Forbes magazine has come out with its list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, and the veteran actor who came in at No. 1 represents a comeback story after a long struggle with substance abuse and legal problems.
"Robert Downey Jr., once best known for his orange jail jumpsuit, is now Hollywood’s hit machine, the highest-paid actor in town, according to Forbes magazine’s annual list of entertainers with boffo bank accounts," USA Today reports. "Downey tops the list with an estimated $75 million in earnings, with Channing Tatum at No. 2 and Hugh Jackman at No. 3."
The list represents a star’s earnings from June 2012 to June 2013, and is assembled in part by talking with agents, producers, managers and other insiders, the report notes.
USA Today adds: "Downey’s reign at the top is all the more sweet given how far he had fallen in the late 1990s: He was addicted, under arrest, in and out of jail, in and out of rehab, in and out of court, and, finally, in prison for nearly a year, for drug possession. In Hollywood he was seen as talented but damaged goods, and un-insurable."
The story also notes: "What Downey lived through actually killed other young actors with substance abuse problems, such as Heath Ledger and, just over the weekend, ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith, who was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room. The coroner reported [Tuesday] he died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol."
Forbes calls Downey a "hit machine," and adds: "He’s starred in six movies that have each grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide. Two of those films, The Avengers and Iron Man 3, each earned over $1 billion."
USA Today notes: "He’s fully insurable now."
Forbes says the No. 2 actor on the list, Tatum, came in with $60 million in earnings. "Tatum is often touted for his looks and his dance skills but he’s also a super smart businessman," the magazine reports. "He and director Steven Soderbergh self-financed the movie ‘Magic Mike,’ which meant they didn’t have to get notes from any studio bigwigs and they didn’t have to share any of the film’s sizable profits. The $7 million movie brought in $167 million at the global box office and is a growing business. A Broadway show is in the works as well as a line of bars and a sequel."
As for No. 3, Jackman, he brought in an estimated $55 million. "A lot of that money comes from his work as Wolverine in the ‘X-Men’ films," Forbes says. "Yet another ‘X-Men’ movie (the sixth) hits theaters later this month. It’s the second film to exclusively feature Jackman’s Wolverine."
Mark Wahlberg came in fourth with $52 million, with Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, rounding out the top five with $46 million.
Robert Downey Jr.