Tom CruiseDessalles-Gulko/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Acting has to be money for old rope. Surely most of us learned to 'pretend' when we were in nappies. However, in a society where fame translates directly into hard currency, film actors are worth their weight in gold.

The most recent Forbes list has revealed the actors raking in tens of millions of dollars a year. So who made the list?

1. Tom Cruise

In many ways he's not having the best of years at the moment, as his split from Katie Holmes captivates the world's media - and Rupert Murdoch. However, his earning potential is apparently at a peak. He made an estimated $75 million last year - after starring in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - which earned over £446 million at the box office. The 50 year old must be delighted - and especially pleased that his marriage to Katie Holmes was said to come with a prenup.

2. Leonardo Di Caprio

In second place, earning roughly half of Cruise's millions, Di Caprio didn't make any films to set the world alight in the last year. However, other work and endorsement - along with the ability to demand a big pay packet even for a relatively unsuccessful film like J.Edgar - means he can still keep the wolf from the door.

3. Adam Sandler

Going to show that critical acclaim isn't necessary for vast wealth, Sandler made $37 million last year, despite the difficulties of his film Jack and Jill, which may have made him a good wage, but failed to earn back the money spent on making and promoting it.

4. Dwayne Johnson

The Rock had a great year, earning $36 million. The Fast and Furious 2011 sequel became the biggest seller of the franchise so far, and Journey 2 out-earned the first film in the franchise a couple of months later. This year the sequel to G.I. Joe awaits his magic.

5. Ben Stiller

At $33 million it was a quiet year for Stiller after his blockbusting turns on screen and behind the animators at Madagascar. However, he is still one of Hollywood's highest paid comedians, so the critically panned Little Fockers still helped him to a good wage for the year.

6. Sacha Baron Cohen

A $33 million pay day for The Dictator pushed his earnings into the stratosphere this year. The British Comedian is best known for his early characters Ali G and Borat, but Admiral General Aladeen is fast gaining currency, especially after pouring ashes on Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars.

7. Johnny Depp

Taking time out from making billion dollar movies for a comic flop, Dark Shadows, hasn't been too financially disastrous for Depp - who made $30 million last year. Sadly he's another actor in this list going through a public split, but with less high-octane press interest there has been less talk of the money and more of the relationship that commentators thought would last forever.

8. Will Smith

The eldest of the Smith clan in movies is officially still head of the household, making $30 million. Men in Black 3 helped secure a major payday, and set him up to star with his son in After Earth - a film that's set to bring two massive wages into the household.

9. Mark Wahlberg

Acting and producing roles have brought in $27 million for the star. The latest, a comedy called Ted, has been a massive and surprising hit in the US, helping bolster income from more serious roles.

10 Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson

The two Twilight stars made $26.5 million each last year. The future for them both rests on them finding broader fame now that the saga is finally at an end.



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