Hugh Hefner Has Earned A Ridiculous Amount Of Money Since His Death

Plus, all the other highest-paid dead celebrities from over the past year.
IMAGE Peter Yang / Esquire US

In the year since his death, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has earned $15 million, according to Forbes who have published their list of the highest-paid dead celebrities of 2018.

The controversial 91-year-old died last September at The Playboy Mansion. During his lifetime, he founded and built up the Playboy empire including the famous magazine - which was first published ahead of the sexual revolution in 1953 - the famous California mansion, bunny outfits, clubs, merchandise and more.

When he died, his net worth was estimated to be in the $45 million (£35m) region, but in the year since his death he's actually acquired even more wealth and is ranked as the seventh highest paid late celebrity of 2018.

IMAGE: Getty

The money magazine say the dressing-gown wearing media mogul earned around millions over the past year after the heirs to his fortune sold the remaining portion of his estate for an estimated $35 million.

If you're wondering which other celebrities have been earning some serious money from beyond the grave, here's the rest of Forbes' list:


1| Michael Jackson - The King of Pop, who passed away in 2009, earned $400 million over the last year alone, $287m of that came from the sale of his estate's sake in EMI Music Publishing to Sony.


2| Elvis Presley - He might have died in 1977 but The King brought in $40 million in 2018 because he still manages to sell more than one million albums every year plus his Graceland estate is a ticketed tourist hotspot.

3| Arnold Palmer - The professional golfer who died in 2016 from heart disease has made $35 million over the past year, but no not from golfing merchandise, but a new addition to his eponymous beverage line.

4| Charles Schulz - The cartoonist behind Charlie Brown and Snoopy died 18 years ago but brought in $34 million to his estate this year after the 80% of the Peanuts business was sold to DHX Media for $345million.

5| Bob Marley - The Reggae maestro, who died in 1981 from cancer, has earned $23 million over the past year mainly due to merchandise bearing his name including headphones and Marley Natural cannabis products.

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6| Dr Seuss - The celebrated novelist earned $16 million purely because people still love to read his books. The Good Doctor sold 4.8 million copies last year.

7| Hugh Hefner

8| Marilyn Monroe - The highest earning dead female celebrity on the list is Monroe, who passed away in 1962 from an overdose. She is back on the list this year having earned $14 million because her iconic image is still so popular. A new licensing deal this year was made with Montblanc pens.

9| Prince - The 57-year-old's death shocked fans across the world in 2016. He earned $13 million over the past year largely due to the eternal popularity of his music. A quarter of a million physical albums of the the "Purple Rain" singer's were sold last year.

10| John Lennon - The Beatle earned $12 million last year also thanks to his everlasting music. He continues to sell almost two million albums per year, according to Forbes.


11| XXXTentacion -The rapper has amassed up to four billion streams since his death in June, 2018, leading him to earn $11 million.

12| Muhammad Ali - The legendary boxer earned $8 million over the past year partly due to the Tag Heuer line of watches bearing his name.

13| Bettie Page - The OG pin-up girl, who died in 2008 aged 85 from natural causes, continues to earn money from her trademarked image. Over the last year she accrued $7 million from her image on clothing, shoes, handbags, lingerie, wigs and a fitness DVD, say Forbes.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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