Who is the richest actor in the American Horror Story?

American Horror Story is an anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for the cable network FX. The show features a different setting, storyline and characters each season, essentially acting as miniseries. The show has featured many high-profile actors over its 10 seasons so far, with some making guest appearances while others have had starring roles across multiple seasons. When it comes to overall net worth, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson rank as the richest actors to have prominent roles in American Horror Story.

Jessica Lange

With an estimated net worth of $30 million, Jessica Lange is the richest American Horror Story actor. She appeared in the first four seasons of the show as a main cast member, starting with Murder House in season 1. Some of her prominent roles were Constance Langdon in Murder House, Sister Jude Martin in Asylum and Fiona Goode in Coven.

Lange has had a long and acclaimed acting career spanning over 40 years. She has won two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. Her breakout role was in the 1976 remake of King Kong, after which she went on to star in films like Tootsie, Frances and Blue Sky. Lange was one of the highest paid actresses throughout the 1980s. While she focused more on indie films in the 90s, her appearance in American Horror Story marked a career resurgence.

Even though Lange hasn’t appeared in American Horror Story since Freak Show in season 4, she remains the show’s most bankable and decorated star. Her stint provided a huge initial boost to the show’s popularity. With continued success in theater and film, as well as residuals from her earlier hit movies, Jessica Lange remains the richest American Horror Story cast member.

Kathy Bates

With a current net worth of $25 million, Kathy Bates is the second richest American Horror Story cast member. She made her first appearance in Coven during season 3, before returning for Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke and Apocalypse.

Bates’ most memorable characters were Madame Delphine LaLaurie and Ethel Darling. Before American Horror Story, she was best known for acclaimed roles in films like Misery, Titanic, Primary Colors and About Schmidt. For Misery, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1991.

Other major credits include the TV shows Harry’s Law and Disjointed. She has won Emmys for her guest roles in The Office and Two and a Half Men as well. Bates has over 180 acting credits to her name in a career spanning 50 years. Her extensive body of work across television and film contributes to her current net worth of $25 million.

While not as rich as Jessica Lange, Bates remains one of the most experienced and acclaimed actors to be part of American Horror Story. Her continued involvement with the show has been a major draw for viewers.

Sarah Paulson

With an estimated net worth of $10 million, Sarah Paulson ranks third when it comes to the richest American Horror Story actors. She has appeared in every season except one, making her the most constant cast member.

Some of her most popular roles have been the medium Billie Dean Howard, conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler, and Sydney Aaron James. Apart from American Horror Story, Paulson also has credits in shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Game Change and American Crime Story.

She has received six Emmy nominations for American Horror Story, winning once for her role as prosecutor Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Paulson’s extensive television work and her long run on American Horror Story has contributed to her current wealth.

Other Notable American Horror Story Actors

While the above three are the definitively richest American Horror Story cast members, the show has featured many other big names over the years. Some other notable actors include:

  • Evan Peters (net worth $4 million) – Appeared in nine seasons, often in lead roles.
  • Denis O’Hare (net worth $3 million) – Supporting roles across six seasons.
  • Angela Bassett (net worth $12 million) – Appeared in four seasons as key characters.
  • Emma Roberts (net worth $15 million) – Supporting actress in four seasons.
  • Finn Wittrock (net worth $4 million) – Recurring appearances across five seasons.
  • Wes Bentley (net worth $4 million) – Main cast for three seasons.

While their net worths are substantial, they have not appeared in as many seasons or as consistently as Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson. Both Lange and Bates have also had much longer careers overall, giving them the highest accumulated wealth.

Wealth Breakdown by Season

Since American Horror Story features a different story and predominantly new cast every season, it is interesting to see which seasons had the richest casts overall.

Murder House (Season 1)

The first season of the show boasted acting legends Jessica Lange and Connie Britton as leads, alongside Dylan McDermott. Supporting cast included Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, Taissa Farmiga and Evan Peters.

Highest net worth actors – Jessica Lange ($30 million), Connie Britton ($12 million), Dylan McDermott ($12 million)

Asylum (Season 2)

Jessica Lange and Evan Peters returned for the second installment, while new additions included Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe.

Highest net worth actors – Jessica Lange ($30 million), Zachary Quinto ($14 million), Joseph Fiennes ($8 million)

Coven (Season 3)

With Lange and Paulson reprising their roles, Coven also introduced Kathy Bates as a newcomer along with Emma Roberts and Angela Bassett.

Highest net worth actors – Jessica Lange ($30 million), Kathy Bates ($25 million), Angela Bassett ($12 million)

Freak Show (Season 4)

Set in 1950s Florida, this installment had many returning favorites like Lange, Paulson, Peters, O’Hare and Bassett. New additions were Michael Chiklis, Finn Wittrock and John Carroll Lynch.

Highest net worth actors – Jessica Lange ($30 million), Kathy Bates ($25 million), Michael Chiklis ($35 million)

Hotel (Season 5)

With Lange absent for the first time, Lady Gaga was the lead newcomer here. Sarah Paulson remained the richest returning cast member, along with Kathy Bates and Evan Peters.

Highest net worth actors – Kathy Bates ($25 million), Sarah Paulson ($10 million), Lady Gaga ($320 million)

Roanoke (Season 6)

Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare and Angela Bassett returned again, joined by Cuba Gooding Jr. and André Holland this season.

Highest net worth actors – Kathy Bates ($25 million), Cuba Gooding Jr. ($25 million), Sarah Paulson ($10 million)

Cult (Season 7)

Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters were the staple actors this season, playing the two main characters. Newcomers were Lena Dunham, Billie Lourd and Alison Pill.

Highest net worth actors – Sarah Paulson ($10 million), Evan Peters ($4 million), Lena Dunham ($12 million)

Apocalypse (Season 8)

Apocalypse brought back many fan favorites – Paulson, Peters, Bates, Bassett, Conroy, Rabe, O’Hare and Farmiga, while Cody Fern made his debut.

Highest net worth actors – Kathy Bates ($25 million), Sarah Paulson ($10 million), Angela Bassett ($12 million)

1984 (Season 9)

The ninth installment paid homage to 80s slasher films, with Emma Roberts as the lead. Leslie Grossman, Cody Fern, Gus Kenworthy were among the new cast members.

Highest net worth actors – Emma Roberts ($15 million), Leslie Grossman ($10 million), Gus Kenworthy ($9 million)

Double Feature (Season 10)

The tenth season was split into two parts – Red Tide and Death Valley. Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters returned again, along with Frances Conroy.

Highest net worth actors – Sarah Paulson ($10 million), Evan Peters ($4 million), Frances Conroy ($5 million)

Highest Net Worth Actors by Season

Looking at the maximum net worth of actors in each season, here is the ranking:

Season Highest Net Worth Actors
Hotel Lady Gaga ($320 million)
Freak Show Michael Chiklis ($35 million)
Murder House Jessica Lange ($30 million)
Asylum Jessica Lange ($30 million)
Coven Jessica Lange ($30 million)
Roanoke Cuba Gooding Jr. ($25 million)
Apocalypse Kathy Bates ($25 million)
1984 Emma Roberts ($15 million)
Cult Lena Dunham ($12 million)
Double Feature Sarah Paulson ($10 million)

Lady Gaga stands out with the highest net worth for her appearance in Hotel. Overall, Jessica Lange tops the list for three of her four seasons. This reiterates why she is considered the richest American Horror Story cast member.

Current Net Worth of Key Actors

While previous sections looked at the richest actors by season, here is an overview of the current net worth of the most prominent American Horror Story actors:

Actor Net Worth
Jessica Lange $30 million
Kathy Bates $25 million
Sarah Paulson $10 million
Evan Peters $4 million
Denis O’Hare $3 million
Angela Bassett $12 million
Emma Roberts $15 million
Finn Wittrock $4 million
Lily Rabe $3 million
Frances Conroy $5 million

This gives a good picture of the current richest American Horror Story actors based on their net worths. The rankings align with their level of involvement and prominence in the show.


To conclude, while American Horror Story has featured many accomplished and wealthy actors, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson stand out as the richest cast members to date.

Jessica Lange’s long career and iconic four-season run cemented her status as the show’s most elite star in terms of net worth. Kathy Bates also joins her in the top tier due to her acclaimed film roles and Emmy-winning performances. Sarah Paulson earns third place for her unparalleled commitment to the series, appearing in nine out of ten seasons so far.

The show has had a mix of veteran big-screen actors as well as younger television stars. Their appearances have contributed majorly to the success of American Horror Story and made it one of the most star-studded shows on television today. It will be interesting to see if any new additions in the future can give them tough competition in terms of net worth.

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