When it comes to postmortem earnings, it isn’t easy to beat the King of Pop. However, Elizabeth Taylor managed to pull it off. The late actress and longtime friend of Michael Jackson pulled in an astounding $210 million last year, enough to push Jackson to the second place slot of Forbes' Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List.
“Most of that money came from the record-breaking Christie’s auctions of the star’s jewelry, costumes, and art work,” Forbes reports of Taylor’s earnings. “Then there’s her perfume, White Diamonds, which is one of the best selling perfumes around.”
Elizabeth Taylor died at a Los Angeles hospital on March 23, 2011 at the age of 79.
Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, earned $145 million last year thanks to his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV publishing catalog, a Cirque du Soleil show, and his own music, among other sources. Forbes expects these lucrative revenue streams will put Jackson back on top next year.
Elvis Presley, meanwhile, placed a distant third with postmortem earnings of $55 million, while Peanuts creator Charles Schulz came in fourth with $37 million. Bob Marley rounds out the list of top five dead celebrity earners with a $17 million haul.
Other deceased stars on Forbes’ list include John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, and Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.
View the full list of Forbes’ Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list here. Any placeholders surprise you?