By Caitlin O'toole
Updated May 07, 1998 12:00 AM
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His personal life may not be going so well, but professionally, Tom Cruise has it made, according to Forbes magazine, which named Cruise the most powerful celebrity in the world on Thursday. In Forbes’ unique ranking, which quantifies celebrity by combining earning power and star power — including press clippings, television and radio appearances, magazine cover stories and Web hits the mega-star vaulted into the top spot in the Celebrity 100 from 20th place in 2000. Although he rated 13th overall in wealth, with earnings last year of $43.2 million, Cruise, 38, was featured in a chart-topping 11 magazine cover stories. “Not only did Cruise earn much more money in 2000 than in 1999 ($27 million), but his media exposure increased dramatically,” Forbes said. Other chart-toppers, according to the mag: golfer Tiger Woods, who came in second with $53 million in earnings last year, followed by the Beatles, whose album of hits, “1,” topped the pop charts in 24 countries last month. Rounding out the Top 10 list: Britney Spears, Bruce Willis, Michael Jordan, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Oprah Winfrey and Mel Gibson. Oscar-nominee Julia Roberts, last year’s No. 1 Most Powerful Celebrity, dropped to 16th place this year, with earnings of $18.9 million, despite the hype and critical acclaim surrounding “Erin Brockovich.”