Photos: Most successful US entertainers turned politicians

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Donald Trump is one of the few entertainers or celebrities to make it to the White House. However, he’s far from the only person to come from the television or film world and transition into politics.

Most famously, Ronald Reagan was an accomplished actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild before jumping into politics and becoming the nation’s 40th president.

Here’s a look at some successful entertainers who made the transition:

Ronald Reagan

Reagan began as an actor in 1937 eventually starring in numerous films including “Kings Row,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1943. He later moved to television serving as the host of CBS’s “General Electric Theater” for 8 years. He retired from acting in 1965 and the rest is history.

(Photo by Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images)

Donald Trump

A businessman turned celebrity who hosted NBC’s The Apprentice, Trump always had a knack for entertaining audiences on television. He took his popularity and transitioned it into an unlikely campaign that won the White House in 2016. Can he do it a second time?

President Donald Trump dances after speaking at a campaign rally at Prescott Regional Airport, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Prescott, Ariz. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sonny Bono

After making it famous alongside Cher, the “I Got You Babe” singer lept into politics first as the mayor of Palm Springs, California. In 1994, he ran for U.S. Congress eventually serving two terms. Bono died in 1998 after a ski accident.

(J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images)

Clint Eastwood

Did you know the legendary actor and director was also a politician? Eastwood won the mayoral election in Carmel, California in 1986. Years later, he’d serve on the California State Park and Recreation Commission and the California Film Commission. In addition to those titles, he has four Oscars. Not too shabby.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fred Thompson

While serving in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2003, Thompson continued his acting career playing Arthur Branch on “Law & Order.” In 2007, he took a break for the show while taking a shot at becoming the GOP nominee for president. He dropped out of the race in January 2008 after placing third in South Carolina.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Before he was the “Governator,” Schwarzenegger was one of the world’s biggest action movie stars. He put his career on hold to serve as the 29th Governor of California. It’s a position he held from 2003 to 2011. Prior to jumping into acting, Schwarzenegger held the bodybuilding title “Mr. Universe.”

(Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)

Al Franken

Comedian Al Franken left his writing and performer role on “Saturday Night Live” to make a run for the U.S. Senate. He landed one of Minnesota’s seats in 2009. He was elected to a second term but later resigned after several allegations of sexual misconduct.

(Photo by Cory Ryan/Getty Images)

Jesse Ventura

“The Body” transitioned from professional wrestling and low-budget movies into a life of politics. He started as the mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and eventually ran for governor of the state as a Reform Party candidate. He won the job — serving as the 38th governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Glenn Jacobs

Nicknamed the “Demon of Destruction” in World Wrestling Entertainment, Glenn Jacobs, better known to wrestling fans as Kane, followed Ventura’s footsteps into a life of politics. He took off his fiery-red costume to run for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. He won the job and continues to serve in that position.

(Getty Images)

Jerry Springer

Before crowds were chanting “Jerry, Jerry” while watching the trashy “Jerry Springer Show,” the show’s host served as Mayor of Cincinnati. In addition to hosting the self-titled show, Springer has appeared in numerous TV shows and broadway plays.

(Photo by Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

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