Amy Pascal

That a woman became president of production at a studio was no longer a banner headline, but by the late twentieth century, Amy Pascal, who was appointed president of Columbia Pictures in December 1996, was still a member of a very select club. Known to be popular with screenwriters and passionate in her advocacy for films, she followed the classic Hollywood rise first trademarked by Irving Thalberg more than 70 years ago - going from secretary to head of production at a studio. Moving up the ladder to chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Pascal was among the ranks of just a handful of women who had raised the bar for females in positions of power in Hollywood. She did so by overseeing such feature film hits as "Hitch," (2004) "The Da Vinci Code," (2006) and the mammoth success of the "Spider-Man" multi-million dollar franchise - in the process, becoming one of the most respected studio heads, male or female, in the business.