• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Donald Trump and 7 Other Celebrities Who Entered Politics

Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Bebert Bruno/SIPA/NEWSCOM
Arnold Schwarzenegger

If the "Celebrity Apprentice" star decides to run for president, he will join Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and other stars who have turned to public service.

If Donald Trump officially throws his hat into the ring for the Republican presidential nomination, he won't be the only celebrity to have made a move into politics.

Here are seven other famous entertainers who have sought public office.

-- Ronald Reagan: The actor appeared in more than 50 movies before entering politics. In 1964, he delivered a rousing speech support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy and as a result was reportedly persuaded to run for governor of California. He won the office in 1968 and was re-elected two years later. Twice he was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination -- in 1968 and 1976 -- but won both the nomination and election, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter, in 1980, to become the 40th president of the United States. He served two terms and died in 2004.

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger: The former bodybuilder-turned-actor announced his candidacy for governor of California in the state's 2003 recall election on the Aug. 6, 2003, episode of NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Despite never having held public office, he defeated a slew of candidates -- the field also included former Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey -- to take over for Gray Davis, who was voted out of office. Schwarzenegger went on to serve a second term -- and has said he would consider running for president if he weren't banned from doing so because of his foreign birth. However, he recently went back to entertainment, announcing a Governator cartoon series, which recently sold internationally, and a feature based on the show, which imagines the ex-governor of California as a Batman-like crime fighter, planned for 2013.

-- Clint Eastwood: The actor-director-producer-composer was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., in 1986 and served one term but continued his entertainment career during that time. In 2001, then- Gov. Davis appointed Eastwood to the California State Park and Recreation Commission; he was reappointed to the commission in 2004 by then-Gov. Schwarzenegger. Eastwood, who directed Matt Damon in last year's Hereafter, is currently working on the biopic J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role.

-- Jesse Ventura: The former professional wrestler was better known for his nickname Jesse "The Body" Ventura when he successfully ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., in 1990 following his departure from the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). He served from 1991-95. In 1998, Venture ran for governor of Minnesota -- and surprised observers when he won. He did not seek a second term, blaming the media's invasion of his family's privacy, according to the Boston Globe.

-- Sonny Bono: The singer-songwriter-producer found success with then-wife Cher as one-half of the singing duo Sonny and Cher in the 1960s and later went on to star with her in the variety program The Sonny and Cher Show in the 1970s. But in the 1980s, following a dispute with the local government over a building permit needed for to open a restaurant in Palm Springs, Bono he decided to go into politics. He served as mayor of Palm Springs from 1988-92 and in 1994 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He died in a skiing accident in 1998.

-- Fred Thompson: Thompson actually served as a U.S. Senator for Tennessee from 1994-2003 before turning to entertainment. In the final months of his term, he joined the cast of NBC's long-running Law & Order, playing Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch. In May 2007, he took a break from acting to make an -- unsuccessful -- bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He has since gone back to acting, guest-starring on ABC's short-lived Life on Mars in 2009 and appearing on the big screen in last year's Secretariat.

-- Fred Grandy: Best known as Gopher on the 1977-86 TV show The Love Boat, Grandy reportedly grew tired of acting and turned to politics. He won an Iowa U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1986, reportedly by 3,000 votes, and served four terms. In 1994, he entered the Republican primary race for Governor of Iowa against incumbent Terry Branstad and lost by 4 percentage votes. In 2003, Grandy join the Washington, D.C., radio station WMAL as an on-air host. He was forced to resign last month over comments he and his wife made about radical Islam during the show, including quoting a rabbi who compared radical Muslims to Nazis, according to Fox News.

-- Sean Duffy: Duffy is an alum of 1997's Real World Boston who later appeared on Road Rules: All Stars and had stints on ESPN. Last year, he successfully ran for office in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District -- with the backing of Sarah Palin. He recently caught flak at a town hall meeting for saying that he struggles on his $174,000 annual salary, according to Newser.

-- Mr. T: Well, he's never actually run for office, but he reportedly is a popular write-in candidate at elections on college campuses. In fact, according to the Savannah Morning News, he has been elected student body president at the New College of Florida at least three times.