John Wayne makes No. 2 in Poll

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THE HARRIS POLL #72, December 6, 2000

While the Presidential Race remains uncertain, Americans have once again voted for Harrison Ford as their favorite movie star for the third year running. Mr. Ford, who portrayed a heroic President in the action-packed “Air Force One”, ranked highest among women and whites.

John Wayne and Mel Gibson scored two and three, respectively. That John Wayne should still hold the second sport twenty-one years after he died in 1979 is surely amazing.

These are the results of the annual Harris Poll in which a nationwide cross-section of 1,015 adults, surveyed in October, were asked to name their favorite movie stars. Because this is a survey of a cross-section of all adults, whether or not they ever go to the movies, these numbers represent the views of all adults; they are not a cross-section of moviegoers.

Julia Roberts has moved up to #4, the highest position ever held by a female star in the eight years since 1993 that we have asked these questions. Ms. Roberts leap in our poll coincides with the release this year of “Erin Brockovich”, in which she portrayed a crusader who manages to succeed in a male dominated society.

The other top ten stars are now Clint Eastwood (#5), Tom Hanks (#6), Denzel Washington (#7), Bruce Willis (#7), Arnold Schwarzenegger (#9), Robert DeNiro (equal #10) and Sean Connery (#10). Interestingly, the average age of an actor in the top ten is 58, significantly higher than the age demographic that Hollywood movies are marketed to.

Mel Gibson, while #3 overall, is the favorite star of people 18 to 24, who go to the movies a lot. John Wayne is still the favorite of people over age 65, defeating 70-somethings Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery. While John Wayne is tops with men, Denzel Washington is still the favorite among African-Americans.

Humphrey Taylor is the Chairman of The Harris Poll.

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