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Top earning dead celebrities


There are some late stars whose legacies endure in million dollar figures. Forbes has released its list of the top-earning dead celebrities of 2011, with king of pop Michael Jackson topping the list for a second year running. The famous names on the list earned a combined income of $366 million between them from October 2010 to October 2011, proving death is not always the final ending when it comes to celebrity. Read on for more details...

Picture credit: Rex Features

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009)

$170 million

Little surprise the Thriller singer has soared to the top of the list, with record sales and his stake in Sony/ATV making him the second highest-earning pop act over the past year - dead or alive - after U2.

Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977)

$55 million

Elvis' timeless appeal continues to rake in the dollars, as the king shake rattle and rolls his way into second place.

The massively popular (and expensive) Vegas show Viva Elvis has helped his cause.

Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962)

$27 million

Marilyn sashays her way smoothly into third place, with Authentic Brand Management buying the rights to the movie star's estate earlier this year.

The company is in the process of engineering a highbrow image re-launch with Marilyn-inspired clothing, fragrances and cosmetics all playing a prominent role.

Charles Schulz (1922 - 2000)

$25 million

The late and legendary cartoonist comes in fourth, with comic strip Peanuts still widely re-printed on a daily basis.

Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011)

$12 million - joint with John Lennon

She only passed away in March, but Liz Taylor's estate has already brought in millions of dollars, mostly through sales of her best-selling perfume, White Diamonds.

Much more is expected in the coming months, as the star's jewels, art work and gowns are auctioned off.

John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

$12 million - joint with Elizabeth Taylor

The Beatles star shares fifth place with Liz Taylor. Thirty one years on from his death, royalties are still pouring in with the Vegas show Love, based on Beatles music, also a contributor.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

$10 million

Big brains can bring big bucks, as Einstein's seventh place rating shows. The scientist's name generates much of its cash from Baby Einstein products, a Disney-owned initative aimed to make children more intelligent.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991)

$9 million

The much-loved Dr. Seuss author boosted his estate considerably in the past month, with the release of a brand new series - The Bippolo Seed And Other Lost Stories. Over two million copies have already been sold.

Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970)

$7 million - joint with Stieg Larsson, Steve McQueen and Richard Rodgers

In at number nine, it's Jimi Hendrix and his genius guitar skills. His Foxy Lady track currently appears in an HP ad, with the release of live-show DVDs and box sets topping up the cash pot.

Stieg Larsson, Steve McQueen and songwriter Richard Rodgers are all joint place with Hendrix, each earning $7 million in the past year.

Bettie Page (1923 - 2008)

$6 million - joint with George Harrison and Andy Warhol

And last but not least, we have Bettie Page, whose pin-up charms have been capitalised with the launch of Bettie Page Clothing stores in Hollywood and Las Vegas - earning Bettie a first-time spot on the shortlist.

George Harrison and Andy Warhol are also rated joint with Bettie, with individual incomes of $6 million.



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