The A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, and/or the most bankable in the Hollywood movie industry.
The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood. Lesser-known actors inhabit the B+, B, and C lists, and there is even a dreaded "Bottom of the Heap," or "Z-List." James Ulmer has also developed a Hot List of directors.
The list was created by veteran entertainment journalist James Ulmer
, who developed a 100-point method to quantify a star's value to a film production
, in terms of getting a movie financed and the cameras rolling. The Ulmer Scale
also takes into account an actor's history (box office
successes vs. failures), versatility, professional demeanor, and ability and willingness to travel and promote movies.
Will Smith topped the rank as highest paid actor in 2008. Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise topped the latest ranking in 2006. Ulmer's latest Top Ten List, from 2006, also includes:
The 2008 list also includes:
In popular usage outside the movie industry, an "A-list celebrity
" simply refers to any person with an admired or desirable social status. Similarly, less popular persons and current teen idols are referred to as "B-list." The term "D-List," popularized by comedienne Kathy Griffin
, has been used to describe the level of celebrity that would appear on reality shows such as The Surreal Life
, Celebrity Mole
or I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here
. Comedian Artie Lange
has referred to the members of Howard Stern
's Wack Pack
, specifically Eric the Midget
, as "G-List Celebrities."
In the UK, the term "Z-list" is used for people with very limited fame, such as reality TV contestants, or former celebrities who are no longer in the limelight.
Also, "Z-list" celebrities can be people who might star on Broadway musicals, giving them limited fame as well.