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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview with Peter Castro

Aired July 21, 2003 - 19:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Madonna had to be there. The mega-music star has earned a spot on a listing of the 200 greatest pop culture icons. Who else is listworthy? We're about to find out.
"People" magazine and VH1 are out with a list of 200 all-star pop icons. You might be surprised who made it and who did not.

Entertainer Michael Jackson takes the number 10 slot, followed by Princess Diana, number nine, basketball great Michael Jordan, eight, and material girl Madonna slides in in number seven. Actress Marilyn Monroe takes the number six spot, Hollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise cruises into number five, legendary comedian Lucille Ball is number four, Elvis number three, a man in tights, Superman, takes the second position. Hmm, going to have to ask about that. And number one, talk show queen herself, Oprah Winfrey.

Peter Castro, assistant managing editor of "People" magazine, joins me now with more on the list of icons.

Hey, thanks for being with us.

PETER CASTRO, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: My pleasure.

COOPER: So let's see, let's see, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, women all in the top 10. What about them is so remarkable?

CASTRO: Well, I mean, look -- listen to that list of women you just rattled off. I mean, All of them remarkable. (UNINTELLIGIBLE), look, Oprah, number one position. I mean, she really embodies what every icon really should be, and that is a trailblazer, someone that is recognized by their first name, someone that you want to dress (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: That's key, someone who has to be recognized by their first name?

CASTRO: Yes, right, or just...

COOPER: All right, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

CASTRO: ... you know, those mono-named people like Madonna, Celine Dion (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Celine, Whitney...

COOPER: Right. What are some of the other criterias? I mean, OK, recognized by your first name.

CASTRO: Believe it or not, if, you know, if you, if people dress up like you for Halloween...

COOPER: Oh, yes, that's another one?

CASTRO: ... that's (UNINTELLIGIBLE), that's crucial.

COOPER: Are there a lot of kids running around dressed up as Oprah for Halloween?

CASTRO: Oh, there have been. But, you know, Superman certainly...

COOPER: Right, OK.

CASTRO: ... falls into that category, Elvis Presley.

COOPER: Right.

CASTRO: But, you know, more serious criteria, such as blazing trails, having an impact. I mean, it's one reason that someone as great as Billie Holiday didn't make the list, because she was a genius artist, but it's not like 22-year-olds are talking about -- or most 22-year-olds aren't really talking about Billie Holiday (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: When they get really depressed?

CASTRO: Well, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: I mean, come on, I know...

CASTRO: ... that is true.

COOPER: ... a couple of 22-year-olds who still are...

CASTRO: In bars, that's right.

COOPER: Exactly. Sing -- you know.

CASTRO: Right. But, I mean, someone like Aretha Franklin, however, has, you know, wide range. Elvis, 50 years later, is still -- I mean, he just had a (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: The list is definitely skewed to people who are, you know, are still sort of very much in the news right now. I mean, people who kind of 15, 20 years ago were hot, kind of fell off.

CASTRO: Well, no, I mean, remember, there are 200 people on this list. So you have people like Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein...

COOPER: OK.

CASTRO: ... who, you know, are not quite hot, but still iconic in their own way. COOPER: Superman that made the list, so you don't actually have -- you can be an animated character, or...

CASTRO: Well, I mean, when you think of superheroes, who comes to mind? I mean, he is super-man, you know, that "S" is just so iconic for...

COOPER: Now, Kevin Bacon made the list, I was glad to say.

CASTRO: Yes, he was, he's...

COOPER: Because he's affiliated with just about everyone on the list in some way, right?

CASTRO: Pretty much, yes, six degrees of Kevin Bacon. It is amazing how many people were able to kind of, like, fall under that.

COOPER: I mean, what is interesting to me about the list too is that it's not just celebrities, you know, from entertainment. It is also politicians. It's also -- I mean, I mean, it's people, really from a wide walks of life, athletes.

CASTRO: Yes, you know, visionaries like Alfred Hitchcock, great, you know, athletes like Babe Ruth.

COOPER: Right.

CASTRO: And again, it is people who had, even to this day, an impact on the culture. You know, you have someone like, you know, Arsenio Hall on the list. Why Arsenio Hall? Well, because, you know, he really kind of put a new face on late-night television.

COOPER: And Tony...

CASTRO: And Monica Lewinsky is on the list.

COOPER: Tony Bennett was not on the list, yet Liberace was. Interesting choice there.

CASTRO: Well...

COOPER: I'm not going to argue with you. I just thought it was interesting. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I'm not even pointing out the fact that I'm not on the list.

CASTRO: Well, yes, but Liberace is, like, the original bling- bling master. I mean, you know, before (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: He was bling-bling before people even knew what that meant.

CASTRO: Absolutely.

COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Peter Castro, thank you very much.

CASTRO: My pleasure. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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