It’s no secret that being a Hollywood actress often means enjoying significant wealth. However, the stars on this list have gone above and beyond to become 20 of the richest actresses of all time. Learn more about the combination of acting prowess, entrepreneurship and family fortune that has enabled these impressive women to succeed.
Click through to discover the richest celebrity from every state — and the actresses who top the list.
Last updated: Feb. 13, 2019
20. Angelina Jolie Net Worth: $100 Million
The daughter of actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie was introduced to the entertainment business at a young age. As a teenager, Jolie spent time modeling and appearing in music videos. In the 1990s, she began her film career, starring in movies that included “Gia,” for which she won a Golden Globe; “Girl, Interrupted,” which earned her an Academy Award; and the cult classic “Hackers.”
Jolie has since gone on to star in a wide array of films, including the popular “Lara Croft” series, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Salt” and “Maleficent.” Known as much for her humanitarian efforts and long-winded romance and split with Brad Pitt as her acting, Jolie has made headlines for her work with refugees in many countries, including Cambodia, Darfur and Jordan.
19. Amy Irving Net Worth: $120 Million
Trained at the American Conservatory Theater and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Amy Irving got her start in theater. She made her off-Broadway debut at age 17 and went on to star in many other plays. Her big on-screen break came in 1976 with Stephen King’s “Carrie,” and she proceeded to make subsequent important films such as “The Fury.”
Though they are now divorced, she was once famously married to director Steven Spielberg. She is now back doing what she loves — working in theater.
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18. Drew Barrymore Net Worth: $125 Million
Drew Barrymore has come a long way from her debut in “E.T.” at just 7 years old. Famous actresses often have a tough time growing up in the spotlight, and Barrymore was no exception. She managed to shed her bad girl image after a string of successful projects spanning genres from “The Wedding Singer” to “Never Been Kissed” and “Scream,” dominating the silver screen in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Beyond acting, her production company, Flower Films, has also produced a number of lucrative features including her directorial debut on “Whip It” in 2009 to the Netflix series “Santa Clarita Diet.” Barrymore has truly become a child star success story.
17. Jennifer Lawrence Net Worth: $130 Million
Jennifer Lawrence became a household name in the “Hunger Games” trilogy, but it was “Winter’s Bone” where she really got her big break. Nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe, she became the youngest person ever nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and the second-youngest winner for “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2012.
Her films regularly gross over $5.5 billion, and she is cited as one of the most influential people in the world, earning her way on our list of richest actresses.
16. Nicole Kidman Net Worth: $130 Million
Nicole Kidman’s first love was ballet, but she also took up mime and drama as a child. Dropping out of high school to pursue her passion, she played her first movie role in the Australian film “Bush Christmas” in 1983. She got an American agent and made her U.S. debut in “Dead Calm” a few years later.
Famously married to Tom Cruise after filming “Days of Thunder” together, the high-profile marriage hit a rocky point during “Eyes Wide Shut” with a series of scandalous rumors. They split in early 2001, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Today, she is remarried to country crooner Keith Urban.
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15. Charlize Theron Net Worth: $130 Million
The South African beauty grew up a ballet dancer, performing in both “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker.” She eventually moved to New York to join the Joffrey Ballet, but a knee injury ended her dancing career. Her first notable big-screen performance was in “That Thing You Do!” Since then, she’s starred in major films such as “The Cider House Rules” and “Monster,” for which she won her first Academy Award.
14. Cameron Diaz Net Worth: $140 Million
After traveling all over the world for her modeling career, Diaz auditioned for a part in “The Mask” in 1994, despite having no acting experience. Cast as the female lead, her career really took off with starring roles in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “There’s Something About Mary.” She has been married to singer Benji Madden since 2015.
13. Demi Moore Net Worth: $150 Million
After a famously tough childhood with a stepdad who committed suicide, Demi quit school at age 16 to work as a debt collection agent before turning to modeling. She married rocker Freddy Moore at just 18. While the marriage didn’t last, her recurring role on “General Hospital” did. After being threatened to be fired for drug use on the set of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” Demi cleaned up her act. She married Bruce Willis, who she later divorced, and then married Ashton Kutcher a few years later.
Two of the richest actors of the time, the couple launched the “Demi and Ashton Foundation” to pay it forward. The nonprofit aims to tackle global issues such as child slavery and education. The pair is no longer together, but their foundation lives on.
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12. Sofia Vergara Net Worth: $160 Million
Discovered by a photographer in her home country of Colombia, Sofia Vergara gave up a career in dentistry to become a runway model at age 23. Her first job was hosting a travel show called “Fuera de Serie,” which exposed her to an American audience. Her big break came in 2009 on the hit series “Modern Family,” for which she received four Emmy nominations. Vergara’s net worth is likely in part due to the show boasting one of the highest-paid casts of all time.
11. Miley Cyrus Net Worth: $160 Million
The controversial entertainment icon and daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus has made a name for herself as a singer, actress and paparazzi favorite.
Cyrus started acting at a young age, starring in the Disney Channel hit series “Hannah Montana.” She went on to release several pop albums and star in the romantic drama “The Last Song,” which was based on a book by famed author Nicholas Sparks. In 2015, Cyrus revived her acting career with appearances in Seth Rogan’s “The Night Before” and Netflix and Bill Murray’s “A Very Murray Christmas.”
Dolly Parton’s goddaughter, Cyrus has achieved as much notoriety for her wild, crazy antics as her singing and acting chops.
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10. Julia Roberts Net Worth: $200 Million
Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts rose to Hollywood fame with roles in movies that included “Steel Magnolias,” “Pretty Woman,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Erin Brockovich.” Her performance in “Erin Brockovich” earned the star an Oscar, and it also netted her a $20 million salary, making her the first actress to be paid such a high sum for her work.
Roberts’ acting career shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, she recently appeared in “Wonder” and “Ben Is Back.”
Over the years, Roberts has been romantically linked to several leading men, such as Kiefer Sutherland, Dylan McDermott, Liam Neeson and Matthew Perry. She has been married to cameraman Danny Moder since 2002.
9. Jane Fonda Net Worth: $200 Million
Daughter of legendary actor Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw, Jane Fonda was destined for stardom. She initially appeared with her father in Omaha Community Theatre and took acting lessons from famous coach Lee Strasberg. She won Academy Awards for her performances in “Klute” and “Coming Home” and was nominated for Best Actress seven times.
Best known for her 1980s workout tapes, she sold more than 200,000 copies a year and topped the Billboard charts, making her one of the richest celebrities over age 70.
8. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Net Worth: $200 Million
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus launched to stardom by making America laugh as Elaine Benes on the hit sitcom “Seinfeld.” However, her career really began with Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe.
Later, the funny lady moved to New York to star on “Saturday Night Live” for two seasons. In 1989, she joined the cast of “Seinfeld,” after producers insisted that the show needed a female perspective. Louis-Dreyfus’ performance on the comedy earned the star her first Golden Globe in 1993 and her first Emmy in 1996.
Louis-Dreyfus’ recent work includes her award-winning role in HBO’s “Veep,” which earned the actress six Emmys for that role alone, putting her among the top-nominated female performers.
7. Sandra Bullock Net Worth: $200 Million
Born to a German opera singer and a voice teacher, Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock first appeared on the stage in a German opera at the young age of 5. However, her breakthrough role wouldn’t come until 1994, when she appeared alongside Keanu Reeves in “Speed.”
Bullock went on to star in many successful films and continues to land leading roles today in movies such as “Oceans 8” and “Bird Box.” She won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her work in “The Blind Side,” based on the true life story of NFL player Michael Oher.
Bullock married Jesse James in 2005, but the couple divorced five years later. She has since adopted two children on her own — a son, Louis, and a baby girl, Laila — and she’s back on the dating scene with professional photographer and boyfriend Bryan Randall.
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6. Jessica Alba Net Worth: $200 Million
Actress-turned-businesswoman Jessica Alba has made a name for herself on and off the screen. Though Alba first appeared in the 1994 comedy “Camp Nowhere,” audiences across America learned the star’s name thanks to her breakout role on the short-lived TV show “Dark Angel.” Since then, she starred in a number of films, including “Fantastic Four,” “Good Luck Chuck” and “The Love Guru.” Her most recent role was in the film “El Camino Christmas.”
Outside of acting, Alba founded The Honest Company, a billion-dollar consumer products startup that has transitioned into a business empire for the actress. The brand focuses on creating safe and effective products for the entire family, and Alba herself values being a mother over anything else. In fact, it was love for her children that inspired the star to start The Honest Company in the first place. The beleaguered company has fallen on hard times, though, and it settled a $1.55 million class-action lawsuit for misleading consumers about the ingredients it uses in its products.
5. Jennifer Aniston Net Worth: $240 Million
Jennifer Aniston, America’s favorite girl next door, rose to fame as the beautiful, entitled Rachel Green on the hit 1990s sitcom “Friends,” which aired for 10 seasons. During the last three years of the show’s production, Aniston reportedly earned $1 million per episode. She has gone on to star in several major motion pictures and small independent films, including “Office Space,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “The Yellow Birds.”
The actress was married to Brad Pitt for five years from 2000 to 2005. However, the couple divorced following rumors that Pitt had an affair with his “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” costar, Angelina Jolie. In August 2015, Aniston tied the knot with actor and director Justin Theroux in a secret, private ceremony, but separate lives on opposite coasts destroyed the relationship. The two have recently separated after a marriage just shy of three years.
4. Victoria Principal Net Worth: $250 Million
Best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on the uber-popular TV show “Dallas,” Victoria Principal didn’t intend to be an actress, despite several early parts in commercials. Born in Japan to a military family, Principal moved around the world a lot as a child. It wasn’t until she was in a car accident in college that the star decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career.
After working as both an actress and an agent in Hollywood, Principal was approached for a role in “Fantasy Island,” which led to her breakout role in “Dallas.” Additionally, Principal found financial success in her own skincare line, “Principal Skin,” which has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue.
3. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Net Worth: $400 Million
With a combined net worth of $400 million, the Olsen twins are two of the richest people in the world. The fraternal twins grew up on screen sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on “Full House.” They built an empire under their label Dualstar Entertainment, producing the popular home videos “The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley.” The wildly successful videos resulted in a number of spinoff books and products that banked about $1 billion in retail a year.
Now grown up, these famous actresses are award-winning fashion designers and co-creative directors for the Italian shoe line Superga.
2. Jami Gertz Net Worth: $2 Billion
Actress and philanthropist Jami Gertz has an impressive $2 billion net worth to her name, mostly thanks to her marriage to billionaire Tony Ressler, co-founder of Ares Management and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gertz began her acting career in the 1980s with appearances in “Square Pegs,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Family Ties,” “Sixteen Candles” and “The Lost Boys,” to name a few. She then spent a few years on hiatus from acting, during which time she moved to France and worked as a scent designer for Lanvin.
After returning to Hollywood, Gertz appeared on TV shows including “E.R.,” “Ally McBeal” and “Entourage.” She also guest-starred on the hit comedy series “Modern Family” and “This Is Us.” In her spare time, Gertz serves as a trustee for the Ressler/Gertz foundation, which supports a number of educational causes in Los Angeles.
1. Dina Merrill Net Worth: $5 Billion
With a net worth of $5 billion, socialite and philanthropist Dina Merrill enjoys the distinction of being the richest actress of all time. Merrill owes much of her fortune to her birthright — the star was the only child of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Post Cereal heiress. However, she also found success performing on the stage, television and big screen, appearing in more than 20 films throughout her career.
Over the years, Merrill has married three times, once to Colgate-Palmolive heir Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr., and twice to fellow actors. In her free time, the actress supports various charities, including the New York City Mission Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which she launched. She passed away in May 2017.
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All net worths were sourced from CelebrityNetWorth.com.
Lauren Monitz contributed to this article.
About the Author
Autumn Rose is a Baltimore-based writer with experience as a reporter, ghostwriter, and copywriter businesses nationwide. She launched her career as a local newspaper reporter and since then her work has been published in national journals, regional magazines, local papers, and countless online media outlets and blogs.