Stars' worth after they're gone -- John Lennon, Audrey Hepburn, and Kurt Cobain continue to make money

By EW Staff
Updated August 18, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

John Lennon
Estate Stats: In 1982, reportedly $150 million total. Conservative estimates are that the estate rakes in $50,000 a day.
In Charge: Yoko Ono.
Deals: Limited-edition lithographs. Lennonesque wire-rim glasses to be marketed by Eagle Eyewear.
In the Vaults: Two posthumous Beatles singles, ”Free as a Bird” and ”Real Love,” will be released this fall, and there is an unreleased Lennon demo floating around.
Shelf Life: Imagine there’s no limit.

John Belushi
Estate Stats: ”It’s on an even keel with what it was when Belushi died [reportedly over $500,000],” says Victor Pisano, the new husband of Belushi’s widow, Judith.
In Charge: The Pisanos.
Deals: Upcoming Sony Signatures SNL merchandise. The estate also gets an undisclosed amount from House of Blues receipts.
In the Vaults: Outtakes from movies.
Shelf Life: ”Between the Blues Brothers, Animal House, and SNL, Belushi will live on ad infinitum,” says Pisano.

Jimi Hendrix
Estate Stats: Was worth $300,000 when he passed away; now up to $60-$80 million.
In Charge: Dad Al Hendrix, after a protracted legal battle.
Deals: Expect an avalanche of merchandise now that the court case is settled. (A movie deal — possibly with Laurence Fishburne — is being discussed.)
In the Vaults: 700 to 800 unheard tapes.
Shelf Life:: ”Jimi’s always being discovered for the first time by anyone who plays electric guitar,” says estate attorney Yale Lewis.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Estate Stats: $100-$200 million.
In Charge: Maurice Tempelsman.
Deals: No merchandise. But her will stipulated that after donations are made to the Kennedy Library (including a copy of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963) — and the kids take what they want — the remainder may be sold.
In the Vaults: According to New York magazine, the sale could include items such as Marc Chagall’s The Jerusalem Windows and various jewelry.
Shelf Life: Like an eternal flame…

Greta Garbo
Estate Stats: $32 million and holding.
In Charge: Gray Reisfield, Garbo’s niece by her brother, Sven, and Reisfield’s four children.
Deals: A clothing line, inspired by Garbo’s personal wardrobe — smoking-style jackets, chalk-stripe suits, wool mock turtlenecks — now at Nordstrom department stores; a fragrance is likely to follow.
In the Vaults: Not much. Garbo was not a pack rat. Ted Turner owns her films.
Shelf Life: The sphinxlike legend needs to be humanized.