Some stars make such an indelible impact on viewers’ sensibilities that, even after their demise, they aren’t forgotten. It isn’t just their famous screen portrayals that fans cherish, but also the dear, departed stars’ very essence as luminaries, and as people.
Celebrities who belong in this exclusive list include Rudolf Valentino—upon his demise, a couple of his female devotees were so devastated that they committed suicide! Then, there was king comic Charlie Chaplin. He wasn’t a looker, but comedy fans loved his physically adroit visual comedy, which new comedians study with reverence and awe to this day.
James Dean died when he was only in his late 20s, but he helped launch a new, much more acutely real school of acting, the “Method” style, which is similarly emulated up till now.
Marilyn Monroe also died much too early, and under more controversial circumstances, so she’s similarly greatly missed today—ditto for Elvis Presley, whose demise likewise involved the use of drugs.
Another factor that many of those unforgettable stars have in common is the fact that their estates continue to make millions of dollars each year, even if they are no longer around to benefit from all that additional, “postmortem” income. —Not to worry, however, their relatives and descendants are only too happy to enjoy and spend the extra moolah!
Topping the list last year in this regard was Elizabeth Taylor, whose estate earned a whopping $210 million bonanza from the sale of her jewels and artworks. It helped a lot that a number of the celebrated screen beauty’s jewels were famous in their own right, like the huge diamond that Richard Burton gifted her with at the height of their passionate relationship.
Instructively, Liz’s estate also made millions from her old movies, since she had astutely negotiated a percentage of ownership of many of her starrers. In addition, her perfume, White Diamonds, is a top seller, and her estate made even more gazillions from that!
Taylor’s long-range stewardship of her “brand name” should teach young stars today a valuable lesson that could boost their annual income even after their popularity wanes. Other deceased luminaries who make money “beyond the grave” include Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, Peanuts comic strip creator Charles Schulz, and Albert Einstein.
On the local film scene, departed show biz stars who are missed to this day include, FPJ, Dolphy, Carmen Rosales, Tita Duran, Tita Muñoz, Rita Gomez, Katy dela Cruz—and Elvira Manahan.