Barbara Walters Names Nine of 10 Most Fascinating People

Thursday, December 3, 1998

The good news for Ally McBeal fans is that star Calista Flockhart made Barbara Walters' list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1998. The bad news is she shares that distinction with shlockmeister Jerry Springer, illustrating the downside of what constitutes fascination.

Overall, though, Flockhart is in good company. She and Springer join Titanic director James Cameron, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, Senator and rocket man John Glenn, Microsoft honcho Bill Gates, slugger Mark McGwire, comedian Chris Rock and actor Tom Hanks on Walters' Dec. 22 special (10 pm/ET, ABC). The most fascinating person of the year will be unmasked on the actual show.

In other Walters news, actor and Spin City star Michael J. Fox has granted her his first TV interview since revealing he suffers from Parkinson's disease. In the interview, scheduled for 20/20 Friday (10 pm/ET), Fox says he expects to be cured of the disorder by the time he hits 50. "I just feel like I've been in God's pocket for so long, I just didn't think that I was going to be hammered with this," he says.

Does Fox consider his affliction a tragedy? "No, not by any stretch of the imagination," he says. "It's my life... and my life is so filled with positives, so filled with blessings, and so filled with things I wouldn't trade for anything in the world." Michael Peck