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The stars of The Big Bang Theory were the highest paid actors on TV. Here's where they are now.
2023/06/30

When Jim Parsons decided to quit The Big Bang Theory after 12 seasons, he was knocking back some very big money. Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper, and his original co-stars were reported to be the highest-paid actors on TV, raking in close to $US1 million per episode. But Parsons felt it was time to move on, and the producers felt they couldn't keep the show going without him. That meant it was time for everybody else to move on too, whether they wanted to or not.

"We cried for hours," Kaley Cuoco, who played Penny Teller, said in The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit.

"We thought we were going to do another year, so all of a sudden your life kind of flashes before your eyes."

Since the sitcom's final episode aired in 2019, the cast have gone on to new hit shows, marriage and babies. With news that another spin-off of The Big Bang Theory is in development, here's an update on what everyone is up to right now.

Jim Parsons

Parsons didn't want to keep playing Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, but he's been happy to keep narrating spin-off series Young Sheldon and executive producing it. He's also been executive producer on Call Me Kat, the sitcom starring Mayim Bialik, who played his wife, Amy Farrah Fowler, on The Big Bang Theory.

 

As well, Parsons, who's been with his partner, producer Todd Spiewak, for two decades (they married in 2017), has chosen to play several gay characters, including in the romance movie Spoiler Alert, which he and Spiewak produced. Up next, Parsons will be heard as the voice of pink cougar Snagglepuss in a new animated series. Parsons told The Hollywood Reporter that Snagglepuss was for him "probably the first gay totem I had without even knowing it – other than Uncle Arthur on Bewitched reruns".

Johnny Galecki

The Big Bang Theory finished with Galecki's character Leonard Hofstadter expecting a baby with Cuoco's character Penny. In real life, Galecki and Cuoco had split up years earlier, and Galecki was expecting a baby with his then-partner Alaina Meyer. Son Avery Orbison was born in late 2019, and Galecki and Meyer separated the following year. 

Galecki is still popping up in Roseanne spin-off The Conners as Darlene's ex-husband David Healy, the role he played in the original Roseanne in the 1990s. Meanwhile, Darlene is still played by Sara Gilbert, who was Leonard's co-worker Leslie Winkle in The Big Bang Theory.

 

Kaley Cuoco

Cuoco went from  into a darker comedy, starring in and executive-producing , which scored her two Emmy nominations. She’s also producer and star of upcoming thriller movie  which co-stars Bill Nighy. 

Cuoco welcomed her first child – a daughter, Matilda – with  actor Tom Pelphrey on March 30 this year. Cuoco and Pelphrey had been a couple for less than a year when Matilda was born.

They started dating after Cuoco split from her second husband, equestrian Karl Cook. Cuoco has described Pelphrey as “the incredible man that saved me in all the ways”. 

Simon Helberg

Helberg, who played Howard Wolowitz, has most recently been seen in Natasha Lyonne’s series . Before that, he starred in the movie , which his former co-star Bialik wrote and directed. And before that, he was in the musical , directed by Frenchman Leos Carax, which he wanted to be in so badly that he became a French citizen.

That’s not quite as strange as it sounds, though – his wife, Jocelyn Towne, is half-French and their children, Adeline and Wilder, attend a French school. 

Kunal Nayyar

London-born Nayyar, who played Raj Koothrappali, has starred in the British thriller series  and played a criminal in . Up next, he’ll be seen alongside Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan in the sci-fi movie . He’s been married since 2011 to Neha Kapur, who represented India in the Miss Universe pageant.

Mayim Bialik

Bialik has been super busy, starring in and executive producing the sitcom 

, based loosely on the British sitcom , as well as directing Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen in the movie . She’s also taken over as one of the hosts of long-running quiz show and !. As if she didn’t have enough going on, she’s working on a reboot of , the 1990s sitcom she starred in. 

“All of the cast is on board,” she told 

A divorced mum of two teen boys, Miles and Frederick, Bialik is now dating Jonathan Cohen, the co-host of her podcast Mayim Bialik’s 

Melissa Rauch

Rauch, who played Bernadette Rostenkowski, has a new comedy hit on her hands.

She and her husband Winston Rauch – parents to five-year-old Sadie and three-year-old Brooks – are executive producers of the reboot of 1980s sitcom  Rauch stars in it alongside original star John Larroquette, and it’s just been renewed for a second season. 

As well, last year, Rauch competed on , where she got to catch up with her good friend and former cast mate Bialik.

Kevin Sussman

Sussman, who played Stuart Bloom, has been in a few TV shows over the past few years, including , about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, as well as two episodes of Bialik’s sitcom 

 Up next, he’ll be seen starring alongside Brie Larson in the drama series 

Last month, Sussman posted a photo of his wedding to Addie Hall on Instagram, casually captioning it, “Did I mention I got married this weekend?” Sussman got engaged to Hall – who he describes as “this gorgeous creature” – in March last year. 

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