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Depp America’s favorite star – again

Johnny Depp is America’s favorite movie star, according to a new poll of 2,237 adults conducted by the polling firm Harris Interactive. It’s the second year in a row Depp, who appeared in three movies in 2011, has landed atop the chart.

Depp appeared in “The Rum Diary” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and loaned his voice to the animated film “Rango.” Which is enough to make him the favorite of women; Republicans and independents; baby boomers, Gen X-ers and echo boomers; Easterners, Midwesterners and Westerners.

Clint Eastwood was tops in the South; George Clooney was a favorite of grandparents and moderates; and Democrats love Denzel Washington.

The rest of the top five are: Eastwood and Washington tied for No. 2, Tom Hanks and, incredibly, John Wayne. Wayne, who hasn’t made a movie or done a talk show or had a messy tabloid breakup since his death in 1979, has been on the Harris list every year since 1994.

And yes, the list was open to both men and women, although only one woman was listed in the Top 10: Sandra Bullock came in at No. 7.

Shatner’s Priceline mission ends

William Shatner’s stalwart Capt. James T. Kirk died in the line of duty. Now the actor’s bargain-touting Priceline Negotiator is headed heroically to his final frontier.

In a new 30-second TV spot set to begin airing Monday, the Negotiator rescues panicked vacationers from a bus teetering on a bridge’s railing.

“Save yourselves – some money,” he says, handing his cellphone to a passenger as he and the bus tumble into a dry creek bed. A violent explosion, real and computer-generated, follows.

He’s been a pitchman for Priceline for 14 years. But an advertising change was needed to reflect the company’s broader strategy, said Christopher Soder, CEO of North America.

Does Soder fear backlash from those fond of Shatner and the Negotiator?

“We certainly hope not. We had a great, long association with Mr. Shatner,” Soder said, adding hastily, “I didn’t mean to use the past tense. He’s still under contract with us.”

True, said Shatner, an indefatigable 80 years old. So, whether they use him again or not, he said merrily, “I’m going to make them pay through the nose.”

Country singer Slim Whitman is 88. Comedian Arte Johnson is 83. Movie director David Lynch is 66. Actor Daniel Benzali is 62. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 60. Comedian Bill Maher is 56. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 54. Actor Rainn Wilson is 46. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 42. Rap musician ?uestlove (The Roots) is 41.


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