Forbes Dubs George Clooney the World’s Highest-Paid Actor

And it’s mostly thanks to tequila.

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LONDON - APRIL 08: Actor, George Clooney arrives at the European Premiere of "Leatherheads" at the Odeon Leicester Square on April 8, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Photo by: Gareth Cattermole ©2008 Getty Images

Gareth Cattermole, 2008 Getty Images

Last week, Forbes released its list of the world’s highest-paid actors for 2018, and the name at the top was kind of a surprise: George Clooney. This, despite the fact that the increasingly silver-haired heartthrob hasn’t actually starred in a movie since 2016.

What gives?

Blame tequila. (As if many of us didn’t already have enough to blame tequila for in our lives …)

The Forbes ranking takes into account both onscreen and off-screen earnings. Clooney, you may recall, scored a major payday in June 2017 when Diageo acquired Casamigos, the tequila brand he started in 2013 with two business partners – bar and lounge entrepreneur Randy Gerber (supermodel Cindy Crawford’s husband) and real-estate developer Mike Meldman. The liquor conglomerate agreed to pay $700 million up front for the luxury celebrity spirit, with $300 million more promised over the next 10 years, contingent on sales.

And if that sounds like a lot, it sounds like even more when you factor in the return on investment enjoyed by Clooney and his partners, each of whom is said to have sunk just about $600,000 for an equal stake in the brand ahead of its launch.

It sounds like more still when you realize that Clooney alone took in an estimated $233 million pretax from the Casamigos deal. That, plus scattered income from endorsements and movies released in previous years, meant the actor earned about $239 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.

Clooney’s take for the year was more than double his nearest runner up on the list, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who brought in a mere $124 million.

Photo: iStock

Maybe Johnson should give the tequila business a shot?

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