Alumni Update

Keeping tabs on past inductees

Tina Brown (1998): Though her newest venture, website the Daily Beast, hasn’t set the world on fire, Brown is still very much in the public eye, offering sharp personal insights about public figures. Her Royals-under-the-microscope bestseller, “The Diana Chronicles,” will be followed by another tome focusing on power, glamor, adultery: her Bill and Hillary Clinton bio, due in 2010.

Arianna Huffington (1999, 2007): Further proof that she’s one of the premier renaissance women of the new century, the Huffington editor and frequent political panelist adds sitcom developer to her jammed resume, working with “How I Met Your Mother” showrunner Greg Malins on developing a “Friends”-style series set in Washington, D.C.

Ellen Kuras (2000, 2003): The topflight d.p. of Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go” and Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” expanded her filmmaking portfolio in auspicious style, earning an Academy Award nomination for her documentary debut, “The Betrayal – Nerakhoon,” which she shot, produced, co-directed and co-wrote with Thavisouk Phrasavath.

Hylda Queally (2000, 2008): The CAA uber agent with impeccable taste had much to celebrate in 2008-09, with three of her clients winning Oscars (Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en rose,” Kate Winslet for “The Reader” and Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) and up-and-comer Ben Wishaw garnering rhapsodic reviews as poet John Keats in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star.” Cotillard and Cruz will next be seen in “Nine.”

Cate Blanchett (2001, 2005): After her gender-bending portrayal of Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There” and the Southern belle in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the Aussie Oscar winner tackled the daunting role of Blanche Dubois in her Sydney Theater Co.’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” (headed to New York in November).

Ann Roth (2003): The Oscar-winning costume designer (“The English Patient”) might as well have become Meryl Streep’s personal dresser, having designed for America’s premier actress in three films releases over the course of 2008-09: “Mamma Mia!,” “Doubt” and the love letter to Julia Child, “Julie and Julia.” Throw in “The Reader,” for which she dressed Kate Winslet’s fugitive concentration camp guard Hanna Schmitz, and one wonders if Roth is the hardest-working costume designer in showbiz.

Diane Sawyer (2005): Having anchored ABC’s “Primetime Live” since 1989 and “Good Morning America” since 1999, Sawyer is poised to complete an Alphabet triple play with her new role as anchor of “ABC World News” beginning in January, following in the footsteps of Katie Couric (CBS), who broke the glass ceiling as the first solo femme network evening news anchor; now for the first time, there will be two solo female anchors on the major networks.

Cecile Frot-Coutaz (2006): The North America CEO of FremantleMedia — producer of “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” — has said the company is eyeing a foray into scripted comedy and drama. That being said, it’s still very much reality-based and will launch a new version of “Let’s Make a Deal,” which will air on CBS in the slot vacated by longtime sudser “Guiding Light.”

Alexandra Patsavas (2006, 2008): TV’s hottest music supervisor (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Mad Men,” “Gossip Girl”) got even hotter by overseeing the song choices in last year’s teen vampire film “Twilight.” She released the soundtrack on her own Chop Shop label, and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Next up, she’s supervising the music for that film’s sequel, “New Moon.”

Kyra Sedgwick (2008): After working mainly in features for two decades, Sedgwick continues to flower in television. In 2009, she was nominated for a lead drama actress Emmy for TNT’s “The Closer” for the fourth consecutive year. She puts on the creator/exec producer cap for the upcoming series “Zapata, Texas” for TNT.

Stephanie Meyer (2008): The lit chronicler of young vampires in love has overtaken J.K. Rowling’s record on USA Today’s bestseller list, with her four “Twilight” books having spent 52 consecutive weeks in the Top 10, plus 102 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The series has sold more than 70 million books worldwide. The film adaptation of “Twilight” has made nearly $384 million worldwide, while anticipation for sequel “New Moon,” due in November, is even higher.

Meryl Streep (2008): America’s most decorated actress has gone from serioso Oscar bait to box office darling, giving such younger (and higher-paid) actresses Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock a run for the money. The 60-year-old’s roles in “Mamma Mia!,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Julie and Julia” have not only shown a lighter side, but helped rake in more than $355 million domestic.

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