I’m interested in Elvis for a few reasons: we share the same birthday, he had a great voice, and I’ve been curious for years as to what it was exactly that made him a star. Whatever that force was, it has outlasted his own life force.
Elvis Presley pulled in $52 million in the past year, helped by increased traffic at his Graceland estate to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death, and new ventures including the Elvis Sirius Satellite Radio show, according to the moneycentric Web site.
“While things might be topsy-turvy in the financial markets above ground, it’s still a bull market in the boneyard,” Forbes.com said.
In fact, a dead Elvis earned more between October 2007 and October 2008 than some music biz biggies who are very alive, including Justin Timberlake ($44 million) and Madonna ($40 million). Madge must be heartbroken.
Coming in at No. 2 with $33 million in earnings was cartoonist Charles Schulz, who died in 2000 and is best known for his “Peanuts” comic strip, while Aussie actor Heath Ledger nabbed third place.
Ledger, 28, died from an accidental prescription drug overdose in January and his last completed film role was as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
“With the ‘The Dark Knight’ grossing $991 million in box office revenue worldwide, we estimate his earnings at $20 million,” the Web site said.
The fourth-richest dead celeb is German-born physicist Albert Einstein, whose estate raked in $18 million in earnings, mainly from Disney’s “Baby Einstein” videos and toys for children.
Deceased TV producer Aaron Spelling, he of “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Charlie’s Angels” fame, was ranked No. 5 with $15 million in earnings.
Check out www.forbes.com for the full list. – bostonh