Forbes Unveils List of Highest-Paid Actresses, With Only a Few TV Stars Cracking the Top 10

Jun 20, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Television personalities are scarce on the new Forbes list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, which is dominated by feature film specialists.

Topping the list, based on earnings between May 2011 and May 2012, is Kristen Stewart, who struck gold in the “Twilight” feature film franchise. Stewart claimed a narrow win by earning $34.5 million during the period, Forbes reports.

The story observes: “At this point, could anyone else play Bella Swan in ‘Twilight’? Probably not; if the studio tried to switch in another actress, fans would revolt. So for the last two ‘Twilight’ films, Stewart has been able to demand an estimated $12.5 million per film, plus a share of the profits.”

Stewart, 22, is the youngest woman in the top 10 — by a lot. The next-youngest is Kristen Wiig, 38.

The report adds: “Women are still paid less than men in the movie business. The 10 actresses who make up our list earned a total $200 million compared to the $361 million brought in by our top 10 men.”

Most of the actresses in the top 10 — including Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep — are almost exclusively associated with the big screen. A few exceptions are Sarah Jessica Parker — still recognized mainly for HBO’s “Sex and the City” even though she has moved on to features — Jennifer Aniston, who has found a comfort zone on the big screen after making her name on NBC’s “Friends”; and Wiig, the “Saturday Night Live” fixture whose coming-of-age in feature films was the wildly successful “Bridesmaids.”

Here’s the top 10:

1. Kristen Stewart — $34.5 million
2. Cameron Diaz — $34 million
3. Sandra Bullock — $25 million
4. Angelina Jolie — $20 million
5. Charlize Theron — $18 million
6. Julia Roberts — $16 million
7. Sarah Jessica Parker — $15 million
8. Meryl Streep — $12 million
(tie) Kristen Wiig — $12 million
10. Jennifer Aniston — $11 million

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