It’s truly amazing how much a celebrity can make during their lifetime, but some are now finding that it doesn’t have to stop there. It isn’t uncommon for a celebrity’s estate to collect royalties from movies and merchandising deals for years after their death. Here’s a list of people who still bring in millions every year — even though some of them have been dead for decades.
Legendary actor Steve McQueen passed away in 1980, at only 50 years of age. The loss of the coolest film star of the 1960s was a huge blow to the movie-making community. His first big film was The Magnificent Seven, where he did his best to upstage Yul Brynner, who was the first-billed star of the film. His stunt paid off, and he was offered first billing in his next big movie, The Great Escape.
He had a hugely successful career in action movies that spanned 20 years, before he passed away at the age of 50 from complications with lung cancer. McQueen made promotional deals with Tag Heuer and Persol during his lifetime that continue net his estate around $9 million per year.