News

Spielberg tops Oprah as ‘most influential’ celebrity

Spielberg tops Oprah as ‘most influential’ celebrity

HE'S SO COOL: Spielberg's influence was boosted by his most recent film, "Lincoln," which earned 12 Oscar nominations last year including best picture and best direction, and grossed $275 million at the global box office. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Director Steven Spielberg on Wednesday dethroned media mogul Oprah Winfrey as the most influential celebrity in the United States, according to an annual study by Forbes magazine that was dominated by film directors.

Spielberg’s influence was boosted by his most recent film, “Lincoln,” which earned 12 Oscar nominations last year including best picture and best direction, and grossed $275 million at the global box office.

The magazine said the 67-year-old director’s ability to attract foreigners to a U.S. drama about the back-room dealings and minutiae of 19th-century Washington politics spoke to his prowess. “Lincoln” grossed $93 million in foreign markets.

Forbes said that 47 percent of people surveyed rated Spielberg as influential.

“A celebrity’s ‘Influential’ score represents how that person is perceived as influencing the public, their peers, or both,” Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research, which conducted the study for Forbes, told the magazine.

Winfrey, 59, who topped the list with 49 percent last year, slipped to 45 percent this year, which Forbes said could be due to her retreat from the spotlight while running her cable television network OWN.

Film director and “Star Wars” creator George Lucas placed third despite working little in the public eye in recent years. He sold his Lucasfilm company to Walt Disney Co for $4.05 billion in October 2012.

Directors Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese placed fourth and fifth on the list respectively.

Other high-ranking celebrities in the top 10 of the list included television physician Mehmet Oz, ABC TV journalist Barbara Walters and U2 singer and activist Bono.

E-Poll Market Research ranked more than 6,600 celebrities on 46 personality attributes.

Forbes did not say how many people participated in the survey.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Jonathan Oatis)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Sept. 2

Fresh
rock2

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Music

Janet Jackson kicks off world tour

16-overlay2

The "Rhythm Nation" hitmaker took the stage in an all-white ensemble and was joined by a group of young girls — her "JTribe" — to perform classic hits and songs from her upcoming 11th album, "Unbreakable."

in Entertainment

Nicholas Hoult to take on J.D. Salinger in new biopic

nicholashoult

The British actor will portray the beloved American author in "Rebel in the Rye."

in Entertainment

‘Spectre’ could be Daniel Craig’s last ‘Bond’ movie

danielcraig

The British star, whose turn in "Spectre" marks his fourth time playing 007, has now admitted he has no current plans to appear in another Bond movie

in Music

Smokey Robinson gets tribute treatment in Cleveland

smokeyrobinson

Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are going to spend a week studying and celebrating Smokey Robinson.