modern Family

4. Ashton Kutcher

Actor | That '70s Show

Christopher Ashton Kutcher was born on February 7, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Diane (Finnegan), who was employed at Procter & Gamble, and Larry Kutcher, a factory worker. He has a fraternal twin brother, Michael, and a sister, Tausha. He is of Czech (father) and Irish, German, and Czech (mother...

$24 Million

Two and a Half Men

5. James Gandolfini

Actor | The Sopranos

James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, to Santa (Penna), a high school lunchlady, and James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a bricklayer and head school janitor. His parents were both of Italian origin. Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival ...

$22 Million

The Sopranos

6. Jon Cryer

Actor | Two and a Half Men

Jon Cryer was born on April 16, 1965 in New York City, New York, USA as Jonathan Niven Cryer. He is an actor, known for Two and a Half Men (2003), Pretty in Pink (1986) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). He has been married to Lisa Joyner since June 16, 2007. They have one child. He was ...

$21 Million

Two and a Half Men

7. Hugh Laurie

Actor | House M.D.

Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959, to Patricia (Laidlaw) and William George Ranald Mundell "Ran" Laurie, a doctor, both of Scottish descent. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for ...

$18 Million

House

8. Alec Baldwin

Actor | The Departed

Raven-haired, suavely handsome and prolific actor Alec Baldwin was born on April 3, 1958 in Massapequa, New York, and is the oldest, and easily the best-known, of the four Baldwin brothers in the acting business (the others are Stephen Baldwin, William Baldwin and Daniel Baldwin).

Alexander Rae ...

$15 Million

30 Rock

9. Mark Harmon

Actor | NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Thomas Mark Harmon was born in Burbank, California on September 2, 1951 to football player and broadcaster Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox (née Kornbrath). Harmon played college football and found success as one of TV's hunkiest actors. While many of his roles have relied on good looks, Harmon ...

$15 Million

NCIS

10. Neil Patrick Harris

Actor | How I Met Your Mother

Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, 1973. His parents, Sheila Gail (Scott) and Ronald Gene Harris, were lawyers and ran a restaurant. He grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a small town 120 miles south of Albuquerque, where he first took up acting in the fourth grade. ...

$15 Million

How I Met Your Mother

11. Steve Carell

Actor | The Office

Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet Theresa (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother was of Polish descent and his father, of Italian and...

$15 Million

The Office

12. Tim Allen

Actor | Toy Story

Timothy Allen Dick was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado, to Martha Katherine (Fox) and Gerald M. Dick. His father, a real estate salesman, was killed in a collision with a drunk driver while driving his family home from a University of Colorado football game, when Tim was eleven years old...

$14 Million

Last Man Standing

13. Patrick Dempsey

Actor | Grey's Anatomy

Patrick Dempsey has lived two charming but separate lives on film and television. From an exuberant, somewhat awkward charmer in college comedy films of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he has morphed spectacularly into a dreamy, wavy-haired television hunk of the new-age millennium and this ...

$13 Million

Grey's Anatomy

14. Angus T. Jones

Actor | Two and a Half Men

Angus T. Jones was born on October 8, 1993 in Austin, Texas, USA as Angus Turner Jones. He is an actor, known for Two and a Half Men (2003), The Rookie (2002) and Bringing Down the House (2003).

$11 Million

Two and a Half Men

15. Kaley Cuoco

Actress | The Big Bang Theory

Kaley Christine Cuoco was born in Camarillo, California, to Layne Ann (Wingate) and Gary Carmine Cuoco, a realtor. She is of Italian (father) and German and English (mother) descent. A model and commercial actress from the age of 6, Cuoco's first major role was in the TV movie Quicksand: No Escape ...

$11 Million

The Big Bang Theory

16. Mariska Hargitay

Actress | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Mariska (Ma-rish-ka) Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield. She is the youngest of their three children. In June 1967, Mariska and her brothers Zoltan and Mickey Jr. were in the back seat of a car when it was...

$11 Million

Law & Order: SVU

17. Laurence Fishburne

Actor | The Matrix

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.

His ...

$11 Million

CSI

18. Michael C. Hall

Actor | Dexter

Michael C. Hall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Janice (Styons), a guidance counselor, and William Carlyle Hall, who worked for IBM. Michael is a graduate of NYU's Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character "Dexter" in Dexter (2006) and as mortician "David ...

$10 Million

Dexter

19. Tina Fey

Writer | 30 Rock

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish,...

$10 Million

30 Rock

20. Melissa McCarthy

Actress | The Heat

Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, a farmer. McCarthy began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked on her acting skills at The Actors Studio and ...

$10 Million

Mike & Molly

21. Ellen Pompeo

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, to Kathleen B. (O'Keefe) and Joseph E. Pompeo, a salesman. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and some English, ancestry.

Pompeo made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile (2002), starring ...

$10 Million

Grey's Anatomy

22. Jim Parsons

Actor | The Big Bang Theory

Having grown up in Houston, and its northern suburb of Spring, he made his first stage appearance in a school play at the age of 6. Parsons then went on to study theater at the University of Houston. From there he won a place on a two-year Masters course in classical theater at the University of ...

$9 Million

The Big Bang Theory

23. Johnny Galecki

Actor | The Big Bang Theory

John Mark Galecki was born in Bree, Belgium, to American parents; his father was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Air Force. When he was three years old, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up with his parents, Mary Lou and Richard Galecki, and siblings, sister Allison (...

$9 Million

The Big Bang Theory

24. Simon Baker

Actor | The Mentalist

Simon Baker was first recognized in 1992, when he received Australia's prestigious Logie award for Most Popular New Talent. Upon relocating to Los Angeles with his family, Baker was immediately cast in the Academy Award winning film L.A. Confidential (1997).

$9 Million

The Mentalist

25. Christopher Meloni

Actor | Man of Steel

Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences' attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his ...

$9 Million

Law & Order: SVU

26. Cobie Smulders

Actress | The Avengers

Cobie Smulders was born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and an English mother. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several ...

$9 Million

How I Met Your Mother

27. Sandra Oh

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Sandra Oh was born to Korean parents in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Her father, Oh Junsu, a businessman, and her mother, Oh Young-nam, a biochemist, were married in Seoul, South Korea. They both attended graduate school at the University of Toronto. Sandra began her career as a ...

$8.4 Million

Grey's Anatomy

28. Jason Segel

Actor | Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Multi-talented Jason Jordan Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, where he was raised by his parents, Jillian (Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin Segel, a lawyer. His mother is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and his father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. He was educated at St. ...

$8 Million

How I Met Your Mother

29. Alyson Hannigan

Actress | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress ...

$8 Million

How I Met Your Mother

30. Kiefer Sutherland

Actor | 24

Kiefer Sutherland was born in London, England, UK, to Canadian actors Shirley Douglas and Donald Sutherland, who moved to California shortly after his birth. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was a Scottish-born Canadian politician who was a Premier of Saskatchewan for over 17 years and led ...

$8 Million

24

31. Amy Poehler

Actress | Inside Out

Amy Meredith Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to high school teachers Eileen Frances (Milmore) and William Grinstead Poehler. Her brother is comedian Greg Poehler. She is of Irish (from her mother) and English, Irish, German, and Portuguese (from her father) descent. Amy was first ...

$7 Million

Parks and Recreation

32. Julianna Margulies

Actress | ER

Julianna Margulies was born on June 8, 1966 in Spring Valley (near New York City), as the youngest of three daughters of Francesca (Goldberg), a teacher and dancer in American Ballet, and Paul Margulies, an advertising writer and philosopher. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (from Romania, ...

$7 Million

The Good Wife

33. Dan Castellaneta

Actor | The Simpsons

Dan Castellaneta was born on October 29, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Daniel Louis Castellaneta. He is an actor, known for The Simpsons (1989), The Simpsons Movie (2007) and Space Jam (1996). He has been married to Deb Lacusta since 1987.

$6.6 Million

The Simpsons

34. Julie Kavner

Actress | The Simpsons

Julie Kavner was born on September 7, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Julie Deborah Kavner. She is an actress, known for The Simpsons (1989), The Simpsons Movie (2007) and Click (2006).

$6.6 Million

The Simpsons

35. Yeardley Smith

Actress | The Simpsons

Comic actress and voice specialist Yeardley Smith has made a virtue out of her odd looks, small figure and distinctive, child-like nasal tones. Lending vocal life to the animated role of "Lisa Simpson" - the intelligent, caring, saxophone-droning, vegetarian member of the Simpson family - has been ...

$6.6 Million

The Simpsons

36. Lena Dunham

Writer | Tiny Furniture

New Yorker Lena Dunham is the daughter of a painter, Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, a designer and photographer. Dunham was educated at Oberlin College, Ohio, graduating with a creative writing degree. It was while at Oberlin that she began writing shorts and feature films. In 2009, Dunham ...

$6 Million

Girls

37. Zooey Deschanel

Actress | New Girl

Zooey Deschanel was born in 1980 into a showbiz family. Her father, Caleb Deschanel, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (perhaps most notably for The Passion of the Christ (2004)) and her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir), is an actress who appeared in Twin Peaks (1990). Her paternal ...

$6 Million

New Girl

38. Courteney Cox

Actress | Friends

Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, into an affluent Southern family. She is the daughter of Courteney (Bass) and Richard Lewis Cox (1930-2001), a businessman. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard, Jr...

$6 Million

Cougar Town

39. Michael Weatherly

Actor | NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Michael Manning Weatherly, Jr. was born on July 8, 1968 in New York City, to Patricia Ruth (Hetherington) and Michael Manning Weatherly, Sr. Raised in Fairfield, CT, he left college to pursue a career in acting. He also had a great passion for music, and played in a band while pursuing his acting ...

$6 Million

NCIS

40. Ted Danson

Actor | Cheers

Ted Danson is well known for his role as Sam Malone in the television series Cheers (1982). During the show's 11-year run, he was nominated nine times for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and won twice, in 1990 and 1993. The role also earned him a Golden Globe Award for ...

$6 Million

CSI

41. Patricia Heaton

Actress | Everybody Loves Raymond

While studying acting in New York with drama teacher William Esper, Heaton made her Broadway debut in the gospel musical "Don't Get God Started". She and her fellow students then formed Stage Three, an acting company that produced plays Off-Broadway. They took one production, "The Johnstown ...

$5.6 Million

The Middle

42. David Boreanaz

Actor | Bones

David was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Patti, a travel agent, and weatherman Dave Roberts (Boreanaz). His father is of Italian descent and his mother is of half Slovak ancestry. At the age of seven he decide to be an actor, which eventually ...

$5.5 Million

Bones

43. Emily Deschanel

Actress | Bones

Emily Erin Deschanel (born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones as Dr. Temperance Brennan since 2005.

Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel ...

$5.5 Million

Bones

44. Whitney Cummings

Actress | Made of Honor

Whitney Cummings was born on September 4, 1982 in Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Whitney Ann Cummings. She is a writer and actress, known for Made of Honor (2008), Whitney (2011) and The Wedding Ringer (2015).

$5 Million

Whitney

45. Ed O'Neill

Actor | Married with Children

Ed O'Neill is an American actor best known for playing Al Bundy on Married with Children (1986), the most iconic working class character on television since Archie Bunker. Upon his debut on the world stage in Youngstown, Ohio on April 12, 1946, he was christened Edward Philip O'Neill, Jr. Both his ...

$4.8 Million

Modern Family