Some lucky TV shows enjoy a successful season or two. Others are even luckier and end up with 17 seasons no matter how ridiculous the plotlines get or how low the viewership drops (we’re looking at you, Shonda Rhimes).
But the ones who end up sticking around the most are soap operas. Whoever said acting isn’t a steady job has obviously never met Susan Lucci or the late John Aniston. Sticking through with a good soap opera role turns out to be a great way to make money. Take a look and see just how much money we’re talking about and what it actually takes to make it.
Alison Sweeney | Days of Our Lives | $9 Million
“Days of Our Lives” wouldn’t be the same without Alison Sweeney and her portrayal of the drama-loving Sami Brady. Sweeney’s record includes more than 2,000 episodes stretched over 36 years, and she still manages to do other things as well.
She wrote books, partnered with brands, and acted in many other projects. Maybe she cracked the secret of time travel, maybe she has a secret clone, or maybe she lives in a parallel universe where a day has more than 24 hours. Those are the only reasonable explanations to her 9 million dollars’ worth of success.
Catherine Bach | The Young and the Restless | $10 Million
Some of you may remember Catherine Bach as the audacious Miss Daisy Duke, who stole the show on TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Others may know the actress from her latest, seven-year-long role of Anita Lawson on “The Young and the Restless”.
Her prolific acting career spans more than four decades and numerous roles, all of which have banked her a $10 million net worth. Would you believe that she’s now 66? Her glow is amazing. Once she tells people her secret to looking that good, her net worth might skyrocket even more.
Erik Estrada | Two Women One Road | $4 Million
Erik Estrada, one of People magazine’s “ 10 Sexiest Bachelors in the World” in 1979, has had quite a unique acting career. It started out in 1970 and blew up with CHiPs in 1977 but one of the most significant chunks of it was in the telenovela “Two women, one road” (or “Dos mujeres, un camino”).
Estrada was paid one million pesos for his appearance on the show. His character, Johnny, was a steamy Tijuana truck driver. It became the hottest telenovela in Latin American history and ran for more than 200 episodes despite it being initially slated for 100 and the fact that Estrada could not speak Spanish. The man has sex appeal and apparently that’s enough for a $4 million net worth.
Susan Lucci | All My Children | $60 Million
When you think of soap operas you think of Susan Lucci. Fans of “All My Children” throughout the years (and we are talking about more than 40 years!) loved to play Erica Kane, Lucci’s character.
Kane turned Lucci into a soap opera legend. A legend that has made enough money to sustain a small country. She has made a living out of her ability to cry on cue and being the best soap villain out there.
Shemar Moore | The Young and the Restless | $16 Million
Shemar Moore is in it for the long haul. Just ask any TV show he’s been on. While TV and movie stars make a lot of money, they rarely know when they might get their next project. Moore is one of those rare actors who enjoy a steady income because he simply works on never-ending TV shows for years on end. That’s how you end up with a $16 million net worth, people — listen and learn.
Many might know him as Derek Morgan from his 12-year-long stint in “Criminal Minds” which began in 2005. But his acting career started way back in 1994 when he played Malcolm Winters in the soap opera “The Young and the Restless”. He played this part on and off until 2019! That’s more stable than most Hollywood relationships!
Eric Braeden | The Young and the Restless | $25 Million
He’s written a book, done film, television, and has starred in daytime drama since he stepped foot in Genoa City, about 40 years ago, but most of you will know him simply as Victor Newman from “The Young and the Restless”.
The man and his famous mustache have been on the show from 1980 to 2020, garnering a net worth of $25 million, which made him one of the highest-paid soap opera actors in America, and possibly the world.