Cover Story: Boosted by Oscar buzz, Julia takes prize for March

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In the celebrity-crazed atmosphere leading up to the fever pitch of Hollywood Oscar buzz, Julia Roberts emerged as America's golden girl. With a Best Actress trophy under her belt for "Erin Brockovich," Ms. Roberts also led the pack for March's Cover Story, appearing on the covers of Time Inc.'s InStyle, Entertainment Weekly and People, as well as American Media's the Star. Though not a main player in the race for Oscar, Penelope Cruz clocked in at second place, gracing the covers of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Premiere and Conde Nast Publications' Vogue thanks to her work pushing coming film "Blow."

"The Sopranos" front man James Gandolfini and Brad Pitt, his co-star in "The Mexican," appeared with Ms. Roberts on several covers, and the breakup of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman also received big play from People and American Media's National Enquirer. Other celebs with stars in their eyes: songstress Celine Dion and her long-awaited baby; "Gladiator" Russell Crowe and the cast of "Survivor 2: The Australian Outback," battling it out with perennial favorite "Friends."

Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly ranking of celebrities' popularity as reflected by their appearances on the covers of more than 30 of the nation's leading publications.

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