Elvis king of Forbes top-earning dead celebs

ELVIS PRESLEY tops the list of the highest-earning dead celebrities, US business magazine Forbes revealed.

Elvis topped the list with $52 million (€40.2m) in earnings last year, despite being dead for more than 30 years.

Batman actor Heath Ledger, who died of an overdose in January, came third, with $20m.

John Lennon, of the Beatles, who was murdered in New York almost 28 years ago, was seventh after earning $9m last year from a string of “royalties, merchandising and licensing agreements”.

The Forbes listing said Lennon’s income peaked in 2006 at $24m, mainly because of a one-off settlement among the Beatles, Apple and music distributor EMI.

Presley’s success was put down to soaring attendance and merchandise sales at Graceland, with his income rising from $49m last year to $52m.

Forbes cited Ledger’s Batman box office and merchandise earnings, as well as upfront payments for the film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Peanuts cartoonist Charles M Schultz was second on the list, and genius scientist Albert Einstein was fourth.

Dead celebs: Forbes’ top 10 highest-earning dead celebs:

* Elvis Presley (died on August 16, 1977, of a heart attack) — $52 million (€40.4m).

* Peanuts cartoonist Charles M Schulz (died on February 12, 2000, of cancer) — $33m (€24.8m).

* Heath Ledger (died on January 22, 2008, of an accidental overdose) — $20m (€15.5m).

* Albert Einstein (died on April 18, 1955, of natural causes) — $18m (€14m).

* Aaron Spelling (died June 23, 2006, of a stroke) — $15m (€11.6m).

* Author Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel (died September 24, 1991, of natural causes) — $12m (9.3m)

* John Lennon (murdered December 8, 1980) — $9m (7m)

* Andy Warhol (died February 22, 1987, of complications after gall-bladder surgery) — $9m (7m)

* Marilyn Monroe (died August 5, 1962, of an overdose) — $6.5m (5m)

* Steve McQueen (died November 30, 1980, of complications from surgery) — $6m (4.6m).


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