Class of 1991
Who was hot (and not) a decade ago--and where they ended up
There’s never a power vacuum in Hollywood. There are only those who keep it and those who lose it. This year, we decided to take a look back at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’s 1991 Power list — both to see how the vagaries of power shifted in the last decade and how prescient (or not) we were in pegging the powerful. The list was topped by then-CAA head Michael Ovitz (somewhere Joe Eszterhas is smiling). And in 1991, Disney’s Michael Eisner and Viacom’s Sumner Redstone were No. 3 and No. 8, respectively. A decade later, they’re still riding high (although we suspect that Eisner may have traded in that slick cell phone we pictured for a newer model). But for others, a top tier is as hard to hold on to as a handful of Glitter. In fact, 17 percent of those on the Power list in 1991 are still on. Here’s where they were — and where they went from there.
No. 7 ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER ”He’s just plain Big,” wrote EW of the highest-ranked actor on the ’91 list. ”His movies, his career, his voice, his biceps, and, most important, his aspirations.” But, in the ’90s, Arnold’s image suddenly seemed overblown, especially after the release of 1993’s Last Action Hero. He fell off the Power list in 1997.
No. 17 KEVIN COSTNER His seven Oscars for Dances With Wolves, said EW, ”elevated him to the peaks of stardom.” Which then allowed him to express the heights of his ego with 1995’s Waterworld and 1997’s The Postman.
FALLEN BRUCE WILLIS Who could blame us for counting him out after the debacles of Bonfire of the Vanities and Hudson Hawk? But we shouldn’t have taunted that ”Hair Club commercials and Moonlighting reunion movies may start to look awfully good.” Our apologies to Mr. Willis. He had The Sixth Sense. We obviously didn’t. Current rank: 74.
RISING EW’s 1991 picks for the power players of the future were pretty spotty. Our list of up-and-comers included actor Kenneth Branagh, director John Singleton, and Bell Biv DeVoe’s Michael Bivins. But only three of the nine ever graduated to the Power 101: Random House publisher Ann Godoff made it in 1997, while Northern Exposure creators Joshua Brand and John Falsey showed up in 1992.
IN FLUX JERRY BRUCKHEIMER In 1991, he and partner Don Simpson were still smarting from the performance of 1990’s Days of Thunder and hadn’t released a movie since. But after Simpson’s death in 1996, Bruckheimer roared back with such blockbusters as Con Air, The Rock, and Armageddon. Current rank: 49.
POWER COUPLES Ten years ago, EW gave the nod to seven power couples. Perhaps we should have put some divorce lawyers on the list: Since ’91, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola, and Willis and Demi Moore have split. Still intact: Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Frank Rich and Alex Witchel, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, and Tina Brown and Harry Evans (who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary).
POWER PET The miniature potbellied pig. What crowned this fad, according to EW, was the fact that ”Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, 90210 says he sleeps with his.” (Yeah, we thought that was cool then. We were young.) But, when these porkers grew bigger than expected, the mania faded away. As did 90210.