Celebrities who went into politics

As Breaking Bad's DEA agent Steven Gomez announces he's running for office, here are other famous faces who have turned their star power into political potential...

Steven Michael Quezada

From Breaking Bad to doing good, the show’s DEA agent Steven Gomez is getting into American politics and running for the office of County Commissioner of Albuquerque for 2016. He wants to get the Democratic party support in New Mexico and involve more young people from ethnic minorities.


Arnold ‘The Governator’ Schwarzennegger

Losing the shades and the cult catch phrases (most of the time), Schwarzenegger put action movies to one side to serve as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011, earning himself the nickname ‘The Governator’.

Glenda Jackson

The actress didn’t just perform well when she won Oscars for films the Women in Love and A Touch of Class, she also won over voters and became the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate in the 1992 General Election. She became known as a real critic of Tony Blair and in 2011 she announced that she would not seek re-election in the 2015 election as by then she would be almost 80 years old.

Sebastian Coe

After the runner won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, he sprinted into politics and became a Conservative party member from 1992 to 1997 before being made a life peer in 2000. Of course, he then combined sports and politics in the ultimate way by heading the London bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura

Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura (also known as ‘The Body’) had already made the move from the wrestling ring to acting (he starred alongside The Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Predator and The Running Man) when he swapped careers again, outmanoeuvring two ‘regular’ candidates to scoop the role of 38th governor of Minnesota, where he served between 1999 and 2003. 

Shirley Temple

As a child star she was famous for turns in films like Heidi and Bright Eyes, but in her 40s Temple moved into politics. In 1969, she was appointed representative to the 24th general assembly of the United Nations, and later served as US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan had a formidable acting career under his belt before he became the 40th president of the United States. From Westerns to war films, Reagan was regular feature of the silver screen during the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s and apparently only narrowly missed out on Humphrey Bogart’s iconic Casablanca role.  He was elected governor of California in 1967 and president from 1981.

Clint Eastwood

When Clint Eastwood ran for Mayor of Carmel (a town in California) he stormed to victory, with almost three-quarters of the vote. Eastwood kept his role for two years from 1986 to 1988.

Jerry Springer

Away from family feuds and chair throwing on his popular TV show, host Jerry Springer was elected by Cincinnati city council in 1971, before resigning again in 1974. By 1977 Springer became the city’s mayor for a year.

Donald Trump

Businessman and original Apprentice boss ‘The Donald’ is currently whipping up a political storm attempting to win the Republican ticket for the 2016 Presidential election.

Ben Jones

From playing car mechanic Cooter in The Dukes of Hazzard, Ben Jones has gone on to serve two terms for Georgia’s Fourth District as a congressman. Indeed, Jones held the position from 1989 to 1993.

Fred Thompson

Somewhat a case of life imitating art, Law & Order’s Fred Thompson swapped his role as district attorney Arthur Branch in the show to running for president. Thompson announced his plans to run for president on the Tonight Show, having previously won the role of Tennessee senate in 2003. However, Thompson appeared to lose support and dropped out of the running in 2008. 


Al Franken

Comic author Al Franken starred on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 2008. In 2009, he swapped the bright lights of showbusiness for politics, and was elected senator for Minnesota in 2009.