The actress even bested her honey, Brad Pitt, who scooped up 23.5 points for a fourth-place tie with daytime talk-show dynamo Rosie O'Donnell. And our winner outperformed past Pitt paramour Gwyneth Paltrow, who rounded up 24.5 points and 18 covers for a third-place finish as she collected a best actress Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love."
Ms. Aniston captured her crown through "likability and sexiness and stature by association" with Mr. Pitt, said People Managing Editor Carol Wallace. "And she plays the kind of person everyone would want as a best friend on `Friends.' She's very attractive and sexy, and people look to her as a model" as to how they want to look.
The No. 2 spot belongs to another Hollywood sweetheart. With two '99 summer hits to her credit, Julia Roberts racked up 26 points and 14 covers to finish a close second.
Sixth place was garnered by John F. Kennedy Jr., whose death in an airplane crash stirred up a media storm last summer. The heir to Camelot got 22 points with 17 covers.
Coming in at No. 7 is Tom Cruise with 20.5 points and 12 covers, most covering the hoopla about "Eyes Wide Shut," the film he and his wife, Nicole Kidman, starred in for director Stanley Kubrick. Next up is Michelle Pfeiffer, winning 20 points and 11 covers for eighth place, as she released three movies in 1999.
In the No. 9 spot comes all the hype surrounding the new "Star Wars" movie, "The Phantom Menace." The movie rounded up 19 points and 11 covers, including appearances in May by stars Ewan McGregor on GQ, Liam Neeson on Movieline and Natalie Portman on Vanity Fair.
Tenth place was claimed by a crime story that won't fade away, the still-unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey. The case earned 18 points and 16 covers, all in the Enquirer and Star.
As for the coming year, "There are a lot of breakthroughs waiting to happen," People's Ms. Wallace said, saying actors Jude Law and Angelina Jolie could be attracting more attention. "There are no individual identities anymore among young (Hollywood) crowd . . . No one is setting themselves apart."
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.