By EW Staff
Updated December 26, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

14 | ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR May we present our entertainers of the year: the producers of Gigli, the cast of The Mullets, and Justin Guarini. Well, not really. Back on this planet (or at least in a shire far, far away), we crown the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings our entertainers of the year. You’ll have to turn a few pages to see the rest of the list, but here are some hints: We fell ”Crazy in Love” with No. 7, found No. 3’s Pirate booty-licious, and had a gay old time with No. 6. And for our favorite photos — possibly ever — please see No. 11.

48 | THE YEAR THAT WAS From the first Joe Millionaire ruse to the latest Paris Hilton news, EW offers a handy guide to the year in pop culture. Plus: Roundups of 2003’s biggest celebrity marriages, births, lawsuits, and train wrecks.

68 | GREAT PERFORMANCES Kudos to the most nuanced (Bill Murray in Lost in Translation), wonderfully unexpected (Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday), and Polaroid-shakin’ (OutKast) moments of the year. Plus: Jessica Simpson, we love your stinky ass.

85 | FAREWELL A tribute to the late greats of 2003, featuring Warren Beatty on Katharine Hepburn; Sheryl Crow on Johnny Cash; Henry Winkler on John Ritter; Forest Whitaker on Gregory Hines; Norah Jones on Nina Simone; and more.

114 | MOVIES Lisa Schwarzbaum hails The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, while Owen Gleiberman applauds American Splendor.

126 | DVD Scott Brown gets animated over The Looney Tunes Golden Collection.

134 | TELEVISION Ken Tucker separates the best Britcom (The Office) from the Brit bomb (Coupling).

140 | MUSIC David Browne praises the White Stripes’ Elephant; Chris Willman gushes over Fountains of Wayne.

148 | BOOKS Richard Price’s Samaritan tops the fiction list, while our nonfiction pick is Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx.

156 | STAGE Avenue Q leads the Great White Way.

160 | STYLE Clarissa Cruz salutes Sarah Jessica Parker’s pink Emmy ensemble.

9 | SOUND BITES The year’s most notable quotes.


WEB ALERT is a free bonus — only for readers and AOL members! This week’s access code: ewhomepage

GEORGE MILLER, 61, comedian (56 appearances on Letterman),


GEORGE MILLER, 61, comedian (56 appearances on Letterman), leukemia, L.A. 2/5

STAN BRAKHAGE, 70, experimental filmmaker, cancer, Victoria, British Columbia. 3/9

SIDNEY LIPPMAN, 89, composer-songwriter (for Nat King Cole, Doris Day), undisclosed causes, North Bergen, NJ. 3/11

HOWARD FAST, 88, author (Spartacus, Freedom Road), respiratory failure, Old Greenwich, CT. 3/12

LYNNE THIGPEN, 54, actress (The District), heart attack, L.A. 3/12

PAUL STOJANOVICH, 47, COPS coproducer, hiking accident, Oregon coast. 3/15

MICHAEL JETER, 50, actor (Emmy, Evening Shade), undisclosed causes, Hollywood Hills. 3/30