ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Paul Walker might have been taken from us too early, but his dedicated fans' steadfast refusal to let his memory die has earned the star a place on the Forbes Dead Celebrity Rich List alongside cinematic and musical royalty.

Slipping into the legendary club, which includes elite members such as Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein, Paul Walker has once again proven his true star power, even after his untimely death.

Paul and his daughter, Meadow
Paul and his daughter, Meadow

Furious 7 was ultimately a moving tribute to Walker in its final form, and fans wishing to say a final celluloid goodbye to the late star propelled the movie to earn a colossal $1.5 billion at the box office. Not only was this the franchise's biggest intake to date, but the profits have also helped to support Paul's grieving family through these tragic years.

Paul Walker is a new entry to the list at number nine, and when you see the all time greats he is sandwiched between in the top 10 below, it will be immediately apparent how great the late actor's influence really is.

1. Michael Jackson: $115m (£75m)

Died: June 25, 2009

Age: 50

Cause: Overdose/homicide

The King of Pop has earned hundreds of millions every year since he unexpectedly passed away in 2009. The prime drivers of his posthumous fortune are the permanent Vegas Cirque du Soleil show Michael Jackson One, the Mijac Music catalogue, recorded music sales and half of the Sony/ATV publishing empire. Despite the fact the King of Pop was in debt when he died, the billions of dollars his name has pulled in from beyond the grave have given his three children plenty of royalties to see them through.

2. Elvis Presley: $55m (£35.8m)

Died: August 16, 1977

Age: 42

Cause: Heart attack

The King of Rock n’ Roll might have been beaten to the top spot by his pop royalty rival, but he’s still making more than most living stars could ever dream of, thanks largely to Graceland ticket sales.

3. Charles Schulz: $40m (£26m)

Died: February 12, 2000

Age: 77

Cause: Colon cancer

Creator of the much-loved Peanuts comic strip, Schulz's estate has a cut of licensing revenue to thank for his paycheck. The fact that Snoopy and Charlie Brown will be hitting the big screen in The Peanuts Movie next month will also have topped up the fortune.

4. Bob Marley: $21m (£13.7m)

Died: May 11, 1981

Age: 36

Cause: Cancer

Bob Marley's final words might have been "money can't buy you life," but despite his anti-capitalist bent, the reggae star has earned an enormous fortune after his death from cancer, aged just 36. His afterlife fortune comes from the “relaxation drink,” Marley’s Mellow Mood, House of Marley (maker of eco-friendly audio products) and, of course, music.

5. Elizabeth Taylor: $20m (£13m)

Died: March 23, 2011

Age: 79

Cause: Heart failure

It is fragrance rather than films which keeps this late silver screen legend's finances afloat, thanks largely to the cult scent 'White Diamonds' which still sells well to this day.

6. Marilyn Monroe: $17m (£11m)

Died: August 5, 1962

Age: 36

Cause: Overdose

She might have died more than half a century ago, but Marilyn's status as an icon has not diminished with the passing of time. Profits from using the late star's name are generated from a Macy’s clothing label and a Monroe lingerie line.

7. John Lennon: $12m (£7.8m)

Died: December 8, 1980

Age: 40

Cause: Murder

There are no prizes for guessing that Lennon's cash flow comes from the expansive and timeless Beatles back catalogue.

8. Albert Einstein: $11m (£7.1m)

Died: April 18, 1955

Age: 76

Cause: Natural causes

One of the most surprising entries to this list, Einstein has made the top 10 thanks to merchandise bearing his name including apparel, posters and tablets.

9. Paul Walker: $10.5m (£6.8m)

Died: November 30, 2013

Age: 40

Cause: Car crash

See the intro above for info on Paul!

10. Bettie Page: $10m (£6.5m)

Died: December 11, 2008

Age: 85

Cause: Natural causes

The legendary pinup, Bettie Page's sex appeal has launched numerous fashion lines, which account for most of her earnings. A Vegas show featuring a hologram of Page performing one of her most famous stripteases is also in the works.

(Source: Forbes)


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