Poll: The Pulse of the Nation
No surprise that they're married to each other: You still admire the long-running love story of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, awarding one in every two votes to the pair that has been together 37 years. How do they do it? "I know this sounds corny," Woodward has said, "but we're both essentially shy, retiring people who enjoy each other." Obviously. "To see him with Joanne—you just want to soak up that sunshine," says Newman's Blaze costar, Lolita Davidovich. "There's nothing sexier."
Which couple do you think will break up first?
Sixty-three percent of you are betting against Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley (in Budapest, right). A vehement 75 percent of single voters picked the Jackos above Roseanne and Ben Thomas (11 percent) and other duos; married respondents (60 percent) hold out slightly more hope—or are just more inclined to be doubting the Thomases (28 percent).
If you could spend the night with a star, who would it be?
She must appeal to a man's basic instinct: Sharon Stone (left) packs 47 percent of the male vote in her overnight bag, rendering Winona Ryder, Pamela Anderson and Rosie Perez almost dateless. As for women's
wishful lusting, our respondents don't quite agree with PEOPLE'S editors, who last month dubbed Brad Pitt the Sexiest Man Alive. It's Kevin Costner (right) who heats up readers most, with 50 percent of the vote. Pitt finishes second (24 percent), making him one of the sexier men alive. Wilting wallflowers Wesley Snipes and Christian Slater finish in the single digits—far behind a far more successful heartthrob, Don't Know (16 percent).
Should Cindy Costner take Kevin back?
The answer, according to readers, is a resounding "No!" More than half would advise Mrs. C. to tell the Waterworld star to go soak his head if he asked her to reunite. Only one group is in favor of giving him another chance: single guys. Who's the least forgiving? College-educated women: 70 percent think Costner is an untouchable.
Who is your idea of the perfect date?
Patient women voters put up with our Tomfoolery on this question. Their ideal escort would be more like Mr. Hanks (right) than other famous Thomases, though Mr. Cruise ties the Forrest Gump star for first place among single women. Tom Brokaw and Tommy Lee Jones are runners-up, while Tom Arnold comes out dead last. Asked to juggle three Julias (Roberts, Louis-Dreyfus, Sweeney), a Juliette (Lewis) and a Julie (Christie), nearly half the men polled would select the Pretty Woman (far right).
Which Disney heroine do you think lives most happily ever after?
The cartoon character with the best prognosis: Cinderella (left, with her Prince), who shovels aside Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast's Belle.
Which movie title describes your relationship?
More readers (49 percent) say they're having An Affair to Remember (starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in 1957, right) than lament that their romance is Gone with the Wind (30 percent). Dumb and Dumber does best with single guys (27 percent).
Whom would you like to hear singing in your shower?
Men are in a lather over Whitney Houston (left), who garnered nearly one-third of their votes. Guys also get sudsy for second-place winner Mariah Carey (with 28 percent). On the other hand, they'd happily scrub also-rans Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Madonna. But newcomer Liz Phair is headed down the drain as far as our guys are concerned. Only 2 percent yearn to hear her pipes under the hot spray.
Meanwhile, a full 30 percent of women think that as a bathroom serenader, Michael Bolton (right) is born to be tiled. Distant second-placer Garth Brooks washes up with just 17 percent of the vote. But the fellows who might as well throw in the towel are Julio Iglesias, Phil Collins, Luther Vandross—and Tom Jones, who claimed only 10 percent.
Which TV couple is most like you?
Looking over candidates past and present, 37 percent of readers say their relationships would need hardly any remodeling to be as affable as Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson's on Home Improvement (right). Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore join Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad in a near tie for second place. (The Dick Van Dyke Show duo did win among one group: men over 45.) Critics claim John Goodman and Roseanne have the most realistic sitcom marriage, but only 12 percent of PEOPLE readers would call their relationships Roseanneish. The big losers: Beverly Hills, 90210's troubled hunk Luke Perry and former snippy steady Shannen Doherty; The Simpsons' grumpy Homer and Marge; and—worst of all—ER's resident regular guy Anthony Edwards and his lawyer wife, played by Christine Harnos, whose meager 1 percent of the vote puts them in critical condition.
Would Princess Di be better off if she'd never met Prince Charles?
It's a crying shame that Princess Diana (left) didn't fall for a commoner, according to an overwhelming 68 percent of readers, who think all the fame and money isn't worth marrying that Windsor. Single women are even more convinced: 78 percent say Diana should have picked an untitled beau. When Diana goes back on the market again, more readers (52 percent) would pair her off with America's answer to royalty—John F. Kennedy Jr. (right)—than with cute countryman Hugh Grant or late-night comedy king David Letterman. Are you listening, Di?
Who leads a more romantic life: Martha Stewart or Oprah Winfrey?
Toss out the hand-sewn napkin rings! Let that rosebush cross-pollinate itself! You elected Oprah (left) by a 69-24 percent landslide.
Whom would you like to be stranded with on a bridge in Madison County?
Clint Eastwood may be starring in (and directing) the movie version of the best-seller, but women readers would much rather have that middle-aged fling with Robert Redford (right) or Nick Nolte. But surprise! The men we polled agree with Clint's costar casting: More than one-third voted for Meryl Streep (right), leaving runner-up Isabella Rossellini (20 percent) on the other side of the creek. As for Glenn Close and Diana Ross—well, you practically told them to go jump in the lake.
What's your idea of a romantic evening?
A walk on the beach stirs the amorous feelings of more than half of you, while dinner and dancing appeals to 25 percent. Only 22 percent go for the idea of curling up on the couch and watching TV.
How do you get in the mood for love?
You set the stage for romance with candlelight and soft music either once a month (32 percent), once a year (30 percent) or never (29 percent). Once a week—who has the time?
Who would make the best bad date?
If you had to spend a long candlelit dinner with a well known non-heartthrob, you'd opt for Judge Lance Ito (right) over Newt Gingrich, Howard Stern or Ross Perot. And strange as it seems, a whopping 40 percent of women polled would get a splitting headache and pick None of the Above.
What's the most romantic thing your mate could do for you?
Such old standbys as serving breakfast in bed (29 percent) and sending flowers (31 percent) are popular choices, but hey, it's a tough world out there. Our stressed-out couples replied that what would really put them in the mood is a mate who would do the housework so I can get an extra hour of sleep (37 percent).
Mrs. Doubtfire. anyone?
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