Spielberg tops Forbes’ list of highest-paid entertainers

Steven Spielberg arrives for the screening of "Inside Llewyn Davis" on Aug. 5 at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
(Francois Mori / Associated Press)

With an estimated $100 million in 2012 income, “Lincoln” director and DreamWorks studio head Steven Spielberg topped Forbes’ list of the biggest male earners in show business, but he still trailed Madonna by some $25 million.

The magazine’s highly unscientific ranking did not include George Lucas because “he was not an active producer” during the survey period.  

Given that the “Star Wars” creator sold his Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Co. for more than $4 billion last year, he would have topped the list by a light-year.

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In the magazine’s ranking of the top-earning women in show business released in August, Madonna was estimated to have made $125 million last year.

“X Factor” mogul Simon Cowell trailed closely behind Spielberg among men in show business with an estimated income of $95 million, even with radio host Howard Stern, who also was estimated to have made $95 million last year.

In fourth was crime novelist James Patterson, with $91 million in income, followed in fifth by talk show host and author Glenn Beck, who was said to have made $90 million.

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“Transformers” director Michael Bay took home about $82 million for sixth place, followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer at $80 million.

In eighth was filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry with $78 million, trailed by golfer Tiger Woods, also with $78 million. “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. rounded out the top 10 with $75 million.

The magazine says its rankings are generated by “estimates researched for our annual Celebrity 100 list.  We talk to agents, producers, managers and other in-the-know folks to come up with estimates for entertainment-related earnings. We do not deduct for taxes, agent fees or the other expenses of being a celebrity.”



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