There was once a time in film history during which patriotism was the norm. Whether an actor suspended a lucrative career to join the military or a producer backed a project that reflected traditional values, it was not uncommon for Hollywood and mainstream American culture to overlap.
Few in today’s entertainment industry would declare, as John Wayne did, “Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.”
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Even those who subscribed to a radical leftist worldview realized espousing such beliefs publicly would be professionally detrimental. As our society has lurched leftward, however, Hollywood has remained ahead of the curve.
It is now not uncommon to hear prominent actors spew reprehensible partisan tripe only to see their popularity soar. Those in that industry who dare buck the trend and show any conservative leanings whatsoever are roundly vilified, discouraging many from making even the most superficial of political comments.
Thankfully, there are several who literally risk their careers to speak out against the stranglehold leftism currently has in Hollywood. The following list includes a number of unabashed conservatives among others who, while they might not completely reflect rightwing ideology, have a healthy respect for America’s founding principles.
In no particular order, these prominent stars have made it clear that they do not walk in lockstep with the leftist drones that constantly surround them.
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25. Shannen Doherty
This Beverly Hills 90210 alum has gone on to earn recognition for her starring role in Charmed. Though the characters have not always embodied a conservative role model, Doherty has made numerous references to her own beliefs.
“I realize that the majority of people in the entertainment business happen to be Democrats,” she once confirmed. “I have no problem with that. And they should have no problem with the fact that I’m a Republican.”
She has also referred to herself as an “avid supporter of Ronald Reagan,” a man she described as “fabulous.”
24. Drew Carey
A comedian and actor who succeeded Bob Barker as the host of The Price is Right in 2007 proudly considers himself a libertarian who puts a high value on personal liberty.
In one interview, he shared his view that conservatives in Hollywood face a steep uphill battle while one can “pretty much get away with being a libertarian.”
Though he said colleagues apparently see a big difference between the two ideologies, Carey described libertarians as “conservatives that still get high.”
23. Stacy Dash
During the 2012 election cycle, perhaps no entertainer received harsher criticism for an endorsement than the stunning actress best known for her role in the 1995 film Clueless. When Dash expressed her support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the black actress was pilloried by her own community – and leftists in general.
In her initial Twitter post, she called Romney the “only choice for your future,” later responding to criticism with a lengthy essay defending her position.
22. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
A former pro wrestler who transitioned remarkably well into the world of acting, Johnson is a registered Republican who was a performer at the 2000 Republican National Convention.
When his acting career is over, he has expressed an interest in following Ronald Reagan’s footsteps by seeking elected office.
21. Robert Downey Jr.
Perhaps no male actor is a hotter commodity in Hollywood today than reformed partier Robert Downey Jr. While he might not fit the traditional conservative mold, he has publicly made unequivocal endorsements of certain values those on the right hold dear.
In a 2009 interview, he alluded to his own criminal history as the catalyst to his embrace of certain conservative ideals.
20. Stephen Baldwin
Few celebrities are as willing to discuss their Christian and conservative views more frankly than this Baldwin brother. What makes his advocacy even more astounding is that he shares the same roots as his ultra-leftist brother, Alec.
The youngest of four brothers who have each had varying degrees of Hollywood success, Stephen has shied away from his political activism in recent years to avoid a conflict with his ongoing Christian ministry. Nevertheless, he has a well-documented history of supporting traditional conservative values – and there is no sign of any change on that front.
19. Jerry Bruckheimer
Moving to those who work behind the camera, there are several prominent producers who subscribe to a more conservative worldview. One of the most successful in all of Hollywood, Jerry Bruckheimer, has occasionally revealed his political leanings by supporting Republican candidates and opening up during candid interviews.
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity, he contradicted some other celebrity accounts, explaining he has never felt ostracized because of his personal views.
“It is always about the work,” he said, “and if you do good work, people will honor you and work with you again. It is never about your politics.”
18. Gerald Molen
Another top-tier producer, Molen has enthusiastically embraced his conservatism late in his career. After producing films from “Schindler’s List” to “Jurassic Park,” he teamed up with rightwing author Dinesh D’Souza to bring “2016: Obama’s America” to theaters across America.
As for his reception in Hollywood and beyond, Molen has admitted he has faced some ideologically based criticism. In 2012, he said he was prohibited from delivering an “apolitical” graduation speech because the principal did not approve of his personal opinions.
He once contrasted today’s Hollywood with the environment of his early career.
“Today, those on the right have a tendency to hide their politics because the left is vindictive,” he concluded.
17. Melissa Joan Hart
One of the few child stars who avoided many of the pitfalls of early fame, Melissa Joan Hart gained a loyal following through work as the title character in “Clarissa Explains it All” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”
As an adult, she has remained in the public eye as an actress and author; however, when she recently outed herself as a conservative, she earned the wrath of countless leftists – including many former fans.
“I got called every name in the book,” she said of the response to her tweet in support of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
16. Kelsey Grammer
An actor best known for his decades-long portrayal of psychiatrist Frasier Crane, Grammer has been open about his political leanings since publicly endorsing New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2004.
He has since been integral in the development of RightNetwork, an entertainment company aimed at a conservative audience.
As for his reception by the leftist elite, Grammer suggested the reason he wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award for his latest work on the drama “Boss” might have to do with the fact that he is a “declared out-of-the-closet Republican in Hollywood.”
15. Victoria Jackson
Best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, Jackson is one of several cast members who have since expressed a conservative proclivity. While she still tackles issues from a comedic standpoint, she has become one of the right’s most politically active celebrities.
She has expressed a desire to run for elected office and expressed support for GOP presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Jackson describes her personal values as “pro-life, less government, strong military.”
14. Jon Lovitz
Another SNL alum, Lovitz was a latecomer to the conservative cause. In fact, the registered Democrat has never described himself as such. After harshly criticizing the Obama administration’s confiscatory tax policy, though, he received an onslaught of vitriol from leftists of all stripes.
In a subsequent interview, Lovitz said his tirade actually garnered some additional job opportunities.
“I’m getting book offers, I’m getting other TV offers, I’m getting movie offers,” he said. “There’s been no backlash because what I said is true.”
13. Dennis Miller
Miller’s stint on SNL was largely contained to his duties as host of the mock news sketch “Weekend Update.” Perhaps the gig was prophetic, because he has gone on to become one of America’s foremost conservative talk show hosts in recent years.
While he approaches issues on a case-by-case basis, the former liberal now generally sees the world in a more conservative context. His frequent guest spots on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” have given Miller an even wider audience as a political pundit.
12. Rob Schneider
In much the same manner of Lovitz’s ideological shift, the personal effects of leftism caused Schneider to renounce his former political affiliation. He portrayed a number of classic characters as an SNL cast member and parlayed his success into a movie career including a starring role in the “Deuce Bigalow” franchise.
He has made headlines most recently, however, as a fierce critic of California’s Democrat supermajority, blaming the one-party rule for many of Hollywood’s ills.
“I’ve been a lifelong Democrat and I have to switch over because it no longer serves the people of this great state,” he confirmed. Schneider also expressed admiration for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to attract California businesses willing to relocate to a more hospitable environment.
11. Adam Sandler
The final SNL funnyman to make the list has a long line of hit movies under his belt. The registered Republican has not overtly discussed his political views; however, he was a performer at the 2004 Republican National Convention and supported Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid.
10. Patricia Heaton
Perhaps best known for her portrayal of Debra Barone in the hit comedy series “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Heaton has used Twitter and other public forums to express her views as both a conservative and Christian.
Deeply committed to the pro-life cause, she is involved in a number of campaigns dedicated to curtailing abortion in the U.S.
She even got involved in the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke debate, initially standing beside Limbaugh in lambasting the left’s obsession with consequence-free sex. Though she ultimately apologized for her strongly worded rebuke, she said she was sorry only that she “was not showing Christ’s love.”
9. Angie Harmon
Known for her leading roles in dramas such as “Law and Order” and “Rizzoli and Isles,” Harmon received serious backlash when she honestly answered an interviewer’s question regarding her political leanings.
“The fact that it was turned into that I was a gay-hating racist was just heartbreaking,” she admitted.
The criticism did not dissuade her from tackling Barack Obama’s failures in the White House, though.
“If I’m going to disagree with my president, that doesn’t make me racist,” she told her critics.
Furthermore, Harmon actually revealed she is an admirer of the left’s most hated woman, Sarah Palin.
“People cannot look at this woman,” she lamented. “I really think they’re afraid of her and her morals, ethics and values and the fact that she hangs on them.”
8. Gary Sinise
Using his talents and fame as both an actor and musician, the star of “Forrest Gump” and “CSI: NY” has been a tireless supporter of the U.S. military since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. While he hasn’t been one to explicitly state his political views, his dedication to giving back to the brave men and women in the armed forces through his involvement in organizations such as the Gary Sinise Foundation and Building for America’s Bravest.
Though not limited to conservatives, or even Republicans, Sinise helped establish a group of Hollywood stars known as “Friends of Abe,” which reportedly meets socially to discuss issues the leftist-dominated industry would generally disdain.
7. Tom Selleck
Recognized for his iconic portrayal of the titular character in the 1980’s hit “Magnum, P.I.,” Selleck has become an international star of film and television in the decades since. He currently stars in one of the most conservative-friendly dramas on television, “Blue Bloods,” in which he plays the patriarch of a family of cops – appropriately surnamed Reagan.
A consistent proponent of Second Amendment rights and other conservative ideals, he once opined that “I don’t know if my political opinions ever lost me work, but I know for sure they never got me any.”
6. Jami Gertz
A popular actress who appeared in a number of films during the 1980s, Gertz resurfaced as a comedic television star with leading roles in “Still Standing” and “The Neighbors.”
While she isn’t as outspoken as some of this list’s entries, she has been a frequent contributor to Republican campaigns. In fact, she supported conservative Tim Pawlenty’s presidential bid with a donation of $7,500 – a contribution that was ultimately returned due to the fact it exceeded legal limits.
5. Mindy Kaling
The successful writer and actress who earned her own program after years of work in front of the cameras and behind the scenes of “The Office,” Kaling has remained coy about her political preferences. When an article described her as a Republican, she shot back, denying the claim. Nevertheless, she declared her show, “The Mindy Kaling Project,” was designed to be a platform for her to express her personal views.
In the program – and in reality – she has expressed a pro-gun stance and, according to one colleague, “she was at least thinking about voting for Bush” in the 2004 presidential election.
4. James Woods
Few in Hollywood have voiced their disapproval of Obama as bluntly as Woods. The acclaimed actor said he believes his principled views will perhaps force his retirement from the industry.
“I don’t expect to work again,” he said before calling Obama “a threat to the integrity and future of the Republic.”
Woods previously referred to him as a “gift from hell.”
3. Bruce Willis
Though he unequivocally denies being a Republican, the unmistakable star of the “Die Hard” franchise and many other action flicks says it is only because he despises both parties. In an ideological sense, he has frequently endorsed rightwing ideals.
“I’m a Republican only as far as I want smaller government,” he once affirmed, “want less government intrusion.”
He has spoken out against gun control efforts and France’s 75 percent income tax on the rich.
2. Jon Voight
This critically acclaimed star of numerous hit films is also the father of actress Angelina Jolie. Prior to his daughter’s birth, he was a self-proclaimed leftist who spent time surrounded by Marxists and communists. By the end of the Vietnam War, however, his ideology began to shift rightward.
“I saw us pull out; and then I saw the communists move in and slaughter two and a half million people in South Vietnam and Cambodia,” he recalled. “And I saw the left had precipitated this turn away, just walk away from it.”
Still, his old beliefs died hard and it wasn’t until the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that his transformation was complete. Now, Voight is a vocal opponent of Barack Obama’s disastrous leftist policies.
“This man … has not only set himself to redistribute the wealth of the middle class,” he complained, “he also is set to take over, control the industrial wealth of the country with banks and with … the major corporations, with foreign companies.”
He is also a critic of modern Hollywood, which he concedes “has become a bunch of wimps.”
1. Vince Vaughn
The hardworking funnyman known for hit movies like “Wedding Crashers” and “Old School” is serious when it comes to his political alignment. In late 2013, he ‘came out’ as a proud supporter of Ron Paul and traditional conservative values.
He concluded that “as you get older, you just get less trust in the government running anything.”
According to Vaughn, he began “to realize when you really go back and look at the Constitution and the principles of liberty, the real pupose of government is to protect the individual’s right to sort of think and pursue what they have interest in.”
–B. Christopher Agee
Photo Credit: Adrian104 (Creative Commons)