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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Stars who shone on the political stage
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the latest celebrity to announce he is standing for political office.

But he is by no means the first star to swap the red carpet for the campaign trail. BBC News Online looks at those who took the plunge before.

Ronald Reagan in 1943
Ronald Reagan hit his acting peak around World War II. Photo: LFI
Ronald Reagan is the most famous entertainer-turned-politician.

He starred in 50 films between the 1930s and 1950s, but his political career took off when he won election as California governor in 1966 and again in 1970.

In November 1980, he defeated Jimmy Carter to win the presidency, securing re-election by a large margin four years later.

He survived an assassination attempt in 1981, a colon cancer operation in 1985 and skin cancer and prostate surgery two years later.

But in recent years, has been increasingly laid low by Alzheimer's disease and now lives out of the public eye.

Jerry Springer made the move in the opposite direction, only becoming a successful TV host after serving in politics.

He began by working for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign and was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 with the most votes in the city's history.

Clint Eastwood at the Oscars
Clint Eastwood was mayor of Carmel, California, from 1986-88
He fought an unsuccessful campaign to become governor of Ohio in 1982 and, after that, became a highly respected news presenter and, later, host of The Jerry Springer Show.

He recently considered standing for the Senate but decided against such an option because he said he could not separate the job from his television show.

Hollywood hard man Clint Eastwood is famous as the star of no-nonsense roles in the Dirty Harry movies and spaghetti westerns such as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

But away from Hollywood, he had a successful - if relatively low-key - career in politics as mayor of Carmel, California.

A native Californian, Eastwood discovered the Carmel area when he was stationed a few miles north at Fort Ord during the Korean War and later made it his home.

In 1986, Eastwood wanted to build a small building in downtown Carmel but was prevented by town's bureaucratic government.

Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth R
Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth R - she is now a Labour MP
So he ran for mayor, winning 72% of the vote. He held the position for two years, bringing a tourist car park to the town, rescuing the historic Mission Ranch from developers and opening a children's annex to the city library.

Singer and TV personality Sonny Bono - who enjoyed success in the 1960s and 70s in a double act with Cher - entered the political arena as mayor of Palm Springs, California, in 1988.

He won by the largest margin in the city's history and wanted to bring a combination of civic pride and economic rejuvenation to the area.

In 1994, he entered Congress, representing California's 44th district, and had prominent views on crime, the environment and entertainment law.

In 1997, in response to the death of Princess Diana, he introduced the Protection from Personal Intrusion Act, making harassment by overly intrusive paparazzi a federal criminal offence.

Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty considered running for president in 2000
But he died the following year in a skiing accident.

His fourth wife, Mary Bono, won his seat after his death - beating actor Ralph Waite, who played John Walton.

Another politician, Jesse Ventura, came from another wing of acting - professional wrestling - although he also had acting parts in films including Predator and The Running Man, both of which also starred Arnold Swarzenegger.

He won a surprise victory as governor of Minnesota, running for the Reform Party, in 1998 - and was a straight-talking breath of fresh air.

But reality began to bite and his popularity began to wane, and he decided not to stand again in 2002.

In the UK, double Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson - star of Women In Love and Elizabeth R - retired from the screen at the start of the 1990s.

She won election as a Labour MP in 1992, saying she was "exchanging one extremely demanding disciplined area of work for another".

Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple lost an election for congress in 1967
Made a junior transport minister when Labour won power in 1997, she has since become a vocal voice from the left, opposing the war in Iraq.

Gyles Brandreth is best known as the champion of multi-coloured jumpers, which he wore unflinchingly throughout his time on the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown.

But for five years, from 1992, he was also the Conservative MP for Chester - and, for some of the time - a member of John Major's doomed government.

In 1997, he went down with much of the rest of the party, losing his seat to Labour. Now, Brandreth concentrates on his writing and stage career - and his teddy bear museum in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Among the other actors to turn to politics were Fred Grandy, who played Gopher in TV series The Love Boat and went on to serve four terms in congress from 1987-95.

And Ben Jones, who played mechanic Cooter Davenport in Dukes of Hazzard, was elected to be a congressman for Georgia.

In 2000, both Warren Beatty and Cybill Shepherd almost ran for president - but decided against it.

And not all stars who run for office win.

Shirley Temple fought an unsuccessful campaign to be elected to congress in 1967, almost 20 years after giving up acting.

Nancy Kulp, who played Miss Hathaway in the Beverly Hillbillies, ran for congress in 1984 while Al Lewis - better known as Grandpa Munster - was the Green Party candidate for New York governor in 1998.

Stars to reveal political plans
06 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Springsteen will not run for election
17 May 02  |  Entertainment
Jackson's final stage
13 Jul 00  |  Politics
Reagan turns 90
06 Feb 01  |  Americas
Beatty rules out run for presidency
04 Jan 00  |  Americas


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