LOOK WHO'S MAKING THE MEGABUCKS IN HOLLYWOOD

Published on: March 1, 2001

OPRAH WINFREY is the queen of entertainment -- with a mind-blowing yearly income of $150 MILLION.

And life is just a box of greenbacks for Tom Hanks. "Forrest Gump" pocketed a rich $71.5 million in 1999, the last year for which figures are available.

The talk show diva and Oscar-winning actor head the list of Hollywood's highest-paid entertainers, according to figures obtained by The ENQUIRER. Here's a look at how they earned their pay -- and who else is rolling in the dough.

Oprah's syndicated daytime talk show is a money tree, shedding cash like leaves on an autumn day. She also owns some four million options of CBS stock, has her own magazine and produced the movie "Beloved" and the Emmy-winning TV movie "Tuesdays with Morrie."

Hanks pockets an estimated $20 million salary per picture, plus an average of 12 percent of the gross box office receipts. He earned up to $50 million for the gritty 1998 war drama "Saving Private Ryan," after banking $70 million for "Forrest Gump."

"Top Gun" Tom Cruise pulled out the big guns when he negotiated his deal for "Mission: Impossible." He bargained for a chunk of the action flick's $465 million box office gross, which translated into a $70 million payday. "M:I2" deposited another $65 million into Tom Terrific's bank account.

Bruce Willis went "The Whole Nine Yards" -- stuffing $54.5 million into his personal cash register. His earnings may climb thanks to his deal for "The Sixth Sense," which includes a $20 million salary, 17 percent of the box office gross and a share of video revenues.

After "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts did boffo box office in "Notting Hill" and "Runaway Bride," she became the first woman to earn a $20 million paycheck -- for "Erin Brockovich." Her total take: a staggering $50 million.

Wondering "What Lies Beneath" Harrison Ford's $46.5 income? It's a $20 to $25 million price tag, plus 20 percent of the box office gross.

"The Patriot" helped give Mel Gibson a $45.5 million "Payback." That figure includes "Mad Max's" $25 million fee, plus perks and a percentage of the gross.

"The Grinch" won't steal Jim Carrey's Christmas. The comedy star earned $45.5 million, based on his $20-million-per-movie fee and share of the gross.

After "Rush Hour" rushed to $140 million in U.S. ticket sales, star Chris Tucker reportedly signed a sweet $45 million, two-picture deal.

"Battlefield Earth" may have bombed at the box office, but star John Travolta was still a TinselTown "Phenomenon" with a $32 million payday.

With a string of comedy blockbusters under his belt, "Big Daddy" Adam Sandler wisecracked his way to a $28 million payout.

Talk, talk, talking at everyone's door earned Rosie O'Donnell a cool $25 million, while "End of Days" put $22 million in Arnold Schwarzenegger's pocket.

In the $20 million category are Nicolas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Eddie Murphy, Regis Philbin, Will Smith and Robin Williams.

While the big bucks usually go to big-screen names, you don't have to feel sorry for TV's "Friends." Their deal pays the show's six stars $750,000 per episode for the next two seasons of 24 episodes each, plus a percentage of future profits from syndication. Their estimated take: more than $40 million each!