Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, 52, once said, "It’s the nature of the business. People equate success with youth."
And she's apparently right — but only when it comes to women in Hollywood.
A new study by the Journal of Management Inquiry has found that actresses in their 20s earn more than their male counterparts, while older actors make more than their female colleagues.
The study, which reviewed earnings records for 265 actors and actresses between 1968 and 2008, revealed that actresses hit their salary peak at age 34, while actors make the most money on average per film at age 51.
And while women’s salaries see a dramatic plunge over time, the drop off after an earnings peak is much less for men, notes Variety.
Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, and Zooey Deschanel are a few of the top-earning 34-year-olds of the moment, while Tom Cruise and Steve Carell are among Hollywood's most notable 51-year-old actors.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, 48, agrees with the study's findings, saying:
There is still a discrepancy in earning power between men and women in Hollywood. And it becomes doubly unfair when you think of our earning potential in terms of years. Actresses are like football players. They have a small window of prime earning ability
As Variety points out, it's good to be an older male in Hollywood:
According to Forbes’ annual earnings list, Hollywood’s 10 highest-paid actresses (with Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart at the top) earned $181 million collectively from June 2012 to June 2013 — the lowest total in five years, down almost 30% since 2010′s record high.
Meanwhile, the highest-paid actors (Robert Downey Jr., Channing Tatum and Hugh Jackman) banked a collective $465 million — the most in five years, up more than 15% since 2009.
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