Queen of talk Oprah Winfrey has been dethroned as the most influential celebrity in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
Despite having her own TV network, and producing and starring in The Butler, Winfrey now lags behind Steven Spielberg in the Forbes’ rankings. The film maker took the title after his much-talked about and award-winning period drama Lincoln grossed millions at the box office, boosted the director’s public profile.
According to Forbes, the list is based on polls carried out by E-Poll Market Research. Spielberg scored 47% with Winfrey scoring just 2% less. The poll ranked 6 600 candidates according to 46 characteristics, including their likeability and overall public image.
“A celebrity’s ‘Influential’ score represents how that person is perceived as influencing the public, their peers, or both. If anyone doubts that Steven Spielberg has greatly influenced the public, think about how many will think for a second before going into the water this summer,” said Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research.
Star Wars creator George Lucas follows Winfrey in third place. The Californian sold his company, Lucas Films, to Disney in 2012 for about R40 billion. An entrepreneur and producer, Lucas recently unveiled a massive movie-making facility in Singapore. He is also the producer behind the billion-dollar Star Wars series, which is set to release its much-anticipated next instalment in 2015.
Filmmakers Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese come in at fourth and fifth place respectively. The latter is the mastermind behind one of Hollywood’s most controversial recent releases – The Wolf of Wall Street. The award-winning Scorsese production has snagged a bevy of awards including a Golden Globe for Leonardo Di Caprio, and is nominated for several Oscars. Scorses’s counterpart, Howard has an impressive body of work with his latest movie, Rush opening to critical acclaim.