September 3, 2008 / 10:13 AM / 11 years ago

Ledger voted top summer movie villain

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Heath Ledger’s chilling portrayal of the Joker in Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight” easily surpassed rivals to be named the summer’s best movie villain in a poll released on Wednesday.

The late actor Heath Ledger playing his role as The Joker in "The Dark Knight". REUTERS/Warner Bros Studio/Handout

Australian actor Ledger, 28, who died of an accidental drug overdose six months before the July release of “The Dark Knight”, won 95 percent of votes in a poll by AOL’s Web site.

The Batman sequel, which has taken $505 million at the U.S. and Canadian box office alone, also won every category in which it was nominated for the end of summer season poll, including best sequel, best superhero movie, best action sequence and “movie most worth your cash.”

“‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ had all the hype going into the summer but when people saw ‘The Dark Knight’, they really responded in ‘Titanic’-like proportions,” said Moviefone editor Scott Robson.

“Indiana Jones” — the much-anticipated fourth movie in the lucrative franchise — got only five percent of votes for best movie in the Moviefone end of summer movie poll. The poll got a total of 646,917 online votes.

“Sex and the City” edged out “Mamma Mia” as best chick flick, while “Tropic Thunder” beat “Pineapple Express” 32 percent to 24 percent as the funniest comedy.

Summer was no fun, however, for comic actors Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers.

Murphy’s “Meet Dave” came top of the “least worth your cash” category with 33 percent of votes, closely followed by Myers’ vehicle “The Love Guru”.

“When you think what these guys were 10 years ago and you look at these two movies, you feel like the wheels have come off their careers,” said Robson.

It was the opposite story for Robert Downey Jr, who hit a career rock bottom in the early 2000s because of drug addiction.

The actor won the “hottest summer leading man” and “best combined performance” category in the poll for his back-to-back roles as the superhero in “Iron Man” and for playing a black actor in “Tropic Thunder.”

“It shows that film fans can be a very forgiving lot as long as you put something great on screen,” Robson said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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