The 13 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities


Just in time for Halloween, Forbes has put out their list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. This year’s group grossed a collective $886 million in the past 12 months. Topping the list is deceased French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who earned $350 million last year. Rounding out the top three are a trio of musicians: Rodgers & Hammerstein ($235 million) and Michael Jackson ($90 million).

1. Yves Saint Laurent, $350 million 2. Rodgers &Hammerstein, $235 million 3. Michael Jackson, $90 million 4. Elvis Presley, $55 million 5. J.R.R. Tolkien, $50 million 6. Charles Schulz, $35 million 7. John Lennon, $15 million 8. Dr. Seuss, $15 million 9. Albert Einstein, $10 million 10. Michael Crichton, $9 million 11. Aaron Spelling, $8 million 12. Jimi Hendrix, $8 million 13. Andy Warhol, $6 million

While most of the names on the list made sense to us, we were a little surprised to see Einstein there. How could college dorm posters prove so lucrative? It turns out that this year his likeness was used for a bobble-head toy in McDonald’s Happy Meal. His estate also gets paid for the use of his name to sell Baby Einstein products, licensing deals with Nestlé and Toyota in Japan, and an upcoming line of Einstein-inspired video games. That German mall named Das Einstein? He gets money for that, too.

Find out how the other 12 celebrities made the big bucks this year over on Forbes.