Cover Story: Aussie heartthrob wins July cover war

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Mel Gibson won the battle for newsstands in July, with "The Patriot" headliner mustering up 9 points. The action star was seen on three diverse monthlies, George, Ladies' Home Journal and Movieline. Second place also had a Hollywood tie-in, with the movie "X-Men" generating 7 points based on three cover appearances by its stars, on Entertainment Weekly, Premiere and TV Guide.

The first anniversary of the deaths of John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, resulted in new cover appearances for the couple. The revived attention earned him a third-place finish and a tie for seventh for her, with 6 and 3 points, respectively.

"What Lies Beneath" star Michelle Pfeiffer claimed fourth place, in a tie with Tom Cruise at 4 points apiece, and "Perfect Storm" hunk George Clooney collected 3.5 points and sixth place. Among those in the tie for seventh were Eminem, Goldie Hawn, John Travolta and Renee Zellweger.

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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