Forget the youthquake. What America really loves is… old. Whatever Wayne represents — the Old Testament God, a Mount Rushmore face with a permanent scowl, the craggy soul of Frontier or Sunbelt America — he has made the list in each of the Harris poll’s 13 years, and he’s figured in the top three slots eight times.
Brangelina monopolized the paparazzi. Vinnifer had the gossips geysering. The celebrity world gasped when Justeron (or Camberlake) split up. But if you want to know who’s a real movie star, check out the latest Harris poll. It’s weirder dish than you’ll find in the Weekly World News.
Last month, 1,147 U.S. adults were surveyed online by Harris Interactive and asked to name their favorite movie stars. The results were released Tuesday. Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks topped the list, which also included Will Smith, Johnny Depp and George Clooney. Nothing radical there, except that Pitt, Jolie and, oh, Tom Cruise were among the missing.
The edge of weirdness comes with some of the other selections. Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson make the top 10, though they haven’t been seen on the big screen in several years. And the #3 movie star of 2006: John Wayne, who died in 1979. Here’s where you begin to wonder if Americans think that film is a medium, or if they used a medium to contact the ghosts of celebrities past. And if so, where’s Garbo?