But before there was Lena Dunham's controversial ad and Meat Loaf's rally performance, there was Frank Sinatra's "Jack Pack" for JFK and the Helen Hayes-organized "Celebrities for Nixon Committee." Celebrity endorsements stretch all the way back to the 1920 presidential election. Republican Warren Harding beat Democrat James Cox in a landslide victory of 404 electoral votes to Cox's 127, thanks in part to Harding's then-novel notion that celebrities could matter in an election.
Al Jolson, then heralded as "The World's Greatest Entertainer," for his singing, acting, and comedic abilities, lent his celebrity to Harding's campaign, even singing a tune called "Harding, You're the Man for Us." In 1924 he did the same for Calvin Coolidge, singing "Keep Cool with Coolidge."
In the 92 years since, celebrity endorsements have become commonplace - everyone from actors to singers to athletes find a moment to declare their political affiliations. While it has become easier than ever for household names to support a candidate through Twitter and YouTube, it turns out that famous people sharing their political views is hardly a new development. Click through below for a look at some celebrities who have endorsed candidates in past elections, including the likes of Michael Jackson and Woody Allen.
Sinatra was a major John F. Kennedy supporter in 1960, Hubert Humphrey supporter, and later Ronald Reagan supporter.
Crosby stood by Wendell Willkie in his race against FDR.
Powell led a group of Hollywood Republicans in support of Richard Nixon in 1960.
Hope was a Nixon man.
Hayes formed the formed the "Celebrities for Nixon Committee" with George Murphy.
Cooper was a Coolidge and Hoover supporter before campaigning for Thomas Dewey.
Belafonte appeared in advertisements for JFK.
Arkin backed Gene McCarthy
Montgomery supported Nixon.
Leigh was a Kennedy woman.
Cesar Romero and Ann Miller
Romero supported Nixon.
Fitzgerald lent her celebrity to JFK campaigns.
Pickford was an early celebrity campaigner with her endorsement of Warren Harding.
O'Brian was a Nixon supporter.
Horne signed on for JFK campaigns
Gleason publicly endorsed Nixon.
Wayne backed Nixon in 1960 and 1968.
Jackson supported Gene McCarthy in 1968
Francis recorded a campaign ad for Nixon.
Kelly supported JFK by appearing in his ads, and later supported RFK as well.
Jessel supported JFK.
Russell backed Nixon.
Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke backed Gene McCarthy
Martin was a proud member of the "Jack Pack" supporting JFK
Stewart supported Richard Nixon.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Davis was a Kennedy man through and through, supporting JFK in 1960 and Robert F. Kennedy
Bishop was a JFK supporter.
Murphy and Helen Hayes formed the "Celebrities for Nixon Committee."
Lawford, who at one point was be married to JFK's sister, was a Kennedy man.
JFK had the support of Judy Garland
Nolan joined a telethon for Nixon
Wallach supported Gene McCarthy
Young was part of the telethon for Nixon
Berle also supported JFK and appeared in ads for the candidate.
Allen supported McCarthy in 1986
Monroe famously supported Kennedy in more ways than one
Curtis backed Kennedy.
MacLaine supported both John and Robert Kennedy.
Nat King Cole
Cole supported JFK.
Fonda supported JFK and appeared in his ads
Loy joined the cast of JFK's campaign ads and later supported Gene McCarthy
Rogers participated in a telethon for Nixon
Vaughn supported anti-war candidate Senator Eugene McCarthy in 1968
Gene McCarthy had Serling's support
Barbra Streisand In Concert - New York, NY
Streisand was a Gene McCarthy and Hillary Clinton woman.
Lancaster supported Gene McCarthy, George McGovern, and Michael Dukakis.
Candice Bergen saw promise in RFK
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Gabor backed Ronald Reagan.
Simon and Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel threw their support behind Gene McCarthy.
Lauren Bacall endorsed Adlai Stevenson and RFK.
Randall supported Gene McCarthy
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