15 Highest-Earning Dead Celebs
Michael Jackson tops the list again
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 1:56 PM CDT
In this photo taken Aug. 25, 1993, American pop star Michael Jackson performs during his "Dangerous" tour in Bangkok.   (AP Photo/Jeff Widener, file)

(Newser) – When you’re a celebrity, dying doesn’t have to mean you stop making money. Forbes offers up its annual list of the top-earning celebs of the past year:

  1. Michael Jackson: The King of Pop is in the top spot for the second year in a row, earning $170 million thanks to music sales, his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog, and a new Cirque du Soleil tour.
  2. Elvis Presley: The King of Pop is followed by the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, who earned $55 million, much of which came from Graceland admissions. A Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas didn’t hurt, either.
  3. Marilyn Monroe: A resurgence in popularity is partly to thank for her $27 million in earnings; for example, she was featured in an ad for J’Adore fragrance, and soon she’ll be getting her own line of cafes.
  4. Charles Schulz: The Peanuts creator earned $25 million as his creations found themselves coming into the digital age via a video game, e-books, and a Facebook app, among other things.
  5. John Lennon: The Beatles sold 1.6 million albums last year after finally arriving in the iTunes Store, which may have something to do with Lennon’s $12 million in earnings. Also helping? Yet another Cirque show.

  1. Elizabeth Taylor: Tied with John Lennon at $12 million, she’s still earning money from her perfume, White Diamonds—and she’ll earn even more in December, when Christie’s auctions off her jewelry and other valuables.
Click for the full list.