How glamorous is the life of a soap opera star, and how much money do they really make? According to SoapHub.com, daytime soap stars looking to break into the business earn about $700 per episode, while those who have some experience under their belt (say from five to 10 years) may average about $1,500 to $3,000 per episode.
Then you have the veterans of the industry; those beloved actors who have grown and evolved with their characters for upwards to 10 years. They can make between $2,000 up to $5,000 for every episode they work on. So who has the highest net worth in the world of daytime soaps? Here are the top 12:
12. Kelly Monaco – a.k.a. Sam Morgan
Estimated Net Worth: $4 million.
General Hospital (GH) soap fans know Kelly Monaco as the feisty Sam Morgan who is beautiful and sexy. But some also know her as the first winner of Dancing With The Stars’, yet did you know that she also tops the world of soaps as one of the actresses with the highest net worth? Estimated at $4 million dollars, Monaco is not only talented, but is also sitting comfortably on a well nested egg. She broke into the business in the late ’90s as a Playboy model and then worked as Carmen Electra’s body double in Baywatch for a season. Alas, her claim to fame has been GH, where she first started off on its spin-off show Port Charles in 1999 and then made her way to the main soap in 2002. She has never looked back since.
11. Amelia Heinle – a.k.a. Victoria Newman
Estimated Net Worth: $4 million.
Amelia Heinle plays a rich, business woman who is driven to succeed on the Young and the Restless (Y&R). She is an executive mom who cares for her children, but has a passion for the family business, Newman Enterprises. Turns out, Amelia Heinle shares some similarities with her onscreen character Victoria Newman, mainly the rich part. With a net worth of $4 million, she comes tied with soap actress Kelly Monaco on this list. She entered the world of soaps in 1993, playing Steffi Brewster on a show called Loving. From there, she also played the role of Mia Sanders on All My Children, before she eventually moved into Genoa City in 2005 and was re-cast as Y&R fan favorite, Victoria Newman.
10. Kristian Alfonso – a.k.a. Hope Williams Brady
Estimated Net Worth: $5 million.
A true veteran of the soap opera industry, beautiful Krisitian Alfonso has been playing Days of Our Lives (DOOL) character Hope Williams Brady since 1981. Not only is the character (and actress) a fan favorite, but the role has been proven to be quite lucrative over the years for Alfonso, earning her the number four spot on this list with a net worth of $5 million dollars. In addition to Alfonso’s incredible and legendary soap opera role, she was also a former figure skater, earning a Gold Medal at the Junior Olympics when she was younger. She turned away from figure skating after a terrible tobogganing accident, and turned to modeling, gracing over 30 magazine covers in her day. Aside from playing Hope, Alfonso has also been a guest-star on some popular primetime shows including Full House; MacGyver; Murder, She Wrote; Who’s the Boss?; and Melrose Place.
9. Tyler Christopher – a.k.a. Nikolas Cassadine
Estimated Net Worth: $7 million.
Rich, charming, and handsome Nikolas Cassadine lives the life of lavish luxury – thanks to the pretty hefty Cassadine empire he has inherited. While Tyler Christopher may not quite have the money his GH onscreen character does, he certainly has saved up a pretty penny with a net worth of $7 million dollars. What might be even more interesting than his net worth is the slew of women that have graced his life over the years. He was married to Eva Longoria (of Desperate Housewives fame) from 2002 to 2004 and was also involved with fellow General Hospital’s Vanessa Marcil (Brenda Barrett), as well as Natalia Livingston (Emily Quartermaine).
8. Finola Hughes – a.k.a Anne Devane
Estimated Net Worth: $8 million.
Finola Hughes has made a great career for herself working not only on soap operas, but on primetime television and doing lots of films! Her career took off when she got a recurring role on L.A. Law. Soon after she got a number of starring roles in series like Jack’s Place, Blossom, Pacific Palisades, All My Children and General Hospital. In addition, she’s had recurring roles and appearances on the series Charmed, Hope & Faith, CSI: NY, Melissa & Joey and Beware the Batman. However, her longest and most profitable job has been her on and off again role on General Hospital as Anna Devane which she has portrayed since 1983. She’s done extremely well in this genre – she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress and three Soap Opera Digest Awards. Finola’s extensive work in films and on television in popular series has gained her an estimated net worth of $8 million.
7. Anthony Geary – a.k.a. Luke Spencer
Estimated Net Worth: $9 million.
Tony Geary no longer acts on General Hospital, but for a long time he was an integral part of the soap opera family. Tony has dedicated his career to soap operas. He’s done a few films and odd appearances in television series, but the majority of his career has been portraying the character of Luke Spencer on General Hospital and similar spin offs. He started working as an actor on All in the Family and then moved onto The Young and the Restless before finally settling into a career with General Hospital, which earned him a record breaking eight Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor and a huge estimated net worth of $9 million.
6. Alison Sweeney – a.k.a. Sami Brady
Estimated Net Worth: $9 million.
Alison Sweeney has made her millions as an actress, reality show host, and author. Sweeney’s biggest career advancements have been acting as the host of The Biggest Loser for 8 years and playing the role of Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives since 1993. She is a highly coveted soap opera actress making approximately $45 thousand an episode on Days of Our Lives! She’s won four Soap Opera Digest Awards and the Fan Voted Daytime Emmy Award. Also contributing to her overall net worth is a memoir titled “All The Days of My Life (So Far)” detailing her struggle with her weight, especially in the Hollywood industry. She’s appeared on a celebrity episode of Fear Factor and the NBC series, Friends and Las Vegas. Clearly she’s been keeping busy! Today her estimated net worth is around $9 million.
5. John Aniston – a.k.a. Victor Kirakis
Estimated Net Worth: $10 million.
John Aniston is well known for not only his role on Days of Our Lives, but also for being the father of Jennifer Aniston. This Greek American actor was at one time an intelligence officer in Panama for the United States Navy. But today, he’s better recognized as Victor Kirakis on the popular NBC soap opera, a role that he’s fulfilled continuously since 1985. He’s primarily acted in daytime soap operas since 1969, starting on Days of Our Lives as Eric Richards, then moving to Love of Life from 1975-1978, to Search for Tomorrow from 1978 to 1984, and finally onto Days of Our Lives in 1985 onward. If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Many soap stars will leave their roles to pursue other career advancements, but John’s impressive dedication to his role has earned him an estimated net worth of $10 million.
4. Peter Bergman – a.k.a. Jack Abbott
Estimated Net Worth: $10 million.
Peter Bergman is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children which he did for 10 years, and his current role as Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless since 1989. He started out in 1976 acting in a CBS prime-time series called Kojak, but his real career breakthrough was on All My Children. He hasn’t done much work outside his niche of daytime drama aside from a few television films like Fantasies, Money, Power, Murder, and Palamino. He’s also had guest appearances on The Bold and the Beautiful and The King of Queens. Today, his entire net worth is due to his work on soap operas earning him an estimated net worth of $10 million.
3. Deidre Hall – a.k.a. Dr. Marlena Evans
Estimated Net Worth: $12 million.
Deidre began working when she was in her late teens when she first moved to Los Angeles to be a model. As time went on she added more credits to her resume, moving into film and television. Her first big on-screen role was in the ’70s in a recurring role on the series Emergency! before settling into her series regular role on The Young and the Restless for over a decade. She’s done a lot of guest appearances on shows like Adam-12. Kung Fu, Karen, S.W.A.T., Drop Dead Diva, and Murder, She Wrote. But her next big role, and continues to be today is on Days of Our Lives as Dr. Marlena Evans. She’s been in this role on and off since 1976 and also been a series regular on the series Our House. However, she’s most widely recognized as a soap actress, and it’s done her well with an estimated net worth of $12 million.
2. Daniel Goddard – a.k.a. Cane Ashby
Estimated Net Worth: $16.7 million.
This Australian actor is younger than some of his higher earning peers, but has made quite a fortune for himself in his modeling and acting career. He started out in theatrical productions, until he got his big break landing a lead role on a popular Australian soap called Home and Away and the Canadian series BeastMaster. He was soon recognized for his good looks and began modeling for big names like Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein. In 2007 he went back to acting and joined the American soap The Young and the Restless, which made huge advancements for his career. He’s a fan favorite, mostly with the female viewers and his popularity gained him other job opportunities like modeling on the CBS series, The Price is Right. In addition to his soap role as Cane Ashby, he’s also been in a few small films, but his most successful has been on the daytime drama and his modeling career earning him a whopping net worth of $16.7 million!
1. Eric Braeden – a.k.a. Victor Newman
Estimated Net Worth: $25 million.
Does life imitate art for Eric Braeden? Sitting at the very top of our list is a soap opera icon and a household name. He is well recognized by even those who do not watch daytime television. Playing the power-hungry Moustache as some affectionately (or not so affectionately) have called him for over three decades now. Victor Newman is the patriarch of The Newman clan featured on Young and the Restless. He’s on top of his corporate business game and, of course, a master manipulator. While he does have a heart when it comes to those in need, unfortunately his need to control every situation often gets him into trouble – well, causing trouble that is. At an incredible $25 million dollars, Eric Braeden is undoubtedly the soap actor with the highest net worth in the soap business today, and much like his onscreen character, he is still on top of his game when it comes to world of soaps.