History repeats as Oprah tops Forbes' rich list

Oprah Winfrey has topped Forbes' celebrity rich list for 2012. Photo / AP
Oprah Winfrey has topped Forbes' celebrity rich list for 2012. Photo / AP

Oprah Winfrey has been named the highest paid celebrity for the fourth year in a row.

The media mogul - who quit her successful chat show last year after 25 years to focus on running her own network - earned US$165 million (NZ$205m) between May 2011 and May 2012 to top Forbes' Highest Paid Celebrities list ahead of directors Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg, in second and third place respectively.

While Oprah is the only woman in the top 10, according to Forbes: "Her reign might not last much longer as this is the last year we'll count any of her syndication money."

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is in fourth place with $115 million earned while rapper Dr Dre was a "surprising" addition to the list in fifth place, with $110 earned in the past year.

Forbes states: "Dre didn't earn that money from the recording industry, though - it's from his Beats by Dr Dre headphones ...

It's a pretty good haul but one that Dre is unlikely to repeat next year."

Last August handset maker HTC paid $300 million for a 51 per cent stake in the company, which he co-founded with Interscope Chief Jimmy Iovine in 2006.

Forbes Top 10 Highest Paid Celebrities 2012:

1. Oprah Winfrey: $165 million
2. Michael Bay: $160 million
3. Steven Spielberg: $130 million
4. Jerry Bruckheimer: $115 million
5. Dr Dre: $110 million
6. Tyler Perry: $105 million
7. Howard Stern: $95 million
8. James Patterson: $94 million
9. George Lucas: $90 million
10. Simon Cowel: $90 million

- Bang! Showbiz

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