Stars who launched political careers
Olympic track-and-field great Carl Lewis wants to run for the New Jersey Senate and former 2 Live Crew rapper Luther Campbell says he's "dead serious" about his bid for mayor of a county in Florida. See which other stars have traded one limelight for another, cashing in on name recognition and likability.
The former president is the most famous of the actors-turned-politicians, and his political legacy is being honored this year through various centennial celebrations. He made more than 50 movies in his film career, but is better known for his work as president, surviving an assassination attempt to become the leader of the modern conservative movement.
From bodybuilder extraordinaire to action flick hero to governor of California for two terms,the "Governator" leaves a legacy that includes enacting the state's landmark global warming law. Now that he is retired from governorship, will he bring back the big guns and act in the next
Arguably the most famous child actor of all time, this curly-headed cutie went on to hold several diplomatic posts, including American ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She was also honored with the Screen Actors Guild's most prestigious prize.
Jesse "The Body" Ventura made the leap from feather boas, leopard-skin leotards and pro wrestling to politics as a Reform Party candidate, and served as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., and governor of this Northern state. His other colorful accolades: Navy veteran, visiting professor at Harvard author and host of the "Conspiracy Theory" TV show.
This popular Hollywood star, known early on for his westerns and his no-nonsense character Dirty Harry, went on to become an Academy Award-winning director. He dabbled in politics, receiving a whopping 72 percent of the vote for mayor of the quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., before returning to his film career.
Picking up 18 years as a Democratic U.S. senator in this East Coast state was a slam-dunk for this basketball Hall of Famer. After 10 years with the New York Knicks he moved into politics, sponsoring highly controversial legislation and authoring several books.
He first garnered attention as one-half of a famous singing duo. He broke into politics as mayor of a ritzy town, and then went on to serve as a two-term Republican congressman before facing an untimely death.
Who knew the former "Saturday Night Live" star political satirist and best-selling author would end up in the U.S. Senate? This liberal Democrat is still serving this state, after a tight race that ended in a recount.
This pro quarterback turned influential Republican from New York won a Buffalo-area congressional seat and served for 18 years in the House of Representatives. He was also the secretary of housing and urban development and this presidential hopeful'svice presidential running mate on the 1996 Republican presidential ticket.
He portrayed Dr. Lawrence Kutner on a hit TV program until he joined the Obama administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn resigned briefly, to film the third installment of a funny film series, and then returned to his post at the White House.
After 14 years with the Seattle Seahawks and an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he pursued politics and served as an Oklahoma congressman for eight years. He failed to secure the governorship, but is still politically active.
A 17-year pitching career with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies landed him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame before he catapulted into a long career in Congress. He was first elected to the Fort Thomas, Ky., city council, then the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the bluegrass state, and is currently a U.S. senator with a reputation as a staunch and uncompromising fiscal conservative.
After nine seasons of playing Gopher on a TV show based on a cruise ship he ran for Congress from his home state amid skepticism from his opponents. He won and served in the House for eight years, then barely lost a 1994 primary for governor before becoming co-host of a conservative talk show.
From Pistons to politics: This NBA Hall of Famer was elected mayor of Motor City, a position he holds today, and is known for his civic leadership and unflinching character. He was honored as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of all time.
This former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns landed himself the position of mayor of this California city and is its first African-American mayor. A Democrat, he has worked to improve public safety, spur economic development and push school reforms in the city.