Elizabeth Taylor Overtakes Michael Jackson as Top-Earning Dead Celeb

Liz has beat out the King of Pop, one of her most loyal friends, for the honor of highest paid dead celebrity, according to Forbes's annual list of "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities."

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Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 7, 2001

Liz has beat out the King of Pop, one of her most loyal friends, for the honor of highest-paid dead celebrity, according to Forbes’ annual list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities.

Elizabeth Taylor, who died at 79 in 2011, grossed $210 million last year, thanks to the $184 million that her estate made from Christie’s auctions of the star’s belongings, Forbes reported. Her best-selling perfume, White Diamonds, made $75 million last year, and the rest of the loot comes from her property sales and movies like Cleopatra and Around the World in 80 Days. The legendary actress will receive even more buzz when Liz & Dick, the Lifetime biopic starring Lindsay Lohan, premieres on Nov. 25.

(PHOTOS: Elizabeth Taylor’s Belongings Go on Auction)

Michael Jackson, who died at 50 in 2009, took second place with $145 million — less than the $170 million his estate earned to be No. 1 on Forbes’ 2011 list but still more than what any living artist earned last year. Forbes’ Dorothy Pomerantz writes that it will be difficult for Taylor to top this list again, given all the dough that Jackson’s estate brings in:

Not only does it earn from sales of his own music, Jackson owned a 50% stake in Sony’s ATV catalog, which includes artists like the Beatles, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. His estate also collects money from the successful Cirque Du Soleil show The Immortal Tour.

The 13 deceased stars on this list racked up $532.5 million in earnings between October 2011 and October 2012. Other entertainers on the list include Elvis Presley, Charles Schulz, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Steve McQueen, Bettie Page, Richard Rodgers and George Harrison.

PHOTOS: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

9 comments
PuritaFleschhut
PuritaFleschhut

Just wondering if  Liz Taylor's children will get the proceeds of their dead mother's  earning. Does anybody know?

TorduDeRire
TorduDeRire

Some members of the Jackson family are hot under the collar 'cause they'd like to get hold of that money. Joe Jackson and his shady French partner, Julian Rouas, are fighting the Estate in court to acquire the rights to sell a cheesy line of Tribute fragrances. Read the disturbing truth about the cesspool of corruption underneath The Jackson Tribute Fragrances... http://jacksontributefragrances.blogspot.com

DavidSpeight
DavidSpeight

As of 8:46 PM on 10/26/2012 the photo caption above reads: “Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 7, 2011.” Did Michael Jackson come back from the dead? I believe he died in 2009.

KingofPopTweets
KingofPopTweets like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is an ALL TIME LOW tabloid journalism! Your opening remark is highest paid celebrity. How is Liz Taylor a highest paid celebrity when they got the money by selling off her belongings? They auctioned out her jewelries, her arts probably painted by recognized expensive artist which has nothing to do with Liz Taylor. Michael Jackson made the money from his own art, music, concert, etc.

Liz Taylor's estate is selling off her stuff while Michael Jackson's estate is buying companies. There is a HUGE difference! FYI: MJ Estate just bought EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion a couple of months ago. Sony/ATV is now valued at $1.9 billion for which MJ owns 50%. Michael Jackson's estate net worth is going up while Liz Taylor's estate is going down. 

And just so you know, MJ has an art collection for which his estate has been fighting to retain custody with an estimated value of $900 million and some of arts were painted and drawn by Michael Jackson himself.

If MJ estate would sell his shares in companies, his art, his stuff, that would be in BILLIONS!!!!

There is a word called "RESEARCH" Use it and do it before you write any article about MJ. This is just tabloid trash emanating from plain ignorance with the intention of belittling MJ. 

CharlesRogers
CharlesRogers

No one has to work at belittling Michael Jackson. While he was alive, he did that to himself very nicely without anyone's assistance.

TomJJJJ
TomJJJJ

Right charles, which is why over three years after his death he earns more money than any live celeb, and the Immortal Cirque Show rolls across the world - nobody likes him.  Sorry you're still a jealous white male.

WasteOfTime
WasteOfTime

 Did you even read the article?  It clearly invalidates all of your claims   "Forbes’ Dorothy Pomerantz writes that it will be difficult for Liz to top this list again given all the dough that Jackson’s estate brings in".  The story is also about the amount of money EARNED, not the amount of money they are WORTH.  There is a huge difference.