Notable roles: Bright Top (1934), Curly Top (1935), Heidi (1937)
Political position: U.S. Ambassador to Ghana (1974-1976), Czechoslovakia (1989-1992)
For those of you too young to remember Shirley Temple, she was like Lindsay Lohan, just without the drugs and court-ordered ankle bracelet. Temple was a child star who raked in millions of dollars for Hollywood in various musicals and feel-good family films before leaving the industry at age 21. Being the top box office draw in the nation wasn’t enough for Temple, who eventually went into politics with an unsuccessful run for a congressional seat in California, where she ran as a Republican.
Despite her initial failure, Temple was eventually appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana by Richard Nixon, and then the Ambassador to Czechoslovakia by George H.W. Bush. Though she never won an election for office, Temple made a name for herself in the political arena and proved that not every child star needs to turn into a pill-popping sob story.