Angelina Jolie is mistress of all trades. She’s a superbly dramatic actress, mother to a small army, owner of the best wardrobe of black dresses you will see on the red carpet, acclaimed director, and human rights campaigner. Now, the 39-year-old can add another accolade to her crowded resumé. A poll conducted by YouGov has found that Jolie is the most admired woman in the world. 25,000 people in 23 countries were surveyed and asked to name the most admired women and men in the world, with Angelina Jolie coming out on top, followed by education campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Political figures such as Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel were also named. While Canadian singer Celine Dion was ranked number six. In England the Queen topped the poll. Julia Roberts came in at number eight, just ahead of Aung San Suu Kyi.
While there is an argument to be made that Malala deserved the number one spot, we’re pretty heartened to see how admired Angelina Jolie is. The Hollywood star has balanced a career as one of the film industry’s highest paid actresses with her work promoting humanitarian causes. She’s one of the loudest voices calling for action in the Middle East, drawing media attention through her role as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Last month, she visited refugee camps along the Iraq border and in a powerful op-ed for the New York Times described how the experience had left her “speechless”.
“What do you say to a mother with tears streaming down her face who says her daughter is in the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIS, and that she wishes she were there, too? Even if she had to be raped and tortured, she says, it would be better than not being with her daughter.”
There has even been speculation that Jolie would leave the world of acting behind, to focus on directing films and promoting human rights. In an interview with Dujour magazine before Christmans, she said “Absolutely” to queries about the possibility of her ending her time in front of the camera. She’s even made comments that indicate her willingness to run for public office. (We’d vote for her.)
A woman who cares about the world and follows her career ambitions? You can’t help but admire Angelina Jolie.
Read the full list below. Do you think anyone was overlooked or deserved to be higher ranked?
1. Angelina Jolie
2. Malala Yousafzai
3. Hillary Clinton
4. The Queen
5. Michelle Obama
6. Celine Dion
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Julia Roberts
9. Aung San Suu Kyi
10. Angela Merkel
As for the men, Bill Gates nabbed the number one spot with Barack Obama in second place. Vladimir Putin places a controversial tenth.
Gates has spent the last few years donating billions of dollars to eliminating poverty around the world through his philanthropic organisation the Gates Foundation.
Here’s the list of the top ten most admired men in the world:
1. Bill Gates
2. Barack Obama
3. Xi Jinping
4. Jackie Chan
5. Narendra Modi
6. Pope Francis
7. The Dalai Lama
8. Jack Ma
9. Stephen Hawking
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun