Hollywood's highest paid actresses

She may have had a tough year personally, but Forbes.com has named Sandra Bullock as Hollywood's highest earning actress of the past year.

Bullock, who split from cheating husband Jesse James in a very public and messy way earlier this year, earned a whopping US$56 million (NZ$76.3m) in the 12 months from June 2009 to June 2010.

The 46-year-old had two box office hits that helped her earnings along - romantic comedy The Proposal and The Blind Side, for which the actress won her first Oscar this year.

Forbes' annual list is based on talking to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to establish what actresses earned as upfront pay on movies they are currently shooting, back-end pay earned after a movie came out and any extra earnings for ad campaigns, perfume and clothing lines.

Coming in at number two on this year's list are Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz, who both earned US$32m (NZ$43.6m) in the past year.

Despite not having been seen on screen since 2008, Witherspoon, 34, earned some hefty upfront pay for two movies yet to be released, lent her voice to the animated film Monsters vs Aliens and also made money from her role as ambassador for Avon.

Diaz, 37, earned her pay packet for Knight and Day and the Shrek movies, for which, according to Forbes, she'll be able to keep living off "well into her retirement years".

Forbes named Jennifer Aniston at fourth place with earnings of $27m (NZ$36.8m). Despite a few recent box office duds like Love Happens and The Bounty Hunter, 41-year-old Aniston has several upcoming films, still earns money from Friends and recently launched her own perfume.

Forbes named Sarah Jessica Parker at number five, with the Sex and the City sequel and her perfume line earning her a healthy pay cheque of US$25m (NZ$34.1m).

Equal at number six are Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie. Despite not being the box office draw card she once was, Roberts, 42, still brought in US$20m (NZ$27.3m) for Eat Pray Love and the upcoming Larry Crowne.

Mother of six Jolie, 35, didn't have a movie out in the past year but still made the cut with two upcoming thrillers - Salt and The Tourist.

Drew Barrymore, 35, hasn't been seen on our screens for a while either but still made US$15m (NZ$20.5m) for her behind-the-camera efforts, directing Whip It and executive producing He's Just Not That Into You.

Meryl Streep is the oldest actress on the list, the 61-year-old earning US$13m (NZ$17.7m) for Julie & Julia and It's Complicated.

Closing the tail end of the top 10 is the list's youngest actress, 20-year-old Kristin Stewart, who made US$12m (NZ$16.4m) for the hugely successful Twilight films and her turn as Joan Jett in The Runaways.

- NZ Herald staff

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