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Robert Downey Jr. is Golden as Hollywood Highest Paid Actor: Forbes

Half of the A-listers on the 2012 Forbes list of Hollywood's highest paid actors are absent from this year's rankings

| BY Donald Liebenson

Iron Man is golden!

Robert Downey Jr. tops Forbes’ 2013 lit of Hollywood’s highest-paid actor with estimate earnings of $75 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Absent from last year’s rankings, Downey rebounded to No. 1 status on the strength of  Iron Man 3, which launched the summer movie season last May and is currently the biggest box office hit of the year to date, and last year’s superhero summit, The Avengers. Both films, reports Dorothy Pomerantz, who compiles the list each year, each earned more than $1 billion.

This year’s list finds some upheaval among Hollywood’s highest net worth thespians. Half of the A-listers from last year’s list—Ben Stiller; Sacha Baron Cohen; Johnny Depp; Will Smith; and Twilight’s Taylor Lautner—are absent this year. But four actors have appeared on the Top Ten list over the last three years: Mark Wahlberg; Leonardo DiCaprio; Adam Sandler; and Tom Cruise.

The list also contains two newcomers to the list, Channing Tatum and Liam Neeson.

The Forbes’ rankings of Hollywood’s highest paid actors is based solely on income and does not take into account the fame factor. “We talked to agents, producers, manages and other people-in-the-know to estimate earnings for each star,” Pomerantz writes.

How do Hollywood’s highest-paid actors stack up:

1.      Robert Downey Jr: ($75 million)

2.      Channing Tatum($60 million)

People magazine’s 2013  Despite the underperforming White House Down, People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” had a career year with the surprise box office hit, Magic Mike, which is spawning a sequel, a Broadway musical and, reportedly, a proposed New Orleans bar.

3.      Hugh Jackman($55 million): Jackman deftly navigates between action roles and musicals.. While his The Wolverine is one of this summer’s most anticipated films, he earned an Oscar-nomination for his triumphant turn as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, which earned $438 million on a $61 million budget, Pomerantz notes.

4.      Mark Wahlberg($52 million): Never underestimate the power of a profane and foul-mouthed talking teddy bear.

5.      Dwayne Johnson($46 million): The former wrestler is now a Hollywood rock. His latest film, Fast & Furious 6 revved up his box office cred even further, earning $695 million.

6.      Leonardo DiCaprio($39 million) This Forbes list mainstay had a decent summer with The Great Gatsby, the year’s 10th biggest box office hit thus far.

7.      Adam Sandler($37 million): Sandler’s fortunes have dropped a bit. No. 3 on this list the previous two years, he has dropped to the lower regions of the Top 10. His latest, Grown Ups 2, his first sequel, was eviscerated by critics, but it earned $41.5 million its opening weekend.

8.      Tom Cruise ($35 million): Tom Cruise’s last two films, Oblivion and Jack Reacher did mediocre business domestically, but overseas, each topped the $100 million benchmark.

9.      Denzel Washington ($33 million); The consummate leading man and character actor, Washington earned a sixth Best Actor nomination for his soaring performance in Flight. The movie, budgeted at $31 million, reportedly earned $162 million.  

10.  Liam Neeson($32 million): Liam Neeson, a late-blooming action star, earns high returns for modestly budgeted films such as Taken and The Grey


About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.