Barbara Walters: 2002's Most Fascinating People

ByABC News
December 17, 2002, 3:23 PM

Dec. 19 -- First lady Laura Bush topped Barbara Walters' list of the "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002."

Walters cited the first lady's calming presence on the nation in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She noted that Laura Bush had taken on the role of "Comforter in Chief" with poise and grace.

The first lady told Walters that the most difficult times came in the first few weeks after the attacks. After that, Bush told Walters, the memorials on this past Sept. 11 were particularly painful. Bush said she has since focused her energy on encouraging parents to help comfort their children, and assure them that they are safe at home.

Below are the other nine headliners who made Walters' "most fascinating" list.

Living in the lenses of MTV's cameras, bat-biting heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne, his wife, Sharon, and their two children scored the most successful reality show ever with The Osbournes. We've seen the family cope with Sharon's battle against colon cancer, and we've watched Ozzy urge his kids to steer clear of drugs and alcohol abuse. Admittedly, Ozzy has battled with them his entire life. "For me, straight is unnatural, but I'm straight for a while, then I have to go out and get a drink," he told Walters.

Halle Berry made Hollywood history as the first African American woman to win an Academy Award as Best Actress. Currently portraying a Bond girl in Die Another Day, Berry told Walters, "I always thought being a woman of color was working against me, that people could not see me as an actress and as a woman. I was always a black woman first and somehow that had a negative connotation. That always frustrated me and angered me, and now I feel like I've beat that."

Sarah Hughes captured the hearts of the nation when she won a gold medal in figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Hughes was decidedly the underdog in the competition, but she beat the odds and won America's heart, along with her Olympic gold. Sarah told Walters, "I used to think, 'What's so special about the Olympics?' and now I know."