with Facebook

You need to login to submit an event!

with Facebook

Elizabeth Taylor Tops Forbes’ Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List

October 28, 2012 by

Despite Michael Jackson pulling in some major dollars in the past 12 months, he couldn’t top Forbes’ recently released Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. Instead it was his old buddy Elizabeth Taylor who beat him to the top spot, with her estate earning a massive $210 million over the last year.

According to, the estate earned most of the money from the record-breaking Christie’s auctions of her jewelry, costumes and art work, which brought in $184 million. In all, 1,800 lots sold. The most expensive item was an 1889 Van Gogh painting that went for $16 million.

Additionally, her perfume White Diamonds, one of the best-selling, brought in $75 million at retail in 2011; and property sales and residuals from Taylor’s movies.

As mentioned, Michael Jackson landed at #2, earning $145 million. His estate earned money from the sales of his own music, but he also 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.

Jackson earned $90 million more than the third-ranked celebrity on the list, Elvis Presley, who pulled in $55 million in earnings, some coming from Cirque Du Soleil, as well, who launched a whole show around Presley’s music, called “Viva Elvis”, though it was shut down due to ticket sales flagging. Graceland is still a big attraction, making up the bulk of his revenue.

Below is the breakdown (via

Elizabeth Taylor (actress) – $210 million
Died: March 23, 2011
Age: 79
Cause: Heart failure

Michael Jackson (singer) – $145 million
Died: June 25, 2009
Age: 50
Cause: Overdose/homicide

Elvis Presley (singer) – $55 million
Died: August 16, 1977
Age: 42
Cause: Heart attack

Charles Schulz (cartoonist) – $37 million
Died: February 12, 2000
Age: 77
Cause: Colon cancer

Bob Marley (singer) – $17 million
Died: May 11, 1981
Age: 36
Cause: Cancer

John Lennon (singer) – $12 million
Died: December 8, 1980
Age: 40
Cause: Murder

Marilyn Monroe (actress) – $10 million
Died: August 5, 1962
Age: 36
Cause: Overdose

Albert Einstein (scientist) – $10 million
Died: April 18, 1955
Age: 76
Cause: Natural causes

Theodor Geisel (author) – $9 million
Died: September, 24, 1991
Age: 87
Cause: Natural causes

Steve McQueen (actor) – $8 million
Died: November 30, 1980
Age: 50
Cause: Complication from surgery


Dead CelebritiesElizabeth TaylorForbesMichael Jacksonnews

Name (required)

Email (required)


Enter the code below captcha