Jane Leeves’ net worth of $16 million was accumulated from her career in the entertainment industry. The English actress has been in the acting business since the early 80s and has acted in a plethora of films and TV shows, however, she is widely recognized for her role as Daphne Moon in the NBC hit sitcom, Fraiser. Her other notable roles include Joy Scroggs in the sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, and Prudence Anne “Blue” Bartlett in Throb.
More than being an actress, Jane is also a talented dancer, singer, and comedian. None of these has been financially rewarding for her compared to her exploits as an actress which is believed to be the prime source of her massive $16 million fortune.
She Began Accumulating Her Massive Fortune As An Actress When She Was 20
Leeves was born Jane Elizabeth Leeves on April, 18th, 1961 in a little town in Essex called Ilford to Collin and Ruth Leeves. She has a sister named Kathryn Leeves and her family would come to relocate to Crawley in Western Sussex and subsequently to East Grinstead. Growing up, her mother instilled the love of ballet in her and sent young Jane to the Bush Davies School of Dance where she trained as a ballet dancer and worked as a model. Her dancing ability got her to make her very first film appearance in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life; this happened in 1983.
Before that, she featured as a Performer in a 1981 television film titled Nice to See You. She was only 20 years old then and it was her debut as an actress which means it was the first time she made money from acting, at least to the best of our knowledge. Her love for dancing was derailed as she had to abandon her hopes of making a long career in it as a result of an ankle injury she sustained earlier on in her life. Leeves reportedly moved to New York at the age of 21 with $1000 to pursue her acting career, although she had to move back when things did not immediately go according to plan.
After she made her acting debut in the 1981 TV film, her performance thereof earned her other roles including one as Hill’s Angel in four episodes of The Benny Hill. Since then, the English actress has been seen in numerous small and big-screen projects through which she came to accumulate her $16 million fortune. For someone who has been active in the competitive industry for four decades, Jane deserves every bit of her wealth as she worked for it and it is only a reflection of her years of commitment to performing arts. From acting in television to theater and film, Leeves has undoubtedly made an enduring name for herself in entertainment but as you would soon learn, her exploits on the small screen have been more rewarding.
Jane Leeves Has Made More Money From TV Roles
Jane Leeves has shown she is a versatile actress. Apart from her big and small screen roles, she has also explored the world of theater. Notably, she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret, a Roundabout Broadway production. While her talent is unquestionable, she seems to have thrived more on television. The English actress has pulled off more gigs thereof; therefore, she made most of her $16 million net worth from the sector.
Her first major small-screen role came in Throb, an American sitcom wherein she featured as one of the main characters. The series was short-lived as it aired from September 1986 to May 1988. However, it was popular enough to earn Jane Leeves more roles. In the years that followed, she was seen in an episode each of Murder, She Wrote (1987), It’s a Living (1989) Mr. Belvedere (1989), and Hooperman (1989).
Post-Throb, Jane Leeves’ next prominent TV show was in Murphy Brown, an American sitcom created by Diane English wherein she played Audrey Cohen across nine episodes from 1989 to 1993. While she worked on Murphy Brown, Jane made appearances in an episode each of Who’s the Boss? (1990), Room for Romance (1990), My Two Dads (1990), and Blossom (1991).
She Earned As Much As $385,000 Per Episode of Fraiser
Before the English actress landed the role which has largely defined her career, she played Marla Penny in four episodes of the American sitcom television series, Seinfeld, from 1992 to 1998. It was in 1993 that she began playing Daphne Moon in Frasier. The American television sitcom aired for a total of 11 seasons on NBC from September 1993 to May 2004. Jane held down the main role throughout its run and it remains one of her most popular projects that contributed in no small manner to her net worth. The series spewed a total of 264 episodes and Jane Leeves featured in 263. Given that, it is not hard to see how it became the most lucrative work of her acting career.
In January 2002, it was reported that she would receive £19 million (valued at over $26.6 million in 2021) to continue playing the role of Daphne Moon on Frasier. As reported, her salary on the show was reviewed and raised from £45,000 (over $63,000) per episode to £275,000 (over $385,000). While the figure involved is a massive one for the actress, it pales when compared to her co-stars on the show. John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce, and Kelsey Grammer were the other actors who played major roles in the series. While the first two pocketed £700,000 each per episode, Kelsey who was the star of the show earned as much as £1 million per episode.
And $75,000 Per Episode of Hot in Cleveland
After Frasier wrapped up, the next time the English actress would be seen in another main role in a popular project was as Joy Scroggs in another American sitcom, Hot in Cleveland. Before this, she was seen as Daphne Moon in an episode of Caroline in the City and Athena in six episodes of Hercules: The Animated Series. In addition to that, she voiced Edwina in an episode of The Simpsons, played Amanda Watson in seven episodes of Misconceptions, and Mary Frances and Ann Hefton respectively on Twenty Good Years and The Starter Wife. Thereafter, she voiced Lulu in two episodes of The Penguins of Madagascar and various characters in Phineas and Ferb.
That’s not all, she was also seen as Dr. Graham in two episodes of Desperate Housewives and Gracie in the “Accidental Family Bed” episode of Notes from the Underbelly before she began playing Joy Scroggs. After Hot in Cleveland which aired for a total of 128 episodes across six seasons with Jane Leeves appearing in 125 episodes, the actress has been part of other TV productions like Crowded, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, We Bare Bears, and The Resident.
What she earned from all of these projects are yet to be uncovered but we can confirm that none of them came close to her earnings on Frasier, not even Hot in Cleveland which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination in 2011 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Alongside Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, and Betty White, Jane was one of the main cast of the TV Land sitcom. It was reported that Betty White earned $75,000 per episode of the show. Jane’s salary should be around that figure.
Paychecks From Big-Screen Projects Have Also Buoyed Up Jane Leeves’ Net Worth
As hinted earlier, most of Jane Leeves’ work has been for the small screen. Nonetheless, she has played several roles in big-screen projects that have also contributed to her $16 million net worth in no small manner. To the best of our knowledge, her first movie role was an uncredited one and as a dancer in the 1983 British-American musical sketch comedy film, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. That same year, she had another uncredited role in The Hunger, an erotic film directed by Tony Scoot which starred David Bowie alongside Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.
The first time Jane Leeves was credited for a movie role was in 1985 when she played a character named Serena in an American neo-noir action thriller film titled To Live and Die in L.A. After this, she was seen as Amy Phillips in Just Deserts (1992) before she played Wylie in the 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Charlie Loventhal, Mr. Write. That same year, she played Alberta Leonard in Miracle on 34th Street, an American Christmas comedy-drama fantasy film that John Hughes wrote and produced. Two years later, she voiced Mrs. Ladybug in James and the Giant Peach (1996), a musical fantasy film based on Roald Dahl’s 1961 novel of the same title.
In 1999, the English actress featured in two movies: she portrayed Juliet Gosling in a British film titled Don’t Go Breaking My Heart alongside Charles Dance, Jenny Seagrove, and Anthony Edwards; she also played Dorothea von Heaften in Music of the Heart, an American biographical musical film. The next time she was seen in a feature film was in 2003 when she played Mona in The Event, a drama film directed by Thom Fitzgerald. Again, she stayed away from big-screen projects until 2006 when she voiced Eenie in Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, a computer-animated comedy film titled. In 2009, she played Liv in National Lampoon Presents Endless Bummer, a comedy film directed by Sam Pillsbury. Thus far, her last movie role was as Emma Schlegel in the 2012 musical comedy, What About Dick?
It is hard to tell what the actress made from each of these movie roles but anyone could tell the paychecks she received for them are robust enough to make a meaningful contribution to her status as a multi-millionaire.
What Movies and Shows Did Jane Leeves Earn The Most From?
Based on the foregoing, it has been established that the English actress has made more money from her roles in television. Throughout her career that kicked off in 1981, she has only had roles in 13 movies. This is insignificant compared to her 36 television roles. Also, none of her movies are popular compared to the television roles that have been the highlight of her career – Daphne Moon in Frasier and Joy Scroggs in Hot in Cleveland.
As far as we can tell, these two roles are Jane Leeves’ most lucrative acting gigs. As stated earlier, she earned as much as $385,000 at some point for each episode of Frasier. And, there are reasons to believe her Hot in Cleveland salary was around $75,000 per episode. Considering that respectively featured in 263 and 125 episodes of the shows, it is easy to see how they are her highest-paying acting gigs.
The Actress Co-owns a Production Company Called Bristol Cities
Apart from her earnings from acting, it is believed that the English actress also makes money from her production company, Bristol Cities. She co-founded the company with an American actress, her co-star on Frasier, Peri Gilpin. It’s no secret that Jane Leeves is very close to Peri. She considers the family of the Frasier co-star as hers. The two have built a solid friendship that can be equated to a family relationship and Peri is the godmother of Leeves’ daughter, Isabella.
Their relationship led to the creation of Bristol Cities which they run together. It was once reported that the company acquired the rights to re-make The Vicar of Dibley, a British sitcom, for American viewers. What she makes from the company has never been disclosed to the public but it is bound to become a significant source of income that would see Jane Leeves’ net worth soar in years to come.