'Big Bang Theory' made Kaley Cuoco one of the world's highest-paid actresses: How much she's worth
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If you think the "Game of Thrones" cast make a lot of money — just wait until you see how much "The Big Bang Theory" stars take home, specifically lead lady Kaley Cuoco.
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The CBS sitcom, which is ending its 12-season run Thursday night, landed Cuoco on Forbes' list of highest-paid TV actresses in 2018 (even with a pay cut). Cuoco, alongside the show's other original cast members Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg reportedly agreed to lower their salaries by $100,000 in 2017 to give actresses Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch better pay.
Bialik and Rauch, who became regulars after their third season debuts, were taking in about $200,000 per episode while their co-stars were making $1 million, according to Variety. In seasons 11 and 12, the pair got at least a $250,000 bump.
Compare those numbers to "Game of Thrones" leads Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey who each take home an estimated $500,000 per episode.
"Big Bang" is one of the most successful series in TV history, garnering more than $1 billion for Warner Bros. Television in syndication.
Cuoco, who plays Penny, made nearly $25 million from the popular CBS show alone in 2018 — earning her the No. 2 spot on Forbes' richest actresses list behind "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara, who boasted $42.5 million the same year. Her female co-stars Bialik and Rauch tied for the No. 6 spot with $12 million.
Kaley Cuoco made nearly $25 million from the popular CBS shot alone in 2018. (CBS)
The 32-year-old actress' income from "The Big Bang Theory," in addition to various other roles in film and TV such as "8 Simple Rules" and "Charmed," has left Cuocco with an estimated net worth of $55 million, per GoBankingRates. Most recently, Cuoco agreed to voice Harley Quinn in a new adult cartoon series based on the popular character.
According to Forbes, 95 percent of Cuoco's earnings "can be attributed to her role" on "Big Bang."
The announcement that the series was officially going to come to an "epic creative close" in 2019 was a shock to both fans and cast members alike in August, when Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions first confirmed the news.
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Cuoco told Fox News this week she "probably would" agree to a reboot if the opportunity arose.
"If [creator] Chuck [Lorre] asked me, I would do anything for Chuck, so if Chuck called me and said: 'Let's do it.' I'd be like, 'Alright,'" said Cuoco, jokingly adding, "I'd have to bring a walker in. But I'd be into it."
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