Hollywood is perhaps the perfect training ground for future politicians. After all, you have to know how to look good on camera and answer questions from journalists at the drop of a hat. Maybe that’s why so many Hollywood stars turn away from the industry and head for the spotlight on the political stage. Here are 10 celebrities who left Hollywood to work in politics.
When it comes to “celebrities turned politicians,” Donald Trump may be the most famous of them all. He gained celebrity in his youth as a New York real estate mogul, and started making notable TV appearances in the ’80s. His public fame perhaps started with his 1980 interview with Tom Brokaw at the age of 33 and only increased when he made the rounds promoting his hit book The Art of the Deal in 1987. He became such an iconic New York figure he even made a memorable cameo in the film Home Alone 2.
He is said to have started considering running for president as early as 1987, and in 2000, he had a failed presidential run as a Reform Party candidate. Then, he became a TV ratings juggernaut as the star of the reality show The Apprentice in 2004. That show helped propel his popularity, and when he decided not to renew his Apprentice contract in 2015 rumors swirled of a presidential run for the Republican Party. This time, Trump was successful, and in 2016, he was elected president of the United States, a move that took him away from Hollywood but not away from the cameras.
Cynthia Nixon has played a number of engaging roles in TV and film over the years. However, she is best known for playing Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s popular and provocative TV show Sex and the City. Her character on that show was known for being a driven workaholic. And this quality may well apply to Nixon herself and her push into politics!
She decided to campaign for governor of New York in 2018 against incumbent Andrew Cuomo. She ultimately lost to Cuomo in the Democratic primary, but her passionate campaigning helped raise awareness for issues such as income equality and access to healthcare. She is set to make her Hollywood comeback in 2020 with the Netflix series Ratched, based on the novel One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest.