Not-So-Lucky Stars of Political Theater

(Page 3 of 4)

Shirley Temple Treated Like a Kid: There was anything but smooth sailing on the Good Ship Lollypop in 1967, when the most celebrated child actor of Hollywood's golden age ran for Congress.

"The political cartoonists had a lot of fun with me. They showed me as a 6-year-old or a 5-year-old kicking LBJ in the shins," the 75-year-old actress, now known as Shirley Temple Black, tells Reuters. "That also probably hurt my campaign a bit because it was probably difficult to look at a woman and not see the 7-year-old tap dancing."

Still, Temple Black later served Republican administrations as ambassador to the former Czechoslovakia and Ghana where she undoubtedly found that international diplomacy and tap dancing are very much the same.

Beverly Hillbillies Feudin': The man who played millionaire hillbilly Jed Clampett was none too happy when Miss Hathaway made a run for a congressional seat in Pennsylvania.

Buddy Ebsen took on Nancy Kulp, his fellow The Beverly Hillbillies cast member dismissing her as "too liberal," providing radio support for incumbent Republican Bud Shuster.

"He's not the kindly old Jed Clampett you saw on the show," Kulp told Time magazine, as the 1984 congressional election heated up. "I've worked so hard on this campaign. It's none of his business and he should have stayed out of it."

Kulp admitted she and Ebsen had difficulties on the set. "But I would never have done something like this to him."

With no record in public office, she called in fellow actor Ed Asner for support. "I think I've been successful in making the distinction between actress and politician," she said. "But there's always someone who screams, 'Where's Jethro?' "

After losing, Kulp and her two terriers declared California was the place they ought to be, so they loaded up their truck and moved to the land of movie stars, swimming pools … and TV sitcoms.

Stearn's Private Parts Are Financial: Shock jock Howard Stern loves to talk about his sexual proclivities on the air. But he found political life a little too revealing in 1994, when New York election officials demanded that he reveal his income, as is required by state law.

Stern withdrew as the Libertarian candidate for governor in his own trademark style:

"I spend 25 hours a week telling you the most intimate details of my life," he announced on his show. "If you want to know how much money I make, screw you. I am never going to tell you how much money I make."