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.
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.
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