Celebrity Then And Now
Kaley Cuoco
Currently Known For: Actress and Singer
Famous For: The Big Bang Theory and 8 Simple Rules
Kaley Cuoco
Famous For The Big Bang Theory and 8 Simple Rules
Currently Known For Actress and Singer

“Your Ken can kiss my Barbie.” Although she’s best known for playing Penny in the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory, California native Kaley Cuoco might be only 30 years old but she’s already a veteran in the industry after getting her start at just 10 years old. Originally planning on a career in tennis as a professional amateur, Cuoco fell in love with acting after she was cast as the young Karin Carter in the action sci-fi thriller Virtuosity in 1995. While the film itself did poorly at the box office, it put the young Hollywood hopeful on the map as she went on to star in Ladies Man and Growing Up Brady.

By 2002, Cuoco’s career took yet another turn when she was cast as Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules starring the late John Ritter. However, the show didn’t fare well and was canceled in 2005 due to low ratings. Despite the show’s failure, Cuoco’s career was on fire and, in the years following, she starred in several indie films and even lent her voice to the Disney Channel’s Brandy and Mr. Whiskers and Bratz. Around that time, Cuoco received the script for The Big Bang Theory and was invited to audition for the role of Penny, a Cheesecake Factory employee and an aspiring actress. The role was obviously a perfect fit.

With the show becoming an instant hit among primetime audiences with over 10 seasons and more than 200 episodes to date, Cuoco and her costars saw their first paychecks of $60,000 per episode climb to $200,000 just three seasons in. As of 2014, Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki have redefined what it means to “make bank” in Hollywood by each taking home $1 million per episode.

If you’re keeping up with the math, you can probably tell that Cuoco’s impressive salary from The Big Bang Theory definitely makes up the bulk of her $51 million net worth but, that’s certainly not all. Over the last two decades, the blonde bombshell has stayed busy with over 55 film and television projects in addition to pursuing a career as a model. Along the way, she’s been featured in a number of publications like Maxim and FHM, both of which have also listed her as the sexiest woman alive. She’s also snagged nearly 30 award nominations while taking home two People’s Choice Awards, a Critics’ Choice TV Award and a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Aside from balancing a busy career in the spotlight, Cuoco certainly knows how to relax and says her favorite getaway is actually her Sherman Oaks mansion nestled among towering hedges and trees in one of California’s hottest neighborhoods. Purchased for $2.4 million in 2010, the stunning estate is fit for a Hollywood princess with over 5,250 square feet offering five spacious bedrooms, five bathrooms and plenty of luxe amenities.

Located in the middle of an oversized lot at the end of a long and twisting driveway, the property is perfect for relaxing and entertaining with a large deck and outdoor kitchen, a giant swimming pool and an outdoor spa. Inside, Cuoco has plenty of room with a master suite taking up most of the second floor and measuring nearly 1,000 square feet in addition to a state-of-the-art gym, a private screening room and a wine cellar. But, the luxuries don’t stop there!

With a three-car garage, Cuoco has plenty of room for her car collection including her favorite classic black Range Rover. When she’s not busy driving the SUV or being chauffeured around by her driver, you can catch her in a stunning SLS AMG GT Mercedes-Benz convertible that screams Hollywood superstar!

Aside from luxury cars and a stunning Sherman Oaks estate, Cuoco loves to spend some of her hard-earned cash on looking top notch and maintaining her reputation as a fashionista and icon of style—contrary to what her wardrobe on The Big Bang Theory might lead you to believe. In fact, she’s often photographed wearing designer brands like DSquared, Chloe, Sam Edelman, Romona Keveza and others.

While there’s no argument that Cuoco definitely enjoys the finer things in life (and can certainly afford her expensive tastes), that doesn’t mean she isn’t doing her part to give back to the community. A known supporter of the Humane Society, the former 8 Simple Rules star is no stranger to using her popularity to raise awareness for various other causes. For example, Cuoco took to Twitter to promote the Humane Society’s Protect Seals Campaign, dressed up as Luke Skywalker during a horseback riding competition to raise some serious cash for Autism Speaks and even “stripped down” in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Looks like this Hollywood hottie isn’t afraid to put herself out there when it comes to helping others and we couldn’t be prouder! You go girl!