Artist News

Elizabeth Taylor tops Forbes dead rich poll

By | Published on Friday 26 October 2012


Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson may have been friends in life, but there will be tensions this morning in the celebrity tent of whatever form of heaven you believe in. Of course, you might not believe there is a heaven at all, though for the purposes of this story it would be convenient if you did.

If it helps, just imagine the questions God must be asking of former Pope John Paul II about that papal knighthood that was dished out to Jimmy Savile in 1990. I mean, even by the Catholic Church’s standards, here was man you certainly didn’t want at your party.

Anyway, Taylor and Jackson. The relatively recently dead Hollywood star has knocked the slightly more dead king of pop off Forbes magazine’s annual dead rich poll, her estate having amassed no less than $210 million in the last year, though mainly because of the one-off sale of jewellery, costumes and property.

The former acting star did have a 10% stake in all her movies, so the estate will continue to earn considerable sums long term, though may well not outperform the incredibly lucrative Jackson estate beyond this year, which came in second in the latest dead rich poll by generating $145 million in the last twelve months.

Elvis, once the undisputed king of the deads when it came to posthumous earnings, now has to make do with third place. Though one would hope he and Bob Marley are too busy kicking the shit out Jimmy Savile to notice. See atheists, believing in heaven can be fun.

1. Dame 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. Dr Seuss ($9 million)
10. Steve McQueen ($8 million)
10. Bettie Page ($8 million)
12. Richard Rogers ($6 million)
13. George Harrison ($5.5 million)