Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Los Angeles Times: CEO Raven-Symoné, 22 yrs old, worth $400M

"THE future head of the would-be Raven-Symoné Enterprises or Raven-Symoné Inc. sits in a Toluca Lake diner, chewing ice out of a plastic cup, outlining her plans for world domination.

'I want to have a record label and a licensing company,' declares Raven-Symoné. 'I want to have a publishing company and a management company where I can launch all kinds of artists. I want to do everything.'

After a brief pause, Raven-Symoné delivers the bottom line, without a trace of irony: 'I want to be Disney.'"

"For the 22-year-old star -- who started out at 5 years old on "The Cosby Show" and was featured in several TV series, such as "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," before landing as the star and producer of the Disney Channel series "That's So Raven" and "The Cheetah Girls" movies -- it's a distant goal but a very real ambition.

As for now, she'll be content with conquering the big screen.

Next up is Walt Disney Pictures' "College Road Trip," which hits theaters Friday. She plays Melanie Porter, an energetic 17-year-old who finds her plans for a "girls only" road trip to check out prospective universities upended by her overprotective father (Martin Lawrence).

Her character is a mature extension of her aggressively loopy, rubber-faced character, who is at the center of the longest-running series on the Disney Channel (the comedy, which wrapped production in 2006 after four seasons, airs daily on the cable network and on Saturday mornings on ABC). The success of "That's So Raven" and its related merchandise prompted Ebony magazine last year to dub her "The $400 Million Woman" (just the mention of that label makes her cringe). "College Road Trip" also boosts her filmmaker credentials -- she is an executive producer and had script input on many of the exchanges between the two main characters."

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