Actress Betty White named America’s most appealing celebrity

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – The honors keep pouring in for 91-year-old actress Betty White, who has been named America’s most appealing celebrity, according to a market research firm.

White, who stars on the sit-com “Hot in Cleveland,” narrowly topped Oscar-winners Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks, and other celebrities such as singer Adele and Dame Maggie Smith of “Downton Abbey” fame on E-Poll Market Research’s annual “appeal” list for 2012.

It was White’s third time at the top of the list, which was released on Wednesday.

Others making the list’s top 10 included Morgan Freeman, Carol Burnett, actress and recording star Cote de Pablo, “NCIS” TV star Pauley Perrette and Olympian Gabby Douglas.

Robin Williams and Clint Eastwood dropped out of the top 10.

White has collected Screen Actors Guild awards for her current show, hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2010 and was recently rated as the most popular and trusted celebrity in other national polls.

Betty White
Betty White

The ratings also looked at which celebrities saw the biggest gains in their appeal factor last year, with Olympic athletes Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Aly Raisman and Michael Phelps all making the top 10, likely due to exposure from the 2012 Summer Games in London.

The biggest decliners in appeal included outspoken “American Idol” judge Nicki Minaj and comedian Andy Stamberg, who ended his long tenure on “Saturday Night Live.”

The ratings were collated by consumer research firm E-Poll Market Research, which ranks some 7,500 celebrities in entertainment, business, politics and sports based on a national sample of 1,100 respondents ages 13 and up who evaluate them in terms of familiarity, appeal and 46 personality attributes.

Garry Marshall

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall dead at 81 – media

(Reuters) – Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday, Variety reported.

Rajinikanth

Tamil superstar takes over southern India ahead of film release

(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India yesterday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.” Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.

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Singer Elton John gives boost to groups fighting AIDS

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Groups working to battle AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the first winners of grants established by singer Elton John to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the singer said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK shows

(Reuters) – Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.

rihanna

Rihanna cancels Nice concert after attack

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna has cancelled a concert scheduled for Friday in Nice after a gunman in a truck ploughed into crowds marking Bastille Day in the southern coastal French city, killing at least 84 people.

Kaveri Kapur

Indian teen music star hopes to emerge from famous parents’ shadow

LONDON, (Reuters) – The teenage daughter of one of India’s best known movie directors has had her first chart hit – with a song she wrote when just 11 years old.

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