Stargazing

Highest-paid TV star? It’s Sofia Vergara of ‘Modern Family’

Sofia Vergara, at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Sofia Vergara, at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Invision | AP

What can we say? It pays to be sexy.

The sultry Sofia Vergara, for a third year, tops Forbes magazine’s list of the highest-paid TV actresses.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Vergara, 42, makes more than her “Modern Family” co-stars. According to Forbes, each of the hit sitcom’s stars is paid about $325,000 an episode (not including the kids, we assume).

But as you’ve probably noticed, the Colombian-born Vergara does a lot of TV commercials — for Diet Pepsi, Cover Girl, Head & Shoulders shampoo, AT&T and the medication Synthroid.

While Forbes’ top 10 actors (that’d be men) collectively earned an estimated $214 million between June 2013 and June 2014, the top 10 women made just $140 million.

Still, Vergara, with estimated earnings of $37 million in that period, topped the No. 1 guy, “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher, who made $26 million.

In addition to all the commercials, Vergara co-founded a talent management company, has teamed up with CNET to launch a Spanish-language tech news site and has a 12-year deal with Kmart. She introduced her own perfume on shopping channel HSN. And she makes movies, like the indie film “Chef.”

At last week’s Emmys, Vergara caused some controversy by spinning around (sexily, of course) on a pedestal during a boring speech.

No. 2 on the highest-paid TV actresses list is “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay at $13 million, well below Vergara. “SVU” is the current longest-running TV drama.

No. 3: “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco at $11 million. The “Big Bang” cast recently negotiated hefty pay raises. Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki are now reportedly making around $1 million an episode, just like the “Friends” did years ago. Cuoco also does commercials for Priceline and Toyota.

No. 4 was a three-way tie: “Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies, “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Ellen Pompeo and “How I Met Your Mother’s” Cobie Smulders. Each earned $10 million.

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