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Denzel Washington Shines as America’s Favorite Movie Star

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0123homespunweb.jpgRISMEDIA, Jan. 23, 2008-Whether it was his appearances in “American Gangster” or “The Great Debaters,” Denzel Washington scores the top position as America’s favorite movie star for the second year in a row on The Harris Poll’s annual favorite movie star list. In second place, also for the second year in a row, is Charlie Wilson’s War, or rather, Tom Hanks. Perhaps due to the success of the final Pirates of the Caribbean or his singing skills in Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp moves from a seventh place tie to third place this year. Finishing out the top five are a Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts (#4), and one of the Men in Black, Will Smith (#5), who were each tied for fifth place on last year’s list.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 1,114 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive® between December 4 and 12, 2007.

Rounding out the top ten is one old standard and four movie stars who are new to the list this year, three returning after an absence and one on the list for the first time. In sixth place is John Wayne, who is the only movie star to appear on every Harris Poll top ten movie star list since it first began in 1994. And this is after having died in 1979! Tied for seventh on the list are Matt Damon, who’s Bourne Trilogy may have helped him make his first appearance on the list, and an old James Bond, Sean Connery. At number nine is Miss Congeniality herself, Sandra Bullock, and at number ten is Bruce Willis, who returns after a seven year absence and, perhaps coincidently, had a new Die Hard movie released this past summer.

Four actors have also dropped off the list this year. This year, Clint Eastwood (#4 last year), Mel Gibson (tied for #7), George Clooney (#9) and Harrison Ford (#10) were all off the list. While three of the actors did not have any new movies released during 2007, George Clooney did have two, Ocean’s 13 and Michael Clayton, so it is somewhat surprising to see him drop off.

Different groups have different favorite movie stars. For men, Denzel Washington is their favorite while women cite Tom Hanks as their favorite. Age also has some differences. For the two younger generations, Echo Boomers (those aged 18-30) and Generation X (those aged 31-42), Johnny Depp emerges as the favorite. Baby Boomers (those aged 43-61) say Denzel Washington is their favorite movie star. Denzel Washington is also the favorite for Matures (those aged 62 and older), but he ties with Tom Hanks in this oldest generation.

One’s favorite movie star also changes depending on region. In the East, Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks are tied for favorite while Tom Hanks stands alone on top in the Midwest. In the West it’s Johnny Depp, while Will Smith is the favorite in the South.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents not only support different political candidates, they also have different favorite movie stars. For Republicans, Tom Hanks is the favorite, while for Democrats it’s Denzel Washington. Independents say Johnny Depp is their favorite.

WHICH MOVIE STAR IS #1 AMONG DIFFERENT GROUPS?

Group                                    Favorite Movie Star
Men                                         Denzel Washington
Women                                   Tom Hanks

Republican                             Tom Hanks
Democrat                               Denzel Washington
Independent                          Johnny Depp

Echo Boomers (18-30)         Johnny Depp
Gen X (31-42)                       Johnny Depp
Baby Boomers (43-61)          Denzel Washington
Matures (62+)                      Denzel Washington/Tom Hanks

East                                        Denzel Washington/Tom Hanks
Midwest                                 Tom Hanks
South                                      Will Smith
West                                       Johnny Depp

This Harris Poll® was conducted online within the United States December 4 and 12, among 1,114 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

For more information, visit www.harrispollonline.com.

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