Orson Bean: How on earth does one go from being on the Hollywood blacklist to being a high-profile supporter of Proposition 8 and turning entertaining maniac (and son-in-law) Andrew Breitbart on to Rush Limbaugh? Ask Orson Bean. Actually, the actor’s about-face might not have been so dramatic: He only attended two Communist meetings, both, he claims, because of a girl. Still.
Michael Caine: Though he shocked some recently when he voted for David Cameron and suggested reinstating national service in England, Caine’s explanation wasn't frothing mad. He likes to vote for different parties every decade. (He voted Thatcher in the ‘80s and Blair in the ‘90s.) And he only proposed a brief stint in the service, enough to instill “a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence.” Both of which you can at least debate.
Charlton Heston: The onetime Moses spent his younger days campaigning for JFK, marching with MLK, opposing Vietnam, etc. Then he voted for Nixon. As he quipped, “I didn’t change. The Democratic Party changed.” Uh-huh.
Dennis Hopper: From Easy Rider to Reagan: Much has been made of the fact that the late Hopper had been voting Republican since the ‘80s. But his reason was Caine-esque: He cited Thomas Jefferson’s demand that Americans vote the other party every 20 years. He even voted for Obama, claiming fear of a certain Alaskan.
Ronald Reagan: Golden Age Hollywood didn’t have a huge club of lefties, but they included this blandly square-jawed actor, who was often upstaged by chimpanzee co-stars. A New Deal Democrat, he switched teams in the early ‘50s (like fellow NDD James Cagney). In the ‘60s, his acting career mysteriously stopped. Luckily, he was rarely heard from again.
Ron Silver: The “9/11 Republican” exodus only took a few from Hollywood, among them Dennis Miller, Airplane! maven David Zucker and Silver, the late, underrated actor—please see his deranged turn in Blue Steel —who went from lifelong Democrat to speaking at the 2004 Republican Convention. But, like Hopper, his last vote was anti-Palin.
Neil Barsky’s "Koch" Keeps It Light