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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

George Lucas Tops 2024's Richest Celebrity List

With a combined net worth of $31 billion, Forbes' 14 richest celebrities involve a who's-who of the U.S. sports and entertainment industries. Star Wars creator George Lucas has reclaimed the top spot with a whopping $5.5 billion earned this year.

Forbes has revealed an early list of 2024's top-earning celebrities, and according to the report, ten of the 14 people on that list only became billionaires in the past four years. Everyone who made the cut has a unique backstory to their billion-dollar earnings, but all made it by capitalizing on initial success with smart ventures and investments. George Lucas has once again topped the list with a net worth of $5.5 billion as of Mar. 8. The Star Wars creator leads the rankings followed by Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Jay-Z. Lucas, whose last filmmaking credit was 2005's Star Wars: Episode III, has accrued his current fortune after selling LucasFilm to Disney in 2012 for over $4 billion.

This is hardly the first time Lucas has joined Forbes' annual top-earning list. He was also the highest-paid celebrity from 2000 to 2002, 2005, and 2018 (with $5.4 billion earned that year). While many of his annual earnings barely scratched the billion-dollar mark, it's evident that his net worth has steadily snowballed since he debuted as a billionaire in 1997. Lucas has outpaced Spielberg's $4.8 billion this year, despite the latter asserting that he hasn't "taken a salary for almost a decade now." Both are known for their collaborative work on the first four Indiana Jones films; they were also involved as executive producers and consultants for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Lucas Weighs In On Disney Proxy Fight

Lucas was recently vocal about the investor standoffs within The Walt Disney Company, supporting Disney CEO Bob Iger amidst shareholder criticisms. As Disney's largest individual investor (following LucasFilm's 2012 acquisition), Lucas stressed his confidence in Iger's leadership and long-term vision for the company. He has since fueled mounting support for Iger, who is also backed by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as well as the heirs of Walt and Roy Disney. Their combined support might decide the outcome of the shareholder votes on Apr. 3.

In a statement released by CNBC, Lucas asserted Iger's value to the company. "...When I sold Lucasfilm just over a decade ago, I was delighted to become a Disney shareholder because of my long-time admiration for its iconic brand and Bob Iger's leadership," he explained. "When Bob recently returned to the company during a difficult time, I was relieved. No one knows Disney better. I remain a significant shareholder because I have full faith and confidence in the power of Disney and Bob's track record of driving long-term value." Lucas has also been vocal about Disney's treatment of the LucasFilm IPs, which includes mixed thoughts on the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The Star Wars and Indiana Jones films are streaming on Disney+.

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