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Monroe? Einstein? How Are They Still Rich?

10/25/2006 2:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Forbes has once again released its annual Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list, and while it's no surprise why most of the buried big shots made the list (Kurt Cobain, John Lennon and Elvis are all still banking from music sales) there were two lifeless wonders that left us scratching our heads -- Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe.
Albert Einstein / Marilyn Monroe
According to Forbes, Marilyn Monroe raked in a cool $8 million last year, earning her the ninth spot on the dead earners list. But where is it all coming from? Nearly a half-century after her death, the blonde bombshell is still cashing in on her image -- or rather the licensing of it.

Just recently, Marilyn's image was used to sell perfume in Europe, Dom Perignon champagne, Absolut vodka and vehicles for General Motors. And don't forget about the thousands of lesser-known products with Marilyn's face on them ranging from t-shirts to posters. Just like J.F.K., seems like the world can't get enough Marilyn.

When Forbes listed Albert Einstein as the number five earner with a whopping $20 million take, our first thought was "How many posters of Einstein sticking out his tongue did this guy sell?" Well, it turns out licensing your name to the explosive world of educational baby videos can be quite lucrative. The "Baby Einstein" series of videos and toys generated $400 million in profit last year -- with $20 million going into the coffers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which controls the Einstein estate.

Even in death, blondes (and geniuses) have more fun.




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weird, wild stuff

2927 days ago

the wise old owl    

. I wish i had the merchandising rights to Marilyn Monroe. She didn't have any children and she wasn't married at the time of her death. Does anybody know who her estate went to.? It's kind of ironic that she would earn more after she died then while she was alive. Of course back than they weren't making 20 million a picture like top actors are now. I know I have things around my house with her image on it. Now that's the business to be in. No customer complaints, no long hours. Just give me your $$$$.

2927 days ago

Susie Bush    

No no Wise old owl, Family gets first pick! lol, Uncle Joe hear I come! lol kidding, but I am related to them!

2927 days ago


FYI: Who own copyrights to Marilyn's image?
CMG Worldwide, a company based in Indianapolis that is a powerhouse in the world of celebrity licensing and merchandising, handling rights to luminaries including as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Mark Twain.

Of course the movies are each owned by the studio to which they belonged.

2927 days ago

car videos    

maybe those people were still performing on the other side..

2927 days ago


If you tmz people are that dumb, Marilyn Monroe brings in money because she's still very popular as for albert I dont know. You people need to get a clue that she's still an icon much like Elvis, though Elvis Presley looks kind of greasy so i can't understand why so many people like him.

2927 days ago

Funny Videos' Man    

Too bad are those dead celebrities not able to enjoy the earnings they made!

2927 days ago

Danny JG    

MARILYN...The best-the only-Sex Goddess ever ! These characters on the "current market" don't have a clue and never will. She was the end of an era....

2927 days ago

Susie Bush    

Honestly, why do people like Christina have to be SO RUDE? why go around insulting people? we're just having a little fun here, just because we're having fun doesn't make a person "dumb" as previously said by someone o.O what's with all the jerks on here? geez grow up or get a sense of humor

2926 days ago


ummmmm did i miss something?? who the f*** is christina where did they say anything about a christina lmao....anyways i love Miss Monroe she definatley makes money off me i have her clothes,parfume,purses,stationary...etc... i think shes f***in georgeous and she was so fun and free spirited alot like my self...

2926 days ago

Susie Bush    

Number 6 Sylvia LOL

2926 days ago


I'm the one who's getting the last laugh shady and invincible him because of how easy it is to push your buttons over my opinion post. You people seriously have too much time on your hands if you care enough to respond to what i think anyway. As for Sylvia, don't compare yourself to Marilyn Monroe because for one, she would never use foul language and second, she has more beauty and class then your sorry little ass.

2926 days ago

Susie Bush    

Well for one Christina? you can't really say we have too much time on our hands if we care what you say, YOU YOURSELF came back on and posted about what WE said, so does that mean you have too much time on YOUR hands to care about what WE think? o.O and secondly, "she would never use" how is that possible when she's DEAD? thirdly "she would never use foul language" SHE'S DEAD! she can't and forthly, how do you know what Sylvia looks like?

2926 days ago


This website is funny alright. Most of the articles have me laughing my socks off. TMZ did a good and funny job poking fun at good and bad celebs alike for the most part. It's good for a once in a while laugh. Marilyn has in my opinion the best old glamour personality that lacks in alot of stars today. She was truly unique for a star. She could act in any kind of movie role she wanted if only the arrogant fox studio would of given her a better chance instead of towards the end of her life when she got fired. I think she should be the top money earner instead of elvis.

2924 days ago

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