Dec. 18, 2003 — -- Retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks topped the list of the year's most fascinating people, which also included a quintet of stylish gay men who offer makeovers to hopeless hetero males and a Hollywood actor who starred in the year's most dramatic political story.
Franks, 57, commanded U.S. forces in the 2001 campaign in Afghanistan, toppling the Taliban regime. In March, he commanded ground troops in the U.S.-led war in Iraq, describing the campaign as a war unlike any other in history. The U.S. troops' successful charge to Baghdad was completed in three weeks, with far fewer casualties and complications than had been expected. In July, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered Franks the post of Army chief of staff — the highest job in the Army — but Franks turned it down. He retired later that month, saying he'd like to spend more time with his family. On the last day of his command, Franks told ABCNEWS, "Wherever we find criminals, death squads and so forth who are anxious to do damage to this country and to peace-loving countries around the world, I absolutely agree with the president of the United States: 'bring 'em on," Franks said.
The Fab Five
The Fab 5 from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy have skyrocketed to stardom this year with their unconventional reality show, which happens to be the highest-rated show in the history of the Bravo network.
The guys speak openly and honestly about the impact the show has made on them both personally and professionally. Kyan Douglas, the show's grooming expert, tells Walters: "Historically in our society, gay men and straight men have sort of been afraid of one another. … Growing up gay, you definitely learn that you're not safe with straight men. Straight men get the same message. … It's part of the beauty of the show, and that's why it's so interesting, because we actually learn that we don't have so much to fear from one another, that we're just human beings."
‘Beautiful, Bountiful, and Bounciful’