Known for her role in Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an actress, comedian, and TV presenter. Her role in “The New Adventures of Old Christine” also brought her fame. She comes from a family of influential people. Her father Gérard Louis-Dreyfus is a French billionaire, her grandfather Pierre Louis-Dreyfus fought in World War II and her cousin Pierre Louis-Dreyfus is the owner of football clubs Olympique de Marseille and Standard de Liège and owner of Adidas.
What is Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s net worth?
At the time this article is written the American actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has a net worth of $250 million.
Childhood and teenage years
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on 13 January 1961 in New York City in a family known as the owner of the French company “Louis Dreyfus Group”. Her parents divorced when she was one year old, and her mother remarried L. Thompson Bowles.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus spent her childhood in several states, with her mother and stepfather. She studied theater at Northwestern University and was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority (but gave it up after one semester). She finished college in 1982 and immediately started looking for work.
While a student, she did improv with the Waa-Mu Show (later the Mee-Ow Show), which featured “Saturday Night Live” stars Seth Meyers and Ana Gasteyer. She also appeared with the improv group “Second City”, the most famous in Chicago, as well as with the “Practical Theater Company”, founded by a colleague of hers from Northwestern, Brad Hall.
The show “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee”, produced by the “Practical Theater Company” in 1982, attracted the attention of the producers of “Saturday Night Live”, Dick Ebersol and Bob Tischler, who offered Louis-Dreyfus the opportunity to join the main cast of the series produced by NBC. The actress appeared on “Saturday Night Live” between 1982-1985.
Her first acting roles on the big screen, were in Woody Allen’s films, “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) and “Soul Man” (1986). She then starred in the NBC sitcom “Day By Day” (1988-1990).
During the filming of the series, screenwriter Larry David and comedian Jerry Seinfeld offered Julia Louis-Dreyfus to join the cast of the sitcom “Seinfeld”, which lacked a central female figure among its trio of male characters, represented by Jerry Seinfeld in the role of Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander as George Constanza and Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer.
Playing the vain Elaine Benes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned seven Emmy nominations, winning one in 1996, as well as a Golden Globe in 1994 and three Screen Actors Guild Awards (1995, 1997, and 1998).
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her colleagues Jason Alexander and Michael Richards earned a nominal amount of money for the first several seasons of “Seinfeld”.
In 1993, before starting season 5, they successfully negotiated a raise, and each of them was paid $150,000 per episode. This would be around $3.8 million per season.
In 1997 cast members’ salaries were raised again to $600,000 per episode for Seinfeld’s final season. This was around $15 million per season. Today that would be $24 million.
The supporting cast members of Seinfeld earned in total, before inflation, around $45 million in base salary.
Seinfeld syndication earnings
At the time this article is written, the Seinfeld syndication earnings totaled almost $4 billion, but Julia, Jason, and Michael didn’t make important money from it. They need to have equity ownership percentage points on the show in order to earn money from syndication sales. In fact, they have never received backend points on the show. In exchange, the cast receives royalties from when the show airs, but these sums are of the order of hundreds of thousands per year, not millions of dollars as you may think.
On the other hand, in 1998 Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David each earned $250 million from syndication sales alone. These two were earning a minimum of $50 million per year from syndication sales, even a full decade later.
Life after Seinfeld
The role of Elaine Benes brought the American actress several awards, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe. After the success of Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred in other popular series, including “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, “Watching Ellie” and “Veep”. The actress also lent her voice to several cartoons: “A Bug’s Life”, “Animal farm” or “The Simpsons”.
In 2020, Julia starred in the comedy “Downhill”, alongside actor Will Ferrell. The film tells the story of a couple who escape an avalanche during a family skiing vacation and then analyze their marital problems.
Along with the prestigious Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes, the actress was also awarded seven SAG Awards, a Peabody Award, five American Comedy Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2018, she was awarded the “Mark Twain” Award for American humor.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned $500,000 per episode for the final season of “Veep”. She made almost $8 million per year in the last period, from endorsement deals and different income sources. These earnings made her one of the five highest-paid TV actresses in the entire world.
In 1987, Julia Louis-Dreyfus married Brad Hall, becoming the mother of two boys: Henry (born in 1992) and Charles (born in 1997).
In 2007, she received a title from Northwestern University, being proclaimed a Doctor of Arts.
Shortly after winning an Emmy Award with the series “Veep” in 2017, Julia surprised everyone by announcing that she had breast cancer. Fortunately, the actress recovered from an operation and a series of chemotherapies.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is among several famous filmmakers and actors, such as Oprah Winfrey, and Alfonso Cuaron, who have announced that they will be involved in various projects for Apple’s streaming service.