LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui has topped an annual poll of the world's 99 most desirable women, with organizers saying her appeal was boosted by the fact that she does not feature heavily in celebrity magazines.
The 32-year-old actress, best known for the TV series "Entourage," was on Tuesday named by men's website AskMen.com as the woman with the qualities most men would want in a girlfriend or wife, taking the title from last year's winner Eva Mendes.
Previous winners of the annual list of the world's "Top 99 Most Desirable Women," now in its 10th year, include Katherine Heigl, Beyonce, Jessica Alba and Adriana Lima.
"Hearing what the vote is made of is the biggest compliment of all because it's about being a well-rounded woman. That's really empowering and is just a massive compliment to me," Chriqui said in a statement after coming 12th last year.
In second place in the 2010 poll, which involved about 8 million votes, was American model Marisa Miller and in the third slot was British actress Kate Beckinsale.
AskMen.com's editor-in-chief James Bassil said Chriqui's role in "Entourage" as a sweet, ideal girlfriend had helped her in the survey -- but so had the fact that she is not over exposed.
"We don't see a lot of her. She is not a very public person so it leaves some room to the imagination. She is not out there making a spectacle of herself which could sully her image," he told Reuters.
"A lot of the behavior we see in the media is not the kind of behavior that you want to see in a girlfriend or wife. You can get over-saturation and we don't want to see their real and sometimes stained and depressed sides of their lives."
Chriqui has appeared in a list of films including "Don't Mess With The Zohan," and TV series "The O.C." and "Entourage."
Celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who appear regularly in the media did not feature at all in the 2010 list. Spears reappeared on the list in 2009 after a few years' absence but was out of favor again in 2010.
"It has to do with a lack of mystery and enigma," said Bassil.
He said it was interesting to note that Megan Fox has fallen from second place to No. 11 in 2010 after a year of heavy publicity for the American actress.
"She has become very much the type we see everywhere, getting a lot of publicity but with not a lot of success driving this. Sure, she's had massive roles in massive movies but they are few and far between compared to many others," he said.
Newcomers to the list for 2010 included Italian model/actress Elisabetta Canalis, 31, debuted at No. 43, which Bassil put down to the fact that she is dating Hollywood idol George Clooney.
He said it was interesting that French actress Marion Cotillard came in at No. 54 as the movie "Nine" has not been that successful in North America.
The list by AskMen.com, a unit of News Corp's Fox Interactive Media, had the perennial favorites like Jessica Alba at No.5 followed by Beyonce in sixth place and Angelina Jolie at No. 88.
"All the top women we see in this list are pretty well behaved and respectable women. We don't see a lot of them parading around in public unless it is in the framework of their careers," said Bassil.
Following is a list of the top 20 women in the list of 99 with their position in last year's poll in brackets where relevant:
1. Emmanuelle Chriqui(12)
2. Marisa Miller(3)
3. Kate Beckinsale (10)
4. Alessandra Ambrosio(6)
5. Jessica Alba(15)
6. Beyonce (50)
7. Penelope Cruz(25)
8. Cheryl Cole (20)
9. Eva Mendes(1)
10. Miranda Kerr(46)
11. Megan Fox (2)
12. Gisele Bundchen(28)
13. Bar Refaeli (34)
14. Erin Andrews
15. Padma Lakshmi
16. Kelly Brook
17. Natalie Portman
18. January Jones (98)
19. Monica Bellucci(18)
20. Paz Vega(53)
Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy