Celebrities who have swapped fame for politics and run for election



Olympic rower James Cracknell has put down his oars and donned a blue rosette to stand as a Tory MEP in the Euro elections.

Comedian Rufus Hound is also taking the plunge into politics by standing for the National Health Action Party.

The voters will decide today if the sportsman and comic get to change careers, but they're certainly not the first famous faces to stand for public office....with varying degrees of success.



1) Ronald Reagan

In the early days, Ronald Reagan was merely the handsome star of such films as Kings Row and The Killers. But in 1947, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild and became intrigued with politics. In 1966, Reagan was elected governor of California and re-elected in 1970. Then, in 1980, American voters elected him President with George Bush as his Vice President. He served two terms from 1981 to 1989.



2) Arnold Schwarzenegger

The former bodybuilder-turned-actor announced his candidacy for governor of California in the state's 2003 recall election on the August 6, 2003, episode of NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

Despite never having held public office, he defeated a slew of candidates. 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.



3) Clint Eastwood

The actor-director-producer-composer was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California in 1986 and served one term but continued his entertainment career during that time. In 2001 he was appointed to the California State Park and Recreation Commission.



4) Sonny Bono

Sonny shot to fame in the 1960s with then-wife Cher as singing duo Sonny and Cher. They even had their own variety 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 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. Tragically he died in a skiing accident in 1998.



5) Shirley Temple

Child star Shirley Temple delighted audiences with her curly hair and cheery demeanour in 1930s movies. But she made her last movie in 1949 at the age of 21.

Under her married name, Shirley Temple Black, she unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Congress in 1967, but then, in 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed her as an ambassador to the United Nations.

She was later appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976 and Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992.



6) Wyclef Jean

The Fugees star was born in Haiti but moved to the US aged nine as a refugee. After becoming a star he formed the Yéle Organization to help with education, environmental issues and healthcare in the troubled country.

After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jean stepped up his activism and ran for president of Haiti. However, in August 2010, Haitian election officials disqualified him from running because he is not currently a resident of the country.


Others in the list (SOURCE): Dana, Glenda Jackson, Michael Cashman, Jerry Springer, Esther Rantzen, Robert Kilroy-Silk