J.R.R. Tolkien earns $50 million a year while still dead

J.R.R. Tolkien showed up at No. 5 on the annual Forbes list of top-earning dead celebrities this year after raking in $50 million between October 2008 and October 2009. A lot of that money apparently came from a settlement between the Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema over the Lord of the Rings movies. Forbes said Tolkien's earnings potential looks pretty good in the future too, since a movie version of The Hobbit is due out in the next few years. Pretty good for a guy who died of a bleeding ulcer back in 1973.

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