August 22, 2018 / 8:15 PM / in a month

Tequila sends George Clooney to top of best-paid actors list

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - George Clooney on Wednesday soared to the top of an annual list of the world’s highest-paid actors, thanks largely to the sale of his tequila company.

Actor George Clooney accepts the 46th AFI Life Achievement Award in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 7, 2018. Picture taken June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Clooney, 57, earned an estimated $239 million between June 2017-June 2018, marking the highest earnings of his 35-year career in film and television, Forbes said.

Clooney, who hasn’t starred in a Hollywood movie since 2016 crime thriller “Money Monster,” sold the Casamigos tequila company he co-founded to British spirits company Diageo in June 2017.

His on-and-off screen earnings eclipsed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who came in at No.2 with an estimated $124 million thanks to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and other projects.

The top 10 actors earned some $784 million collectively, according to Forbes, once again dwarfing the top 10 women who earned a cumulative $186 million in the same period. Scarlett Johansson topped the annual list released last week with $40.5 million in pre-tax earnings.

Forbes attributed part of the gender gap to the dominance of superhero and action movies that tend to have more parts for men and earn hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Forbes compiled its 2018 list estimating pre-tax earnings from June 2017-June 2018, before deducting fees for managers, based on data from Nielsen, movie database IMDB, and interviews with industry experts and celebrities themselves.

“Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. was third on the list, with an estimated $81 million, followed by “Avengers: Infinity War” actor Chris Hemsworth with $64.5 million.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler

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