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lordandrei

Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness


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lordandrei

While researching my big post of the day... (forthcoming)

... I found a question on Yahoo's Q&A board.

The question was simple:
What do A-list actors, B-list actor, C-list actors, and D-list actors mean?
I heard that B-list are TV actors, and A-list actors are movie actors.
Can someone set it straight?


Unfortunately, someone gave the stock answer:
Okay..obviously you don't understand the social pyramid of hollywood.Dude here it goes: A-listers are particularly successful movie stars or celebutantes or whatever ranging from Will Smith to Paris Hilton, that is how various it is;B-listers are tv actors or other not too successful movie actors or not too known celebutantes like Ashley Johnson or more correctly, Kimberly Stewart;C-listers are rich but they are now probably former tv or movie actors and musicians that might be on some reality show;D-listers are not very important in the hollywood food chain but they do get some recognition they usually include comedians ranging from Michael Ian Black to Godfrey and others....I hope you get it now.

This is dangerously inaccurate. I use the term dangerously because it's close enough to accurate that it will lead people to sometimes correct but more often than naught incorrect assumptions.

In high school I was taught a mathematics 'howler.' This is a compltely wrong way to get the right answer to a problem.

The problem was reducing the fraction 16/64. The howler answer was to simply cross off the 6s because you have one above and below the bar.

Thus 1 6 / 6 4 = 1 / 4

I showed this to a student in front of my calc teacher in Study Hall as a way to help him with math. My calc teacher looked at me and said, "You know.. I could just throw you in detention for that.

But I digress.

So.. this was my answer to the question.. Which I had to squeeze down to 300 characters because the window of opportunity had been closed:

The short form I postedin 300 characters (exactly):

I disagree.

A-List is a category by itself. Performance really isn't the case any more at this point. An A-List actor is someone selected for their ability in name and presense to deliver a 'block buster'

When a film is a vehicle for profit an A-lister is chosen because his name will sell tickets.


This is full version that I cut down for the above 300 character comment. I couldn't post this to Yahoo answers:

I have to disagree that the line between A and B are
A = Successful flim actor and
B = 'not too successful' actors or TV actors.

A - List is a category by itself. Performance really isn't the case any more at this point. An A-List actor is someone selected for their ability in name and presense to deliver a 'block buster'

Effectively when a film is a vehicle for profit and the actor is chosen strictly on the merits of whether the film will sell tickets.

Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, etc.

Typically a Blockbuster will have 1 and only 1 A - list actor in it.

Now a film may pair two B Actors in the hopes that an A will transcend from it. MIB was a great example. At that point Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones had great appeal but neither could 'carry a film alone'

The use of an "A-List" actor can often create new A-Listers unintentionally.

Cuba Gooding Jr and Renée Zellweger bumped up a peg working with Tom Cruise.

So, A-List refers to "Hollywood Politics"
B-List often refers to those actors that could make A-List but really aren't in the running.

This is not to be confused with a "B-Movie Actor" which is often referring to the schlock flicks. Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) is referred to as king of the B-Movies.

So this is just my general opinion and is a lead in for a post that's about 75% done that I think will be kinda cool.


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But doesn't A-list status transcend media format? After all if you look at the most popular TV shows over the years, several of the actors in those have/had A-list status. Granted most of those actors with that kind of clout sooner or later ended up working in film.

Mmmm, I dunno about that. Unless we make an A-list for TV. Because, say, Ellen Degeneres, who is certainly A-list TV, couldn't really sell a blockbuster on her own strengh, not compared to, say, a Julia Roberts. Seinfeld might be an exception...I'm trying to think of some others, and I'm not sure JS is anything but an odd case, because he's an A-list celeb but can't make a blockbuster on his own, not like, say, Tom Cruise (BK - Before Katie, anyway).

Mostly, they gotta be able to effortlessly cross media boundaries, otherwise, Sarah Jessica Parker would be a true A-list filmstar and not just an A-list celebrity.

I suppose I was confusing A-list celebrity status with being an a-list film star. That makes sense now. Thanks, Content.

I think you're on the case.

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