Celebrities Turned Politicians

Al Franken, Arnold, George Murphy and Ronald Reagan are among the celebs who dabbled in politics.

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Before Angelina Jolie was considered the most beautiful woman in the world, she was a tattooed "wild child" who experimented with knife play in L.A. She underwent yet another transformation …Click to see Angelina as a politician and others who turned to the dark side.
… When she became a humanitarian advocate in the mid 2000s. Jolie has served as international goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Before Ronald Reagan landed a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers in the 1930s, he was a liberal Democrat and an admirer of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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After his time in Hollywood, however, he switched his political allegiance to the right. He is known to have said, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."
SNL self-help guru Stuart Smalley, aka comedian Al Franken, is seen here with his book, "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations By Stuart Smalley."
From political satire to … actual politics. In a tight race, Franken defeated incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota in the 2008 U.S. Senate campaign.
All the world's a stage … and Glenda Jackson a player in both theater and politics. Jackson threw her heart and soul into her roles in controversial films such as "Women in Love" and "The Music Lovers."
In 1992 she entered the House of Commons as the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate, and brought her fiery personality with her. She criticized Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005, threatening to challenge him as a stalking horse candidate in a leadership contest if he didn't step down from office.
Arnold Schwarzenegger started out in America at age 21, determined to leave behind his old life in Austria by winning Mr. Olympia titles and becoming an actor.
When "The Governator" became the governor of California in 2003, he turned down the yearly salary of $175,000 because he had already accumulated enormous wealth from acting.
Clint Eastwood: on one hand, he's the tough-talking, gritty stud in westerns. But on the other hand ...
... He's made his way into local and state government. During his term as mayor in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, he advocated for environmental and historical resources. Stay cool, Dirty Harry.
Instead of using his acting career as a springboard into politics, Fred Thompson fell into acting because he was such a great lawyer who was involved in the Watergate trial. His break came when he was cast in the film "Marie" ... as himself. He later joined the TV series "Law & Order."
From 1994 to 2003, Thompson served as U.S. Senator from Tennessee. "When Hollywood directors need someone who can personify governmental power, they often turn to [Thompson]," The New York Times wrote in 1994.
George Murphy was known for singing and dancing in musicals throughout the 1930s and 40s.
One year after he officially retired from acting, he became chairman of the California Republican State Central Committee, and later was elected to the U.S. Senate. Murphy's transition from movies to politics paved the way for Ronald Reagan, who called him "my John the Baptist."
EMPTY_CAPTION"Good Will Hunting" star Ben Affleck has won an Academy Award, but he's expressed interest in joining politics as well.
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Affleck once told GQ, "My fantasy is that someday I'm independently wealthy enough that ... I can run for Congress ... [E]veryday people should be in government." Although he hasn't run for office yet, he's campaigned for Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry, and has supported several charity and humanitarian projects in the Eastern Congo.
And now … Stoner turned politician. Kal Penn is best known for his role in "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle." What many don't know is that he also advocated for Obama during his presidential campaign.
He later accepted a position as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, said that his interest in politics stems from his grandparents, who marched with Gandhi for Indian independence.
Jerry Springer started out in politics before moving to radio and TV. He was elected to the Cincinnati city council in 1971, and later served one year as mayor.
Although "The Jerry Springer Show" originally started out as a continuation of his radio commentary about politics, it became increasingly more lowbrow in order to maximize ratings and attention.
Jesse "The Body" Ventura is more than just a California blonde and a wrestling champion--he, too, tested political waters when he became mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
He later became Governor of Minnesota, supporting property tax reform and gay rights. He jokingly stated that he would have gladly served with homosexuals in the Navy, as they would've provided less competition for women.
We all know Shirley Temple as the adorable chubby-cheeked child-star of "The Littlest Rebel" and "Curly Top," but after 1950 she had mostly retired from the movie business to focus on raising a family.
After dappling in television a bit, President Nixon appointed her as Representative to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations, and President Ford later appointed her as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.
Sonny Bono started out in the music industry, working closely with his then-wife Cher and producing hit records such as "The Beat Goes On." The couple transitioned onto screen on "The Sonny and Cher Show."
Carolina Ramirez
Although it's hard to believe he would ever give up such a great costume for a boring suit, Bono decided to take political reins into his own hands after a conflict with local bureaucracy when he tried to open a restaurant. He became mayor of Palm Springs and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.
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