NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- He's played cops and criminals, fought in Civil War engagements, walked across apocalyptic wastelands, and this year Denzel Washington is once again America's Favorite Movie Star. This is the fifth time he's held this distinction, with previous wins being a three-year run from 2006-2008 and one more victory in 2012, before spending 2013 in the No. 2 spot.
Riding all the way from No. 7 last year to a second place finish is the only star who has appeared on this list since it first began in 1994 (at which time his most recent film was nearly two decades old), John Wayne. Wayne's high standing despite having not made a film in so long may come as a surprise to some, but with a recent Harris Poll finding the septuagenarian Civil War epic Gone with the Wind to be America's favorite movie, it would appear that we have plenty of room in our hearts for the oldies. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt certainly shouldn't be feeling any Fury at his fast rise from a 9th-place tie last year to this year's No. 3 spot.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,255 U.S. adults surveyed online between December 10 and 15, 2014. Full results of this study, including data tables, can be found here.
Rounding out the top five are two actors who have held the No. 1 spot more than once. Johnny Depp, whose 2014 films included Transcendence and Into the Woods, was America's favorite movie star in 2010 and 2011; this year he's is in the No. 4 spot, up two places from last year. Tom Hanks, who held the top position for the third time last year (with previous wins in 2002, 2004 and 2005) drops to the No. 5 spot this year.
The Usual Suspects
Despite being behind the camera for both of his major releases this year (Jersey Boys and American Sniper), Clint Eastwood – America's favorite movie star as recently as 2009 – is in the No. 6 position this year, up two spots.
The No. 7 spot is a tie between Jennifer Lawrence (whose 2014 resume included The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Meryl Streep (with turns in The Giver and Into the Woods among her 2014 roles).
Harrison Ford may not have had much screen time in 2014, but his presence in – and injury during the filming of – 2015's the next installment in the Star Wars franchise was certainly a topic of pop culture discussion; after slipping out of the top 10 last year, Ford is in the No. 9 spot this time around.
Finally, rounding out the top 10 is Angelina Jolie, who had notable turns both onscreen (with the starring role in Maleficent) and behind the camera (directing the World War II era drama Unbroken) in 2014; for 2014 she holds the No. 10 spot. Like Ford, this marks a return to the top 10 list for Jolie; most recently, she held the No. 5 spot in 2010.
With Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie returning to the top 10 list this year, this means we must unfortunately say goodbye – at least for this year – to two of last year's top 10. Julia Roberts, the Pretty Woman herself and a frequent resident of the top 10 list, falls off the list after a No.4 showing last year. And Gravity appears to have gotten hold of Sandra Bullock, another top 10 list veteran, who falls to earth after holding the No. 5 spot last year.
Age, region, gender and many other factors can coincide with varied takes on favorite movie stars.
- While women point to Denzel Washington as their favorite movie star, men turn to John Wayne.
- Gen Xers and Baby Boomers also name Washington as their top pick, while Matures call out Wayne; Millennials, meanwhile, identify Jennifer Lawrence as their No. 1 pick.
- Regionally, Denzel Washington is tops for those in the East, Midwest, and South; Jennifer Lawrence takes the top position among those in the West.
- And given the fact that those of different political persuasions can't seem to agree on anything, it should come as little surprise that they can't agree on this topic either. Republicans look to the iconic Wayne as their top pick, while Democrats lean toward Washington. Independents – perhaps identifying with the series of classic outsiders he's played – pick Clint Eastwood.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between December 10 and 15, 2014 among 2,255 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.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.
The Harris Poll® #5, January 15, 2015
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, visit the Harris Poll News Room.
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SOURCE The Harris Poll