John Wayne Still Biggest Movie Money-Maker

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LOS ANGELES ( – Get back, pilgrim. Legendary movie cowboy John Wayne has outshot Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” and has cruised by Tom Cruise.
The late actor has been named as the Top Money-Maker of All Time in the Quigley Publishing Company annual star poll.

Born Marion Michael Morrison, Wayne made movies for more than 50 years, including classic westerns “Stagecoach” (1939), “Fort Apache” (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949), “Rio Grande” (1950) and “The Alamo” (1960). He won a best actor Oscar for playing Rooster Cogburn in 1969’s “True Grit.”

In order to compare The Duke’s box-office sales to that earned by contemporary stars, a weighted score was given to the star’s ranking for each year: 10 points for finishing first, nine for finishing second, etc. Theater owners placed Wayne on the poll 25 times from 1949 to 1974, yielding a total of 172 points.

Coming a close second in the all-time poll is Clint Eastwood with 165 points. The filmmaker has earned two Oscars for “Unforgiven” and has three Oscar nominations for this year’s “Million Dollar Baby.” Also making a respectable showing is Tom Cruise with 133.5 points. No doubt his upcoming sci-fi epic “The War of the Worlds” with Stephen Spielberg will help his overall points for this year.

Screen legends Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper and Clark Gable come in at fourth through sixth places, with Burt Reynolds on their heels at No. 7. “Polar Express” and future “Da Vinci Code” star Tom Hanks tied with the late Bob Hope at No. 8.

No women broke through to the Top 10, although wholesome Doris Day squeaked by frequent co-star Rock Hudson to 11th place. Other women making the Top 25 include Julia Roberts (13), Betty Grable (15), Elizabeth Taylor (52) and Shirley Temple, who tied with Jim Carrey at the bottom spot.

For the full listing of moneymaking stars, visit

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