The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Celebrities turned successful politicians


With Donald Trump being one of the biggest celebrities to ever run for the United States Presidency, here are a few other celebrities who became successful politicians.

George Murphy: (Rep-Calif), U.S. Senator (1965-1971)

Murphy was an actor and American dancer before he ran for senator, according to

He starred in big Hollywood movies from 1930-1952. On top of of this, he was president of the Screen Actor’s Guild from 1944-1946.

He served as the U.S. Senator from California. He was known for being the first notable U.S. actor to make the successful transition to an elected official in California.

Shirley Temple: Ambassador to Ghana (1974-1976); Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1989-1992)

Everyone has to know Shirley Temple, from the famous song “Animal Crackers in my Soup” from the film “Curly Top.” She is still one of America’s most popular child stars  and was the it-girl from 1935-1938. By the time she was six, Temple was receiving six-figure royalties from her endorsements.

It wasn’t until 1969 that she started to make her diplomatic career. She represented the U.S. at a session of the United Nations General Assembly.

John Davis Lodge (R-Conn.), Governor of Connecticut (1951-1955); U.S. Congressmen (1947-1951)

Lodge made his movie debut playing Shirley Temple’s father in “The Little Colonel” and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in “The Scarlet Empress.”

He was also an actor in “Little Women” and the Broadway show “Watch on the Rhine.”

He was born into a political family; his father was poet George Cabot Lodge and his grandfather was Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. On top of this, he is the great-great-grandson of Senator George Cabot.

Jesse Ventura: (I-Minn.), Governor of Minnesota (1989-2003)

Ventura has done it all. He has served on a Navy underwater demolition team and also was a full patch member of the Mongols motorcycle club.

On top of this, according to, he was an actor in films such as “Predator,” “Running Man,” “Demolition Man” and “Batman and Robin.”

But he is mainly known as the “The Body” for being a successful pro wrestler and wrestling commentator.

Fred Gandy: (R-Iowa), U.S. Congressman (1987-1995)

Before Gandy served four years in Congress, he was a star on the show “The Love Boat,” playing the character Gopher for nine seasons straight. Before this, he started off as a recurring character in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” back in the 70s.

Sonny Bono: (R-Calif.), U.S. Congressman (1995-1998)

If you know Cher, then you definitely know Bono. Sonny Bono and Cher were the American husband and wife pop music duo in the 70s. Their hit “I Got You Babe,” sold over one million copies.

The pair were also stars of their own shows “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” and “The Sonny & Cher Show.” Later he became mayor of Palm Springs in California and then from there he served two terms in Congress.

Fred Thompson: (R-Tenn.), U.S. Senator (1994-2003)

Thompson’s fictional character on “Law and Order” became a reality as he became a trained lawyer and elected official. His character was District Attorney Arthur Branch on the show.

On top of this, he was an investigating attorney for the Senate Watergate Committee, served two terms as a senator representing Tennessee and ran for President in 2008 for the Republican party.

Al Franken: (D-Minn.), U.S. Senator (2009-present)

If you are a fan of “Saturday Night Live” then Al Franken has to ring a bell. He is one of the original writers and performers for the show.

He has received seven Emmy nominations and three awards for writing and producing.

Franken was most known for his “Stuart Smalley” character on SNL. He took his writing skills another route too by becoming a best-selling comic author after writing six books. Before running for office he hosted a national political talk radio show.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: (R-Calif.), Governor of California (2003-2011)

“I’ll be back.” Just three famous words and you can instantly picture the “Governator.” His mega successful acting career turned California Governor for two terms made him a big hit in America.

Originally from Austria, you can recognize his accent anywhere, especially as he plays Terminator. Schwarzenegger is also known for his body building.

He had won the Mr. Olympia title seven times, six of those times in a row from 1970-1975. Before he became the Terminator, he was a star as “Conan the Barbarian” which then led him to “The Terminator.”

Ronald Reagan: (R-Calif.), Governor of California (1967-1975); 40th President of the United States, (1981-1989)

Last, but surely not least, Ronald Reagan. He is the most successful politician as he became the 40th president of the United States.

Rewind a few years before he was president, he spent two decades in the entertainment industry. He was a host for “General Electric Theater” from 1954-1962.

As for film, he was most known for his role in “Knute Rockne, All American” in 1940, where he played a Notre Dame halfback called Gipper “the Gipper” Gipp.

His first step into politics was when he was a union official for the Screen Actors Guild, which then led him to the Board of Directors in 1941 and served as vice president in 1946. Reagan was elected to a seven-one year term from 1947 to 1952 and in 1959.

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Reza Moreno, Features Editor
Features Editor: Reza is a junior Journalism major and Business minor who hopes to encourage more involvement between students and the Torch whether that is through covering events, or even with a weekly fashion profile. She wants students to have an excuse to pick up the newspaper because they feel they are a part of the Torch too. She has been involved with the Torch for two years. [email protected]
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