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The Proust Questionnaire - Sherry Lansing
August 2006

For more than 12 years, she acted as chairman and C.E.O. of Paramount Pictures, but Sherry Lansing has left the Hollywood highlife behind to embark on a career in philanthropy, establishing her foundation for cancer research and education. As she launches her latest venture, PrimeTime — a movement that offers seniors the opportunity to give back by volunteering — Lansing reflects of self-esteem, NetJets and great dish.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being in love with someone who loves you back.

What is your greatest fear? Being dependent.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Mary Lasker.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My need for approval.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Situational ethics.

What is your greatest extravagance? NetJets.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Charisma.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? Wrinkles.

Which living person do you most despise? Those who preach hatred and intolerance. It's a long list.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "I'm confused."

What is your greatest regret? That I didn't invest in Starbucks, Google, or Fiji water.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband.

Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to write.

What is your current state of mind? Joyous and free.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My need to be in control.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? It's yet to come.

What is your most treasured possession? Self-esteem. It didn't come easy.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loss of hope.

What is your favorite occupation? Philanthropy.

What is your most marked characteristic? Enthusiasm.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Loyalty, unconditional love, and sexiness, but not necessarily in that order.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Loyalty, trust, and fun.

What do you most value in your friends? Their nonjudgment, and great dish.

Who are your favorite writers? Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the writers of 24.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Howard Roark from The Fountainhead.

Who are your heroes in real life? Medical-research scientists.

How would you like to die? In my sleep after great sex.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? America's first queen.

What is your motto? "Regret what you did, not what you didn't do."

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