Fair or not, men are bigger earners both in front of and behind the camera. In fact, the male entertainers (excluding athletes) on Forbes' annual listing of the World's Most Powerful Celebrities earned on average nearly twice as much as the list's women.
Moreover, the 25 top-earning men on the list alone raked in $1.9 billion over the course of a year, compared with the women's $671 million.
The sale of DreamWorks SKG's live-action business to Paramount earned the director mega-bucks. More recently, the top-earning entertainer scored with 'Disturbia,' a thriller that garnered $22 million in its opening weekend.
The King of Talk is doing just that -- all the way to the bank. In 2004, Sirius Satellite Radio agreed to shell out $100 million a year for his R-rated fare -- and that doesn't factor in the slew of bonuses. The trade-off: fewer listeners. He no longer lures the daily audience of 12 million he once attracted on free radio.
Despite critical scorn, the film adaptation of his best-selling novel 'The Da Vinci Code' grossed nearly $800 million worldwide at the box office. The author's earlier work, 'Angels & Demons,' is currently in development at Sony.
After 17 seasons on the air, the fate of his 'Law & Order' franchise, which has spawned several spinoffs and a seemingly endless supply of reruns, is unclear. With a ratings dip plaguing both the original and its 'Criminal Intent' spinoff, NBC argues that the two programs, at their present costs, are no longer viable.
His high-profile marriage and couch-jumping ways may be prime tabloid fodder, but his recent career moves (or lack thereof) have given the press little to talk about. Cruise will stage his comeback later this year in the Robert Redford-directed drama 'Lions for Lambs,' co-starring Redford and Meryl Streep.