The King of Pop still reigns. Dr. Seuss jumps after Hollywood courtship. Juice WRLD and Kobe Bryant join legends list too soon. The estate of Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) nearly doubled its income in 2020, earning an estimated $33 million in a very Grinch-like year. The bigger payday is thanks to a smart new strategy from the team at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which transformed the beloved children’s author’s 60-plus books into a multimedia universe.
Think Marvel’s Avengers but without the crossover characters. Several other names on our annual highest-paid dead celebrities list have also received huge streaming paydays this year. Peanuts signed a rich deal with Apple TV+ that landed creator Charles Schulz at No. 3 with $32.5 million. And Netflix has shelled big bucks out for an animated series featuring Elvis Presley (No. 5) and yet another biopic of Marilyn Monroe (No. 13). Sadly, there are also young newcomers to the list—21-year-old rapper Juice WRLD (No. 7) earned $15 million since last year’s list, and NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in January, is ranked No. 6, having earned $20 million.