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Goodbye ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: What is Ellen Pompeo’s net worth?

Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama unlike any other. It has spearheaded the genre for nearly two decades, with a revolving door of talented actors, timely stories, and unexpected twists that keep fans coming back for more. The person who has been most crucial to this success, besides showrunner Shonda Rhimes, of course, is star Ellen Pompeo.

While actors have come and gone on Grey’s, Pompeo has been the anchor that keeps the show grounded, and ties it back to its humble beginnings in the early 2000s. She’s earned a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination for her iconic performance as Dr. Meredith Grey. That being said, all good things must come to an end.

Pompeo announced that she would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy ahead of its upcoming season, which marks the first time the show will be without its titular character. So, we thought now would be the perfect time to look back on the actress’s career and determine how much money she’s made. What is her net worth?

Humble beginnings

Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts and grew up with five older siblings. She worked as a bartender in her hometown, before deciding to move to New York City with her boyfriend in 1995. It was shortly after her move that she was approached by a casting director and asked whether she’d like to appear in ads for Citibank and L’Oreal. She agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Pompeo’s career would take off soon after. She honed her acting skills in a few short films, before making her television debut in a 1996 episode of Law & Order. She followed that up with single episode appearances in the cult series Strangers with Candy (1999) and the short-lived sitcom The Job (2001) opposite Dennis Leary.

Pompeo’s stock rose even higher thanks to the big screen. She landed a supporting role in the acclaimed drama Moonlight Mile (2002), and would go on to star in blockbuster hits like Catch Me If You Can (2002), Old School and Daredevil (both 2003). If that weren’t enough, she made a cameo in a 2004 episode of Friends, which was undoubtedly the biggest show on television at the time. 

TV superstardom

All the attention that Pompeo attracted in the mid-2000s culminated in Grey’s Anatomy. The show premiered in 2005 and was an immediate hit with audiences and critics. It was the role of a lifetime and Pompeo managed to get everything she could out of it from both a cultural and financial standpoint.

In the case of the latter, Grey’s Anatomy made her one of the small screen’s biggest earners. Well, eventually. Pompeo renegotiated her contract with the network in 2011, which increased her salary to $200K per episode. This meant that she took home a whopping $9 million for her work the following year. Her contract was upped again in 2013, allowing her to take home $350K per episode. By 2015, Pompeo was the fourth highest-paid actress in television.

Pompeo was promoted to the rank of producer in 2018, which meant she was taking home two separate (and separately massive) incomes from the show. She was receiving a total of $575K per episode, which made her the highest-paid actress in the world, and an additional $6-7 million annually as a producer.

Pompeo’s fortune

Simply put, Ellen Pompeo has had one of the most financially successful careers in television. She hit the jackpot in terms of stardom, and was able to leverage it to earn increasingly higher salaries as Grey’s Anatomy wore on. 

Ellen Pompeo’s relationship with Grey’s showrunner Shonda Rhimes has paid off in more ways than one, as she is an executive producer on Rhimes’ popular drama Station 19. She also runs her own production company, Calamity Jane.

Outside of the television realm, Pompeo gets paid to endorse brands like Young Living Seedlings and Martha Stewart’s CBD products on her Instagram. She’s also endorsed Philosophy skincare. According to Parade, Pompeo has an estimated net worth of $80 million. Not bad for a former bartender from Everett.

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