10 Most Memorable Women of 2010

10 Most Memorable Women of 2010

betty white
Here is my fully biased, unscientific, idiosyncratic, list — in no particular order. Tell me, whom do you count among the year’s most memorable women (real or fictional)? You can share their names in the comments section below.

  1. Betty White. At 88, her comic timing is better than most pros half her age. It’s never too late for a comeback.
  2. Elizabeth Edwards. She was a pure embodiment of Victor Frankl’s theory (Man’s [sic] Search for Meaning) that a life’s meaning can be created in the dignity that is brought to suffering.
  3. Kathryn Bigelow. By winning the Oscar for Best Director (“Hurt Locker”), she proved herself a modern-day David, triumphing not only over big-budget Hollywood, but also over ex-husband James Cameron (also nominated, for “Avatar”).
  4. Oprah Winfrey. Only because she reminds us that you should quit while you’re ahead. Don’t get stuck in old success. You gotta create the next risk.
  5. Patti Smith. In her memoir (Just Kids), winner of the National Book Award, the punk poet rocks on. She reminds us that what the world needs now is artistic soul.
  6. Gwen Ifill. Smart and articulate and seductively wry, the moderator of “Washington Week” (PBS) is the highlight of my Friday nights. I call her la Gwen.
  7. The Real Housewives of New York City.” I’m sorry. It’s like a car crash. I can’t look away.
  8. Elena Kagan. So self-possessed that she can crack jokes with a hostile senate confirmation committee. I thought that was an exclusively Texan trait (think Ann Richards), but I was wrong.
  9. and 10. Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick) and Archie Panjabi (Kalinda), both actresses featured on “The Good Wife.” These female characters are super-cool, the former rewriting the script for “the good wife” and the latter inventing the script for the sexy-tough private investigator. Amazingly, here are prime-time portraits of high-achieving women who don’t need to build their lives around a man. (BTW, if this list were featuring men, machiavellian campaign manager Eli Gold, played by Alan Cumming, would be at the TOP of the list! What will Alicia do to Eli when she finds out what he did . . .)

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