The History of Actors Turned Politicians

Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Notable roles: Predator (1987), The Running Man (1987), Demolition Man (1993)
Political position: Mayor of Brooklyn park, Minnesota (1991-1995); Governor of Minnesota (1999-2003)

From pile-drivers to Predator and politics, Jesse “The Body” Ventura is one of America’s underrated gems.

He started out in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a flamboyant professional wrestler known for his garish ring attire and hulking physique. But after being plagued with injuries, Ventura turned to the silver screen where he appeared in movies like The Running Man, Demolition Man, and Batman & Robin. He was no Clark Gable, yet ‘80s cinema basically just required rippling muscles and a plethora of manliness. Thus, Ventura managed to fit right in.

Then something strange happened. The man who, at one point, was an icon for wearing feather boas and tie-dyed tights to the wrestling ring suddenly entered the political ring. Ventura stunned governmental junkies everywhere when he successfully served as the mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota for four years, and then shocked the entire nation when he was voted governor of Minnesota in 1998. Even more surprising than that is the fact that Ventura won the seat while running for the Reform Party, which is rare in a country that dogmatically clings to its two-party system.

Because of Ventura’s combative nature, his tenure as governor was filled with controversy, and he refused to seek a second term. For a man who made a name for himself by handing out body slams and headlocks, though, becoming a United States governor for any length of time is impressive.

Even ven though Ventura is currently enjoying small screen success as the host of Conspiracy Theory on TruTV, he has stated that if he gets enough support, he’ll consider running for president in 2016 as an independent. This might be one sequel actually worth watching.

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