For more than eight years, Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin has been portraying Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett on the hit CBS show Hawaii Five-0. Since the reimagined version of the original ‘70s-era show debuted in 2010, O’Loughlin has been an integral part of the series as the head of an elite task force charged with tracking down criminals in an island paradise. And his hard work on the show has paid off in a big way.
O’Loughlin is worth $12 million
The actor, who previously appeared on shows like The Shield, Moonlight, and Three Rivers, reportedly earned more than $200,000 per episode for the eighth season of Hawaii Five-0, according to Variety. With 25 episodes in recent seasons of the show, that means he’s taking home $5 million per season. O’Loughlin also has a backend deal that earns him more money when the show airs in syndication or in international markets, the trade publication explained.
Controversy over salary
O’Loughlin’s per-episode salary was revealed when two of the show’s other stars were negotiating a pay increase with CBS. Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim wanted pay parity with O’Loughlin and co-star Scott Caan, Variety reported. But neither actor was able to reach an agreement with the network, and both ultimately left the show after Season 7. At the time of the dispute, some accused CBS of paying the two actors less because of their race.
Will O’Loughlin leave Hawaii Five-0?
Last year, fans were worried that Season 8 might be the last one with O’Loughlin in a starring role. The actor had previously said he planned to leave the show due to his age.
“[Hawaii Five-0] is an action show, I’m the main guy, and I defy anybody to do what I’ve done for as long I’ve done it and hold out the way I have. I was a fit, strong, healthy guy when I started the show, and I still am, but you sustain what you sustain,” he told TVLine. He also said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
But O’Loughlin later changed his tune, agreeing to return for Season 9, which is currently airing. Whether he’ll be back for a Season 10 remains to be seen. CBS hasn’t announced whether the show will be renewed.
O’Loughlin’s other roles
O’Loughlin began his career in his native Australia. He had a lead role in the 2004 drama Oyster Farmer and in 2005 starred in the miniseries The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant. The latter earned him a Logie Award nomination for best actor. Other early work included roles in the horror film Man-Thing and Feed.
In 2007, he made his U.S. television debut as Kevin Hiatt on The Shield. From 2007 to 2008, he starred in Moonlight. In 2007, he also had a small role in the film August Rush. O’Loughlin’s biggest film role was in the 2010 romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan, where he played Jennifer Lopez’s love interest.
Hawaii Five-0 airs Fridays at 9/8c on CBS.
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