politics & history 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics

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List of Actors Who Went Into Politics Ranked by Fame and Popularity. It seems that every actor has an opinion about politics. Several actors actually made the transition to become politicians later in life, while others started their careers in politics. Some actors focused on local governments, while others were elected to national offices. This list includes actors who recently threw in their hat and ran for office, as well as many who got elected.

Who is the most famous actor who went into politics? Ronald Reagan tops our list. To date, Reagan is the only former-actor to make it all the way to the office of the President of the United States, which he held from 1981-1989. Ronald Reagan starred in films such as "Kings Row" and "Bedtime for Bonzo," before entering into politics. He served as the Governor of California from 1967-1975. Arnold Schwarzenegger, best known for playing the title role in “Terminator,” was also the Governor of California from 2003-2011.

Some actors who are also politicians focused on their local governments. Clint Eastwood has directed and starred in Oscar Winning films like "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby." He served as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California from 1986-1988. He also served on the California State Park and Recreation Commission and he spoke at the 2012 National Republican Convention.

Why do you think so many actors go into politics? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Melissa Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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In 2015, Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert announced she would run for a congressional seat in Michigan's 8th district. The former child actress and her husband, fellow actor Timothy Busfield, live 60 miles from Detroit in a town called Howell. Although she had no prior political experience, Gilbert did serve two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Gilbert, a Democrat running in a Republican stronghold, said in a statement about her campaign: "I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done. Please join my campaign, and together we can build that new economy for Michigan."

Source: Huffington Post

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Age: 52

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Profession: Television director, Businessperson, Actor, Voice acting

Credits: Little House on the Prairie, Zoya, Sweet Justice, Thicker Than Water

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#62 on The Best Guest Stars on The Love Boat

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Ronald Reagan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Ronald Reagan starred in films such as "Knute Rockne, All American" and "Bedtime for Bonzo" and was president of the Screen Actors Guild before entering into politics.  Reagan was the Governor of California from 1967-1975 and the President of the United States from 1981-1989.

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Age: Died at 93 (1911-2004)

Birthplace: Tampico, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Spokesperson, Politician, Soldier, Lifeguard Radio personality, + more

Credits: General Electric Theater, Kings Row, Knute Rockne All American, Bedtime for Bonzo

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#98 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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#1 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

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Steven Michael Quezada is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Steven Michael Quezada


Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada is running for county commissioner of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the same city where he, as DEA Agent Steve Gomez, fought the good fight against drug lords and meth heads in AMC's acclaimed series. Announced on July 21, 2015, the actor, comedian, and community activist, will be running as a Democratic candidate.
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Clint Eastwood has directed and starred in Oscar Winning films like "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby."  He served as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, from 1986-1988. He also served on the California State Park and Recreation Commission, and he spoke at the 2012 National Republican Convention.

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Age: 85

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Businessperson, Politician, Pianist Television producer, + more

Credits: Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven, Rawhide

Also Ranked

#32 on The Best Actors Working Today

#16 on The Best American Actors Working Today

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#9 on The Best Living American Actors

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Arnold Schwarzenegger is well-known for appearing in films like "Kindergarten Cop" and "Terminator."  He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011.

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Age: 69

Birthplace: Thal, Austria

Profession: Bodybuilder, Television director, Businessperson, Politician Investor, + more

Credits: The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Pumping Iron

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#7 on Celebrities Whose Names Are Hardest to Spell

#2 on The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

#5 on The Best Political Nicknames

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Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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As a child star, Shirley Temple appeared in films such as "The Little Princess" and "Bright Eyes." Though she retired from acting at age 22, she ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1967. She also served the US Ambassador to Ghana from 1974-1976 and as the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989-1992.

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Age: Died at 86 (1928-2014)

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

Profession: Politician, Diplomat, Actor, Singer Dancer

Credits: The Little Princess, Fort Apache, Heidi, Shirley Temple's Storybook

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#69 on The Best Actresses in Film History

#6 on The Greatest Former Child Stars

#28 on The Greatest American Actresses of All Time

#89 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

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Jesse Ventura is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Jesse "The Body" Ventura is well known for his experience with professional wrestling as well as his appearances in films like "Predator" and "The Running Man."  He served as the governor of Minnesota from 1999-2003. 

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Age: 65

Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

Profession: Talk show host, Wrestler, Politician, Television producer Author, + more

Credits: Predator, The Running Man, Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura

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#74 on The Greatest WWE Superstars of All Time

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Ben Stein is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 28 Actors Who Went Into Politics
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Ben Stein played the teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that utter the famous line, "Bueller? Bueller?" He also was a speech writer for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

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Age: 72

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America

Profession: Commentator, Financial adviser, Author, Actor Writer, + more

Credits: Win Ben Stein's Money, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Casper

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#14 on The Best Celebrity Game Show Hosts of All Time

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