Julia Elected to List of Powerful Women

December 5, 2000 -- Pretty Woman Julia Roberts is sitting pretty with Tinseltown moguls. The $20 million-per-picture star has made The Hollywood Reporter's list of the 50 most influential women in show business.

This is the first time in the list's nine-year history that an actress has made the cut, though it's no news flash that the Erin Brockovich star can woo Hollywood with her pearly whites.

Roberts was ranked the third most powerful woman in the entertainment industry, based on her ability to turn small projects into major vehicles and to secure financing for films, according to Paula Parisi, the Reporter's editorial director of special issues.

"We tend not to focus on [actresses], because the list was first created to turn the spotlight on women who are doing a great job and go largely unnoticed, but Julia Roberts is in a class by herself," Parisi said.

Sherry Lansing, chairwoman and chief executive officer of the Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, ranked first for the second year in a row, followed by Stacey Snider, chairwoman of production for Universal Pictures, who came in second.

The list, which ranks women according to their power to change the direction of their companies or to affect the industry's future, is determined by writers and editors on the Reporter staff.

Parisi said that since the magazine began compiling the list, it has seen significant movement of women at the higher levels of the entertainment industry. "Female executives are running nearly half of the major film studios, as well as the entertainment divisions of many of the major broadcast and cable television networks," she noted.

Rounding out the top 10 on the list are Sony Music Executive Vice President Michele Anthony (4); CBS Entertainment President Nancy Tellem (5); Judy McGrath, president of the MTV Group (6); Columbia Pictures Chairwoman Amy Pascal (7); Fox Broadcasting President of Entertainment Gail Berman (8); Susanne Daniels, entertainment president of the WB Television Network (9); and Hilary Rosen, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (10).

Reuters contributed to this story.