Elizabeth Taylor Is Forbes' Top-Earning Dead Celebrity

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

"The King of Pop" is no longer the top-earning dead celebrity.

According to Forbes, screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has surpassed Michael Jackson as the highest-earning dead celebrity in the past year, with her estate pulling in $210 million, much of it from the auction of her jewels, costumes and artwork.

Jackson, who has held the top spot since his 2009 death, was in second place with $145 million in earnings, followed by Elvis Presley whose estate earned $55 million. Rounding out the top five were Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, with earnings of $37 million, and Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley with $17 million.

Pictures: Dollars after death Pictures: Elizabeth Taylor
Forbes, which compiled the ranking using celebrities' earnings between October 2011-2012, said Jackson is likely to regain the top with steady revenue from his music.

Forbes said Taylor's earnings included $184 million from the auctions and $75 million from sales of her perfume White Diamonds, which is the world's best-selling scent. The remainder came from property sales and residuals from her movies. In the second half of her career, Taylor negotiated an ownership percentage in any film she made.

The 13 dead celebrities on the list earned a total of $532.5 million. All but one -- Nobel-winning scientist Albert Einstein -- worked in the entertainment field. The others are former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, actors Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page, author Dr. Seuss and composer Richard Rodgers.


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