Angelina Jolie returns to the top of the Forbes highest paid actress list after a three year break since her last big-budget movie.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie at the London premiere of World War Z.

That's not to suggest Jolie has been lazing about, quite the contrary, she has written and directed her first film The Land of Blood and Honey; opted for a double mastectomy following the discovery she carries the BRCA1 gene and wrote a New York Times article on her operation. 

The Forbes series of lists range from most influential celebrity; best paid actress/actor; the same for television actors and the wealthiest within the business world. Released annually, they surmise (by questioning agents and studios) how much an actor made from one year (from June to June).

Her rise to the top of the Forbes list is due to her role in Disney's Maleficent (due to be released next summer). This year, the actress has earned $33 million, holding off Jennifer Lawrence who earned $24 million. Jolie is something of a surprise as her career has been kept somewhat in the shadow as opposed to the much publicised films of Lawrence, such as The Hunger Games

Angelina Jolie
One of the first shots of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.

Kristen Stewart who was number one last year (earning $34.5 million) was third, having made $22 million. Jennifer Aniston, whose latest film We're the Millers is due out in cinemas this summer, was fourth on the list, earning $20 million. Emma Stone, who featured in the celebrity top 100 for the first time, came in at number 5 with her $16 million worth of earnings. 

Male actors are still earning considerably more. Robert Downey Jr. topped the Forbes list of highest paid actors, having made $75 million in the past year. Also earning over $50 million were Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman and Mark Wahlberg

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, at the screening of Catching Fire.

Emma Stone
Emma Stone at 
5th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon held in Beverly Hills.