Celebrities play roles in movies, direct award-winning films, and some even run famous international businesses. So why not also become a politician? Most celebrities have a household name which already gives them an advantage in politics, and following the recent inauguration of celebrity-turned-president Donald Trump, here’s a list of celebs who have also turned from Hollywood glamour to political sophistication.
Ronald Reagan: 40th President of the United States
Despite being raised in a small town in northern Illinois and growing up in a relatively poor family, Reagan found success as an actor playing roles on television and in major films such as “Kings Row” after moving to Hollywood. After changing his political party from Democrat to Republican, he gained fame in politics after giving his speech “A Time for Choosing”. From 1967-1975 he was Governor of California and six years later reached an ultimate high in politics as the 40th President of the United States from 1981-1889.
Sonny Bono: Member of the House of Representatives
Born Salvatore Phillip “Sonny” Bono gained nationwide fame in the 60’s through his music career with the wife, Cher. Together, they earned hits on the billboard charts and even when divorced the duo continued performing together until 1987. After experiencing frustration with the local government, Bono decided it was time to get involved too. After being mayor of Palm Springs from 1988-1992, he was elected two years later to the United States House of Representatives in 1994 to represent California’s 44th congressional district and held the position until his death in 1998.
Shirley Temple: United States Ambassador/Chief of Protocol
Shirley Temple gained intense fame as a child star. She was a triple threat with her acting, performing, and overall adorableness. However, in adulthood she turned into a serious political woman. She was appointed as the United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) and later became the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), which made her in charge of things like arrangements for President Jimmy Carter‘s inauguration and inaugural ball.
Clint Eastwood: Mayor of Carmel
Eastwood gained success in many film categories such as acting, directing, and screenwriting. Although he was not elected or even ran for positions in major politics, he became mayor of Carmel, a city within Monterey County, California. Despite him only being mayor for two years (1986-1988), the position helped the community in many ways. He helped bring more attention to the town with more tourists sights, such as more traveling rest spots and beachwalk ways. He also gained funds for building parks and libraries.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Governor of California
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a Hollywood action film icon in the 80’s after his portrayal in the film Conan the Barbarian. Although earning titles such as “Mr. Universe” and “Mr. Olympia”, it seems that was not enough for him. In 2003, he earned the title of California’s 38th Governor after a special recall election. He served two terms as California’s Governor until 2011.
Jesse Ventura: Governor of Minnesota
Originally a professional wrestler, Ventura was also an actor, author, and a Vietnam War veteran before becoming his hometown state of Minnesota’s 38th governor. He first participated in politics as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, from 1991 to 1995 and then ran as a candidate for Governor three years later in 1998 which he won despite doubts. He was in office from 1999 untill 2003.
Al Franken: Current Senator of Minnesota
Jesse Ventura seems to not be the only actor who has participated in Minnesota’s politics. Al Franken, best known for his participation in writing and performing skits for the comedic night show Saturday Night Live is the current Senator of Minnesota. He was elected the position in 2009 and was re-elected for a second term in 2014.
Donald Trump: Current President of the United States
Donald Trump began as a businessman before becoming a television personality. He is known for his business career as being the former owner of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and for his many ownerships of casinos,hotels and golf courses. He was also the host of “The Apprentice” from 2004-2015. Although 2015 ended many of those ownerships, it was also the new beginning of much more; his announcement of candidacy of the 2016 election. Despite controversy surrounding much of his candidacy, he won the election against Hillary Clinton and was recently sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.