Cover Story: Julia and her smile shine for April's cover crown

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As always, April's Cover Story featured the forces of celebrity triumph in mortal combat with the forces of celebrity pathos. And it should not surprise that triumph, well, triumphed: Newly minted Oscar-winner Julia Roberts' 12 1/2 Cover Story points nudged out soon-to-be-divorced Nicole Kidman's 10 1/2 points. Celebrity a-go-go is at base a morality tale, but while stories of Hollywood marriages gone to hell may move heartstrings, they don't move mega-units like the pluck and spirit of the waif-next-door with the million-dollar smile. (Oddly, the waif that grew up next door to Cover Story didn't much resemble Ms. Roberts.)

Ms. Roberts obviously moves the units, since she was also the Cover Story winner for March; fittingly, Ms. Kidman also scored second place in wintry February. In third place is Star Scientologist and former Mr. Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise-well on his way to becoming the black-hatted bad guy of that particular morality tale-whose six Cover Story points just nosed out the ailing Suzanne Somers and brooding dark horse Benicio del Toro.

Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly rankings 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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