The Famous 50


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11. Laura Linney: As actors go, Linney’s no “rock star,” but we’d bet any of them would kill to have the roles she’s claimed, from Abigail Adams in “John Adams” to “Meryl Burbank” in The Truman Show. This month, she opens on Broadway in Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still.

12. Scott Rudin: Many producers strive for Oscars or Tonys, but lately only Rudin—whose stellar instincts brought us No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and Doubt, as well as Broadway’s Exit the King and God of Carnage—seems to have a corner on both.

13. Kyra Sedgwick: Word has it that she’s one of the highest paid women on TV (at roughly $300,000 per episode), which seems well deserved—if she wasn’t “The Closer,” would anyone be watching? Won the Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award; we’re still waiting for her to nab that Emmy.

14. Graydon Carter: Under his guidance, Vanity Fair has won 10 National Magazine Awards, the industry’s highest honor. Carter’s forays as a restaurateur and film maven have paid off, too: He co-owns Manhattan’s hot Monkey Bar and co-produced Alex Gibney’s celebrated Hunter S. Thompson docubio, Gonzo.

15. Patti LuPone: How many Broadway divas do you know who have reinvented Eva Perón, Norma Desmond, Mama Rose and Mrs. Lovett? Crosses the country tirelessly in a trio of one-woman shows and, this year, a new collaboration with Evita co-star Mandy Patinkin.

16. Steven A. Cohen: One of America’s hedge-fund princes, Cohen is the founder and manager of Stamford-based SAC Capital Advisors, with $14 billion under management. His own $5.5 billion fortune allows him to snap up the occasional artwork, like the de Kooning he bought from David Geffen for $137.5 million.

17. Ron Howard: Fifty-five-year-old director-producer; half-century showbiz career with plenty of ups and downs but no loss of respect or power. In various stages of development/speculation: the eagerly awaited big-screen version of “Arrested Development” and The Originals, co-written by daughter Bryce Dallas Howard. 

18. Harvey Weinstein: Cofounded the prototypical indie film company (Miramax), but loves to do it up as big as old-time Hollywood producers. That’s why he bought out ABC/Disney TV to promote the musical Nine. Did you ever think you’d hear characters discussing the flick on “General Hospital”?

19. Daniel Day-Lewis: Most of us have yet to see Mr. Reticence’s performance as Guido Contini in Nine; advance buzz gave much of the attention to the ladies. But we figure a guy who won 23 acting awards for There Will Be Blood can hold his own.

20. Sam Waterston: After 16 years, wears “Law & Order” DA Jack McCoy like an old lambskin glove, inspiring both nascent attorneys and “Colbert Report” writers (see “Sam Waterston Says Things You Should Never Believe In A Trustworthy Manner”). No laurels-rester, he’s shone in stage works by Stoppard and Fugard.

The Famous 50

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