Dateline: January 27th 2010
The veteran actor-director topples Denzel Washington from his three-year perch at the top of the annual Harris poll.
If 2008's Gran Torino does indeed turn out to be his acting swan song, Clint Eastwood will have gone out on a high note. The veteran actor-director has been named America's favorite movie star of 2009, at the age of 79.
Eastwood replaces the three-year incumbent, Denzel Washington, at the top of the annual Harris poll. Washington, one of two black actors in the top 10, slips to No 3, while Johnny Depp, best known to multiplex visitors for his starring role in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, rises six spots from eighth to second.
The highest-placed female actor is Sandra Bullock, who re-enters the top 10 in fourth spot. 2009 was an excellent year for the 45-year-old star of The Blind Side and The Proposal – both films performed strongly at the box office. Bullock, one of three women in the top 10 (along with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts) is even being tipped for an Oscar nomination for her role in the former, as a woman determined to realise the American footballing dreams of her troubled foster child.
All 10 of the top movie stars in the poll are over 40, suggesting that age is no barrier to popularity. In fact, Eastwood is something of a spring chicken in comparison with the poll's seventh-placed figure, John Wayne, who were he alive today would be 102. The Duke has been a fixture of the top 10 ever since it was first published in 1994, despite having left this mortal coil in 1979.The online Harris poll surveyed 2,276 adults in the US from 7-14 December.
The Top 10 list for 2009: