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EDITIONS
 Friday, 13 December, 2002, 11:31 GMT
Washington named top entertainer
Denzel Washington
Washington is being tipped for more Oscar success
Oscar winner Denzel Washington has been named entertainer of the year by United States showbiz magazine Entertainment Weekly.

The actor, who won a best actor Oscar in February for his role in Training Day, was praised for reaching "new heights" in his career.

Entertainers of 2002
1. Denzel Washington
2. Tobey Maguire
3. The Osbournes
4. Nia Vardalos
5=. Simon Cowell
5=. Kelly Clarkson
Source: Entertainment Weekly
British pop producer Simon Cowell was joint fifth in the list, picked for his famously acerbic comments on the show American Idol, the US version of Pop Idol.

The family of British rock star Ozzy Osbourne, who became international stars thanks to their MTV reality TV show, shared third place on the list.

The magazine praised Washington after he became only the second black actor to pick up the coveted Academy Award for a performance by a leading man.

The Osbournes
The Osbournes were a big MTV hit
"Denzel reached new heights in his career this year, artistically, commercially and in a business sense," said Dave Karger, senior writer and author of the magazine's cover story on the actor.

Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire was second on the list, with My Big Fat Greek Wedding actress and writer Nia Vardalos fourth.

The eventual winner of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, was joint fifth on the list.

Mr Karger said Washington had been picked not just for his Oscar success but also for his directorial debut.

Washington's Antwone Fisher, about a young man's efforts to find the family that abandoned him, is receiving Oscar buzz.

Next step

The star has also received his first $20m (12.5m) pay cheque for his role in the thriller Out of Time, making him one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood.

But the actor says he believes film making is the next step in his career.

He told the magazine that he looks to the work of Warren Beatty and Clint Eastwood, who also made the transition from performing to directing.

"In the back of my mind, I was going 'You know, sooner of later, the calls are going to stop coming. From 2002 to 2022, what do you go for now?' I think film-making is the next part of that'," he said.

See also:

04 Dec 02 | Entertainment
15 Sep 02 | Entertainment
25 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
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