Elizabeth Taylor beats Michael Jackson for title of highest-earning dead celebrity

Image Credit: Getty Images

Screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor surpassed Michael Jackson this year on Forbes‘ list of the highest-earning dead celebrities. The actress, who suffered heart failure last March, earned a whopping $210 million; $45 more than the highest paid living celeb, Oprah Winfrey.

A chunk of that change — $184 million — came from Taylor’s record-breaking Christie’s auction, which sold off her fine jewelry, costumes, and art work. Her estate also profited from her White Diamonds perfume sales as well as residuals from her films.

Without the profits from the one-time auction, the king of pop will ultimately regain his throne. He earned $145 million this year — $90 million more than third place celeb King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley. Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz and singer Bob Marley round out the top five with $37 and $17 million, respectively. The celebs on the list earned a cumulative $532.5 million.

Here’s the full list:

1. Elizabeth Taylor: $210 million
2. Michael Jackson: $145 million
3. Elvis Presley: $55 million
4. Charles Schulz: $37 million
5. Bob Marley: $17 million
6. John Lennon: $12 million
7. Marilyn Monroe: $10 million
7. Albert Einstein: $10 million
9. Theodor Geisel: $9 million
10. Steve McQueen: $8 million
10. Bettie Page: $8 million

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