Denzel Washington: America's Favorite Movie Star
Jan 19,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

After two years as #1, Tom Hanks drops to #2, according to a new Harris Poll

Hollywood movie star Denzel Washington returns to the list of America's favorite movie stars in dramatic fashion, taking the number one position after dropping off the top ten list in 2005. Dropping from number one to number two is Tom Hanks, while movie legend John Wayne remains in third place. Tough guy Clint Eastwood jumps up two spots to fourth place.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 1,147 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive® between December 12 and 18, 2006.

Denzel Washington (left), and Tom Hanks (right) 
Will Smith also joins the list this year, perhaps due to the recent success of his film, The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith not only joins the top ten for the first time, but does so tied for fifth place. While all the other stars are the same, they have changed places within the top ten. Some of these changes include:

  -- Harrison Ford is the biggest mover as he drops seven places from tied for #3 to #10. This excludes him from the top five for the first time since 1997;
  -- Julia Roberts is tied for #5, a spot held alone in 2005. She is still alone in one regard - this Pretty Woman is the only female to appear in the top ten;
  -- Johnny Depp drops five spots on the list.  In 2005, he was #2 and this time out he is tied for #7.  Also tied for #7 is Mel Gibson, who previously held the spot alone;
  -- George Clooney drops one spot, from #8 to #9.
Gender and age appear to play a role in deciding a favorite. Clint Eastwood is number one among men, while women choose Julia Roberts. Despite dropping overall, Johnny Depp is the favorite among Echo Boomers (ages 18 to 29). Gen Xers (ages 30 to 41) cite Tom Hanks as their favorite, while Baby Boomers (ages 42 to 60) go for someone who is no longer with us -- John Wayne. Matures (ages 61 and over) choose Julia Roberts as their favorite.

Political ideology also appears to be a factor in choosing a favorite movie star. Conservatives pick Tom Hanks and John Wayne as their favorites, while liberals and moderates both choose Denzel Washington. Additionally, region is another factor in picking a favorite. Easterners pick Clint Eastwood as their favorite, while those in the West choose Will Smith. Southerners go with the number one choice overall and cite Denzel Washington as their favorite actor, while Mid-Westerners think outside the box and choose Brad Pitt, who comes in at #14 overall.



Methodology --

This Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between December 12 and 18, 2006, among 1,147 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, 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 surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include: sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed); measurement error due to question wording and/or question order, deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used) and weighting.

With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should be avoided.

With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 1,147, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of /-3 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.