Sofia Vergara tops Forbes list of best paid TV actresses

Sofia Vergara arrives at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood on Feb 28, 2016.
Sofia Vergara arrives at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood on Feb 28, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara topped Forbes magazine's annual list of best paid television actresses for the fifth year in a row on Wednesday (Sept 14), earning a whopping US$43 million (S$58 million) dollars.

The 44-year-old Modern Family actress - who made more money than any male star - was followed on the list by Kaley Cuoco, 30, who plays Penny on The Big Bang Theory and earned US$24.5 million in the 12 months to June.

Forbes said while Vergara's role on the hit mockumentary helped propel her to the top of the best-paid list, endorsement and licensing deals have ensured she still commands the number one spot.

"In all, the 15 highest-paid female stars of the small screen made a combined US$208.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016 - US$43.5 million more than last year's combined total of US$165 million," Forbes said.

Mindy Kaling, 37, of The Mindy Project climbed from eighth to third place this year, earning US$15 million.

She was followed by Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy) and Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order SVU) who tied for fourth place, earning US$14.5 million.

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who plays an FBI agent in the crime series Quantico joined the list for the first time this year, coming in eighth and earning US$11 million.

Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence was named the world's highest-paid movie actress for the second year running in August, with estimated pre-tax earnings of US$46 million.

The world's 10 highest-paid film actresses made a combined US$205 million in the 12 months from June 1, 2015 before fees and taxes, said Forbes.

The highest-paid movie actors, led by Dwayne Johnson, made a combined US$456.5 million, stoking the ongoing debate in Hollywood about the industry's gender pay gap.

The list of the world's highest-paid TV actors will be published next week, Forbes said.

Rounding out the top 10 list for best paid TV actresses are:

6: Kerry Washington (US$13.5 million)

7: Stana Katic (US$12 million)

8: Priyanka Chopra (US$11 million)

9: Julianna Margulies (US$10.5 million)

10: Julie Bowen (US$10 million)