And America’s most trusted celebrity is… 19 Aug 11

Actress Betty White poses for a photograph in Los Angeles, California May 26, 2010.

(Reuters) – Seems like former “Golden Girls” actress Betty White really does have the Midas touch.

 

White, 89, is both the most popular and most trusted celebrity with Americans and the person most likely to drive up the business of a brand she might choose to endorse, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

But the Reuters/Ipsos poll suggested that companies should stay away from Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen if they want to promote their products.

The socialite and reality TV actress, and the fired “Two and A Half Men” star topped the list of the most unpopular and least trusted personalities and were deemed most likely to damage any brands they choose to support.

White, the only surviving member of the key cast members of TV’s “Golden Girls” 1980s comedy, has enjoyed a career resurgence in the last few years as a saucy senior in films like “The Proposal” and the TV show “Hot in Cleveland”.

She also won an Emmy Award last year for hosting satirical sketch show “Saturday Night Live”.

White scored an 86 percent favorable opinion in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, beating Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock and Clint Eastwood in the survey of the 100 most popular personalities. She easily edged out Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton (5th), Oprah Winfrey (6th), and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (15th) in the most trusted personalities ranking.

Some 44 percent of those questioned said they would be more likely to do business with a company if White endorsed it.

At the other extreme, 54 percent of the 2,012 Americans questioned for the poll said they would trust a company less if it were endorsed by Sheen, with Hilton coming in second.

Pop star Britney Spears, actor Mel Gibson and golfer Tiger Woods — who lost several major endorsements after his 2009 sex scandal — also fared badly.

Below is a list of the top 10 most popular personalities with their “favorable” rating by percentage of voters.

 

1. Betty White ………..86 pct favorable

2. Denzel Washington …..85 pct

3. Sandra Bullock ……..84 pct

4. Clint Eastwood ……..83 pct

5. Tom Hanks ………….81 pct

6. Harrison Ford ………80 pct tie

7. Morgan Freeman ……..79 pct tie

7. Kate Middleton ……..79 pct

9. Will Smith …………77 pct

10. Johnny Depp ………..76 pct

 

Below is a list of the top 10 most unpopular personalities with their “unfavorable” rating by percentage of voters.

 

1. Paris Hilton ……….60 pct unfavorable

2. Charlie Sheen ………52 pct tie

3. Britney Spears ……..45 pct tie

4. Kanye West …………45 pct

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger..44 pct

6. Tiger Woods ………..42 pct

7. Kim Kardashian ……..38 pct

8. Mel Gibson …………33 pct

9. Donald Trump ……….31 pct

10. LeBron James ………29 pct