January 1, 2009 / 12:53 PM / 10 years ago

Heath Ledger 2008's biggest movie story: poll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Australian actor Heath Ledger beat all-comers in a 2008 movie poll released on Thursday, sweeping the biggest news story, most missed star and best villain categories thanks to his posthumous hit film “The Dark Knight.”

An image of actor Heath Ledger is shown during the memorial section of the show at the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in this January 27, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ledger, whose death at age 28 in January of an accidental prescription drugs overdose shocked the world, was voted the biggest movie news story of 2008 by 83 percent of votes in the poll by AOL’s online movie site Moviefone.com.

The actor also topped the list of movie stars voters will most miss after their deaths, edging out the late Paul Newman by 56 to 20 percent of votes.

Ledger has won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his supporting actor role as The Joker in the Batman move “The Dark Knight”, which was released six months after his death.

“The Dark Knight”, the biggest-grossing box office movie worldwide of 2008, easily won the best action movie and “movie most worth your cash” in the Moviefone poll.

But teen vampire movie “Twilight”, a favorite with young girls around the world, gave Ledger and “The Dark Knight” a run for the money.

“Twilight” beat “Sex and the City” as the best chick flick of 2008, while actor Robert Pattinson was voted breakout star of the year and Pattinson and his “Twilight” co-star Kristen Stewart won the best on-screen couple with 41 percent of votes.

Sexiest babe of 2008 and best nude scene went to Angelina Jolie for the action movie “Wanted” and Jolie also topped the poll as the actress with the best multiple performances of 2008 for “Wanted”, “The Changeling”, and “Kung Fu Panda.”

But Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt came second to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith as the best off-screen couple with 32 percent and 38 percent of votes respectively.

The Mike Myers comedy “The Love Guru” was deemed the worst movie of 2008 by 40 percent of voters, with Paris Hilton’s performance in “Repo! The Genetic Opera” heading the list of stars with the worst performances.

Looking ahead, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, out in July 2009, was the most anticipated movie followed by the latest “X-Men” installment “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The poll ran from Dec 17-29 and attracted 3.5 million votes.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Patricia Reaney

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