Notable roles: In the Heat of the Night (NBC, 1988-1992; CBS, 1992-1995), Grace Under Fire (ABC, 1995-1996)
Political position: Mayor of Fresno, California (2001-2009)
Alan Autry originally tried to make it as a quarterback in the NFL, but once he was cut by the Green Bay Packers after one season, he traveled to Hollywood to try to break into acting. His first notable role was on the small-screen cop drama In the Heat of the Night.
After that, Autry found odd jobs and guest spots wherever he could, but it was clear that acting was never going to be his long-term career choice. So he did what every Hollywood star thinks they can do—he switched over to politics. Autry was elected the mayor of Fresno, California in 2000 as a Republican. He served two terms in Fresno before having to stop due to a law prohibiting a third.
Autry’s most high-profile political decision was to support a ban on gay marriage in California; he even went as far as to host a heterosexual-only “Marriage Commitment Day” at City Hall in 2004. Thankfully, since his second term ended in 2009, Autry has been absent from the political scene and Hollywood, so we don’t have to be subjected to any more of his beliefs.