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

1 hour ago in Lifestyle

Emma and Noah continue to be tops for baby names

Fresh
baby

When it comes to baby names, Americans seem to be somewhat united.

2 hours ago in Entertainment, Sports

Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ to get Disney treatment

KOBE472419167185

Kobe Bryant's farewell poem to basketball is going to be turned into a short film.

3 hours ago in Entertainment, Weird

Fanciful ‘Boaty McBoatface’ passed over for vessel name

19-overlay-1

Don't expect to see Boaty McBoatface on the high seas.

3 hours ago in Music

Jennifer Lopez goes country with Jennifer Nettles

jenniferlopez843570302709

The Sugarland star recruited the "Booty" singer for a song called "My House," which features on Nettles' new solo album, "Playing With Fire," due out on May 13.

4 hours ago in Entertainment

Alden Ehrenreich cast as Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’ spinoff

ehrenreich260221408342

He will take on the role of Solo, previously made famous by Harrison Ford, in Disney's standalone movie about the life of the hero before he first made his appearance in 1977's "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope."