For other uses, see A-list (disambiguation).

A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry or to major recording artists, major international sports stars or other occupations such as the most successful film directors, certain high-profile media and entertainment moguls and the most notable international TV broadcasters.

The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood. James Ulmer has also developed a Hot List of directors.[1]

The Ulmer scale categorizes the lists into A+, A, B+, B, C, and D listings.

Popular usage

In popular usage outside the film industry, an "A-list celebrity" simply refers to any person with an admired or desirable social status.[2] In recent times, the term has given rise to any person, regardless of profession, in the limelight. Even socialites with popular press coverage and elite associations have been termed as "A-list" celebrities. Similarly, less popular persons and current teen idols are referred to as "B-list" – and the ones with lesser fame "C-list".[3] Entertainment Weekly interpreted C-list celebrity as "that guy (or sometimes that girl), the easy-to-remember but hard-to-name character actor".[4]

"D-list" is often used to describe persons whose celebrity is so obscure that they are generally only known for appearances as so-called celebrities on panel game shows and reality television. Kathy Griffin, a U.S. comedian who became widely known for her frequent appearances on such programs, used the term in a tongue-in-cheek manner for her 2005 TV special The D-List and her 2005 TV series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. It is also the lowest rating used by U.S. journalist James Ulmer for his Ulmer Scale which ranks the bankability of 1,400 movie actors worldwide.[5] Other successive letters of the alphabet beyond D, such as "E-list" or "Z-list", are sometimes used for exaggeration or comic effect but effectively have the same meaning as D-list.[6]

See also


  1. "About The Ulmer Scale". The Ulmer Scale.
  2. American Heritage Dictionary Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Encarta Archived 2009-10-31 at WebCite, Webster's New Millennium Dictionary. Archived October 31, 2009.
  4. Podolsky, Erin (November 10, 2000). "C-list celebrities – Three sites with information on 'that one guy' you see in movies from time to time". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  5. Ulmer Scale Hot List Archived December 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Blalock, Meghan. "The 50 Most Infamous D-List Celebrities of All Time". stylecaster.com. stylecaster.com. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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