-Cara Buono is an American actress best known for roles in "Mad Men" and "Stranger Things".
-She has an estimated net worth of $4 million.
-She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and Columbia University.
-She is married to Peter Thum and they have a daughter.
-Cara is active on social media and promotes her advocacies, projects and charity work.

Known for movies

Short Info

SpousePeter Thum
FactShe is of Italian descent.

Who is Cara Buono?

Cara Buono was born in The Bronx, New York City, USA, on 1 March 1971, and is an actress, best known for her roles in popular television series such as “Mad Men” in which she played Dr. Faye Miller, and “Stranger Things” in which she appeared as Karen Wheeler. She’s also worked on various films throughout her career.

The Net Worth of Cara Buono

How rich is Cara Buono? As of early-2019, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $4 million, earned through a successful career in acting. She’s been active in the industry since 1989 and has been nominated numerous times thanks to her performances. As she continues her endeavors, it is expected that her wealth will also continue to increase.

Early Life, Education, and Career Beginnings

Cara is of Italian descent, and grew up with two brothers and a sister, raised in The Bronx in a blue-collar family. She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and after matriculating enrolled at Columbia University, completing a double major in English and political science in three years, after which she proceeded to pursue a career in acting.

She made her acting debut in the play “Spook House”, and over the next few years continued working off-Broadway as well as Broadway productions. In 1992, she made her film debut in “Waterland”, a mystery film based on the 1983 Graham Swift novel of the same name, and starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. She also became involved in various independent film projects, including the comedy film “Chutney Popcorn” which follows a young lesbian’s sexual and national identity struggle, plus other projects such as “Happy Accidents” and “Next Stop Wonderland”.

Cara Buono

Rise to Fame

In 1999, Buono had a small role in the television movie entitled “Deep in My Heart”, which is based on a true story, and starring Anne Bancroft. Aside from acting, she also forayed into production, writing and directing projects, working on the short film “Baggage” which starred Liv Schreiber, and co-writing the screenplay for “When the Cat’s Away”, plus a screenplay adaptation of “This Side of Paradise”. During the final season of “Third Watch”, she had a starring role as the paramedic Grace Foster.

In 2003 she appeared in the film “Hulk”, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, playing the mother of the character Bruce Banner whose alter ego is the Hulk. She was also cast during the final season of “The Sopranos”, as the wife of Christopher Moltisanti, Kelli, which aired from 2006 to 2007. She then appeared in the fourth season of the show “Mad Men”, a performance which earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Recent Projects – Stranger Things

In 2010, Cara was cast in the film “Let Me In” starring Chloe Grace Moretz, based on the Swedish film “Let the Right One In” about a 12 year old boy who is often bullied, and befriends a female child vampire. The film is set in the 1980s and won numerous awards, attracting high praise from critics, although some stated that the film was too derivative of the original film.

In 2016, she was cast in one of her most notable roles, in the Netflix series entitled “Stranger Things”, starring alongside Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and many others. It is set in a fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana during the 1980s, and focuses on the investigation of a young boy amidst supernatural events occurring in the town. The show proved highly successful and received praise for its use of pop culture of the decade, winning numerous awards including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. The show was commissioned for a second season which is set one year later, dealing with the characters’ attempts to return to a normal life. A third season is set to be released late in 2019, and is in production.

Personal Life

For her personal life, it is known that Buono is married to Peter Thum, an entrepreneur best known for creating the company Ethos Water. The company’s aim is to sell water, with proceeds supporting hygiene, water, and sanitation programs around the world. The company was later acquired by Starbucks and has contributed more than $6 million to programs since its acquisition. The couple have a daughter, and reside in Greenwich Village in New York City.

Similar to numerous actresses, she is active online through an account on the social media website Twitter. She mainly uses the platform to promote some of her advocacies, while also showcasing her recent and upcoming projects. She also has an Instagram account on which she posts a few photos and videos of her alongside her family, and also pictures of her while doing charity work and appearing at events. She does promotions for her shows like “Stranger Things”, with several of her fellow cast members, and can often also be seen involved in various outdoor activities.

General Info

Full NameCara Buono
Height1.65 m
ProfessionActor, Film director, Screenwriter
EducationColumbia University, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School


SpousePeter Thum


AwardsScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer In A Children/Youth/Family Special
MoviesPaper Towns, Let Me In, Hulk, Artie Lange's Beer League, A Good Marriage, Kicking and Screaming, The Cowboy Way, Happy Accidents, Two Ninas, Chutney Popcorn, The Discoverers, Next Stop Wonderland, Waterland, River Red, Killer: A Journal of Murder, Man of the Century, From Other Worlds, Gladiator, At...
TV ShowsThird Watch, Stranger Things

Social profile links


1She is of Italian descent.
2Ran three New York City Marathons: 1998, 1999, and 2005. She was set to run the 2006 NYC Marathon but had to drop about a week before due to an injury.
3She graduated from Columbia University in 3 years, class of 1993, with a double major in English and political science.




Dream Street1989TV SeriesJoann
Half the Perfect World2016completedSonia
Stranger Things2016TV SeriesKaren Wheeler
The Mysteries of Laura2015TV SeriesJulia Davis
Emily & Tim2015Emily (Segment 3)
Paper Towns2015Mrs. Jacobsen
Person of Interest2014-2015TV SeriesMartine Rousseau
A Good Marriage2014Betty Pike
Elementary2014TV SeriesSarah Cushing
The Carrie Diaries2014TV SeriesPenny
The Good Wife2013TV SeriesCharlene Peterson
Castle2013TV SeriesSiobhan O'Doul
The Discoverers2012Nell
Drew Peterson: Untouchable2012TV MovieKathleen Savio
A Gifted Man2011TV SeriesCarol Gordan
Hawaii Five-02011TV SeriesAgent Allison Marsh
Brothers & Sisters2011TV SeriesRose
Mad Men2010TV SeriesFaye Miller
Let Me In2010/IOwen's Mother
Betrayed2010/IIShortAmy Waite
NCIS2009TV SeriesNavy Comm Sarah Resnik
ER2009TV SeriesLisa Salamunovich
The Unquiet2008TV MovieJulie Bishop
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit2008TV SeriesRachel Zelinsky
The Dead Zone2007TV SeriesSheriff Anna Turner
Cthulhu2007Dannie Marsh
The Sopranos2006-2007TV SeriesKelli Moltisanti Kelli Lombardo
Law & Order1996-2007TV SeriesAttorney Shannon / Alice Simonelli / Shelly Taggert
Beer League2006Linda Salvo
Third Watch2004-2005TV SeriesGrace Foster
From Other Worlds2004Joanne Schwartzbaum
Six Months to Live2004TV Series shortAlice
Miss Match2003TV SeriesMichelle Schiff
Hulk2003Edith Banner
Queens Supreme2003TV SeriesBettina Martinelli
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven2002Video GameSarah (voice)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation2002TV SeriesTracy Logan - Eric's Girlfriend
Law & Order: Criminal Intent2002TV SeriesCharlotte Fielding
Family Law2001TV SeriesCarly Hanson
Attention Shoppers2000Claire Suarez
Takedown2000Christina Painter (unconfirmed)
Happy Accidents2000Bette
In a Class of His Own1999TV MovieSherry Donato
Chutney Popcorn1999Janis
Two Ninas1999Nina Cohen
Deep in My Heart1999TV MovieYoung Gerry Cummins
Man of the Century1999Virginia Clemens
River Red1998Rachel
Lulu on the Bridge1998Molly (DVD deleted scene) (uncredited)
Next Stop Wonderland1998Julie
Made Men1997Toni-Ann Antonelli
New York Undercover1996TV SeriesConnie
Kicking and Screaming1995Kate
The Single Guy1995TV SeriesChristie
Killer: A Journal of Murder1995Esther Lesser
The Cowboy Way1994Teresa Salazar
A Dog Race in Alaska1993Short
Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story1993TV MovieTracey Lien
In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco1993TV Movie
Tribeca1993TV SeriesRose Polito
Waterland1992Judy Dobson
I'll Fly Away1992TV SeriesDiane
CBS Schoolbreak Special1991TV SeriesAbby Morris






Two Ninas1999associate producer


Futurestates2011TV Series thanks - 1 episode
Adventureland2009the filmmakers wish to thank
Cake2005/Ispecial thanks


17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2011TV SpecialHerself
The Sopranos: A Sitdown2007TV Short documentaryHerself
Howard Stern on Demand2006TV SeriesHerself


Nominated Awards

2011Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMad Men (2007)
2011OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMad Men (2007)
2011ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesMad Men (2007)
1992Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Performer in a Children's SpecialCBS Schoolbreak Special (1984)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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