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Mel's Passion Puts Him Atop Forbes List

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Mel Gibson, whose controversial The Passion of the Christ is estimated to have made him $210 million, is the year’s most powerful celebrity, according to Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100 power rankings, which combine media attention with bank accounts to decide the entertainment world’s biggest moneymakers.

Golfer Tiger Woods, the top-earning athlete with $80 million, ranks as No. 2 on the list, followed by another $80-million media darling: Oprah Winfrey.

Tom Cruise ($45 million) was fourth; the Rolling Stones ($51 million), fifth; Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling ($147 million), sixth; Michael Jordan ($35 million), seventh; Bruce Springsteen ($64 million), eighth; Steven Spielberg ($75 million), ninth; and Johnny Depp ($28 million), 10th.

Last’s year’s No. 1 in the ranking, Jennifer Aniston, dropped to 17th place this year, with hubby Brad Pitt coming in at 36th.

No-shows on the 2004 list include Jennifer Lopez (No. 5 in 2003) and former fiance and Gigli costar Ben Affleck (2003’s No. 7), as well as Nicole Kidman (No. 16 in ’03) and Eminem and Dr. Dre, who shared last year’s No. 2 spot.

Last year’s 12th place winners, The Osbournes, did not make the ’04 list at all, while this year’s No. 51, former President Bill Clinton, is expected to rank high next year, thanks to the high visibility – and royalty checks – over his memoir, My Life, which goes on sale Monday.