The Famous 50

 

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41. CYNDI LAUPER: The live CD/DVD combo To Memphis, with Love showed her true colors—an enduring love for the blues—and she’s following it up with a crazy quilt of projects, including penning the score for Broadway’s upcoming Kinky Boots, creating a reality show and writing a memoir. A onetime Emmy winner for her guest shot in “Mad About You,” she’s keeping her acting career afloat too, in the future flicks The Last Beat and Section B.
 

42. MICHAEL J. FOX: Though he calls himself a “reluctant poster boy” for Parkinson’s disease, Fox has been making the campus-speaker rounds of late, most notably at Rochester Institute of Technology’s homecoming weekend. In October, his Michael J. Fox Foundation awarded $1.5 million to the Vienna-based biotech company AFFiRiS AG to be used for the development of the first Parkinson’s vaccine.
 

43. HARRY CONNICK JR.: He’s followed the huge box-office success of Dolphin Tale with a starring role in the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, opening this month.
 

44. CANDACE BUSHNELL: Now that The Carrie Diaries—a literary prequel series to Sex and the City, focusing on Carrie Bradshaw’s high school years and early New York life—will be adapted for a TV series on the CW, it’s only fitting that Bushnell has published a sequel to the prequel (or, if you prefer, a “midquel”) about Carrie’s life just before she reaches legend status: Summer and the City. Meanwhile, the author’s real-life Mr. Big, Charles Askegard, has retired from the New York City Ballet to start his own dance company, Ballet Next.
 

45. GRAYDON CARTER: New York magazine’s snarky October profile dished on the Vanity Fair editor’s recent extramarital affair and divorce, his obsession with Hollywood, his “spectacularly curvilinear” coiffure, his un-Spylike hypocrisy—even his status as amateur magician, watercolorist and puppeteer. At least the Hollywood-fixation charge has legs: Carter has produced his second documentary on movie mogul Robert Evans, which he hopes to premiere at Cannes, and will have a featured role in Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage (starring Richard Gere) as an out-of-control Wall Streeter.
 

46. ROZ CHAST: In addition to her new children’s book for adults, What I Hate from A to Z, brilliant longtime New Yorker cartoonist Chast is also well-represented in The Best of the Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark or Too Naughty for The New Yorker and Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists, in which she illustrates “There Was a Crooked Man.” Feast away.
 

47. SAM WATERSTON: Now, here’s an actor we’ve been hoping would get an HBO series gig, but figured that after 16 years on “Law & Order” . . . Wait! He does have an HBO gig! Or so reports the Internet Movie Database, noting that he’s in the pilot cast of the Scott Rudin/Aaron Sorkin project, “More as This Story Develops.” He’s also been keeping one foot in the theater world, most recently playing King Lear at the off-Broadway Public Theater in November.
 

48. JIM CALHOUN/GENO AURIEMMA: They’re hardly a real tandem, of course; in fact, it seems they don’t talk much to each other. But when they talk to us, they usually have something interesting to say, and their teams over the years have given us one thrill after another.
 

49. GIANCARLO ESPOSITO: We can’t guess how long people will be buzzing about Gus’s explosive (literally) exit from AMC’s “Breaking Bad” this year (in an awesome display of network cross-promo, Esposito’s final on-camera “look” was designed by the makeup guys at “The Walking Dead”). We do know that in addition to his guest shots on ABC’s new series “Once Upon a Time,” he’ll star in the big-screen movie thrillers Adele and I, Alex Cross.
 

50. MARY TYLER MOORE: Thanks to TV Land, a very young MTM is turning the world on with her smile again in reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which celebrated the 50th anniversary of its premiere on Oct. 3. Meanwhile, present-day Mary continues to work tirelessly on behalf of shelter animals—she hosted her 13th annual “Broadway Barks” adoption event in July with co-founder Bernadette Peters—and finding a cure for diabetes, as international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
 

The Famous 50

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