Forbes Top Earning Dead Celebrities List

It’s no secret that celebrities are worth more money once losing their ability to breathe oxygen. But who earns the most dollars since their passing?

Forbes’s annual †Top-Earning Dead celebrities’ list has just been released, with earnings equating to a not so shy $886 million in the past 12 months.

Fashion god, Yves Saint Laurent tops the list for the first time with annual assets for 2009 adding up to a hefty $350 million. Thanks to a handy little auction held earlier this year where his personal items were up for the taking.

Musical composer Richard Robertson and Playwright Oscar Hammerstein came in second with $235 million. A very respectable sum considering they both died over thirty years ago.

Debuting at an impressive third spot is non-other than Michael Jackson who earned $90 million. Not bad for four months, and no doubt the new ‘This Is It’, film which documents his life will add a large sum to that number.

The usual suspects Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, John Lennon and the gracious Andy Warhol are still there.

Newbie Aaron Spelling makes a cameo so to does J.R.R Tolkien and novelist Michael Crichton also takes a spot, thanks to his secretary who discovered his unpublished novel, which is now a cult hit and being made into a blockbuster.

The big news is that it seems making money after the final hurrah isn’t letting up. Since last year’s list the lump sum of all money earned jumped more than $700 million.

Not the best news for our living and breathing celebs but I guess their time will come. Or the time will come for the lucky inheritors of their grand fortunes.