Elizabeth Taylor is No. 1 on list of highest earning dead celebrities
Elizabeth Taylor has topped Forbes magazine's list of the highest earning dead celebrities, surpassing Michael Jackson.
The estate of the Hollywood film legend, who died of congestive heart failure at age 79 on March 23, 2011, pulled in $210 million over the past year, according to Forbes magazine. Much of the income was from the Christie's auction of her jewelry collection, costumes and artwork.
In December, the actress' jewelry collection sold for a record-setting $115 million at a Christie's auction. Part of the proceeds went to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to help people living with AIDS.
Taylor's Christie's auctions netted $184 million from 1,800 lots, all of which were sold, including an 1889 Van Gogh painting, which was sold for $16 million.
Taylor's estate also continues to profit from residuals from her movies, most of which the actress has a 10 percent ownership stake. The actress' best-selling perfume, White Diamonds, brought in $75 million in 2011.
Taylor was laid to rest a day after her death at a private memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles. She became as famous for her love affairs as she was for her movie roles in films like "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" She was married eight times to seven husbands.
Jackson dropped into second place on the list, with his estate earning $145 million, which is still more than any living artist in the past 12 months, according to Forbes.
Jackson will likely return to the top of Forbes' highest earning celebrities list next year, in the absence of another Taylor auction, as his estate earns from sales of his music and the King of Pop also had a 50 percent stake in Sony's ATV catalog and earns a percentage of Cirque Du Soleil's "The Immortal Tour."
Check out Forbes' full list of top-earning dead celebrities below:
Elizabeth Taylor - $210 million
Michael Jackson - $145 million
Elvis Presley - $55 million
Charles Schulz, Peanuts creator - $37 million
Bob Marley - $17 million
John Lennon - $12 million
Marilyn Monroe - $10 million
Albert Einstein - $10 million
Theodor Geisel i.e. Dr. Suess - $9 million
Steve McQueen - $8 million
Bettie Page - $8 million
Richard Rogers, Songwriter - $6 million
George Harrison - $5.5 million