Jan 15 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
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and