Actor-director-producer Clint Eastwood has been revealed as the surprise speaker at the Republican National Convention.
It has always been widely known that Eastwood leans to the right, though his involvement in politics has waxed and waned.
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Conservatives often use "Hollywood" as a pejorative, to mean ultra-liberal, biased, and intolerant of other viewpoints. It's frequently said that, like being openly gay, being openly Republican in Hollywood will cause your career to suffer. Indeed, Kelsey Grammer recently suggested that his Republicanism cost him an Emmy for his role in the HBO series "Boss".
While lists of Republican celebrities often seem to include more former A-listers - Bo Derek, Jon Voight, and Janine Turner come to mind - there is a healthy-sized crop of celebrities who have expressed Republican sympathies over the years, and who seem to be doing quite well in Hollywood.
Eastwood, for example, has won two directing Oscars - most recently for 2004's Million Dollar Baby - and has directed no less than 11 major movies in the last ten years.
Since leaving office as California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has had no trouble getting acting gigs. His movie, Expendables 2, is out now; and his IMDb page shows that he has two movies due for release next year and three more in pre-production.
His Expendables costar, Sylvester Stallone, is also a Republican. Though Stallone was critical of George W. Bush, he returned to the fold in 2008, when he endorsed John McCain. He has since made six films, and has two more in the works.
Adam Sandler is frequently cited as a registered Republican who contributed to Rudy Guliani's presidential bid in 2007. Since that endorsement, Sandler has still been able to maintain a prolific acting, producing, and writing career. In the last four years, he has produced fifteen films and the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother"; acted in eight films; and written the screenplays for four.
Robert Downey Jr attended the 2008 Republican Convention. Having done time for his drug use, Downey was quoted in a 2009 New York Times interview as saying, "I have a really interesting political point of view, and it's not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal."
His politics are not staunch, evidently, as he reportedly attended an Obama fundraiser at George Clooney's house this year. But whether Downey fully embraced conservatism or merely flirted with it, it has not stopped him from appearing in eight films since his convention appearance.
Venerable actor and director Robert Duvall will be hosting a Romney fundraiser in September. Duvall was active at the GOP convention in 2008, and was personally invited to George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001. That hasn't stopped him from acting in, producing, or directing sixteen feature films since; or from picking up an Emmy for the 2006 miniseries "Broken Trail" (take note, Kelsey Grammer).
Bruce Willis has expressed contempt for Mitt Romney and said he doesn't care who wins in November. In the past he has supported both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, including George H.W. Bush in 1992 (having endorsed Mike Dukakis in 1988) and George W. Bush in 2000.
His support for Dubya notwithstanding, Willis still has major star power in Hollywood, having appeared in an incredible 40 films since 2000.