The Beatles top Variety 100-year entertainment poll
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Beatles were singled out on
Friday as the most influential entertainers of the past 100
years, beating out the likes of Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin
and Mickey Mouse, according to a survey conducted by show
business newspaper Variety.
Behind the Fab Four’s first-place finish, were in
alphabetical order: jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong, television
comedienne Lucille Ball, movie legends Humphrey Bogart, Marlon
Brando, Charlie Chaplin, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, cartoon
hero Mickey Mouse and singers Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
Variety said the Beatles were named “Icons of the Century”
because they were the entertainment personalities who made the
biggest impact on the industry and the world in the past 100
The newspaper published a list of 100 entertainers from all
branches of show business, including actors, directors,
screenwriters, musicians, television presenters, animals,
comedians and cartoon characters. Among other names on the list
were Johnny Carson, Johnny Cash and Lassie.
The winners were chosen by Variety editors based on polling
of entertainment industry professionals and Variety staff and
by online voting by the public on variety.com.
Among the criteria for selection were a performer’s
commercial, creative, political and social impact and even
whether their image was presented — like James Dean’s — on a
The list was to be published in Variety’s Sunday issue to
celebrate the paper’s 100th anniversary. “It seemed only
natural to celebrate 100 of the people who gave us something to
talk about,” said Steven Gaydos, the paper’s executive editor.