CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — It’s almost November, and that means two things: Thanksgiving and elections. This time though we aren’t talking about the four amendments that will be on West Virginia’s ballot, were talking about the politicians who were famous before they were famous. Here are 20 people who were already well-established before running for political office.

Ronald Reagan (Public domain)

Ronald Reagan (R)

Everyone knows this one, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States, but before he was involved in politics, he was already well-known in the radio and film industry. A few of his notable movies include “The Killers” (1964) and “Kings Row” (1942). Ironically, in one film series, Reagan stars as a secret service agent named Lieutenant “Brass” Bancroft. The first of these movies, “Secret Service of the Air” was released in 1940.

Donald Trump (R)

FILE – Former President Donald Trump points to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a rally July 22, 2022, in Prescott, Ariz. Trump is returning to Washington for the first time since leaving office to deliver a policy speech Tuesday night, July 26 before allies who have been crafting an agenda for a possible second term. Trump will address the America First Policy Institute’s two-day America First Agenda Summit.

Donald Trump was a businessman and real estate developer long before his 2016 presidency. His book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” was a number one New York Times bestseller for 13 weeks, and he was also the host of the reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” He was a guest star in several other TV shows and films, including “Home Alone 2,” “Sex and the City,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Zoolander” and “The Little Rascals”. He has also made a few appearances in WWE Raw.

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West (AIP)

FILE – Rapper Kanye West wears a Make America Great Again hat during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Kanye West, who had his legal name changed to Ye in 2021, is one of the most successful hip-hop artists of all time. He has two VMA’s and two grammy awards, and six of his albums were on Rolling Stone’s 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, with his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” sitting at number 17.

In 2020 Kanye announced he would be running in the 2020 presidential election as a part of the American Independence Party, but conceded the morning after Election Day after only getting around 60,000 votes as reported by the BBC.

Jerry Springer (D)

Jerry Springer (Wikimedia Commons: Justin Hoch)

Jerry Springer is an actor and comedian, well known for his parts in movies like “Domino”, “Ringmaster”, and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”, as well as having his own talk show, “The Jerry Springer Show” which ran for nearly 40 years.

Springer had already held a few different political offices before he started in journalism and eventually television. Springer was elected to the Cincinnati, Ohio city council, but before that he worked as a political aid to Robert Kennedy prior to his assassination. Springer served on the Cincinnati city council from 1972-1974, until he was involved in a prostitution scandal. A year later he won his seat back on the council and then became mayor in 1976. According to Ohio History Central, Springer won the mayoral seat by the largest margin in the city’s history. In 1982 he ran for governor but was not elected.

Clint Eastwood (N)

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood arrives at the 2020 AFI Awards at the Four Seasons on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

One of the most popular actors of his time and best known for his western films and TV shows, Clint Eastwood was motivated to run for mayor of Carmel, California as a nonpartisan in 1986, after frustrations with the local government. He won the race with over 70 percent of the vote and served as mayor for two terms.

Shirley Temple (R)

Shirley Temple (Public domain)

Shirley Temple remains one of the most famous and popular child stars in Hollywood history and started her acting career at just three years old. In 1967 she ran for the California State Senate on the Republican ballot and would have been the first woman to hold the position if she had won, but she didn’t. Later on, she was appointed as a U.S. ambassador to Ghana, and later as an ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

FILE – Dr. Mehmet Oz, Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, speaks in Springfield, Pa., Sept. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ryan Collerd, File)

Mehmet Oz (R)

Dr. Oz is best known for his show, “The Dr. Oz Show” or just “Dr. Oz”, which aired 13 seasons from 2009 until its final episode in January 2022. Oz decided to step away from the show after announcing his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania in 2021.

FILE – Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during former President Donald Trump’s Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

Herschel Walker (R)

Before Herschel Walker began campaigning for the 2022 Georgia U.S. Senate race, he spent much of his life as a football player. Walker played as a running back for the University of Georgia and was later drafted into the NFL by the Cowboys. He went on to play for the Vikings, Eagles, and Giants. He won multiple awards in the NCAA and the NFL, including the Heisman Trophy in 1982.

Caitlyn Jenner (R)

Caitlyn Jenner, Republican candidate for California governor, speaks during a news conference on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Caitlyn Jenner is well known for her Olympic success, as well as her marriage to Kris Kardashian and involvement in the reality show centered around the Kardashian family. In 2021, Caitlyn Jenner put her name in the running for the California recall election to replace Gavin Newsom as governor. However, Jenner was unable to leverage her fame enough to be considered a real contender for the position, only gaining a little over one percent of votes at the polls.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator: Dark Fate.” (Kerry Brown/Paramount Pictures via AP)

Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the more successful celebrities turned politician when it comes to his political career. Schwarzenegger, known for his roles in “The Terminator”, “Predator”, and “Total Recall”, was elected the 38th governor of California in 2003 and served in that office until 2011.

Howard Stern (R)

Howard Stern speaks at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cleveland. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

Howard Stern is a radio and television personality known for being a “shock jock” and expressing his unfiltered opinions. In 1994, Stern won the libertarian nomination for the New York gubernatorial election but withdrew from the election after refusing to release his financial information. Recently, Stern has expressed interest in participating in the 2024 U.S. presidential race, saying he would want Bradley Cooper as his running mate.

Stephen Colbert (D)

Stephen Colbert
FILE – Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert arrives at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A comedian, writer and television host, Colbert attempted to run in the South Carolina presidential primary in 2008 but was denied being included on the Democratic ballot. He initially planned to run in both the Republican and Democratic primaries but chose not to pay the $35,000 fee necessary to be included on the Republican ballot. In 2012 Colbert joked he would attempt to run for president in South Carolina again, but never made it onto the ballot.

Clay Aiken (D)

Clay Aiken (Wikimedia commons: Gage Skidmore)

Clay Aiken got his first big break in 2003 when he participated in “American Idol” season two, where he finished runner-up, and has released multiple albums since.

In 2014 Aiken was defeated in the North Carolina 2nd Congressional District general election by incumbent Renee Ellmers. He ran for congress again in the 2022 Democratic primary election for the South Carolina District 4 U.S. House representative, but only received around seven percent of the vote.

Roseanne Barr (PAF)

Roseanne Barr (Wikimedia Commons: Leah Mark)

Best known for her sitcom “Roseanne”, Barr attempted a presidential run in 2012 on the Green Party ticket but was beaten out by Jill Stein in the primary election. Following her defeat in the Green Party, she turned toward the Peace and Freedom Party where she won the party’s nomination.

Sonny Bono (R)

In this Jan. 21, 1966 file photo, Sonny, right, and Cher sing during a taping of “The Danny Thomas Special” in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/File)

Sonny Bono of “Sonny & Cher” also had a successful career in politics following his musical accomplishments. Bono served as a U.S. House Representative for California from 1995 until his death in 1998 in a skiing accident at Lake Tahoe. Prior to that, he served as the Mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988-1992. Bono remains the only member of Congress to have had a number-one pop single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Cynthia Nixon (D)

Wikimedia Commons (Yahoo)

“Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon participated in the 2018 New York gubernatorial race and even participated in a debate with Incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Nixon faced off against Cuomo in the Democratic primary election but was defeated by a margin of about 500,000 votes.

Fred Thompson (R)

Fred Thompson (Wikimedia Commons: public domain)

Thompson was a lawyer before he became an actor, with some of his most notable productions being “The Hunt for Red October”, “Law and Order”, “No Way Out”, and “Die Hard 2”.

Thompson was elected as U.S. senator for Tennessee from 1994-2003 and even served as an advisor to the Senate committee investigating the Watergate scandal.

Al Franken (DFL)

Al Franken
FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, then Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Al Franken was a comedian and talk show host on “The Al Franken Show” and “Saturday Night Live” who went on to serve as a U.S. senator for Minnesota from 2009-2018 as a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer-Labor Party. Franken’s political career was cut short in 2018 when sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against him. He was advised to step down by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who met with him after the allegations.

Jesse Ventura (MIP)

Jesse Ventura (Wikimedia Commons: Kingkongphoto &

Jesse Ventura worked as both an actor and professional wrestler before he started his political career in Minnesota. He served as Minnesota’s governor from 1999-2003 as a member of the Minnesota Independence Party and as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from 1991-1995.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The current president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in the middle of his first term in office but got his start in entertainment, similar to Ronald Reagan.

FILE – In this photo, Feb. 27, 2022, taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)

Before he was elected in 2019, Zelenskyy was heavily involved in comedy in his early career and was a member of Kvartal 95, a Ukrainian production company that produced, shows, skits and cartoons, in a similar vein to other production companies like Montey Python. He even starred in a Ukrainian sitcom called “Servant of the People” where he plays a high school history teacher who is unexpectedly elected president of Ukraine. He also voiced Paddington Bear in the Ukrainian dub of “Paddington” and “Paddington 2”.