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Clint Eastwood | Top 10 actors turned politician

Iconic actor who served one term as mayor of Carmel, California.

Clint Eastwood's film career has spanned six decades. He is famous for his roles in the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s, as well as the Dirty Harry films, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Escape from Alcatraz. As well as multiple nominations for the Best Actor Oscar, he won the Best Director award for his 2004 film Million Dollar Baby.

Eastwood has long been a staunch Republican -- he says he registered in order to vote for Eisenhower in 1952 and went on to support Nixon during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986, he was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and served one term. An unusual law banning the sale and consumption of ice cream on the streets formed a focal point of his campaign for election, and once in office, he overturned the law, saying it ran counter to the interests of local businesses. He also oversaw the building of new access facilities for the popular beach and expanded the town library. However, although he was popular during his tenure, many residents were outspoken in their desire that he should not seek a second term as his celebrity was attracting unmanageable numbers of tourists to the town. Eastwood did not run for re-election.

However, his involvement in politics did not stop there. During the 2008 presidential election campaign, he endorsed John McCain, saying that he had known him since 1973. He has also served on the California State Park and Recreation Commission.

Next: Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski

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Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman. She writes a weekly podcast column.