How Much Does Kelly Monaco Make Per Episode Of General Hospital?

Kelly Monaco has been a mainstay on "General Hospital" since joining the soap in 2003, per IMDb. For nearly two decades, she's played private investigator turned mom of two, Samantha McCall. Besides temporary fill-ins, Monaco not only originated the role but is the only actress to play Sam (via Soaps In Depth).

Throughout all of the adversities, the character has faced since joining the series, Monaco's been through it all. From giving birth to a stillborn baby, to her super couple status with Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), her catalog of storylines speaks for itself. However, despite being a bad girl on paper, her character has been universally beloved for the duration of her tenure.

In theory, "General Hospital" should revolve around the hospital and its staff. But, following the arrival of Sonny Corthinos (Maurice Benard) in 1993, there was a visible shift toward the drama that comes with his organized crime empire (via Soap Central). The newfound focus on mob activity gave way to new characters like Sam, and it also led to a tonal shift in existing characters like Jason. With personalities like these dominating their episodes, it begs a straightforward question. Regarding Sam's portrayer specifically, how much does Monaco make per episode?

Monaco's long tenure on General Hospital makes her a top earner

Traditionally daytime television actors don't accrue as much wealth as their primetime or big-screen counterparts. However, someone like Kelly Monaco, who has been on "General Hospital" for nearly 20 years, tends to amass a considerable fortune. Monaco's legendary run has gained her an alleged net worth of around $4 million with no signs of slowing down (via Celebrity Net Worth). She earns approximately $5,000 per episode, which is about $100 per hour (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

The two-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress pulls in more money than most of her "General Hospital" companions. Actors on soap operas are reported to only bring in between $700-$1,500 per episode, according to Career Trend. Her status as one of the leading ladies helps her break that ceiling and solidified her as a top earner. With over 2,000 episodes behind her, Monaco has been on "General Hospital" longer than most of her costars, many of whom only joined the soap in recent years. However, if she continues at her current pace, she could become one of the highest all-time "General Hospital" earners.

Even though Monaco's taken time off in recent months for personal reasons, she's not showing any signs of exiting her role as Sam. Per TV Insider, the actress is involved in several current storylines, including her character's romance with Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) and her private investigation work.

Monaco's stints on Dancing with the Stars and in Playboy also contribute to her net worth

Despite being best known for her role as Sam, Kelly Monaco has numerous other television credits. Monaco's modeling career began in the '90s, ultimately leading her to Playboy. Her run at Playboy culminated in her becoming Playmate of the Year in 1997 (via Playboy). Coincidentally, it was 1997 when she first appeared in an acting role on the hit series "Baywatch." Two years later, Monaco found her niche in daytime television. In addition to her role in "General Hospital," she also acted in "Port Charles," the vampire-themed spin-off (via IMDb). 

Monaco's career truly kicked off in 2003. She joined "General Hospital" that year, and two years later, she made history on a different ABC series. Monaco joined the inaugural cast of "Dancing with the Stars," and despite early setbacks, she went on to win the series. Even with a massive wardrobe malfunction, she captured the first-ever Mirrorball Trophy, according to Closer Weekly.

Per IMDb, some of Monaco's other television projects include the reality series "Dirty Soap," which chronicles the real lives of daytime stars. Monaco also had minor roles in the Michael J. Fox smash hit "Spin City" and "Baby Daddy."