Nicole kidman continues to awe the culturati who choose celebs for covers. The soon-to-be-former Ms. Cruise notched nine points to walk off with the Cover Story crown for the month of May, thanks to her part in the musical "Moulin Rouge." This triumph must be especially sweet to Ms. Kidman, coming after she was runner-up in April and February-and especially after she so soundly trounced her ex, Tom Cruise, who was left languishing way back in the pack of May's also-rans. Cover Story is no fan of movie musicals, mind you, but remains nonetheless grateful that the meandering "Moulin Rouge" enabled 2001's most famous wronged redhead to top jut-jawed runner-up Ben Affleck, since his star turn in Disney's craven piece of popcorn piffle "Pearl Harbor" scored him seven points and second place. Tying for third with five points, fittingly, were dueling forces of celebrity light and dark: the lovely Jennifer Aniston, famous Friend and Cover Story perennial, and former "Baretta" star Robert Blake, who's not yet cleared of suspicion in his wife's mysterious murder.
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.