Turning Starpower Into Political Clout: 10 Celebs Who Made Their Mark in Politics

Turning Starpower Into Political Clout: 10 Celebs Who Made Their Mark in Politics
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/ (L) hoto by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images/ (M)Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Max® (R) Photo by Michael N. Todaro/WireImage

Image Source: Pexels/Romina Ordóñez
Image Source: Pexels/Romina Ordóñez

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After making it big amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, some celebrities have tried turning their star power into political clout to influence change in society. While some found success in the corridors of political power, others came back to revive their careers on the silver screen. In this article, we delve into the transformative journeys of ten individuals who transitioned from Hollywood to the political arena.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla

 

Donald Trump, renowned for his real estate empire, had also made a name for himself as the host of "The Apprentice," before entering the presidential race and becoming the 45th leader of the United States. Apart from becoming a household name as a dominating personality in reality TV before joining politics, Trump had also appeared on the silver screen with a cameo in "Home Alone 2." His tenure in the highest office, spanning from 2016 to 2020, marked a unique chapter in American politics, with a lot of drama and celebrity culture in the White House. Trump's transition from the world of entertainment to the White House significantly altered how politics is done in the USA.

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Getty Images | Photo by John Shearer
Getty Images | Photo by John Shearer

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In 2021, Caitlyn Jenner, a former Olympian and well-known for her appearance in the reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," made headlines by entering the race for California's governorship. Despite the initial buzz and media hype, her bid for the governor's seat ultimately fizzled out. During the recall election against incumbent Gavin Newsom, Jenner's campaign struggled to gain traction, ultimately securing only a minimal share of the vote. Her journey from athletic glory to reality TV and a foray into politics was a high-profile endeavor that left many intrigued without delivering results.

President Ronald Reagan poses for a portrait in 1980 in Los Angeles, California/Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images
President Ronald Reagan poses for a portrait in 1980 in Los Angeles, California/Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images

 

Ronald Reagan, a prominent figure in American history, initially started building his career as an actor in the 1930s and assumed leadership within the industry as the president of the Screen Actor's Guild. His journey took a dramatic turn when he ventured into politics, ascending to the position of California's governor. Subsequently, he achieved the highest political office, becoming the 40th President of the United States, in a tumultuous era for American and global politics.

Headshot studio portrait of American actor Shirley Temple, in front of a green backdrop, wearing a short sleeve white blouse with a colored bows pattern and a pearl necklace/Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Headshot studio portrait of American actor Shirley Temple, in front of a green backdrop, wearing a short sleeve white blouse with a colored bows pattern and a pearl necklace/Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

Shirley Temple, once a beloved child star, seamlessly transitioned towards a life of public service. After leaving the world of acting at a tender age, she ventured into politics and successfully ran for Congress. Subsequently, she assumed the role of a U.S. ambassador, where she made significant contributions to enhance global diplomatic ties. Temple's extraordinary journey from fame in Hollywood to a distinguished career in diplomacy remains an inspiring testament to her versatility on screen and in life.

Al Franken attends In The News With Jeff Greenfield: Al Franken at The 92nd Street Y, New York on May 31, 2022 in New York City/ Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
Al Franken attends In The News With Jeff Greenfield: Al Franken at The 92nd Street Y, New York on May 31, 2022 in New York City/ Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

 

Al Franken, the famed "Saturday Night Live" comedian, entered the political arena, as a U.S. Senator representing Minnesota. But his political journey was cut short by allegations of sexual misconduct that led to his resignation, and Franken later resurfaced as the host of "The Al Franken Podcast," showcasing his efforts to stay relevant in public discourse.

 Sean Perry attends HRTS Presents a Conversation with Leslie Moonves at The Beverly Hilton hotel on November 17, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California/Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage
Sean Perry attends HRTS Presents a Conversation with Leslie Moonves at The Beverly Hilton hotel on November 17, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California/Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage

 

Sean Duffy gained a fan following as a reality TV personality, with appearances on popular shows such as "The Real World" and "Real World/Road Rules Challenge." This resonance with fans translated into votes that took him from the world of entertainment to politics, where he represents Wisconsin's 7th congressional district as a United States Congressman.

American singer-songwriter, producer, actor Sonny Bono (1935-1998) in London, England, 1966/Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images
American singer-songwriter, producer, actor Sonny Bono (1935-1998) in London, England, 1966/Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

 

Sonny Bono, known to be a part of the musical duo Sonny & Cher, made a remarkable shift into politics when he clinched the seat of Palm Springs' mayor by leveraging his celebrity status in the community. His ambition later helped him successfully represent California as a congressman, and to champion various causes using his political influence. His journey from a celebrated musician to a dedicated public servant serves as an inspiring example of the power of reinvention and commitment to public service.

esse Ventura promotes
esse Ventura promotes "DemoCrips And ReBloodlicans" at Bookends Bookstore on September 15, 2012 in Ridgewood, New Jersey/Photo by Michael N. Todaro/WireImage

 

Politics can get brutal and that's where former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, known for his moniker "The Body," was able to capitalize on his popularity to win the gubernatorial race in Minnesota. Ventura's journey into politics was both surprising and trailblazing, as he defied expectations to become a governor. Beyond that, he also flirted with the idea of a presidential run in 2020, after aligning himself with the Green Party.

 Mayor of Sacramento and former NBA basketball player Kevin Johnson attends the Legends & Legacy: A Salute To 100 Years of Change at Gotham Hall on July 15, 2009 in New York City/ Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Mayor of Sacramento and former NBA basketball player Kevin Johnson attends the Legends & Legacy: A Salute To 100 Years of Change at Gotham Hall on July 15, 2009 in New York City/ Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

 

Kevin Johnson, a former NBA standout, made history by becoming Sacramento, California's first Black mayor, although his political journey encountered turbulence due to allegations of sexual misconduct. Johnson's tenure as mayor was marked by efforts to revitalize the city's economy, improve education, and address homelessness. His unique transition from the basketball court to City Hall exemplifies the potential for athletes in politics.

Cynthia Nixon attends the
Cynthia Nixon attends the "'And Just Like That…It's Been 25 Years, A Sex And The City Experience' Presented By Max" on June 08, 2023 in New York City/Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Max®

 

Actress Cynthia Nixon, recognizable for her iconic role in "Sex and the City," forayed into the world of politics during the 2018 New York gubernatorial race. Though her bid for office was unsuccessful, she has continued her activism on various social and political fronts. Nixon's career has seamlessly oscillated between acting and advocacy, with her versatile talent captivating audiences on both the screen and the political stage. Her dedication to various causes showcases a multi-faceted individual committed to making a positive impact on society.

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