The writers of Forbes Magazine recently released a list of the top fifteen richest fictional characters. The listing appears in the September 13th issue of the magazine and includes many of the financial heavyweights of the fictional realm. The representatives cross all lines of mediums including film, literature, comic books and cartoons, television, and legend.
Two entries comes from the medium of literature: Jay Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as well as
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Gatsby is the central character in Fitzgerald's novel which centers around Gatsby and his romance with Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby's fortune was gained from bootlegging and other shady practices. Wonka on the other hand made his huge fortune off of his confections company. Wonka produced incredible marvels in the area of sweets. Both of the characters were taken to the big screen with Gatsby being played by Robert Redford and Wonka being played by Gene Wilder.
Two of the richest characters come from television. One of those who made the list is Thurston Howell III, who along with his wife Lovey were passengers on the ill-fated boat the S.S. Minnow. During a short day cruise, the ship was caught in a storm and swept to deserted island where Howell and his fellow passengers languished for years, unable to escape. They appeared on the sit-com Gilligan's Island. The other live action television character is an unscrupulous oil man from Texas, whose family's exploits entranced audiences every Friday night for years. J.R. Ewing of Dallas also appears in the list for the money made from his oil ventures.
Three others on the list first made their appearances on the big screen in live action movies: Auric Goldfinger, the title villain in the James Bond film Goldfinger, Charles Foster Kane, title character in Orson Wells' masterpiece Citizen Kane, and Gordon Gekko, Wall Street financier from the 1980s movie Wall Street. Goldfinger is known for his love of all things gold, while Kane made his fortune in publishing. Gekko was a corporate raider and the poster child for greed in the 1980s.
With the exception of one other member of the list, the rest of those that made the list come from either comic books, comic strips or animated films. The list includes Richie Rich from the comics of the same name, Daddy Warbucks, guardian of Little Orphan Annie, and Scrooge McDuck. Also on the list are Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. the Batman), Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, owner of the Springfield nuclear plant Charles Montgomery Burns, and Cruella De Vil from Disney's feature 101 Dalmatians. Thse characters make up the greatest part of listing.
The final member of the list and top entry is Santa Claus. Though not initially thought of as a rich person, Kris Kringle obviously is exceedingly wealthy considering his yearly, world-wide philanthropy and that he employs nearly an army of elves in an inhospitable land north of the Arctic Circle (and elves don't work cheap). Factor in shipping of raw materials, maintanence
on his North Pole facility, reindeer feed, and the computer systems required to track the naughty vs. nice ratio of every person on the planet and it is understandable that Santa Claus is at the top of the list.