Pretty People: Movie Stars of the 1990s

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Anna Everett
Rutgers University Press, May 14, 2012 - Performing Arts - 288 pages

In the 1990s, American civil society got upended and reordered as many social, cultural, political, and economic institutions were changed forever. Pretty People examines a wide range of Hollywood icons who reflect how stardom in that decade was transformed as the nation itself was signaling significant changes to familiar ideas about gender, race, ethnicity, age, class, sexuality, and nationality.

Such actors as Denzel Washington, Andy Garcia, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, and Antonio Banderas became bona fide movie stars who carried major films to amazing box-office success. Five of the decade’s top ten films were opened by three women—Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, and Whoopi Goldberg. “Chick flick” entered the lexicon as Leonardo DiCaprio became the “King of the World,” ushering in the cult of the mega celebrity. Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise defined screen masculinity as stark contrasts between “the regular guy” and “the intense guy” while the roles of Michael Douglas exemplified the endangered “Average White Male.” A fascinating composite portrait of 1990s Hollywood and its stars, this collection marks the changes to stardom and society at century’s end.


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About the author (2012)

ANNA EVERETT is a professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909–1949 and Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace and founding editor of the journal Screening Noir.

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