Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes list of the world’s highest paid celebrities… again

The chat show queen beat off competition from Steven Spielberg, Simon Cowell and Tom Cruise to secure the number one spot

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Her new television network may have hit a slump, but Oprah Winfrey is still laughing all the way to the bank as she tops Forbes.com’s highest paid celebrity list for the fourth year running.

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The chat show queen earned £104.5m in the last year – a staggering £79.1m down on last year’s earnings – but despite her significant pay cut, she has still beat off competition from a bevy of directors, singers, presenters, authors and sports stars, all generating multi-million pound pay checks over the past twelve months.

Inched into second place is Michael Bay – the film director and producer whose recent hit Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starring Shia LeBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, helped him generate an impressive £101.5m.

He beat Jaws and ET director Steven Spielberg into third place. The 65-year-old spent the past twelve months involved in TV shows Smash and Terra Nova and produced Oscar-nominated films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, earning him £82.3m.

Rounding off this year’s top five are Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer who ranks fourth with £72.8m, and music producer Dr. Dre, whose sale of his stake in the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone company largely contributed to his £70m pay packet.

The British cohort is represented by The X Factor’s Simon Cowell who completes the top ten with earnings of £57m, largely helped by the breakout success of teen boppers One Direction who are signed to his label, Syco Records.

English singer Elton John may be 65 but that hasn’t stopped him performing over 100 shows in the past year, in addition to his animated film Gnomeo and Juliet, sending him home with £50.6m and placing him joint 11th on the list.

Despite Winfrey’s domination of her competitors, she remains one of just two women to make the rundown of 21 public figures, with pop princess Britney Spears sitting on £36.7m and securing the joint 20th slot.

Hollywood’s highest paid actor Tom Cruise can only manage 13th on the celebrity list, with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol securing him a cool £47.5m.

See the full Forbes list here:  

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1. Opray Winfrey – £104.5m
2. Michael Bay – £101.5m
3. Steven Spielberg – £82.3m
4. Jerry Bruckheimer – £72.8m
5. Dr. Dre – £70m
6. Tyler Perry – £66.5m
7. Howard Stern – £60.1m
8. James Patterson – £59.5m
9. George Lucas – £57m
9. Simon Cowell – £57m
11. Glenn Beck – £50.6m
11. Elton John – £50.6m
13. Tom Cruise – £47.5m
14. Dick Wolf – £44.3m
15. Rush Limbaugh – £43.7m
16. Manny Pacquiao – £42.4m
17. Dr. Phil McGraw – £40.5m
18. Donald Trump – £39.9m
19. Ryan Seacrest – £37.3m
20. Britney Spears – £36.7m
20. Tiger Woods – £36.7m