Few actors make Forbes‘ annual list of most powerful celebrities, but the ones who do have a lot of weight to throw around when it comes to making their movies. According to the magazine, the most powerful actor on the list is Robert Downey, Jr., who comes in at #10. Downey starred in the second highest-grossing movie worldwide in 2013, Iron Man 3, which earned $1.215 billion at the box office.
It’s hard to believe that Downey’s comeback breakthrough, Iron Man, was only released six years ago. Since then Downey has become a key part of both the Iron Man/Avengers franchise and the lead of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes franchise. Forbes estimates that Downey has made an astounding $75 million just from June 2013 to June 2014. Even more surprising is that Downey only appeared in 2 movies that were in release during that period (Iron Man 3 and a much smaller role in the indie movie Chef). In fact, it’s arguable that Chef, which was directed by Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, is mainly a success because of Downey — despite having a small role in the film, Downey was involved in much of the publicity efforts to promote the movie.
Downey’s generosity extends to his co-stars. It has been reported that as part of his deal to sign on for The Avengers 2 and 3 that he got his fellow Avengers stars pay raises from the notoriously tightfisted Marvel Studios. That probably also makes Downey the most well-liked actor, too! With The Avengers 2 expected to be just as successful as the original, it’s like Downey will end up on this list again.
Also on the list are Jennifer Lawrence (#12), Dwayne Johnson (#23), Sandra Bullock (#36), Bradley Cooper (#48), Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio (tied at #52), Tyler Perry (#56), Mark Wahlberg (#60), Hugh Jackman and Hugh Jackman (tied at #63), Vin Diesel (#66), Ben Affleck (#67), Neil Patrick Harris (#72), Angelina Jolie (#73), Kevin Spacey (#74), Will Smith (#75), Scarlett Johansson (#76), Jennifer Aniston (#77), Amy Adams (#81), Bryan Cranston (#88), Jon Hamm and Gwyneth Paltrow (tied at #89), Meryl Streep (#92), Kerry Washington (#93), Zooey Deschanel (#96), Cameron Diaz and Lena Dunham (tied at #97), Kaley Cuoco (#99) and Natalie Portman (#100).