2011 was the year of the director, according to Forbes' Highest-Paid Celebrities list.
While Oprah took the top-earning slot, bringing in an estimated $165 million in the last year, she was followed by a slew of both "in-the-moment" directors and legendary standbys, like "Transformers" director Michael Bay and Steven Speilberg, who pulled in an estimated $160 million and $130 million respectively between May 2011 and May 2012. (Click over to Forbes for the full list)
The obscene amounts of cash that celebrities pull in don't just come from film, television and music projects. Many stars have endorsement contracts (some believable, some not), and some, like Britney Spears, oversee multi-million dollar product lines.
What we're really wondering is why Tom Cruise earned $75 million for another "Mission: Impossible" sequel.
5. Dr. Dre
Estimated earnings: $110 million Notable project: Beats by Dr. Dre headphones
4. Jerry Bruckheimer
Estimated earnings: $115 million Notable project: Director, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
3. Steven Spielberg
Estimated earnings: $130 million Notable project: Co-founder of DreamWorks
2. Michael Bay
Estimated earnings: $160 million Notable project: Director, <em>Transformers: Dark of the Moon</em>
1. Oprah Winfrey
Estimated earnings: $165 million Notable Project: Producer behind "The Dr. Oz Show," "Dr. Phil" and "Rachael Ray"
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