Pop Culture

Julia Roberts is highest paid actress in Hollywood

Walt Disney Co’s Anne Sweeney was named Hollywood’s most powerful woman on Tuesday, thanks in part to a few “Desperate Housewives.”

The magazine also ranked the highest-paid actresses, led by Julia Roberts, who gets $20 million a film, followed by Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie.

Down toward the bottom of the top 10, Renee Zellweger, who gets $12 million per film, moved up to 9 from 10, switching places with Jennifer Lopez, who moved down a notch.

Sweeney surged to No. 1 from 17 last year on the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list, due mainly to her promotion in April to co-chairman of Disney Media Networks  and president of Disney-ABC Television Group, which is staging a comeback with hits like “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.”

“Anne Sweeney has a bigger job than any other woman working in television today. She’s taken the broadcast world by storm, supervising an almost unbelievable turnaround for the ABC network in a mere eight months,” said Christy Grosz, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter’s special Power 100 issue.

Sweeney did not develop or approve the two shows, but analysts said her team’s aggressive marketing efforts had made them successes.

Following Sweeney on the list was last year’s top-ranked female executive, Amy Pascal, Vice Chairman and Motion Picture Group Chairman for Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Ranking third was Nancy Tellem, president of Viacom Inc’s  CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, followed by Judy McGrath, chair of Viacom’s MTV Networks, No. 4, and Stacey Snider, chair of Universal Pictures at No. 5.

At a breakfast that featured a keynote speech by actress Annette Bening, Sherry Lansing was given the inaugural Sherry Lansing Leadership Award created to honor her groundbreaking achievements and significant contributions to the entertainment industry.

Lansing, credited with shattering Hollywood’s glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to head production at a major studio, said in November she was stepping down as chairman of Paramount Pictures next year. Lansing ranked seventh on the list this year after topping the list in previous years.

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