Angela Bassett Makes History As Highest-Paid Black Actress In TV History


Aug. 10 2021, Published 6:28 a.m. ET

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Angela Bassett has officially raised the bar with her new broadcast TV deal. After successfully negotiating a pay raise for her role in the drama series “9-1-1,” the iconic Angela Bassett made history as the highest-paid actress in television history. According to Deadline, Bassett will be taking home a whopping $450,000 an episode.

“That is believed to be among the top salaries on network television for any actor — male or female — and could be the highest ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series,” reported Deadline.

In addition to leading the show’s cast, Bassett also executively produces episodes for the series and its spinoff “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

With the expectation of more season renewals, Bassett could see herself rising in the ranks of TV’s highest-paid actresses in no time, reported ETonline.

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Scandal leading lady, Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington and Viola Davis’ character, Annalise Keating, of How To Get Away With Murder, are also recognized as high-earning Black women actresses in TV dramas. TVLine reported that with the incredible success of Scandal, Kerry Washington made $250,000 an episode, and Viola Davis may have earned close to $450k around the series’ ending.

Bassett’s role, Athena Grant, continuously draws fans back to the screen for her blunt, dedicated, and accomplished personality. As a Los Angeles Sergeant and mother of two, viewers of the show get to witness how Athena balances major responsibilities.

According to Fox, “The series explores the high-pressure experiences of first responders — including police officers, firefighters, and dispatchers — who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking, and heart-stopping situations. These emergency responders must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in their own lives. The show draws from real-life, high-pressure experiences of first responders who regularly face heart-stopping situations that are often unpredictable, intense, and uplifting at the same time.”

What is Angela Bassett’s net worth?

Angela Bassett has had a long and successful acting career, and her net worth reflects that. It is reportedly about $25 million in 2023, combined with her husbands’ Courtney B. Vance. Throughout her career, she has won 16 NAACP Image Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also been nominated for two academy awards for Best Supporting Actress in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

For the film, there were reports that the veteran actress made about $350,000 for her role. 

According to Celebrity Net Worth, she was also paid $250,000 for What’s Love Got to Do With It, $2.5 million for Waiting to Exhale, and $3.5 million for Supernova. 

Updated 7/21/2023

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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By: Asha Bey

Asha is passionate about writing pieces that add value to one’s life and inspire like-minded women to move in their purpose. Aside from writing, she finds fulfillment in reading self-help books, practicing yoga, keeping up on fashion trends, attending social events and exploring new activities with family and friends.

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