An A-list celebrity is one at the very top of their field. It may be a bankable movie star, a major recording artist, international sports star, film director, mogul, or an international TV broadcaster.
The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood. James Ulmer has also developed a Hot List of directors. The Ulmer scale categorizes the lists into A+, A, B+, B, C, and D listings.
In popular usage outside the film industry, an "A-list celebrity" is any person with an admired or desirable social status. Even socialites with popular press coverage and elite associations 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" (or sometimes Z-list) is for a person 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 U.S. comedian who became widely known for her frequent appearances on such programs, used the term in a tongue-in-cheek manner for her 2005 TV special The D-List and her 2005 TV series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. It is also the lowest rating used by U.S. journalist James Ulmer for his Ulmer Scale which ranks the bankability of 1,400 movie actors worldwide. Other successive letters of the alphabet beyond D, such as "E-list" or "Z-list", are sometimes used for exaggeration or comic effect but effectively have the same meaning as D-list.
- Bankable star
- B movies (Hollywood Golden Age)
- Famous for being famous
- Movie star
- "About The Ulmer Scale". The Ulmer Scale.
- American Heritage Dictionary Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Encarta Archived 2009-10-31 at WebCite, 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 Archived December 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Blalock, Meghan. "The 50 Most Infamous D-List Celebrities of All Time". stylecaster.com. stylecaster.com. Retrieved 2 September 2016.