Barack Obama Tops Barbara Walters' ‘10 Most Fascinating People' List

Barbara Walters unveiled her annual “10 Most Fascinating People” list Thursday night, and it included a slew of film stars, television stars, an Olympic athlete, a controversial political radio personality, a one-time vice presidential hopeful and the man who squashed her chances at the number one spot, President-Elect Barack Obama.

It was not surprising to many that Obama landed at the top of the list after making history as the first African-American elected president. In an poll earlier this week, viewers dubbed Obama “most fascinating” with an impressive 54 percent of the votes.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Barbara Walters’ ‘10 Most Fascinating People’ List 2008

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Coming in second was Tom Cruise, who extolled the virtues of his wife, Katie Holmes, during their interview.


“She is just magic. And I really think that all men should celebrate their women. … They should all jump on couches for them. … When you find that woman, you should absolutely be unabashed about it. That’s how I feel about it,” Cruise told Walters.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who ran a tough campaign with John McCain against Obama, placed third for captivating a nation during her battle for the White House.

Keeping the political theme going, “Frost/Nixon” star Frank Langella earned the number four spot on Walter’s list for his haunting portrayal of President Nixon. Walters believes his performance will nab the actor an Oscar nomination.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes

Thomas Beatie, known to most as “the Pregnant Man,” rounded out the top five.

Conservative radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh was sixth on the list, with “30 Rock” creator and star Tina Fey coming in seventh.

Teen sensation Miley Cyrus was the youngest person on Walters’ list, coming in at number eight, while eight-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who was also honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year earlier this week, swam his way into the number nine spot.

Star of the summer superhero blockbuster “Hancock” and the upcoming “Seven Pounds,” Will Smith, rounded out Walter’s annual “fascinating” list.

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