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Sofia Vergara is Forbes' highest paid actress of 2020

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Oct 03, 2020 3:21 pm Updated Oct 03, 2020 3:43 pm

Forbes tallied a rare event of having more TV stars than usual gracing its annual list of highest paid actresses, in contrast to past records with red-carpet regulars from cinema leading it.

Modern Family star turned America's Got Talent (AGT) judge Sofia Vergara led the 2020 list, earning $43 million in the past 12 months. She moved up from second place last year.

Vergara portrayed the fierce yet funny Latina housewife Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the ABC's Modern Family, which ended last April. She earned $500,000 per episode there.

The 48 year-old Colombian actress stayed throughout the hit mockumentary's 11 year-run. She rose to become a meme-able icon because of the show, which can be credited to catapulting her to fame that eventually led to fashion (Walmart) and furniture (Rooms To Go) ventures.

Off the show, for her judging stint on AGT specifically, she earns $10 million.

Vergara, married to fellow actor Joe Manganiello, was Forbes' highest paid TV actress for seven years until 2018. But on this year's list of combined TV and film actresses, she came ahead of Maleficent's Oscar winner Angelina Jolie ($35.5 million) and Wonder Woman's alter ego Gal Gadot ($31 million).

As for the rest of the TV personalities on the list, Grey's Anatomy lead Ellen Pompeo landed eighth at $19 million. The Handmaid's Tale star Elisabeth Moss followed on the ninth spot at $16 million. How to Get Away with Murder's Oscar-winning star Viola Davis, at $15.5 million, completed the list on her Forbes debut.

The rest of the list comprised Superintelligence's Melissa McCarthy ($25 million), Let Them All Talk's Meryl Streep ($24 million), A Quiet Place's Emily Blunt ($22.5 million), and The Prom's Nicole Kidman ($22 million).

Forbes stressed how most film studios either postponing or halting production gave way to TV stars taking more spots on the list.

"Most American movie theaters have been dark since late March, leading major studios to postpone big-budget releases, including the female-led Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984. Since many movie stars earn large bonuses based on box-office performance, the lack of new theatrical releases has made room at the top of the pay scale for TV icons like Vergara, (Pompeo), and (Moss) who capitalized on lucrative salaries from traditional television and streaming services, where the bulk of the pay comes upfront," explained Forbes' Madeline Berg.

Case in point: Avengers' Scarlett Johansson, who topped last year's list at $56 million, didn't make it this time. She was following 2019's Avengers: Endgame with the pandemic-delayed release of her titular flick Black Widow. From the movie's original release last May, she was instead set to see herself back on the big screen next year.

Banner image taken from Sofia Vergara's Instagram