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Who? Sarah Jessica Parker tops Forbes' best-paid actresses list

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Sarah Jessica Parker is surprisingly Hollywood’s “Mrs. Big” when it comes to raking in the dough.

The "Sex and the City" actress pulled in some $30 million last year, catapulting her to the top of Forbes' annual ranking of the best-paid actresses.

But compared to her peers on the list — Angelina Jolie (tied for No. 1), Jennifer Anniston (No. 3 with $28 million), Reese Witherspoon (tied for No. 3) — Parker, 46, has kept a markedly lower profile, making most of her fortune from her highly successful line of perfumes. Almost all of the others on the list made their money from movies.

But for some New Yorkers, the fact that she's less ubiquitous doesn't make her any less of a star.

"I'm absolutely not surprised!" said Radena Salmon, 30, of Fort Greene. "‘Sex and the City 2’ was a blockbuster hit. Men and women were going to see it."
In 2009, Parker made $27 million, according to Forbes.

Arline Joffe, 60, of midtown East, agreed, adding that a little unique sex appeal can't hurt.

"She's a good role model and a good actress," she said. "She's beautiful in her own way, which I like because she's not conventionally attractive. And she has a good figure!"

Parker's wildly popular HBO series ran for six seasons and wrapped up in 2004, spawning two mega-hit movies, the first released in 2008 and the second in 2010. Residuals from the franchise bolstered her bank account, as did collaborations with fashion label Halston Heritage and other various appearances.

Indeed, it's that branching out that makes Parker's rank not all too surprising, Dorothy Pomerantz, the Forbes staff writer who compiled the list, told amNewYork yesterday.

"She realizes that in today's entertainment world, it's not enough to just be a great actress and put out great movies," Pomerantz said.

"You really need to create and extend a brand and find new ways to make money, and I deeply feel like she personifies that," Pomerantz added. "She's used her brand in a very smart, businesslike way."

For some fans, Parker's legacy is simply now a proud part of New York history.

"She's become a sort of an icon," said Michael Padden, 27, of Woodside. "She defines what New York is to a lot of people who don't live here."

Padden added: "She was able to create something that's still holding on."

(with Gabrielle Bruney)
 

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