While politicians have now become synonymous with scandals, outrageous statements and endless speeches, a few decades ago they were quite revered. In the course of the last few decades, the line between politician and celebrity has become blurred with more and more people from the entertainment industry taking to politics. When an actor decides to make a foray into politics, not a lot needs to change. As Reagan himself once commented, “Why can’t politicians be actors?” Reciting long speeches, touring, ‘mingling’ with the commoners, avoiding controversy and maintaining an appealing personality- an actor is already adept at all this. Sure, there are some who have genuine political beliefs, but jumping on to the political bandwagon is certainly not an easy task. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at actors who also made it as successful politicians.
Reagan was an actor, an army man, a Governor and the 40th President of the United States in his lifetime. In the course of his illustrious career as an actor, he appeared in more than 50 films, hosted television shows and was President of the Screen Actors Guild for seven terms. He became President in 1981, at the age of 69, becoming the oldest person to be elected to presidency. Even though his presidency was not devoid of controversies, he has been credited for reinvigorating the American economy and boosting the morale of his countrymen.
Shirley Temple Black
She was a raging success as a child actor, singer and dancer and much to the dismay of her many admirers, retired from show business in 1950. Her venture into politics was a big shock for her fans and acquaintances. Post her unsuccessful attempt at winning a seat in California’s 11th Congressional Elections, she pursued a career in foreign service with the UN General Assembly and became a diplomat. She became a U.S. Ambassador to Ghana in 1974, and later became the 18th Chief of Protocol of the United States and the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia.
It was highly unexpected of a man who had once run for Congress to slide down a stripper pole for his tabloid talk show. Jerry Springer’s political career was anything but smooth as he had to resign from the Cincinnati City Council in 1974 after confessing to hiring a prostitute. When everyone assessed this as the end of his political career, his honesty aided him in winning back his seat the following year. He went on to become the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, a news anchor and finally, a talk show host.
The Terminator served as the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. He has made headlines for countless reasons, be it his blockbuster action movies, his to-die-for body for which he was labelled the Styrian Oak, or his stint in politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the perfect example of a multifaceted personality.
This man is the embodiment of sophistication. Brilliant is his middle name. He has a personality like no one else’s and is a powerhouse of talent. Be it acting, directing, producing, composing music or being a politician, Clint Eastwood has transcended every role in life. Right from the 1960s, he has delivered laudable performances in films, decade after decade. From 1986 to 1988, Eastwood served as a non-partisan Mayor of Carmel-by-the-sea, California. He has also been vocal about his views, supporting same- sex marriage, and has denounced America’s military policy and her campaigns in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East.