Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan won the 2023 TIME100 poll, in which readers voted for the individuals they felt most deserved a spot on TIME’s annual list of the most influential people.
Stars and noteworthy figures also featured on the poll included actor Michelle Yeoh, athlete Serena Williams, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. But it was Khan that ultimately took the win, earning 4% of the vote after more than 1.2 million votes were cast.
Khan, arguably India’s most famous actor and an international icon in his own right, is also a producer and co-owner of the Knight Riders Group women’s cricket team. The actor made his mark as Bollywood’s favorite romantic hero, starring in blockbusters like Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. His decades-long career has seen him star in more than 100 films and his most recent film is Pathaan. Released in January, it’s one of the top grossing films of the year so far, collecting nearly $130 million worldwide.
Second place went to the Iranian women protesting for greater freedoms from the country’s Islamic regime, garnering 3% of the vote. Protesters took to the streets of cities around Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed at the hands of the country’s “morality police” last September for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely. They were named TIME’s 2022 Heroes of the Year and also won last year’s Person of the Year reader poll.
They were followed by health care workers, who came in third with 2% of the vote. They have been at the forefront of the global pandemic since 2020—in the U.S. alone some 18 million people worked selflessly throughout the pandemic helping others. The pressures of caring for patients in difficult conditions have taken a toll, in a survey conducted from June to Sept. 2020, health care workers overwhelmingly reported feeling stress, anxiety, burnout and exhaustion.
Third and fourth place went to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, each of whom earned about 1.9% of the vote. The Duke of Sussex made headlines in January after the release of his memoir Spare, which recounts monumental moments ranging from Princess Diana’s death in 1997 to Queen Elizabeth’s death in September. He is also known for founding the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick service people.
Meghan Markle, a former actress turned humanitarian, now hosts her podcast Archetypes, where her mission is to “investigate, dissect, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back.” She previously narrated the Disney documentary Elephants and has been an advocate for anti-racism and women’s rights. The couple have also launched nonprofit Archewell Foundation, as well as Archewell Productions, which has a creative partnership with Netflix.
Fifth place went to soccer star Lionel Messi, with 1.8% of the vote. The Argentinian player won his first World Cup title in 2022, adding to his numerous accolades including seven Ballon d’Or awards, a prestigious award presented by France Football magazine.
TIME’s editors will reveal their choices for the 2023 TIME100 list on April 13.
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