Depending on how the executors of her estate decide to move forward with licensing her image, Taylor could soon become as big as Marilyn Monroe, who returns to our list with $27 million in earnings over the past year, ranking her third. Earlier this year Authentic Brand Management bought the rights to Monroe's estate. The company, which also holds the rights to Bob Marley's estate, is now trying to revamp the star's image by going for more highbrow licensing deals like upscale clothing, fragrances and cosmetics. (See: Marilyn Monroe Makeover) A line of Marilyn Monroe cafes is in the works and don't be surprised to see Monroe starring in films again. She's already appeared opposite Charlize Theron in an ad for J'Adore perfume.
To place on this year's list a deceased celebrity had to have earned at least $6 million between October 2010 and October 2011. To compile our list, we spoke to agents, lawyers and other sources to estimate each star's gross earnings (before taxes, management fees and other costs).
Like Monroe, Bettie Page is enjoying a renaissance. The pinup girl, who died in 2008, is more in style than ever before, with a chain of stores called Bettie Page Clothing in places like Hollywood and Las Vegas selling clothes inspired by the model and B movie star. Those stores helped her estate earn $6 million this year, tying for 13th place on our list with Andy Warhol and George Harrison.
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