Oprah Ranks as Richest, Most Popular Star

Oprah Ranks as Richest, Most Popular Star
Oprah Winfrey
Albert Ferreira/Reuters/Landov

updated 06/17/2005 at 08:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/17/2005 08:00AM

Donald Trump didn't make the Top 20, despite his boasts of wealth and TV ratings, and despite their very deep pockets, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen only ranked No. 35 in the new Forbes Celebrity 100, the financial magazine's list of the world's most powerful stars.

And the leader of the pack? Easy: Oprah Winfrey, for the first time ever. The talk-show queen raked in $225 million last year.

The one who's most noticeably slipped? Jennifer Aniston, down to No. 37, from her No. 17 perch last year.

Forbes bases its rankings not only on paychecks but on popularity -- those celebrities the public just can't get enough of, compared to those it gets too much of.

"Some stars earn their status by good old-fashioned accomplishment," writes Celebrity 100 editor Peter Kafka. "Tiger Woods has won 60 tournaments in 10 years. George Lucas's lifework, his Star Wars franchise, has generated billions of dollars in ticket and merchandise sales over three decades."

As for Oprah's taking the crown, Kafka writes: "After 21 years, her daytime chat-fest still rules the airwaves, minting new celebs – and hundreds of millions of dollars in profits."

The stars of 2005, their popularity rankings and their estimated earnings (in millions) from June 2004-June 2005 are as follows:

1. Oprah Winfrey, $225
2. Tiger Woods, $87
3. Mel Gibson, $185
4. George Lucas, $290
5. Shaquille O'Neal, $33
6. Steven Spielberg, $80
7. Johnny Depp, $37
8. Madonna, $50
9. Elton John, $44
10. Tom Cruise, $31
11. Brad Pitt, $25
12. Dan (The Da Vinci Code) Brown, $77
13. Will Smith, $35
14. David Letterman, $40
15. Lance Armstrong, $28
16. Michael Jordan, $33
17. Michael Schumacher (racer), $60
18. Will Ferrell, $40
19. Kobe Bryant, $29
20. Sean Combs, $36
MORE ON: Oprah Winfrey

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