Cruise Tops Forbes Most Powerful List

Tom Cruise has spent a good portion of the last year living down his now-infamous couch-jumping escapade on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

He also filled enough theater seats and cleared enough cash to top Forbes magazine's annual Celebrity 100 ranking of the world's most powerful celebrities.

Cruise was the only solo actor to crack the Top 10 on the list, and he's the only celebrity to reach the No. 1 spot twice. He was also ranked No. 1 in 2001.

"In a bad year for movies, he still made $67 million on back-end earnings for 'War of the Worlds,' so people are still going to theaters to see him," said Forbes spokeswoman Laurie Baker.

The Forbes list evaluated the earnings and influence of celebrities from June 2005 to June 2006.

Despite becoming the butt of many late-night jokes, Cruise and his omnipresent grin and high-profile engagement to fellow actress Katie Holmes combined with his box-office performance thrust him into the No. 1 spot. The $67 million payday ranked him 14th on Forbes' list of celebrity pay.

"It's not only how much you're paid, but also how much people are paying attention to you," Baker said, of how the magazine had compiled the list. "Someone like a Lindsay Lohan might be all over the headlines, too, but she hasn't had the box-office numbers."

This year's Top 10 includes an athlete, an author, several rock stars, a megamovie producer, and two of the most American of celebrities: talking heads.

The Rolling Stones took the No. 2 spot on the strength of their "A Bigger Bang" tour, which cleared a clean $160 million for the geriatric rockers. Fellow aging crooners U2 nabbed the No. 4 spot, boosted by a massive world tour and the publicity surrounding frontman Bono's political activism.

Oprah Winfrey took the No. 3 spot on the Forbes list, four spots ahead of fellow talking head Howard Stern, who parlayed his $500 million contract from Sirius Satellite Radio into the No. 7 spot on the Forbes list.

Tiger Woods, who has earned 25 percent more in winnings than any other professional golfer in history, clocked in at No. 5.

Steven Spielberg ranked No. 1 on the Forbes list of celebrity salaries, pulling $332 million during the last 12 months -- the bulk of it coming from the sale of his DreamWorks Studios. The payday was enough to earn Spielberg the No. 6 spot.

Rapper 50 Cent added his own line of Reebok sneakers and downloadable ringtones to his massive record sales to rank No. 8. The cast of the HBO mob drama "The Sopranos" put the publicity from their farewell tour to good use, wrangling the No. 9 spot.

Dan Brown saw his novel "The Da Vinci Code" turned into a Tom Hanks-helmed blockbuster movie, helping the author to round out the Top 10.

Outside of Cruise, fellow heartthrob Brad Pitt was the only other solo actor to crack the Top 20, ranking No. 20.

In a coincidence explainable only by Forbes editors, the magazine placed Pitt's former wife, Jennifer Aniston, in a two-way tie with current squeeze Angelina Jolie, who recently gave birth to a daughter with Pitt. The two share the No. 35 spot.

Mel Gibson, who was ranked No. 3 last year and held the top spot in 2004, dropped off altogether this year. Other dropouts included Madonna, Lance Armstrong, Will Ferrell and the aforementioned Lohan.

Winfrey protege Phil "Dr. Phil" McGraw topped the list of notable newcomers, ranking 22nd. Other newcomers included the "American Idol" duo of Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, and "24" star Kiefer Sutherland.

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