Tom Cruise named Hollywood's highest earner

It wasn't all gloom for Tom Cruise this week, who received news on his 50th birthday that Forbes had named him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.

The Mission Impossible star, whose high-profile split from his wife Katie Holmes made headlines last week - raked in $US75 million ($73.38 million) between May 2011 and May 2012.

This put Cruise firmly at the summit of the actor's mountain of cash, largely due to the percentage of the profits he received as part of his back-end deal on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which has taken $661 million to become Cruise's most successful film at the box office ever.

"That money is going to play a crucial role in the divorce proceedings. Especially considering Holmes is asking for sole custody of Suri," Forbes said in an article accompanying its Hollywood rich list.

As the list was released, Cruise spent his 50th birthday in Iceland on the set of the film, Oblivion.

In joint second place were Leonardo DiCaprio, who topped the list last year, and Adam Sandler who both banked $US37 million each.

Although Sandler's movie Jack and Jill didn't wow the critics it earned $US150 million off of an $US80 million budget.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came in at number three with $US36 million, Ben Stiller cashed in $US33 million, while Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp and Will Smith all made $US30 million in the 12-month time frame.

Mark Wahlberg, fresh off of the success of new movie Ted, stands proud with $US27 million in earnings. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson are still raking in the Twilight bucks with $US26.5 million each.

The list is compiled using how much income the actors made in "upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work", according to

List of Forbes highest-paid actors:

1. Tom Cruise, $US75 million

2. Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Sandler $US37 million 

3. Dwayne Johnson, $US36 million

4. Ben Stiller, $US33 million

5. Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, $US30 million

6. Mark Wahlberg, $US27 million

7. Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, $US26.5 million