Modern Family's Sofia Vergara is the richest woman on TV

Sofia Vergara is the highest paid actress on TV, according to Forbes. Photo/Getty
Sofia Vergara is the highest paid actress on TV, according to Forbes. Photo/Getty

Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara has topped Forbes magazine's annual list of best paid television actresses for the fifth year in a row, earning a whopping US$43 million (NZ$59m).

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); and 10: Julie Bowen (US$10 million).


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