The Issue: Angelina Jolie takes the cake for arguably the hottest humanitarian that is actually making a difference out there. After finishing up her stint as Hollywood's (crazy) girl next door, and finding an insane amount of success, she started taking on humanitarian causes starting with taking on the role of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. She's donated millions to international causes and has even funded (and founded) organizations such as The National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, which gives free legal aid to asylum seeking children.
She regularly attends World Refugee Day in Washington D.C., has been an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum and has met with members of Congress over 20 times since 2003.
From an interview she did with Forbes: "As much as I would love to never visit Washington, that's the way to move the ball."
The Results: While most women on this list do a lot of donating, lobbying and general rallying for their causes, Jolie not only goes to Washington D.C. on a regular basis, but sets up entire organizations that help solve the problems that she's passionate about, including various ones for children and even pledging $5 Million for a wildlife sanctuary in 2005.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Profession: Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Author Actor, + more
Credits: Maleficent, Changeling, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt
#25 on The Best Female Directorssee more on Angelina Jolie
The Issue: In 1999, Loretta Swit, an avid animal rights activist, testified before Congress on behalf of Actors and Others for Animals, the Doris Day Animal Leagues, the American Humane Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States and the Society for Protective Animal Legislation. She was pleading for the prohibition of "crush videos."
For the uninitiated in how horrible people are "Crush Videos" are (were? nah, "are" probably...) fetish films that promote the crushing of insects, snails, worms, and occasionally small animals like frogs on camera, mostly by scantily clad women wearing spiked high heels.
Swit wanted society to acknowledge the cruelty within these videos. She stated, "I have never witnessed anything approaching the cruelty depicted in these so-called ‘crush’ videos. The sustained and deliberate torture of any sentient being is unacceptable. And the purposeful production of such cruelty, for money, is mind-boggling... If we as a nation are serious about diminishing violence in our communities and in our films, on our televisions, on the Internet and other creative media, we must recognize that violence, no matter who the victim. When violence, in any form, is not addressed and rectified, we send a message that is acceptable. It is not. The violence depicted in ‘crush’ videos is against the law and Congress should ensure that it is prosecutable."
It is evident that she just wanted to bring the attention of any form of violence as being a violation of human/animal rights.
The Results: "Crush Videos" are now illegal in America. This is why she's #2.
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States of America
Profession: Television presenter, Actor, Singer
Credits: M*A*S*H, Race with the Devil, Freebie and the Bean, S.O.B. Goodbye, + moresee more on Loretta Swit
The Issue: In 2001 along with Issac Hayes; Catherine Bell (star of the TV show Army Wives) testified before congress about the alleged abuses of human rights and religious freedom perpetrated by the French government. She spoke before the House International Relations Committee on behalf of religious inequality.
She stated that German members of her church had their businesses boycotted, their houses vandalized, and their children expelled from school solely because of their religion. In her testimony, she went on to criticize the German Ambassador to the United States, Juergen Chrobog, for his refusal to testify at the hearing.
The Results: While lobbying congress for a bill condemning Germany never led anywhere, awareness was increased and more and more celebrities and people with power lobby for similar causes and raise awareness to a point where something is actually changed in the offending countries.
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Profession: Massage therapist, Film Producer, Model, Actor
Credits: JAG, Bruce Almighty, Army Wives, The Good Witchsee more on Catherine Bell
The Issue:Pamela Anderson is seeking to end harmful chimpanzee experiments that occur because of the search for a cure for hepatitis C, which actually does deserve a bit of attention since she suffers from the disease herself.
On May 13, 2010 Pamela Anderson wrote a letter to Congress encouraging human-based research methods to help find a cure for hepatitis C. In turn, she asked Congress to ban invasive chimpanzee experiments that occur because of this search for a Hepatitis C cure. She wrote a letter asking congressman Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Henry Waxman to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326), which would phase out invasive chimpanzee experiments and release all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
The Results: The Great Ape Protection Act has various cosponsors in Congress from all parties, and has recently been re-introduced, so not only did Anderson's influence help (as well as the support of animal rights groups, Emily Deschanel and Elizabeth Kucinich), but it's supported an issue which, if passed, would make us the last country in the world to have a law forbidding invasive research on chimps.
Birthplace: Ladysmith, Canada
Profession: Activist, Television director, Nude Glamour Model, Television producer Model, + more
Credits: V.I.P., Scary Movie 3, Baywatch, Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson
Also Rankedsee more on Pamela Anderson
The Issue: In 2007, it was announced that Jenny McCarthy's son had been diagnosed with autism. McCarthy then claimed that her son's autism was caused by vaccines due to (still unproven) research. She became an incredibly vocal proponent of regulating vaccine and testified before congress regarding Vaccine scheduling.
The Results: The court ruled that vaccines don't cause autism. They concluded that a connection between vaccines and autism is scientifically unsupportable, and she's currently been completely bashed by scientists and doctors alike saying that she has even caused some deaths by spreading parents' fear of vaccines based on bogus facts. She sticks by her guns to this very day.
Birthplace: Evergreen Park, Illinois, United States of America
Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Model, Author Actor, + more
Credits: The View, Playboy: The Best of Jenny McCarthy, Playboy: Jenny McCarthy, the Playboy Years Scary Movie 3
#10 on The Best Original MTV VJssee more on Jenny McCarthy
The Issue: Nicole Kidman, the United Nations Development Fund for Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, sought to discuss domestic violence with Congress. So, she testified before the House Foreign Affairs on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight committee.
She did this mainly to help bring attention to Washington lawmakers’ that violence against women is an international issue. Kidman states, "These champions need and deserve our support…Not with a box of Band Aids but with a comprehensive, well-funded approach that acknowledges that women’s rights are human rights. To succeed, it requires political will at the highest levels."
The Results While awareness of such pervasive and important issues is always helpful, like she said, changing anything at a root level would take a lot of funding and a government's undivided attention.
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Singer
Credits: Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut, The Hours
Also Rankedsee more on Nicole Kidman
The Issue: Sheryl Crow, a musician and breast-cancer survivor, testified before Congress in 2008 to support an act that would fund research for finding a cure for breast cancer. Crow spoke before the congressional subcommittee on health about the need to pass the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act. The act would provide $200 million in funding towards research of environmental factors that contribute to breast cancer.
The Results: After Conservative Senators fought against the bill citing that it would give control of the research to politicians, liberals and Crow cited examples of how the bill is necessary and that the research needs to be done. The bill would give funding to research that would find a link between a person's environment and the incidence of breast cancer, citing certain places in New York and Alaska where breast cancer is higher in certain area codes. The bill is set to pass this year.
Birthplace: Kennett, Missouri, United States of America
Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Musician, Music Teacher Singer-songwriter, + more
Credits: Boyhood, K-PAX, Cars, Point Break
Also Rankedsee more on Sheryl Crow
The Issue: Lindsay Lohan testified before a House panel on the issue of jobs, small businesses and a new stimulus package. Why? Really? Lindsay Lohan? Well, apparently. Huh. In an attempt to get more young people involved in important political issues, Congress was trying to get top celebrities to testify, so Lohan went into the whole issue face first (must... not... make... drug... joke). Lohan’s main focus was the support of small businesses and the attempt to get Congress to enact policies that would help create more jobs.
The Results: There were some mixed feelings about her appearance before congress. Congressman Eric Cantor stated, "What in hell does Lohan know about Jobs?...This is an outrage. It’s making a mockery of Congress." While, other congressmen feel it brings entertainment and fun to the Congressional meetings, as well as an increase in public awareness and attention to congressional matters.
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
Profession: Fashion designer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Model Designer, + more
Credits: Herbie Fully Loaded, Mean Girls, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday
Also Rankedsee more on Lindsay Lohan