Jones, Hanks top most trusted celebrity list

NEW YORK Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:01pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actors James Earl Jones and Tom Hanks top the list of the most trusted celebrities, according to a poll released on Monday.

In the Forbes.com survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research Co. Americans were asked who they rated highest on trustworthiness, awareness and appeal.

Jones, 79, has spent more than 50 years in a long career on the stage and screen in films including "Field of Dreams" and "Patriot Games." He is known for his deep, assuring voice and was the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies.

But he was also one of the first guests in the long-running children's television series "Sesame Street" and has provided voices in Disney family blockbusters like "The Lion King."

Michael J. Fox, the former "Family Ties" actor who has been an activist for Parkinson's disease after disclosing more than a decade ago he had been diagnosed with the disease, came in third.

"A premium was put on likability, reliability and credibility," said Forbes staff writer Lacey Rose about the qualities Americans associated with trustworthiness.

"The stars on our list tend to be endearing characters on screen and off. With private lives that are kept precisely that, they have earned, and maintained, the respect of their fans," she added.

A celebrity's public image can often affect their star power or lucrative sponsorship deals. The recent sex scandal involving Tiger Woods caused the golfer to lose some of his sponsorship deals.

U.S. television host Mike Rowe came fourth on the list, followed by Morgan Freeman, who portrays former South African President Nelson Mandela in the film "Invictus."

At No. 6 was actress Sally Field who plays the family matriarch in the television series "Brothers and Sisters" after beginning her career in the 1960s sitcom, "The Flying Nun", followed by director Ron Howard at No. 7.

Rounding out the list was actor Will Smith, comedian Bill Cosby and Denzel Washington.

The full list can be seen here

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Patricia Reaney)

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