Soap Opera Stars Who Are Seriously Undervalued

© Howard Wise/

Soap opera stars work hard for their money. Even the lucky few who become famous and win awards for their daytime roles don’t necessarily earn as much as viewers assume. In fact, some of daytime television’s most celebrated and famous performers have surprisingly modest assets compared to their cast-mates. Let’s look at soap opera stars who are seriously undervalued!

Want soap spoilers delivered to your inbox every week? Sign up for Fame10’s weekly soap opera spoilers newsletter.

12. Kristian Alfonso — DOOL

Ever since she debuted as Hope Williams Brady in 1981, Kristian Alfonso has been a major star on Days Of Our Lives (DOOL). Over the years, her star grew even bigger thanks to guest-star appearances on prime time shows like Murder, She Wrote, Who’s The Boss?, Melrose Place and Full House. According to Herald Weekly, Alfonso’s estimated value stands at $5.5 million, which is no chump change. It’s the heftiest dollar amount on this list, but still quite a bit lower than many of her legacy-era cast-mates.

© XJJohnson/

11. Susan Seaforth Hayes — DOOL

Having spent nearly six decades working in daytime television, Susan Seaforth Hayes’ fortune comes almost entirely from her soap opera work. The DOOL star debuted as Julie in 1968 and has performed brilliantly over the decades since. With an estimated value of $5 million, Hayes continues to make very good money at nearly 80 years of age. However, it’s virtually half as much as co-star John Aniston’s estimated value, which is difficult to comprehend!

© XJJohnson/

10. Maura West — GH

Maura West has an innate ability to turn any character into her own. From her time as Carly Tenney on As The World Turns, or Diane Jenkins on Y&R, to her present role as Ava Jerome on General Hospital (GH), West makes her presence felt. However, her assets don’t quite measure up to her reputation, as Herald Weekly estimates her value at $5 million. This is several million shy of co-stars Finola Hughes and Kristina Wagner, but maybe West needs to build up more seniority at the ABC studio before she sees similar numbers.

© Jill Johnson/

9. Doug Davidson — Y&R

For the past few years, a lingering mystery among Young and the Restless (Y&R) viewers has been about Doug Davidson’s questionable status: is he still with the soap or isn’t he? For an actor whose resume is almost singularly focused on one show, Davidson has squeezed the most of his Y&R stardom. And although loyal fans believe that his character, Paul Williams, is worth more than the estimated $4 million that Herald Weekly reports, perhaps CBS just can’t afford to utilize him right now.

© Denis Guignebourg/

8. Kelly Monaco — GH

With her assets estimated at $4 million, Kelly Monaco might appear to be making what she deserves. Despite spending two decades with GH, her character, Sam McCall, hasn’t had a major storyline in some time. But Monaco’s value comes from other places as well, including her title as the first winner of Dancing With The Stars and her history with Playboy magazine. If the ABC soap gives the actress a meaty storyline, perhaps Monaco’s worth will continue to rise.

© Jill Johnson/

7. Amelia Heinle – Y&R

Much like Monaco, Amelia Heinle has been with her current soap (Y&R) for about two decades and is roughly valued at $4 million. Given her reliable screen presence portraying Victoria Newman, the CEO of Newman Enterprises and daughter of Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), it’s a surprise to learn that Heinle isn’t worth more. Comparing her assets to co-star Christel Khalil (Lily Winters), who started at Y&R around the same time as Heinle, makes this abundantly clear!

© Howard Wise/

6. Sharon Case — Y&R

Figure this one out! Sharon Case, who is a celebrated daytime star with legions of fans, reportedly makes a fraction of the amount her co-star Joshua Morrow (Nick) makes. But why? They both arrived on the Genoa City scene in the mid 90s and quickly ascended to the heart of major storylines. Yet, for some reason, Case is worth an estimated $3 million, according to Herald Weekly, while Morrow earns roughly four times more.

© Howard Wise/

5. Eileen Davidson — Y&R

Eileen Davidson is not only soap opera royalty, having made serious waves on Y&R and DOOL (as well as a stop on The Bold and the Beautiful), but she’s earned her place on prime time and reality television as well. Despite her star power, however, Davidson has an estimated value of $3 million (according to Herald Weekly). Viewers would love to see Ashley Abbott on screen everyday, but perhaps it’s Davidson’s choice to remain on a recurring, periodic contract. As such, her value might be lower “on the books”, but much like Sharon Case, she’s priceless as far as fans are concerned!

© Paul Skipper/

4. Steve Burton — GH

Now here’s a curious case: Steve Burton’s had a very rocky year, both professionally and personally. But even though the celebrated actor has lost his GH role, Burton’s estimated value in 2022 remains unchanged at $3 million. Maybe this is thanks to his quick recovery in landing a role with DOOL‘s spin-off, Beyond Salem. Or maybe this is because he handled his 2021 firing gracefully and stands to get back into daytime television on a permanent basis any day now.

©sean smith/

3. Bryton James — Y&R

The further we read, the more infuriating this list gets! James is routinely one of Y&R‘s most magnetic and swoon-worthy performers, and has won two Daytime Emmy awards for the role of Devon Hamilton. The CBS soap treats him like a heavy-hitter, but according to Celebrity Net Worth, his assets don’t reflect that. For whatever reason, James is projected to be worth $2 million, despite being a mainstay (and fan-favorite) on the soap for over twenty years.

© Howard Wise/

2. Mishael Morgan — Y&R

Much like her on-screen flame, Bryton James, Mishael Morgan isn’t worth as much as viewers expect. According to Suggest, Morgan is worth $3 million, which is not an insignificant amount. But considering her rising star power on daytime television, not to mention her recent Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Actress, it’s bizarre to see Morgan so prominently placed on this list.

© Jill Johnson/

1. Maurice Benard — GH

Rounding out this list of celebrated soap actors who do not earn what they should is Maurice Benard. Nobody but Benard could ever portray Sonny Corinthos, the anti-hero protagonist of GH. Yet in spite of this recognition, plus his three Daytime Emmy wins in the role, Benard is reportedly worth $2 million. It isn’t a stretch to make parallels between Benard’s character and Eric Braeden’s Victor Newman on Y&R: both actors have commanding roles and are very much the face of their respective soaps. Yet the discrepancy between actors is allegedly over $20 million?! We need an accountant to explain how this one is possible, as Benard should be a top-earner on a very different list!

© Jill Johnson/

Ryan Pratt

Ryan Pratt

Ryan is an avid runner, reader, hiker and music collector. When he isn't writing and editing for Fame10 Soaps, he's relishing in the fine company of his two cats, Penny and Gus.