Big Bang Theory’s Penny: Kaley Cuoco talks hard times, ‘The show has been the hugest blessing’

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By Arlene Paredes | November 16, 2012 2:29 PM EST

"The Big Bang Theory" (TBBT) of CBS is watched by an estimated 19 million viewers each week. This figure indicates the stars in the hit comedy series are earning well. Perhaps they are getting richer each new season. Kaley Cuoco, who plays blonde, pretty, and actress-wannabe Penny opens up about what TBBT has done for her.

In July this year, Forbes magazine reported Cuoco earned $8 million within the 12-month period from mid-2011. The young comedy actress earned as much as "Desperate Housewives" (ABC) stars Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross, as well as "Private Pactice's" (ABC) Kate Walsh.

In contrast, Melissa McCarthy, Emmy's 2011 Best Leading Actress in a Comedy, earned $6 million as Molly of another CBS comedy, "Mike & Molly."

Kaley Cuoco's childhood: 'I never noticed when things weren't great'

Cuoco was not exactly born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth. Her dad is a real estate agent who has been through good and bad times at work. She has a stay-at-home mom. Needless to say that during her childhood in Southern California, her parents had some financially challenging times.

"(B)ut I never noticed when things weren't great," she said.

Things have changed for the better now for the spirited actress.

"This year, I'm hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas with, like, 25 people at my house - I can do that now," she told Associated Press.

 "It's emotional, cause I remember we could never afford that. The show has been the hugest blessing," Cuoco emphasized, referring to The Big Bang Theory.

Kaley's got the "It" factor in comedy

TBBT may be Cuoco's biggest sitcom. But her knack for comedy was first noticed on ABC's "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter."

TBBT co-creator Chuck Lorre got Cuoco to play Penny for her brilliance in comedy.

"There's an instinctive thing with comedy that some people have - an elegance and gracefulness, where no effort is apparent," Lorre had earlier said in a separate interview.

TBBT may have made Cuoco a lot richer now, but without her "elegance and gracefulness" in the show, the comedy may not be as fun to watch.

So, let's have more of Penny-Sheldon (Jim Parsons) moments, okay?

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