Air Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Time Slot: 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST on ABC
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


�Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005,� an hour-long ABC News special highlighting some of the year�s most prominent names in entertainment, politics and sports, will air TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Hosted by Barbara Walters, the special will include brand new interviews with superstar Tom Cruise, Grammy Award winner Kanye West, pint-sized acting dynamo Dakota Fanning, legal eagle Thomas Mesereau, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (who is also joined by his rock star fianc�e, Sheryl Crow) and Beth Holloway Twitty (mother of missing teenager Natalee Holloway). The special also includes �Desperate Housewives�� Teri Hatcher, Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Number One Most Fascinating Person of 2005 will be announced on the program.

�We�ve tried to choose people of high achievement for whom this past year has been special indeed,� says Ms. Walters.

This year megastar Tom Cruise, once known for his guarded privacy, revealed a side to himself that no one had seen before. He was jumping on couches while professing his love for Katie Holmes. He also shared his opinions about prescription drugs and psychiatry. Barbara Walters interviews Cruise on the set of his next film, �Mission Impossible 3,� and asks the questions everyone wants answered. The public may have seen his behavior as odd, but Cruise insists, �I think all men should celebrate their women�I will forever be jumping on couches.�

Grammy Award winner Kanye West had a meteoric rise to stardom. After winning multiple Grammys and gracing the cover of Time Magazine, his politically charged rap music took on a new dimension when West spoke publicly about his disapproval of President Bush during a telethon for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and said, �George Bush doesn�t care about black people.� West, however, does not apologize and tells Ms. Walters, �I wonder why those words are considered to be harsh.�

This year the biggest movie star in Hollywood was also the smallest. Eleven-year-old Dakota Fanning sees herself as a normal kid with lots of friends. She has worked with the biggest leading men in Hollywood, including Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington and Kurt Russell. Dakota, even at this young age, chooses her own roles and says, �I have to have a feel for the character� if it�s not the right thing or it�s similar to something I�ve done before, that would be why I would not do something.�

Prosecutor Thomas Mesereau never doubted that Michael Jackson was innocent of the child molestation charges. He says that the trial was a disgrace but took solace that the justice system prevailed. Asked about his distinctive looks and long hair, Mesereau says, �I have never been totally comfortable with a lot of members of my profession who seem to want to conform to one another, wear the same clothes, the same ties, present the same look.�

At 34, Lance Armstrong has defied the odds. He won the coveted Tour de France bicycle race seven times, survived cancer, raised millions of dollars through his foundation, asked rock star Sheryl Crow to marry him and announced his retirement from competitive racing while at the top of his game.

Armstrong shares his innermost feelings about being faced with death and tells Ms. Walters, �I was given my life back. I wasn�t going to throw it away. I was going to do everything I could to be the best athlete, the best person� If it was on the bike, if it was off the bike, making a difference in the lives of people.�

Beth Holloway Twitty experienced every parent�s worst nightmare: The mysterious disappearance of her 18-year-old, daughter, Natalee. Beth Holloway Twitty sits down with Ms. Walters to share the personal agony and shows the viewers her daughter�s bedroom, which has never been seen before. She�s been relentless in her search for answers and at times took matters into her own hands by following leads when the authorities were dragging their feet. She tells Ms. Walters, �I am never going to give up� I will carry her story for the rest of my life.�

�Desperate Housewives� sexy star Teri Hatcher was once a self described has-been. After several years of forgettable parts, she landed the best job on television playing single mom Susan on the megahit �Desperate Housewives.� It�s a role that parallels her life, and Hatcher jokingly tells Ms. Walters, �I�m just not that good of an actress. I just finally found a role that actually is me.�

This certainly was the year for Jamie Foxx -- an Oscar nomination for �Collateral� and Best Actor win for his brilliant portrayal of music legend Ray Charles. He continues to fascinate us this year with new movies and the debut of his hip-hop CD, �Unpredictable,� to be released by Clive Davis� J Records this December. He tells Ms. Walters, �It�s been a fantastic year. Absolutely everything you could possibly imagine. It�s the NBA Championship. It�s the Super Bowl. It�s the Stanley Cup. It�s everything all at once.�

This year Condoleezza Rice became the first African American female Secretary of State and quite possibly the most powerful woman in the world. Barbara Walters profiles Rice�s rise to power and includes her thoughts on running for President in 2008.

The No. 1 Most Fascinating Person of 2005 will be announced on the program.

�Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005� is executive-produced by Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie. Bill Geddie also directs the program.

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