Susan Seaforth Hayes
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

How Much Do Daytime Soap Stars Make?

Certain daytime soap operas have been on the air for decades with some of the same actors playing the same character for years. It's definitely different from a primetime show because it's a fast-paced world to get episodes up hastily each week. In fact, according to actress Jen Lilley who played Theresa Donovan on Days of Our Lives, you literally get one take as she told ET.

"You get one take to nail it. You have one night or maybe a few hours tops to prepare 20 scenes. You can't drop the ball."

From Days and The Young and The Restless to General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful, these daytime dramas have entertained captivated audiences for years who love tuning in regularly for the theatrics, the drama, and the at times ridiculous storytelling. But how much are some of your favorite stars actually getting paid behind the scenes?

1. Susan Seaforth Hayes

Susan Seaforth Hayes

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

According to Cheatsheet, actors on Days of Our Lives can make anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 an episode, though it's common for stars who have been on for years to make up to $5k. For someone like Susan Seaforth Hayes who has been playing Julie Olson Williams on Days since 1968, that certainly adds up to a hefty net worth. She is also known for her role playing Joanna Manning on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful as well as D.A. Patricia Steele on Sunset Beach. Even her real-life husband is her soap co-star, Bill Hayes, who has been playing the role of Doug Williams on the popular NBC soap since 1970. The couple was awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards together at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2018.

It's estimated that Hayes is worth a whopping $5 million from her lengthy career. But Hayes has also appeared in numerous TV series outside of the soap world. She has appeared on Dragnet, Death Valley Days, 77 Sunset Strip, National Velvet, Bonanza, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Perry Mason.

2. Susan Lucci

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Best known for her role playing Erica Kane on ABC's All My Children, Lucci has regularly been cited as being the highest-paid actress in daytime TV. She was apparently making $1 million annually back in the 90s after 20 years on the show. She was nominated a whopping 21 times for Best Actress at the Daytime Emmy's though she only won one time. It's estimated that the beloved actress is worth $80 million though she's definitely been keeping busy in Hollywood since her show was canceled in 2011. She competed on Dancing with the Stars and has appeared on numerous TV shows including Hot in Cleveland, Devious Maids, and Army Wives.

3. Eric Braeden


The German-born actor is best known for his role as Victor Newman on the CBS drama The Young and the Restless as well as a few episodes on The Bold and the Beautiful. Braeden has starred on the show since 1980 so we can only assume he's definitely making $5k per episode. After a length career, it's also not surprising that he has an estimated net worth of $25 million. 

4. Alison Sweeney

Alison Sweeney

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

One of the most popular soap stars turned Hallmark stars, Sweeney is known for playing Samantha "Sami" Brady on Days of Our Lives. She's been playing the role in Los Angeles, California on and off since 1987 in addition to starring in films on the Hallmark Channel like Murder, She Baked and Christmas At Holly Lodge. It definitely makes sense that her net worth is estimated to be around $9 million after years of acting as well as working as a host on The Biggest Loser.

Read More: Hallmark Star Alison Sweeney Left Soap Operas To Focus On Her Family

5. Kirsten Storms

Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Storms grew up as a child actress appearing in Disney shows and original movies like the Zenon trilogy and Kim Possible before landing the role of Isabella "Belle" Black on Days which she played for five years. She's been starring as Maxie Jones on General Hospital since 2005 and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon though she was briefly replaced by Jen Lilley for a year due to health problems. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Storms is worth $6 million so we can only assume she's definitely making $3k-$5k an episode. 

6. Deidre Hall


Another fan favorite from Days of Our Lives, Hall has been playing the role of Dr. Marlena Evans for over four decades. She briefly starred in the NBC drama series Our House in addition to other shows like Murder, She Wrote, Columbo, and The Young and the Restless. Hall is estimated to be worth $12 million.

7. Anthony Geary

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

From 1978 to 2017, Geary played the role of  Luke Spencer on General Hospital, a role that earned him a whopping eight Daytime Emmy Awards. After so many years appearing on the show (also in a second storyline as Bill Eckert), it shouldn't be a shocker that Geary is estimated to have a net worth of $9 million.

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