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Cover Story

The Top 100 Dallas Celebrities—Ranked!

You love celebrities. We love celebrities, too. But we suspect that we love celebrities more than you do. To prove it, we did math. We drafted a formula to determine just how big certain Dallas celebrities are.
By Adam McGill |

You love celebrities, We love celebrities,too.  In fact, we can say with complete confidence that we love celebrities 1.7 times more than you do.

You want to know just how much we love celebrities? We did math. To be more precise, we got help from someone smart to do math. Dr. Mark Schell is such a someone. The SMU professor teaches chemistry—specializing in nonlinear chemical behavior in electrochemical systems, if you must know. His scientific objectivity, coupled with a complete and willing ignorance of “celebrities,” made him the perfect advisor and co-author of the powerful equation you see at right.

“To me, it’s probably the least important equation I’ve ever seen,” Dr. Schell says. This is his way of being humble.

So let’s have a look at the formula, shall we?

At the root of celebrity, of course, is charisma (x). We are drawn to these people, even though we don’t know them. In some cases, we might be drawn to them because we don’t know them. For instance, would Trading Spaces viewers still adore the bubbly host Paige Davis if she happened to have a bad temper and, additionally, cuss like a sailor? What if Janine Turner were a nose-picker? No. These celebrities carry themselves as celebrities, with dignity and grace and poise. You know, charm. Charisma. The starting point for the Dallas Celebrity Index. We measured x, on a scale of .80 to 1.20, in our Celebrity Lab.

This brings us to publicity—or “pub,” in technical terms. Pub is determined by adding the number of mentions in Alan Peppard’s society column (p) to the number of hits returned by a Google web search for the celebrity’s name (g) divided by 1,000. To recap: pub equals Peppard plus Google in thousands.

But there’s more than that. Much more.

The difference between “Who’s that?” and “Who cares?” is not subtle, nor is it easily measured. As good an indicator as any is the number of degrees one is willing to turn one’s head while dining at a nice restaurant to confirm a celebrity sighting (r). (Bonus: if the restaurant is Al Biernat’s, multiply the number of times Al Biernat himself shakes the celebrity’s hand (b).)

And now we turn our attention to money. Not every rich person is famous, but there exists a direct relationship between wealth (d, represented in 100,000s) and notoriety. (Dr. Schell used a similar expression when looking for chaos in enzyme reactions, which he found.) Money may not buy happiness, but it helps put a down payment on posterity. Just ask Jerry Jones or Ray Nasher.

But don’t ask them about the “hotness factor.” Behind charisma, the most dramatic and influential variable in the Dallas Celebrity Index is hotness (h). Again, this combustible variable was determined in the safety and privacy of our Celebrity Lab.

That takes care of the numerator, math talk for “all of the stuff above that big line.” Items in the denominator (“below that big line”) have an inverse relation to the Dallas Celebrity Index. The smaller the numerator, the bigger the Dallas Celebrity.

First, there’s the average number of days a year (y) that a certain star might spend in Dallas. Some celebs, like singer Meat Loaf and comedian Jamie Foxx, were born and/or raised here, but that’s about all.

Also, some A-list stars know how to maintain an optimal ratio of parties they attend (a) to parties they’re invited to (i). It turns out that this ratio is 2:7. And it turns out, absolute value is the best way to express that.

To complete the denominator, we accounted for the number of weekly errands that are not handled by a personal assistant or secretary or nanny or the like (e) and the number of phone calls a typical journalist would make to a celebrity before either getting a call back or giving up (j).

And finally, of course, it goes without saying, hair (c) is important. We determined it is best judged on a scale of 1 to 7.

NO. 1

Angie Harmon 

SCORE: 1,178.17

The head-swiveling hotness (180 degrees, in fact) of Angie Harmon, the daughter of two models, vaulted her to the top of the Dallas Celebrity Index. The Highland Park High School graduate got her start as a model, winning a cover girl search for Seventeen when she was 15. But her big break came when she shared a flight with Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, who recruited her to star on Baywatch Nights. She went on to play Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmicheal on NBC’s Law & Order and later married football star Jason Sehorn. Keep an eye out for her in the upcoming kid flick Agent Cody Banks.

 

 

2. OWEN WILSON
Score: 1,172.46
Owen Wilson, who was kicked out of St. Mark’s his sophomore year, got his start as co-author and star of Bottle Rocket and has since played everything from comic sidekick (Shanghai Noon) to action hero (Behind Enemy Lines). Look for him this fall in a film version of Starsky & Hutch. Wilson’s “interesting” nose and his move to LA hurt his score.  

 

 

3. MARK CUBAN
Mavs fan for life  

4. JERRY JONES
wrinkle-free Cowboys owner  

5. DR. PHIL MCGRAW
bald pop psychiatrist  

 

 

6. NORAH JONES
Score: 1,005.31
The Booker T. Washington graduate and her triple-platinum-selling debut album, Come Away With Me, were nominated for eight Grammys. Entertainment Weekly chose her as the ninth best entertainer of the year last year. Her sexy-sultry hair really helped her score.

 

 

7. KELLY CLARKSON
yesterday’s American Idol 

8. STEVE NASH
Canadian

9. DIXIE CHICKS
Score: 802.42
The Chicks—Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, and Natalie Maines—are huge, and their Dallas Celebrity Index score would have been much higher if we had considered the band members individually rather than as a single entity. But we didn’t.

 

 

10. LUKE WILSON
Score: 789.31
Brother of Owen and star of the upcoming Rob Reiner-directed Loosely Based on a True Story, Luke has been romantically linked with Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow. If he came back home more often, he might have scored higher.

 

 

11. JERRY HALL
former Mrs. Mick Jagger  

12. DEAN FEARING
Mansion chef

13. ERYKAH BADU
Score: 768.99

The Grammy Award-winning singer just released her fourth album. Another Booker T. grad, Badu still calls Dallas home, which boosted her score. Interestingly, her hair both hurt her score (because she has none) and helped her score (because most people would turn their head 160 degrees to see any bald woman, much less a famous one).  

14. TOMMY LEE JONES
three-named actor  

15. MIKE MODANO
puck-handling Star  

16. BARNEY
Score: 702.36
The big, purple dinosaur loves us. Let’s just say that we have “strong feelings” for him. If you don’t think he’s famous, ask a child. He’s also loaded and never returns calls.  

17. LANCE ARMSTRONG
Score: 701.43
The Plano native and cancer survivor has won the Tour de France four consecutive times. He just might be the best athlete alive. With his cycling salary, endorsements, and speaking fees (up to $225,000 a shot), he makes more than $10 million a year. Plus he’s got dreamy legs.  

18. JANINE TURNER
syndicated actress  

19. TOM HICKS
D Magazine cover boy  

20. DON HENLEY
litigious Eagle  

21. ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Score: 632.90
The one-time Fox 4 news anchor doesn’t spend much time in Dallas anymore, but she went on to host MSNBC’s Ashleigh Banfield on Location. Now, the bespectacled correspondent is an alternate host for MSNBC Investigates. And she’s Canadian.

22. KATHY BATES
Oscar-winning hot-tubber  

23. BRIDGET HALL
Score: 631.22
Tidbits learned from www.bridgethall.com: she started modeling at the age of 10; her older brother Joshua, a pilot, lives in Farmers Branch; she calls her 1994 Ford Bronco “Emmit”; the wallpaper designer for her web site is Michelangelo di Battista.  

24. ROSS PEROT
Score: 624.19
The 1992 presidential candidate is more of a Dallas icon than he is a celebrity, but as the saying goes, “A barn painted in the winter smells just as sweet when the cows come home to roost.”

25. RHETT MILLER
baby-faced troubadour  

26. ROSS PEROT JR.
millionaire son of irascible billionaire  

27. PERI GILPIN
Frazier actress  

28. JAN STRIMPLE
advice-filled model  

29. PETER MACNICOL
Score: 603.53
The Dallas-born actor won an Emmy in 2001 for his role as John “Biscuit” Cage on Ally McBeal. He likes dirigibles and model trains. If more people knew he was from here, he might have scored higher.  

30. LELA ROSE
Bush-trimming designer  

31. RON KIRK
Score: 601.49
With more Alan Peppard mentions than anyone on the list (107) and charm to spare, Kirk should have ranked higher on the DCI. But three factors held him back: hair, John, and Cornyn.  

32. ALEX RODRIGUEZ
rich Ranger

33. TROY AIKMAN
Fox-y Cowboy  

34. KIM SCHLEGEL
callipygian socialite  

35. LAURA MILLER
Score: 582.67
Mommie Mayor’s self-portrayal as a commoner may serve her well during election time but not as much on the DCI. Plus, Al Biernat probably wouldn’t let her through the front door.

36. COLBY DONALDSON
Score: 582.41
Mark Burnett, the producer of the Survivor series, has gone on record saying Colby Donaldson is his favorite all-time contestant. But Donaldson’s at about minute 14.  

37. CATHERINE CRIER
judgmental Court TVer  

38. LEANN RIMES
zaftig country singer  

39. DALE HANSEN
oversize sportscaster  

40. JIMMY NEUTRON
boy genius  

41. TERRY BRADSHAW
Score: 571.18
The former Steelers quarterback has chosen to live here. So location helped his cause. But the co-host of the Fox NFL Sunday pre-game show is not much to look at.

42. TODD OLDHAM
Score: 570.22
The MTV fashion designer moved to NY about 15 years ago. If he stuck around Dallas just a little bit longer, he would have owned this town. And it would look fabulous.

43. JESSICA SIMPSON
once-virgin singer

44. CLARICE TINSLEY
big-haired newsreader  

45. STEVE MILLER
Postal singer  

46. DIRK NOWITZKI
Score: 563.71
The Maverick used to have much better hair.  

47. PHIL ROMANO
Hunger Busting restaurateur

48. JEWEL KILCHER
Score: 557.93
Jewel lives with her rodeo boyfriend Ty Murray in Stephenville, which is on the other side of Fort Worth. Plus, the singer-poetess tours far too much. Basically, if Jewel wants to be a bigger Dallas celebrity, she needs to spend more time in Dallas. And maybe send us one of her old t-shirts.

49. LEEZA GIBBONS
extra-sassy scoopster  

50. PATRICIA RICHARDSON
Score: 549.09
The Home Improvement star graduated from Hockaday and SMU. That was enough.  

51. DON NELSON
pants-hitching Maverick coach  

52. EMMITT SMITH
Score: 540.63
The all-time NFL rushing leader is undoubtedly the biggest celebrity currently playing for the Dallas Cowboys. Then again, as of press time, no one expects him to be here next season.  

53. GENE STREET
chicken-fried restaurateur

54. MICHAEL FINLEY
the third Maverick  

55. STEPHEN PYLES
Score: 524.47

One of several celebrity chefs in this town, Pyles is still a crowd favorite, but some might have trouble picking him out of a crowd. Cohort Dean Fearing (No. 13) is seemingly ubiquitous on TV, making him much more recognizable.

56. RAY NASHER
NorthParking sculpturemonger  

57. PAT SUMMERALL
elderly sportscaster  

58. TRACY ROWLETT
trusted father figure  

59. PAIGE DAVIS
Score: 510.33

The perky host of the popular home redo show Trading Spaces graduated from the Meadows School of Arts at SMU. She now lives in Manhattan, which cost her points, but her indefatigable charm keeps her in the middle third of the DCI.  

60. MORGAN FAIRCHILD
totally hot 53-year-old actress  

61. MEAT LOAF
Score: 498.50
Born and raised in Dallas, Meat Loaf (né Marvin Lee Aday) is perhaps best-known for his late-’70s mega-hit single “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Two problems: he’s Meat Loaf and no one knows he’s from here.

62. AARON SPELLING
producer of Tori

63. LAURA BUSH
bookwormy First Lady  

64. ERIN WASSON
Score: 461.74
The Gucci model’s good looks would cause heads to turn, but her name doesn’t yet ring a bell with most people. Besides her hotness, Wasson reportedly is a master of knowing which parties to attend.

65. MR. PEPPERMINT
boater-sporting Muffin master  

66. GLORIA CAMPOS
accented newsreader  

67. EDIE BRICKELL
old Bohemian  

68. RAFAEL PALMEIRO
Viagra-popping Ranger  

69. JOHN MCCAA
mustachioed newsreader  

70. DARRYL JOHNSTON
Moose  

71. BROOKE BURNS
Score: 396.26
The former Baywatch actress and mailroom girl on Ally McBeal once testified in front of the House of Representatives against shark-finning.

72. SCOTT MURRAY
charitable sportscaster  

73. TROY DUNGAN
bow-tied weatherman

74. DAVID FINFROCK
finfrocked weatherman  

75. JAY MCGRAW
son of bald pop psychiatrist  

76. T.D. JAKES
Score: 347.49
In January 1999, the New York Times named Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of the Potter’s House, “one of the top five evangelists most frequently cited by scholars, theologians, and evangelical leaders to step up the international pulpit behind the Rev. Billy Graham.” He’s also rich.  

77. SARA HICKMAN
kiddy singer  

78. NICK STAHL
Score: 328.67
Stahl, who started acting in Dallas when he was 4, got his big break starring opposite Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face (1993). But many people recognize his face without a name.  

79. TOMMY TUNE
Score: 304.98
One of the most famous dancers ever was born in Wichita Falls and may or may not still live in the area. Sadly, he doesn’t get invited to many of the right parties.  

80. VALERY PRINCE
another model  

81. ZIG ZIGLAR
Score: 287.40
With his headquarters in Dallas, Zig Ziglar continues to be one of the preeminent motivational speakers in the country, but motivation can only do so much when it comes to hotness.

82. BRADY WOOD
super-handsome scenester

83. SHAWN BRADLEY
Mormon  

84. BRANDT WOOD
brother of Brady  

85. MICHAEL IRVIN
Playmaker  

86. ALEX MICHEL
rose-wielding Bachelor  

87. VANILLA ICE
Score: 211.36
An inordinate number of Google hits (201,000) kept Ice on the DCI, compensating for his lack of charm and really bad hair.  

88. ELIZABETH WURTZEL
Prozac-popping bitch  

89. STACY SANCHES
Score: 174.25
Admittedly, the Playboy Playmate has not done much in her career. But being a Playmate is enough.  

90. LEE TREVINO
Merry Mex  

91. JILL JONES
Score: 142.21
This co-star of UPN’s Girlfriends is a former Cowboys Cheerleader and Mavericks Dancer. Word on the street is that she’s a star on the rise.  

92. SALLY HORCHOW
catalog magnate  

93. JAMIE FOXX
pretty big comedian  

94. KERI RUSSELL
Score: 103.97

Not since “The Rachel” has an actress’ tresses drawn as much attention as the Felicity star’s did. Russell is undoubtedly a big celebrity, but because she wasn’t born here and was only raised here, she’s not a big Dallas celebrity.  

95. RUDY GATLIN
Gatlin brother

96. STEPHEN TOBOLOWSKY
Score: 88.41
Appearing in more than 80 movies, Tobolowsky is a character actor Dallas can be proud to call its own. Unfortunately for him, he looks so ordinary that Al Biernat once asked him to bus table No. 3.  

97. JUSTIN LEONARD
swinger  

98. WISHBONE
Score: 49.72
Wishbone is actually the screen name of Soccer, the Jack Russell terrier who stars in the children’s educational program created and filmed here. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been invited to many parties this season.

99. CHUCK NORRIS
sexagenarian karate master  

100. KIDD KRADDICK
Score: 28.47
Congratulations, Kidd. You made it! Way to go!