Ellen Pompeo is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, thanks to her long-running role as Meredith Grey on the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. According to Forbes, she earned $19 million in 2020, making her the 10th highest-paid actress on television. Her net worth is estimated to be $80 million as of 2023, according to Celebrity Net Worth. But how did she achieve such wealth and success? Here is a breakdown of her career, income sources, and investments.
Who is Ellen Pompeo?
Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born on November 10, 1969, in Everett, Massachusetts. She is of Italian, Irish, and English ancestry. She lost her mother at the age of five and grew up with her father and five siblings. She moved to Miami and then New York City in her twenties, where she worked as a bartender and a model. She was discovered by a casting director who signed her for an advertisement campaign for L’Oreal.
Early acting career
Pompeo made her television debut in 1996 with a guest role on Law & Order. She then appeared in several other shows, such as Strangers with Candy, Strong Medicine, and Friends. She also had minor roles in movies like Coming Soon, In the Weeds, and Mambo Café. Her breakthrough came in 2002 when she starred opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the romantic drama Moonlight Mile, which earned her critical acclaim and recognition.
Breakthrough with Grey’s Anatomy
In 2005, Pompeo landed the lead role of Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy, a show created by Shonda Rhimes that follows the lives of surgical interns and residents at a Seattle hospital. The show became a huge success and made Pompeo a household name. She has won a Screen Actors Guild Award and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. She has also directed and produced several episodes of the show. As of 2023, she is still playing Meredith Grey on the show’s 19th season.
How Much Does Ellen Pompeo Make and How?
Pompeo has earned a fortune from her acting career, especially from Grey’s Anatomy. She also has other sources of income, such as producing, brand collaborations, co-founding a health brand, and hosting a podcast.
Salary from Grey’s Anatomy
Pompeo is the highest-paid cast member of Grey’s Anatomy, earning $575,000 per episode or about $20 million per season. She also receives a share of the show’s syndication profits, which adds another $6 to $7 million to her annual income. She negotiated this lucrative deal in 2017 after Patrick Dempsey left the show and Shonda Rhimes moved to Netflix. She said she wanted to feel empowered and have ownership of the show. Before that, she reportedly made $200,000 per episode.
Other acting roles
Besides Grey’s Anatomy, Pompeo has also appeared in other movies and shows throughout her career. Some of her notable film credits include Catch Me If You Can (2002), Old School (2003), Daredevil (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and Life of the Party (2005). She has also voiced characters in animated films like Over the Hedge (2006) and Doc McStuffins (2014). Her earnings from these projects are not publicly known, but they likely contributed to her net worth.
Pompeo has also ventured into producing television shows under her own company, Calamity Jane. She signed a first-look deal with ABC Studios in 2011 and sold her first project to ABC that year. The project was a drama about female police officers called The Broad Squad, but it was not picked up to series. Since then, she has developed other projects for ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television, such as Debt, Big Law, Adulting, Rebel, and Paradise City. Rebel is the only show that has aired so far, but it was canceled after one season. Pompeo’s producing fees are not disclosed, but they likely add to her income.
Pompeo has also collaborated with various brands for endorsements and partnerships. Some of the brands she has worked with include Pantene, Lyf Mobile, Nirav Modi, Betr Remedies, and Parade Magazine. She has also appeared in commercials for Citibank and L’Oreal. Her earnings from these deals are not revealed, but they probably boost her net worth.
Co-founder of a health brand
In 2021, Pompeo co-founded Betr Remedies, a socially-conscious over-the-counter medicine brand that donates medications to people in need. She serves as the chief impact officer of the company, which aims to help fix a broken industry where one in four Americans can’t afford the medications they need. The company launched its products on Walmart.com in November 2021 and plans to expand to Walmart stores nationwide in January 2022. Pompeo’s stake in the company is not known, but it could be a potential source of wealth for her.
Host of a podcast
In 2021, Pompeo also launched her first-ever podcast, Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo, in collaboration with Cadence13. The podcast features Pompeo’s candid conversations with guests and celebrity friends who inspire her and who do extraordinary things. She also shines a light on people and issues that are important to her and the world at large. The podcast has 50 episodes as of December 2021 and covers topics such as health, wellness, activism, entertainment, and more. Pompeo’s earnings from the podcast are not disclosed, but they likely increase her income.
Ellen Pompeo’s Net Worth
Based on her various sources of income, Pompeo’s net worth is estimated to be $80 million as of 2023, according to Celebrity Net Worth. This makes her one of the richest actresses in the world. However, her net worth could be higher or lower depending on her expenses, taxes, investments, and other factors.
How she invests her money
Pompeo has not revealed much about how she invests her money, but she has shared some insights into her financial philosophy. She said she is not a big spender and prefers to save her money for her family and future. She also said she is not interested in buying expensive cars or jewelry. She does own several properties, including a home in Los Angeles that she bought for $6.4 million in 2013, a home in Malibu that she bought for $6.6 million in 2014, and a farmhouse in the Hamptons that she bought for $925,000 in 2011 and sold for $2.995 million in 2020. She also owns a production office in Los Angeles that she renovated with designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
Here are some quotes from Pompeo about investing and money:
- “I made a decision to make money.”
- “I don’t find acting to be a particularly noble way to make a living. I’m not saving anybody’s life, I’m not a teacher, I’m not working for UNICEF. I don’t think I’m some big deal.”
- “I knew coming up on 40, I don’t want to be out there chasing things, running after things, begging. I’d rather just see this as the blessing that it is.”
- “I don’t care about chasing money. I’m not money-oriented.”
- “I think having my mother die at such a very young age – when she was 33 – I appreciate life so much.”
Ellen Pompeo is one of the most successful and wealthy actresses in the world, thanks to her role as Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. She also makes money from other acting roles, producing television shows, collaborating with brands, co-founding a health brand, and hosting a podcast. Her net worth is estimated to be $80 million as of 2023. She is not a big spender and prefers to save her money for her family and future. She also invests in real estate and has a socially-conscious approach to business. She is an inspiration for many people who want to achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.