In popular usage outside the film industry, an "A-list celebrity" simply refers to any person with an admired or desirable social status. In recent times, the term has given rise to any person, regardless of profession, in the limelight. Even socialites with popular press coverage have been termed as "A-list" celebrities. Similarly, less popular persons and current teen idols are referred to as "B-list" – and the ones with lesser fame "C-list". Entertainment Weekly interpreted C-list celebrity as "that guy (or sometimes that girl), the easy-to-remember but hard-to-name character actor".
"D-list" is the lowest rating on the Ulmer Scale, and it is often used to describe persons whose celebrity is so obscure that they are generally only known for appearances as so-called celebrities on panel game shows and reality television. Kathy Griffin, a comedian who became widely known for her frequent appearances on such programs, uses the term in a tongue-in-cheek manner for her TV series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Alternatively successive letters of the alphabet beyond D, such as "E-list" or "Z-list" are used for exaggeration or comic effect, but effectively have the same meaning as D-list.
Some celebrities who begin their careers in this way eventually rise in fame to upper levels of the B-list or, depending on the definition, even the A-list; examples include the members of the Kardashian family and Paris Hilton.
- Bankable star
- B movies (Hollywood Golden Age)
- Famous for being famous
- Movie star
- "About The Ulmer Scale". The Ulmer Scale.
- American Heritage Dictionary
- Encarta, Webster's New Millennium Dictionary. Archived October 31, 2009.
- Podolsky, Erin (November 10, 2000). "C-list celebrities – Three sites with information on 'that one guy' you see in movies from time to time". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
- Ulmer Scale Hot List