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Women toward whom we feel strangely ambivalent

More Starlets

There are women we love (Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra, those busty party girls on E!) and women we don't (feminists, commitment-seekers), but the middle ground has seldom been explored. With that in mind, we bring you some of the women who inspire in us a vague sort of indifference.

Mimi Leder, director

The Next: Penny Marshall

Working On: Pay It Forward, starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt

Notes: The director of Deep Impact and The Peacemaker, Mimi has established herself as a solid, workmanlike filmmaker with good commercial instincts.

Leslie Mann, actress

The Next: Daryl Hannah

Working On: Mulling over several projects

Notes: Since her debut in the 1991 film Virgin High, Leslie has landed supporting roles in The Cable Guy, Big Daddy, George Of The Jungle, and Last Man Standing.

Jane Smiley, author

The Next: Jane Shields

Working On: A book of some sort

Notes: Jane has written such critically acclaimed, award-winning novels as Moo, Horse Heaven, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres. In 1997, A Thousand Acres was adapted into a movie starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jason Robards.

Karrie Webb, golfer

The Next: Juli Inkster

Working On: Defending her title at the Rochester International

Notes: A 25-year-old Australian, Karrie is on course to join the LPGA Hall Of Fame. In 1999, this reading and fishing enthusiast earned her first Rolex Player Of The Year Award.

Peggy Wehmeyer, journalist

The Next: Sylvia Chase

Working On: Covering religious and spiritual issues for ABC News

Notes: Peggy, a Dallas-based TV journalist, is the first regular religion correspondent for a major network, winning two Cine Golden Eagle Awards and a Covenant Award from the Southern Baptist Radio & Television Commission.