In Pictures: 25 Celebrities Turned Politicians

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Here are 30 celebrities who became politicians: Newsweek

You might know of a local shop owner who became mayor of your town, or an electrician who ran for office. Even a lot of U.S. presidents came from fairly regular backgrounds. Look at Jimmy Carter for example; he planned to run a peanut farm in Georgia.

Like the builders or hairdressers of the world, actors and celebrities are entitled to explore a career in politics.

The first that comes to mind is current President Donald Trump. Even before appearing on shows such as The Apprentice, where the term “you’re fired” quickly became synonymous with the real estate mogul, Trump was an internationally renowned celebrity.

Many before him have taken the same path. Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California, in 1986 and was eventually appointed to the California State Park and Recreation Commission in 2001.

He served under another actor turned politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Austrian-born “Terminator” actor ran for Governor of California in 2003 and was elected. There were rumors he would run for the United States Senate, but they turned out to be false.

Fast forward to 2018 and the most notable celebrity trying to make the jump into politics is “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon. “Miranda” is running for governor of New York.

And what about people who aren’t actors but still have celebrity status? Included in this list is a world-champion boxer, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and a former U.S. president.

Glenn Jacobs (Kane). American professional wrestler Jacobs, best-known for his WWE persona Kane, has this month won the mayoral Republican primary in Knox County, Tennessee. The seven-foot politician will run against Democrat Linda Haney in August. MANAN VATSYAYANAAFP/Getty Images
Sonny Bono. Bono, from Sonny and Cher, was the mayor of Palm Springs for five years between 1988 and 1992. Two years after his reign, he was elected to the House of U.S. Representatives. He served until 1998 when he died during a skiing accident. REUTERS/File
Shirley Temple Black. Temple Black was a child star during the 1930s and 1940s. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1967 but eventually wound up in politics in 1974 as the ambassador to Ghana. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Clay Aiken. Aiken competed in “American Idol” in 2003 and finished second to Ruben Studdard. After a series of TV appearances and cameos, Aiken ran as the Democrat representative for U.S. Congress in 2014 in North Carolina. He lost to the Republican incumbent. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Kal Penn. Penn appeared as “Kumar” in the comedy duo “Harold and Kumar.” He was also a recurring guest star on How I Met Your Mother. Penn served sparingly in the Obama administration between 2009 and 2011 as the associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Linda McMahon. As the former CEO of WWE, McMahon attempted to run as a republican candidate in 2010 and 2012 for U.S. Senate. She was unsuccessful on both occasions. She has since been appointed as administrator of the Small Business Administration under Trump. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Fred Thompson. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, Thompson occupied the Tennessee seat for nearly 10 years up until 2003. He was well-known as an actor on Law & Order. He ran in the Republican presidential primaries in 2008 but lost to John McCain. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Clint Eastwood. An internationally known movie star, Eastwood still found time to serve as mayor of Carmel, California, in 1986. 15 years later, while still professionally acting, Eastwood was appointed to the California State Park and Recreation Commission under Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao had already become a world boxing champion when he was elected to the Philippines House of Representatives in 2010. He has since been elected as a senator, where he still serves today. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Ronald Reagan. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan started his entertainment career in Iowa announcing Chicago Cubs games over the radio. It led to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers studios. He eventually ran for Governor of California in 1967 and spent eight years in the seat. He served as president from 1981 to 1989. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon
Jesse Ventura. Before breaking into show business, Ventura served in the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team and was a bodyguard for The Rolling Stones. After a stint in professional wrestling, he starred in Hollywood movies such as “Predator” and “Demolition Man”. In 1998, he was elected Governor of Minnesota. REUTERS/Eric Miller