10 Highest Paid Actresses in Hollywood (2012)

Published on July 19, 2013. Updated March 12, 2014

2012 was an interesting year for women in Hollywood, as Kristen Stewart catapulted to the list of the top ten paid actresses, making it to the number one slot. The year before, she was tied with Julia Roberts for the number five slot. Kristen Stewart moved ahead, while mainstays like Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep earned significantly less than previous years. Below is the complete list. Forbes determines the list based on actresses’ upfront pay, residuals, profit participation, endorsements and advertisements. All numbers and earnings are from 2011-2012.

10. Jennifer Aniston

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Jennifer Aniston earned $11 million last year, starring in “Just Go With It” as the nice girl and “Horrible Bosses” as a sexually aggressive dentist. Her relationship with Justin Theroux also provided plenty of press attention. Her upcoming “We’re the Millers” may yield another good year for the actress.

9. Kristen Wiig

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Kristen Wiig earned $12 million last year, starring in “Bridesmaids” and “Friends with Kids.” The comedian has a promising upcoming year, when she’ll star in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller.

8. Meryl Streep

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Meryl Streep earned $12 million last year, starring in “The Iron Lady,” for which she won her third Academy Award, and “Hope Springs.” The actress manages to play meaty roles, balancing between smaller projects and mainstream films. She seems unstoppable even at 62.

7. Sarah Jessica Parker

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Sarah Jessica Parker earned $15 million last year, proving an actress can have a major flop (“I Don’t Know How She Does It”) and still earn big through reruns (of “Sex and the City”) and perfume sales. Ms. Parker proves branching out can be lucrative.

6. Julia Roberts

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Julia Roberts earned $16 million last year, starring in “Larry Crowne” and “Mirror, Mirror.” Those films didn’t perform so well in the box office, but they provided a steady income for the year.

5. Charlize Theron

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Charlize Theron earned $18 million last year, starring in three films: “Young Adult,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and “Prometheus.” In addition, she’s connected to Dior, which is lucrative for the actress. “Young Adult” reinvigorated her career last year.

4. Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Jolie earned $20 million last year through residuals and endorsement deals, proving an actress can continue earning even when she isn’t starring in a major movie. A media darling, Jolie appeared on 78 magazine covers last year. She certainly seems to have staying power in Hollywood.

3. Sandra Bullock

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Sandra Bullock earned $25 million last year, through her role in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” The film wasn’t a box office hit, but Bullock is still in demand because of her personality and her role in “The Blind Side.” Her time away from the big screen still gave her plenty of attention. Also, her recent hit with “The Heat” will likely mean a high ranking on next year’s list.

2. Cameron Diaz

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Cameron Diaz earned $34 million between May 2011 and May 2012. Through her role in “Bad Teacher” she proves, once again, that R-rated comedies can be big earners in the box office–and without the massive budget of an action film. Diaz (or her agent) was smart: She took a smaller upfront payment, agreeing to a larger share of the profits. “Bad Teacher” earned $216 million on a budget of $20 million, so the film’s profits alone gave the actress a big advance last year.

1. Kristen Stewart

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Kristen Stewart earned $34.5 million dollars between May 2011 and May 2012, more than any other actress. At 22, she is the youngest actress on the list. Most of the money was earned through the final films in the “Twilight” franchise, in which Stewart portrayed Bella Swan. “Snow White and the Huntsman” was also a big earner for her last year.

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