Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ net worth reflects decades of hard work during her prolific career on television. And not only have her adoring fans (me) noticed how talented she is throughout her time gracing our screens, but so has ~the Academy~. Like, Julia holds the record for the most Primetime Emmy Award wins ever with a whopping 11 statuettes.
Plus, if you’re into Hollywood legends and stuff of the sort (also me), you’ll be interested to know Julia is preeeetty much one of the only Seinfeld actors to have broken the so-called “Seinfeld curse”—the leading explanation for why the series’ main characters are allegedly unable to achieve the same level of success they did while on the sitcom.
Regardless of whether the lore is true or not, what we know for sure is Julia is Really! Freakin’! Loaded! So if you’re curious about what her bank account is working with, look no further. Let’s start with the fact that….
It pays to be funny. Like, Saturday Night Live funny
While other people were out here simply reaching the legal drinking age at 21, Julia landed a spot on the cast of Saturday Night Live after being discovered during her performance with The Practical Theater Company at its Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee. At the time, the comedian was the youngest female cast member in the history of the show.
Ultimately, Julia stayed on SNL for a total of three seasons from 1982 to 1985, which serendipitously coincided with Larry David’s only year on the show (1984 to 1985). This is *very* important because Larry was one of the writers and creators of a sitcom you may or may not have heard of called Seinfeld. And as the saying goes….
Nine seasons on Seinfeld = major $$$
Julia famously wound up playing the role of Elaine Benes—the sole female member of the show’s principal quartet—for a total of nine (!) seasons. And JFYI, she wasn’t just, like, popping by once in a while; The actor appeared in almost every single episode (save for three).
Interestingly enough, one of the episodes she wasn’t part of was the pilot because her character wasn’t originally part of the show. How come, you ask? Well, it was only after the first episode aired that NBC execs felt that Seinfeld was too male-centric 😬. They requested that co-creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld write a role for a woman. Enter: our full circle “aha” moment given that, at the time, Larry was already familiar with Julia’s comedic chops from their days on SNL together. Mood after piecing together this entire anecdote:
As for how much moolah Julia earned over her many years on the sitcom? Celebrity Net Worth reports that in 1993, Seinfeld‘s Main cast members successfully negotiated their raises prior to season 5, each earning $150,000 per episode—or roughly $3.8 million per season. Then in May 1997, they ended up receiving roughly $600,000 per episode for the show’s final season—or around $15 million in total. According to the site, “That’s the same as earning around $24 million today.” Damn.
This IS a ton of money, but compared to some of her fellow cast members like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, Julia kind of got the short end of the stick. The Globe and Mail reports Julia doesn’t get royalties from the show outside SAG-AFTRA residuals and a portion of the proceeds netted from DVD sales, unlike Jerry and Larry who rake in big $$$, and this was a point of contention ahead of Seinfeld‘s final season. (She was ultimately able to negotiate a higher final season salary because of this discrepancy.)
Despite this, Julia earned tons of recognition during her time on Seinfeldwinning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1996.
Her Veep salary was fit for a…well, for a vice president
The actor played political character Selina Meyer on the show Veep for a total of seven seasons between 2012 and 2019. And if you think that’s impressive, the vice president role was so widely lauded that it wound up earning Julia a total of six consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The talent!
And according to CheatSheetall of that *chef’s kiss* acting paid off, because several seasons in—in 2017, to be exact—, Julia earned an astounding $2.5 million per season of the show, or $250,000 per episode. Celebrity Net Worth adds that the actor is said to have been given a raise for the final season to the tune of $3.5 million, or $500,000 per episode. Now, if we want to do a bit of simple math, given that the series ran for 65 episodes, this means if Julia was paid $2.5 million per season for the first 6 seasons and $3.5 million for the final season, she would have made *at least* $18.5 million in total during her time on Veep. Oh, and that’s not including bonuses or royalties, so there’s that 👀.
In a 2019 interview with NPRthe actor spoke about the nuanced perception she had of her character. Every time I played [Selina Meyer] even at her most heinous, I had to find a way in to make that seem truthful,” she mused.
“You know, this is a woman who has been—she’s been in battle a long time, but she is, without really realizing it, a victim of a male-dominated culture, because she herself is a woman—hating woman and does not think well of her sex. So that’s why I was so pleased when we were able to come up with that whole idea of ’man up’ because…it’s so layered in terms of its messaging.”
The MCU *definitely* pays a good salary
Yep, post-Veepthe actor joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning in 2021 with her role as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and a Black Widow mid-credits scene in which she recruits Florence Pugh’s Yelena for a job to take “a shot at the man responsible for [her] sister’s death.” Then, in November 2022, her character appeared yet again in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Though we don’t know the specifics of just how much Julia got paid for her work with the MCU, we do know they pay *a lot*, and the actor likely took home at least a few mill if she was compensated fairly.
And it seems to be the case that
Valentina’s Julia’s time with the MCU might not be over anytime soon. After all, as soon as the actor began working on it The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios producers Nate Moore and Zoie Nagelhout teased larger plans for her role in the franchise. During an April 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly, when the duo was asked whether the intention with Julia’s casting was to open up her character, Moore affirmed, “One hundred percent.”
“She’s so talented and you can do so much with her. And she’s game for it. She certainly didn’t come to us and say, ‘I’ll be in one show once.’ She was like, ‘I want to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.’ And we said, ‘Great! Let’s get you in and let’s figure out how to use you.’ And the truth is, I think you will see her in the future. Definitely,” the producer added.
Plus Julia has done tons of other projects
Case in point? The 1986 movie Hannah and her sisters and 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Plus, the actor scored yet another Emmy for her lead role in The New Adventures of Old Christinewhich ran from 2006 until 2010. Tender pic of her receiving her trophy for that project, incoming:
Oh, and as for her work off the screen? Julia has a brand new podcast called Wise Than Me that just launched this past April. Is there anything she can’t do?!
So what is Julia Louis-Dreyfus net worth, in total?
Julia’s net worth hours in at a total of *drumroll please* an estimated $250 million bucks, according to Celebrity Net Worth. But wait, there’s more! In addition to her earnings from her work as an actor, Julia is also one of the four children of a billionaire—like, with a “b”—financier Gerard Louis-Dreyfus. The late entrepreneur was reported to be worth $4 billion at the time of his death in 2016.
Overall, multiple outlets report the actor is on her way to potentially having a net worth north of $1 billion at some point in her life. So, yeah, it turns out she still did fine even without that Seinfeld equity money ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
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