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'Star Wars' Puts Lucas Atop Forbes'
Celebrity Earnings List

Associated Press
NEW YORK — "The Force" was with George Lucas, powering the creator of the "Star Wars" franchise to the top of Forbes magazine's list of celebrity money makers.


Corbis
George Lucas' movie success puts his earnings ahead of Oprah Winfrey

Lucas earned $400 million in 1999 — more than twice as much as second place Oprah Winfrey, Forbes said Tuesday in releasing its Celebrity 100 rankings.

The rankings appear in the financial magazine's March 20th issue.

"Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace" grossed more $430 million domestically and is the second-highest grossing movie worldwide after "Titanic."

The movie's success put Lucas far ahead of Winfrey, whose talk show and other ventures earned $150 million. Though he earned $267 million last year to top the list, Jerry Seinfeld wasn't among this year's top 100.

Clothing designer Giorgio Armani was ranked third with $135 million, followed by television producer David Kelley, creator of Fox's "Ally McBeal" and ABC's "The Practice," with $118 million. Actor Tom Hanks ranked fifth with $71.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were authors Tom Clancy ($66 million) and Stephen King ($65 million); the band Backstreet Boys with $60 million; director/producer Steven Spielberg with $60 million; and actor Bruce Willis with $54.5 million.

Other celebrities who made the list ran the gamut from golf pro Tiger Woods (ranked 17th with $47 million) and race car driver Dale Earnhardt (39th at $26.5 million) to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (No. 24 with $40 million) and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh (ranked 43rd with $22 million).

Forbes created estimates based on figures compiled from interviews with attorneys, managers, agents, executives and entertainment insiders. It counts pretax gross income when it is earned, not when the celebrities are paid.

The business magazine released the list in conjunction with its Forbes Celebrity 100 ranking, which combines income and media buzz — a blend of prominence on the Internet, magazine covers, TV and radio and in newspaper clippings — to come up with a measure of future earning power.

On that list, Lucas was second to actress Julia Roberts (12th on the money list with $50 million in earnings). Winfrey was third, followed by Hanks and former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, who was 23rd on the earnings list with $40 million.

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