Elizabeth Taylor Tops List Of Highest Earning Dead Celebrities
Michael Jackson Will Take Back Crown In 2013
Elizabeth Taylor is queen of the dead celebrities. The Cleopatra star, who died in 2011 at 79 years old, beat out fellow deceased dignitaries like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley as the highest-earning dead famous person of 2012.
Forbes has named Taylor as having the most lucrative post-partum estate after it earned a massive $210 million in the past 12 months.
Most of that was thanks to the highly-publicized Christie's auction of her famous jewelry collection (the actress called it one of the great loves of her life) along with assorted paintings and movie costumes. In all, the set of nearly 2,000 pieces sold for $184 million.
Taylor supplanted her old friend Michael Jackson at the top of the list, though the King of Pop has a much steadier stream of income. Jackson, who died at the age of 50 in 2009, earned $145 million this year, mostly from his music sales.
But his estate also owns a 50% share of Sony's ATV catalog, which includes music from Lady Gaga, Eminem and nearly every song written by The Beatles. That's about as solid an investment as you can make in the music business.
In a distant third place is Elvis Presley, whose estate pulled in $55 million this year. The King of Rock N Roll keeps his blue suede shoes polished thanks to ticket sales at Graceland, as well as royalties from music and shows in Vegas.
In a bit of a surprise, fourth place went to legendary cartoonist Charles Schultz. The Peanuts creator benefitted from the incredible staying power of characters like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and an upcoming Peanuts movie, to score $37 million.
Finally, buffalo soldier Bob Marley pulled in $17 million for a solid fifth place finish. The rock and reggae god has a line of "relaxation" drinks, personal music equipment and, of course, his classic albums.