NEW YORK DS - Tom Hanks has beaten other celebrities, politicians and judges to be named the most trusted person in America.
The Cloud Atlas actor was voted top of the Reader’s Digest Top 100 list, in conjunction with research firm The Wagner Group. More oddly, however, Miss Congeniality actor Sandra Bullock took second place, while Denzel Washington, whose most recent role was an airline pilot with substance abuse issues in Flight, came third. American studies professor Maya Angelou is the highest-placed non-actor in the list at five.
Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, Melinda Gates and Julia Roberts completed the top ten. Clint Eastwood came in at 13, Ellen DeGeneres finished at 18, while Michelle Obama is at 19, ahead of Barack Obama at a surprisingly low 65. Jimmy Carter is the highest-placed US president in the list, at 24.
Elsewhere, Johnny Depp is at 35, Muhammad Ali at 41, George Lucas at 42, Ben Affleck at 45 and Dwayne Johnson at 54. Tom Hanks topped a similar poll run by Forbes back in 2006.
The magazine said it conducted the poll of more than 1,000 US citizens in conjunction with research firm the Wagner Group to “discover which individuals and the ideals they represent have earned our confidence”.
Participants were asked to rate people on a scale of one to five, from not trustworthy to extremely able to trust.
As the personification of all-American values in a string of films ranging from Saving Private Ryan and Apollo 13 to Toy Story, Hanks’ status is perhaps understandable. Moreover, six of the 10 most trusted Americans identified by the poll are movie-industry titans: Meryl Streep came fourth, Steven Spielberg sixth, and Julia Roberts claimed 10th place.
The highest non-Hollywood entry on the list is author and academic Maya Angelou, at no 5, while the most highly rated active former or current political officeholder (discounting the first lady) is Madeleine Albright, secretary of state from 1991 to 2001, at no 23. Activist academic Noam Chomsky came in ahead of Albright, at no 20.
On the flip side, Tom Cruise and Kristen Stewart earned the dreadful title of least trusted stars of the top 100 bunch.
Trust, according to Reader’s Digest is “earned with a person’s integrity and character, exceptional talent and drive, internal moral compass, message, honesty, and leadership.” Stewart’s affair with her married director Rupert Sanders must have contributed to her low score, but it’s surprising she managed to snag such a dubious title while Chris Brown, Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes didn’t even make the list. A previous version of the above described Kristen Stewart and Tom Cruise as the least trustworthy people in America. Instead, they are at the bottom of a top 100 list of the most trustworthy people.