Each year, Forbes announces the highest-paid actors and actresses salaries before taxes. Going into 2020, The Rock and Scarlett Johansson have been named the top-earning actor and actress, making $89.4 million and $56 million, respectively. Even though both are part of the Hollywood elite, there is a definite wage-gap that can be seen between the two.
Despite the noticeable pay-gap, there is a reason these stars are on the highest-paid list. Each of them works endless hours to produce critically-acclaimed work that will hopefully be a box office success. Keep reading to learn what some of the top-stars are earning.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: $89.4 Million
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has come a long way from having only seven dollars in his pocket! From college football to wrestling and, finally, to Hollywood, The Rock has been apart of almost every spectrum of entertainment. Today, he is one of the highest-paid actors in the industry, securing $89.4 million.
It’s not surprising that he earns such a substantial sum, as The Rock is very well-known and has been included in high-profile films such as Jumanji and Moana. His most recent film, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, which he stars alongside Emily Blunt, is set to release in July 2020.
Scarlett Johansson: $56 Million
Scarlett Johansson began making a name for herself in 1996 when she landed the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo. From there, she became the third highest-grossing box office star, accruing around $14.3 billion worldwide for all of her films. Johansson has been the highest-paid actress in the industry since 2018, earning $56 million annually.
In 2019, Johansson was honored with two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. While she didn’t secure the win, she has landed 42 awards throughout her career. Going from off-broadway plays to portraying the Black Widow in the MCU, Johansson has had quite the career!
Chris Hemsworth: $76.4 Million
Chris Hemsworth didn’t rise to prominence in Hollywood, but rather on an Australian TV show called Home and Away. It was only after finding success on the small screen that he took his career to Hollywood, landing roles in Star Trek and A Perfect Getaway in 2009.
While Hemsworth landed roles in critically-acclaimed films such as The Cabin in the Woods, it wasn’t until he secured that character of Thor in the MCU that he established himself as one of the highest-paid actors in the world. Hemsworth is earning $76.4 million annually.
Sofia Vergara: $43 Million
Sofia Vergara began her career in her native country of Columbia. There, she was discovered on a beach and offered modeling and television opportunities. Vergara’s first job was a Pepsi commercial at the age of 17! Needless to say, she has come a long way from soda commercials, although she’s been in a few throughout her career.
Vergara is probably best known for her role as Gloria on the critically-acclaimed sitcom Modern Family. And while the show isn’t the only production Vergara has worked on, it did help her become one of the best-paid actresses in the world, earning $43 million.
Robert Downey Jr.: $66 Million
Making his acting debut at the age of five, Robert Downey Jr. is now one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. Downey Jr.’s films have grossed over $14.4 billion worldwide, making him the second highest-grossing box office actor. Of course, it helps when one of his characters is Iron Man, and he’s part of the highest-grossing film of all time!
Downey Jr. is considered to be a commercial success, and, in 2008, Time even listed him among the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Because of his success, he finds himself as one of the highest-paid actors, securing $66 million annually.
Reese Witherspoon: $35 Million
Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon began her career in the industry as a teenager, with the role of Dani Trant in The Man in the Moon. From there, she starred in many classics, including Cruel Intentions, Sweet Home Alabama, Walk the Line, Wild, and, of course, Legally Blonde.
In 2006 and 2015, Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” And, as of 2019, Forbes listed Witherspoon among the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Woman.” Today, the actress is working mostly on the small screen, including the critically-acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies. Witherspoon currently makes $35 million.
Akshay Kumar: $65 Million
Akshay Kumar is one of the most successful actors in all of Bollywood. His career spans over 29 years, a time in which he starred in over 100 films, 52 of them turned out to be commercial successes. Aside from acting, Kumar is also a very accomplished stuntman, preferring to do his own stunts in his films if the opportunity calls for it!
As of 2019, Kumar is the fourth highest-paid actor in the world and the highest in India, according to Forbes. He earns $65 million annually.
Nicole Kidman: $34 Million
Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman made her Hollywood debut in 1990 with the role of Dr. Claire Lewicki in Days of Thunder. Before Hollywood, she was making a name for herself in her native country of Australia. Now, she is among one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, earning $34 million.
It isn’t Kidman’s first time making this list; back in 2006 and 2018, she was considered to be among the flock of highly-paid and sought after actresses. Today, she is wrapping up on a new series called The Undoing; a TV drama set to release in 2020.
Jackie Chan: $58 Million
Jackie Chan is known throughout the cinematic world for his stunts, acrobatic fighting style, and the ability to use anything as a weapon. Chan is considered to be one of the most influential and recognizable stars in the world, having a huge following in both the Western and Eastern hemispheres.
Aside from his film recognition, Chan is known to be a philanthropist, and Forbes even named him one of the “10 Most Charitable Celebrities.” As of 2012, Chan has retired from his typical action genre, saying that he was getting too old and needed to take care of his body. The career change didn’t stop him from earning $58 million!
Jennifer Aniston: $28 Million
Jennifer Aniston rose to international fame in the early ’90s with her portrayal of Rachel Green on the critically-acclaimed sitcom Friends. Since then, she has starred in multiple comedies, dramas, and even rom-coms. Some of her biggest commercial successes include Marley & Me, Just Go With It, and We’re the Millers.
Most recently, she’s been working alongside Reese Witherspoon to produce and star in a new Apple TV+ drama series called The Morning Show. Apart from her career, Aniston has been named one of the most beautiful women in the world by multiple magazines. Currently, she is the fifth highest-paid actress, earning $28 million.
Bradley Cooper: $57 Million
Grammy Award-winning actor Bradley Cooper began his acting career in 1999 as a guest on the hit TV series Sex and the City. His big break came a few years later, in 2009, when he played the role of Phil in the comedy The Hangover. From there, it was all uphill.
One of Cooper’s most significant accomplishments was in 2018, when he produced, wrote, directed, and starred in the romantic drama A Star is Born, opposite Lady Gaga. His work on the film earned him three Oscar nominations, two Grammys, and a BAFTA. For four years, Cooper has been one of the highest-paid actors in the world, earning $57 million.
Kaley Cuoco: $25 Million
At the beginning of her career, Kaley Cuoco always landed supporting roles. Her breakout role didn’t happen until 2002 when she portrayed Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. But Cuoco is probably best known for her role as the quirky neighbor girl Penny on The Big Bang Theory. She won a few awards for her performance, including a Satellite, People’s Choice, and Critics Choice.
Today, she is focused on her production company, Yes, Normal Productions, that she founded in 2017, as well as voicing Harley Quinn in the adult web series of the same name. Cuoco earns $25 million annually.
Adam Sandler: $57 Million
Adam Sandler began his career as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. From there, he was a prominent fixture in Hollywood blockbusters throughout the ’90s. Some of his more popular films from back then include Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and The Waterboy.
After a string of comedic movies, Sandler dabbled in dramas, including Click and Funny People. But it wasn’t until 2019 and his role in Uncut Gems that he brought forward what critics call his all-time best. His part was well received and resulted in an independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for Sandler. Today, the actor is one of the highest-paid stars, earning $57 million.
Elisabeth Moss: $24 Million
“Queen of Peak TV” Elisabeth Moss began acting in the early ’90s, quickly making a name for herself after playing Zoey Bartlet in The West Wing. Moss has won many prestigious awards for her work, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. The former both coming from the hit drama series A Handmaid’s Tale, of which she stars and produces.
Moss has recently released a film remake of The Invisible Man. The movie has stellar reviews, and critics praised Moss’s performance, saying, “[it] gives the movie its emotional stakes.” Moss is currently one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, earning $24 million.
Chris Evans: $43.5 Million
Chris Evans made a name for himself playing the Marvel character Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and the sequel film in 2007. Since then, Evans has been recognized worldwide as another Marvel hero, Steve Rodgers/Captain America.
Although Evans worked on other films between the various MCU movies, one of the most recognized came after Endgame wrapped up. In 2019, Evans starred in the murder mystery film Knives Out, which received positive reviews from critics. Even so, Evans is one of the highest-paid actors due to the commercial success of the MCU. He currently earns $43.5 million.
Margot Robbie: $23.5 Million
Margot Robbie didn’t start her career in Hollywood until 2011, but she was able to move up the ranks very quickly. After breaking through the industry with Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie’s profile grew as she landed the role of Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan and Harley Quinn in the DCEU.
But people began to see Robbie’s acting range when she portrayed figure skater Tonya Harding in the biopic I, Tonya, as well as her role of Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scotts. Both performances received critical acclaim. Robbie quickly became one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, earning $23.5 million.
Paul Rudd: $41 Million
Paul Rudd is known for his comedic acting, especially in the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and This is 40. His style in front of the camera is most likely why he was chosen to portray Ant-Man in the MCU, a role he reprised in four films.
Currently, he is starring in a duel role in the comedic series Living With Yourself on Netflix. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor — Television Series Musical or Comedy for his performance. In 2019, Rudd was named one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, earning $41 million.
Charlize Theron: $23 Million
Charlize Theron gained international recognition in the ’90s for her leading roles in the films Mighty Joe Young, The Devil’s Advocate, and The Cider House Rules. It was only a few years later that she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, becoming the first South African to receive an Oscar for acting.
She went on to receive two more Academy nominations throughout the years. In 2016, Time magazine named Theron one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Then, in 2019, she was named one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, earning $23 million.
Will Smith: $35 Million
In 2007, Newsweek called Will Smith “the most powerful actor in Hollywood,” and not much has changed since. Starting off as a rapper, Smith’s popularity skyrocketed after starring in the ’90s NBC show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After the show ended after six seasons, Smith decided to transition over to film.
It was a smart career move because he has starred in numerous successful blockbusters throughout the years. His most recent work was on the film Bad Boys for Life, a movie that had him teaming up with Martin Lawrence once again. In 2019, Smith earned $35 million, making him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
Ellen Pompeo: $22 Million
Ellen Pompeo gained wide recognition in 2002 for her starring role in the drama Moonlight Mile. But it wasn’t until she was cast for the portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy that she began to be recognized worldwide. The show earned Pompeo a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
Due to the popularity of her character, Pompeo is considered to be one of the most distinguished television actors to date. She has been one of the highest-paid actresses for a few years running, and, in 2019, she earned $22 million.