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Oprah Winfrey is Forbes' highest-paid celebrity (again)

28

August

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Shocking to absolutely no one, Oprah Winfrey tops the list of Forbes' highest-paid celebrities again this year, despite no longer having her syndicated talk show. More suprising, however, is that director Michael Bay comes in second. Luckily, both of them are due to drop several places next year.

Winfrey brought in $165 million between May 2011 and May 2012, thanks to money from syndication rights to her show. That's going to dry up now that she's working strictly on OWN (and her magazine, and The Dr. Oz Show, and a radio deal with Sirius), but it was enough to win her first place for the fourth year in a row. Bay, meanwhile, raked in $160 million thanks to Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He, too, will drop, because even he can only make one awful CGI movie about toy robots at a time.

Steven Spielberg's $130 million came in third, thanks to royalties from past movies and a deal to get cash from Universal Studios ticket sales and TV show money from Terra Nova and Smash. Oh, and Oscar nominees War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer rode the high cash seas of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to $115 million in profit. In fifth was Dr. Dre, of all people, who turned his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones into $110 million last year, thanks to a deal with HTC, which bought a 51 percent stake in the company for $300 million.

Rounding out the top 10 are Tyler Perry ($105 million); Howard Stern ($95 million); author James Patterson ($94 million); George Lucas and Simon Cowell (both with $90 million); and Fox News refugee Glenn Beck ($80 million). The only other woman in the top 20 was Britney Spears, coming in dead last at 20th with only $58 million. You'd think Kim Kardashian would be in there at some point. Just wait until Honey Boo Boo arrives.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:21pm]

    

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