Laura Carmichael is a British actress best known for her role as Lady Edith Crawley in the hit period drama series Downton Abbey. Born in 1986 in Southampton, England, Carmichael studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before landing her breakthrough role on Downton Abbey in 2010.
Lady Edith was the middle sister of the aristocratic Crawley family around which the show centered. Carmichael played Edith for all six seasons of Downton Abbey, earning praise from critics for her nuanced and emotional performance. Her character underwent major growth and transformations over the course of the series, with Carmichael adeptly portraying Edith’s triumphs and vulnerabilities.
In addition to Downton Abbey, Carmichael has also appeared in films like Madame Bovary (2014) and TV series like Marcella (2016-). She continues to work steadily in TV and film in her native Britain.
What is Laura Carmichael’s Net Worth?
Though she has not publicly confirmed her exact net worth, various outlets estimate Laura Carmichael’s net worth to be around $5 million as of 2024. Here is a breakdown of how the British actress has built her fortune over her career:
- Earnings from Downton Abbey – Carmichael’s biggest source of wealth comes from her six seasons starring on the global hit period drama Downton Abbey. While her exact salary was never revealed, industry estimates put top stars like Carmichael and Michelle Dockery in the $50,000 per episode range during the show’s later seasons. With over 60 episodes total, Carmichael likely earned over $3 million from the series.
- Film earnings – Carmichael has also earned paydays from her film roles like 2016’s Madame Bovary, where she starred alongside Mia Wasikowska and Rhys Ifans. Top actors can command six-figure sums for major film roles, though Carmichael’s earnings likely varied based on the project. Still, her film work has added to her net worth.
- Other TV earnings – Downton Abbey remains Carmichael’s biggest TV role, but she has earned additional income from shows like BBC’s Murder Mystery Marcella and various miniseries. These TV gigs have further boosted her fortune over the years.
- Endorsements and sponsorships – As a star of one of the biggest TV shows in the world, Carmichael has also garnered income from endorsements and sponsorships over her career. Actors of her fame can earn hundreds of thousands from brand endorsement deals.
- Real estate – Carmichael’s real estate assets also contribute to her $5 million net worth. She reportedly owns a $1.2 million home in North London.
Despite her estimated multi-millionaire status, Carmichael maintains a relatively low-key lifestyle compared to many top Hollywood stars. But her smart investing of her Downton Abbey earnings have allowed her to accrue an impressive fortune by her late 30s.
Laura Carmichael’s Assets: Real Estate and More
In addition to income streams like TV and film earnings, Laura Carmichael’s $5 million net worth is made up in part by her assets, including:
- Real estate – Carmichael owns a home in North London worth around $1.2 million. The house is located in the Primrose Hill neighborhood.
- Investments – Carmichael’s wealth allows her to invest in stocks, bonds, and other vehicles to grow her fortune. She likely has investment accounts managed by financial advisors.
- Production company ownership – Many actors start their own production companies. While Carmichael does not appear to own a production firm, it remains a possible investment for the future.
- Jewelry and collectibles – Carmichael may invest some of her wealth in high-end jewelry, art, vintage cars, or other collectibles. But she does not flaunt lavish purchases.
- Cash reserves – Carmichael likely has significant cash savings from her Downton Abbey earnings providing stability and allowing her to quickly access funds when needed.
While not flashy in her spending, Carmichael has likely made savvy investments and built up a robust portfolio of assets to complement her impressive acting resume.
Laura Carmichael’s Lifestyle and Spending Habits
Despite her estimated $5 million net worth, Laura Carmichael does not flaunt a lavish lifestyle. Some insights into how she may spend her fortune include:
- Real estate – Her North London home valued around $1.2 million is her biggest splurge. But she chose a nice neighborhood over a massive estate.
- Everyday spending – When not acting, Carmichael leads a low-key life. She spends on dining out, groceries, shopping etc but not in an extravagant way.
- Cars – Carmichael has not been spotted driving luxury vehicles. She appears to prefer practical, low-profile cars for her everyday needs.
- Travel – Carmichael may indulge in nice vacations between projects, but generally is not an over-the-top jetsetter.
- Jewelry/fashion – She favors modest jewelry and dresses well but not opulently. Her spending does not call attention to her wealth.
- Philanthropy – Carmichael supports several charities and likely donates both money and time to various causes close to her heart.
Overall, Carmichael seems to prefer value over flashy indulgence in her spending habits. Her estimated net worth affords financial security without needing lavish displays of wealth.
How Does Laura Carmichael’s Net Worth Compare to Other Downton Abbey Stars?
As one of the main cast members on Downton Abbey, Laura Carmichael became quite wealthy from the hit series. Here is how Carmichael’s $5 million estimated net worth compares to the fortunes of her Downton Abbey co-stars:
- Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley): $5 million
- Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley): $8 million
- Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley): $5 million
- Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley): $18 million
- Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil Crawley): $5 million
- Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley): $4 million
Among the cast, legendary actress Maggie Smith stands far above with a net worth of $18 million accumulated over her decades-long career on stage and screen.
As one of the core characters for all six seasons, Carmichael amassed a fortune comparable to Dockery and McGovern, earning in the same range for her role as Lady Edith. Her $5 million net worth places her among the top tier of Downton Abbey cast member wealth, reflecting her prominence on the hugely successful show.
How Much Did Laura Carmichael Earn Per Episode of Downton Abbey?
While actors’ salaries are rarely made public, industry estimates peg Laura Carmichael’s earnings per episode in the later seasons of Downton Abbey at around $50,000.
As the show progressed and became a surprise megahit in the U.S. and worldwide, salaries rose for the cast. Carmichael and co-stars like Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith reportedly earned up to $50,000 per episode by seasons 4-6.
With 8-9 episodes per season, that put Carmichael’s season earnings likely between $400,000 – $450,000 for her role as Lady Edith Crawley. Over 6 seasons and 60+ total episodes, her Downton Abbey earnings contributed the bulk of her $5 million net worth.
While not the highest paid cast member, Carmichael still earned sizable paychecks that rewarded her for being part of one of the most popular TV shows worldwide during its run last decade. Her smart investments of that income have allowed her to accrue multi-millionaire status heading into just her late 30s.
What Has Laura Carmichael Earned from Other Roles?
In addition to her lucrative starring role on Downton Abbey, Laura Carmichael has also earned income from other acting roles over the years. Some highlights:
- Madame Bovary (2016) – Carmichael starred alongside Mia Wasikowska in this period drama film. Likely earned a low to mid six-figure paycheck.
- The Lady in the Van (2015) – Smaller supporting role opposite Maggie Smith. Lower five-figure sum.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) – Bit part in high-profile film. Union minimum around $5,000.
- Marcella (2016-) – Carmichael had a recurring role on seasons 1 and 2 of this ITV drama series. Likely earned tens of thousands per episode.
- The Spanish Princess (2020) – Guest star role for a few episodes. In the $15,000 – $25,000 per episode range.
- Masterpiece Theater – Earned for narration work on various projects. Union scale of $5,000+ per project.
While not matching her Downton Abbey earnings, Carmichael has earned steady paychecks from her film and indie TV work over the past decade. All of those smaller paydays have contributed to her current $5 million net worth.
What Awards Has Laura Carmichael Won?
While she has yet to take home one of the big awards in the industry, Laura Carmichael has been recognized for her acting work in the following ways:
- Screen Actors Guild Awards – Won the SAG as part of the Downton Abbey cast for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Did not win as an individual.
- Gracie Allen Awards – Won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in Entertainment in 2012 for her role as Lady Edith Crawley.
- Banff World Media Festival – Won Best Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role for Downton Abbey in 2013.
- Online Film & Television Association Awards – Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Downton Abbey in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Did not win.
- Critics Choice Television Awards – Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries for Downton Abbey in 2012. Did not win.
While she impressively won some awards earlier in Downton Abbey’s run, Carmichael was unable to translate her individual nominations into more wins as the show concluded. Still, her three SAG awards for ensemble acting showcase her invaluable contribution to one of TV’s landmark series of the 21st century so far.
What Are Some of Laura Carmichael’s Highest Paying Acting Roles?
Having starred on the worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey, the period drama series easily ranks as Laura Carmichael highest-paying acting role to date. Some estimates of her top earning roles:
- Downton Abbey – Up to $50,000 per episode for final few seasons. Six-figure paydays per season over six total seasons.
- Madame Bovary (2016 film) – Lead role in period literary adaptation likely earned low to mid six-figures.
- Marcella – Recurring part on ITV drama could have paid over $100,000 for seasons 1 and 2 combined.
- The Spanish Princess – Guest star spot may have earned $15,000 – $25,000 for a handful of episodes.
- Masterpiece Theater narration – Prestige PBS projects pay union scale around $5,000 each.
While Carmichael works steadily, she has yet to land another role matching her Downton Abbey paychecks. Still in her 30s, she has time to potentially get another high-paying starring TV role to continue increasing her multi-million dollar fortune.
What Businesses and Investments Does Laura Carmichael Have?
There is little public information on Laura Carmichael’s business investments and activity outside of acting. A few possible ventures include:
- Real estate – She may generate income from property investments beyond just her personal residences. But any real estate activity seems to be relatively small scale.
- Startup investing – Carmichael has the net worth to potentially invest in tech startups. Participating as an angel investor could diversify her income streams.
- Lending – Many celebrities lend their fame to publicity campaigns for paydays. Carmichael does not seem to engage much in this lucrative side business.
- Memoir book – Publishing a book on her life/career could garner Carmichael a seven-figure advance. But she has not announced any memoir plans yet.
Overall, Carmichael seems focused on continuing her acting career for now rather than branching out into major business ventures. Her prudent investments of her earnings provide financial security without needing high-risk gambles to increase her already considerable wealth.
Does Laura Carmichael Have Any Celebrity Endorsement Deals?
While many celebrities supplement their income via endorsement deals, Laura Carmichael has not publicized any major brand partnership deals yet. However, there are a few possible reasons why and potential future endorsement opportunities:
- Her persona on Downton Abbey was refined and aristocratic. Doing product endorsements could seem crass.
- Younger actors are more likely to pursue endorsements. At 36 currently, Carmichael may have less interest.
- British actors historically have done fewer endorsements compared to American counterparts.
- With a $5 million net worth already, she may not feel pressure to cash in on branding deals.
- She may wish to focus more on prestigious acting roles rather than commercials.
- As she expands her celebrity in the future, Carmichael could be selective in choosing a luxury brand that suits her image.
While not capitalizing on endorsements currently, Carmichael’s high net worth means she has the luxury of not needing to pursue traditional celebrity branding deals at this stage of her career.
Is Laura Carmichael Involved in Any Charity Work?
Laura Carmichael uses her celebrity platform to support several worthy causes:
- The Laura Carmichael Book Club – Carmichael founded and runs an online book club promoting literacy. Members vote on books and discuss stories promoting empathy.
- Time’s Up UK – Carmichael is an active supporter of this organization promoting women’s safety and equity in the workplace.
- UNICEF – She has participated in fundraisers and advocacy work for the global children’s charity UNICEF as a UNICEF UK Ambassador.
- Breast Cancer Now – Carmichael promotes breast cancer awareness and research in partnership with this UK charity.
- The Entertainment Industry Therapy Trust Fund – She supports this UK mental health charity assisting entertainment professionals.
- The London Library – Carmichael serves as an ambassador for the historic literary membership library in London.
While she does not publicize her monetary donations, Carmichael dedicates time and publicity to empower women, promote literacy, and support mental health services and medical research charities. This charity work demonstrates her commitment to leveraging her fame to provide help to worthy causes.
Interesting Facts About Laura Carmichael’s Life and Career
Beyond just her impressive net worth, here are some intriguing facts about Laura Carmichael’s background:
- Born and raised in Southampton on England’s south coast. Comes from a working class background.
- Attended a local comprehensive school growing up before studying drama in college.
- Worked odd jobs including as a receptionist and waitress before becoming an actress.
- Actually auditioned for the role of Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey first before being cast as Lady Edith.
- Took up cigarette smoking to portray the chain-smoking Lady Edith before eventually quitting.
- Remained close friends with Downton Abbey co-star Michelle Dockery after the series ended.
- Keeps her romantic relationships very private. Rumored to have dated co-star Michael C. Fox.
- Enjoys reading, yoga, traveling, and spending time with friends and family when not working.
- Has no public social media accounts and maintains a low-key lifestyle.
Despite attaining fame and fortune from Downton Abbey, Carmichael remains humble and grounded in her roots. This down-to-earth perspective informs her prudent financial choices andfocus on using her platform to help others.
Laura Carmichael’s Quotes About Her Career
Laura Carmichael has shared insightful perspectives on her acting career:
- On her Downton Abbey audition: “It was just another audition and I didn’t realize it would change my life.”
- On dealing with fame: “I was totally unprepared for people following my every move. That side of fame is unnatural and takes some getting used to.”
- On being typecast: “I definitely don’t want to only play posh English roses! Those roles are great but I’m keen to show my range as an actress.”
- On her post-Downton acting: “I feel like after Downton I was able to take more risks and pursue darker, more complex roles.”
- On her career motivation: “I just want to keep acting in interesting roles in film, TV and theatre. Variety keeps me motivated.”
Despite becoming internationally famous, Carmichael retains a grounded perspective and dedication to developing her acting skill rather than chasing stardom for its own sake. This nuanced approach has served her career and finances well.