Being a 'career politician' isn't a criticism you could level at this lot. Here's our top 6 politicians who were famous before they started kissing babies and standing on soapboxes...

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Some politicians might act like they’re celebrities, but these celebs who became politicians really were famous before they counted on your vote. Whether it’s Westminster or the White House, we seem to have a soft spot for putting our trust in actors, singers and telly personalities…

1. Sonny Bono

Celebs who became politicians: Sonny and Cher

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Better known as half of husband-and-wife singing duo Sonny & Cher, who had their biggest hit, I Got You Babe, in 1965. As their musical career and associated telly shows waned, Sonny moved into politics, becoming a Republican representative in Congress for California. He tragically died in 1998 when he accidentally skied into a tree while on a family skiing holiday. His second wife Mary went on to run for and win his congressional seat.

Celebs who became politicians: Sonny Bono

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2. Michael Cashman

Celebs who became politicians: Lord Cashman takes Lords seat

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When EastEnders‘ characters Barry and Colin – played by Michael Cashman – shared British soap’s first on-screen gay kiss, causing a tabloid kerfuffle along the way – you would have got long odds on Michael one day going on to become a Lord. But that’s just what happened. A passionate campaigner against discrimination of minority groups, Michael has been a Labour MEP, and is now a life peer. It’s all a long way from Albert Square.

 

3. Eva Peron

Celebrities who became politicians: Argentina Evita Anniversary

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Don’t cry me for Argentina. But they most certainly did. Eva Duarte, more commonly known as Evita, arrived in Buenos Aires at the age of 16, to pursue her dreams of stardom. She found some fame on radio shows, but it was when she married an ambitious politician, Juan Peron, and used her populist appeal to help him reach the country’s presidency, that she became a national heroine. It was when she was running for the vice-presidency in 1952 that she died from cancer, aged just 32. Hence the tears.

 

4. Ronald Reagan

Celebs who became politicians: Ronald Regan American Football - Film Recording - Knute Rockne, All American

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This one went all the way to the top! Long before former US President Ronald Reagan melted the heart of British PM Maggie Thatcher, he was melting the hearts of film fans. A star of both the big screen and small, Ronnie went on to become Governor of California and ultimately a two-term President. He survived an assassination attempt in 1981 and died in 2004, at the age of 93.

Celebs who became politicians: Ronald Regan with Margaret Thatcher

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 5. Glenda Jackson

Celebs who became politicians: Glenda Jackson

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Best known for her Shakespearean roles and her depiction of Elizabeth I, Glenda Jackson is another who made the leap from the screen to the hustings. A Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate since 1992, Glenda served as a junior minister in Tony Blair’s government before becoming critical of the then-PM. In her acting career, she showed her lighter side with appearances with The Muppets and Morecambe & Wise.

Celebs who became politicians: Glenda Jackson

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 6. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Celebs who became politicians: Film - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Former Austrian bodybuilder becomes action movie hero and then becomes Governor of one of the USA’s most important states, before returning to the big screen. It reads like a film script! But that’s just what happens when you’re Arnie. Having had his most famous movie hit with The Terminator, it was little surprise he became known as The Governator when he became the latest celeb to become California’s Governor.

Celebs who became politicians: Arnold Schwarzenegger meets David Cameron in US

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