‘Shameless’: William H. Macy Earns an Estimated $350,000 Per Episode

Shameless has surpassed mediocre expectations and gone straight to full-fledged acclaim and notoriety since its airing in 2011. What few have called vulgar and unwatchable, most have found to be an authentic representation of poverty – and the common economic and personal struggles associated with it. 

With that unpredictable and tremendous fame came a lot of money and opportunities for its leading cast members—namely, a whopping $350,000 per episode for William H. Macy to play his infamously immoral character.

William H. Macy smiling, arms outstretched, in front of a blue background
William H. Macy | Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Macy isn’t like his character on ‘Shameless’

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On Shameless, Macy plays the despicable Frank Gallagher — a drug-addicted, selfish, inconsiderate, demoralizing, and completely flawed dad, spouse, and person. There isn’t anything the ‘father’ of five wouldn’t do if it meant more money to fuel his addictions, paving the way for him to live an arguably homeless but carefree lifestyle

When it came to friends, family, or even love, Frank would be the first to turn on anyone to get another buck or even plot some early deaths to get what he wants. There’s truly no end to the shocking degree he would go to for his own satisfaction.

However, in real life, the Shameless star is an advocate for his co-workers and a genuinely good person. He even fought for co-star Emmy Rossum to get a raise to a similar per episode salary back in 2017 when conversations were circling about women getting paid less in the industry.

His career and awards

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Despite being one of the reasons, he’s a household name today, becoming a cast member on Shameless didn’t jumpstart Macy’s career and isn’t the first iconic role he has taken on in his decades of acting. He’s also known for playing big roles like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo, Quiz Kid Donnie Smith in Magnolia, and Little Bill in Boogie Nights. He’s also a great writer, lending a hand not only in his TV series Shameless occasionally but also taking part in projects like Family Man, Rudderless, The Con, and more.

According to IMDb, the Shameless star has received 42 awards and 67 nominations, snatching up awards like the 20/20 Awards for Best Supporting Actor, a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special, and an ACCA for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Cast Ensemble.

What is William H. Macy’s net worth?

It’s hard to mark the face of Frank Gallagher as one of hard work, tremendous success, and genuine talent, but that only further acknowledges how good Macy is at bringing his roles to life on the screen. And this considerable talent doesn’t come without its rewards, notably in the form of huge paychecks and substantial net worth.

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According to The Things, he “became famous due to his stellar work in films like Fargo, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and Pleasantville. For that reason, the people behind Shameless were overjoyed when he signed on to star as Frank Gallagher, and they eventually agreed to pay him $350,000 per episode.”

After more than a decade of success with Shameless and several other iconic roles, Celebrity Net Worth claims the actor and writer is worth around $45 million.

Although the Shameless finale is around the corner and Frank Gallagher won’t be disgracing our screens with his selfishness and bad habits, William H. Macy will go on to do bigger and better things like he always does. This isn’t his first time taking on a popular role that has earned him awards and recognition, and it certainly won’t be the last.