Celebs open their wallets in White House race, mostly for Obama
July 24th, 2012
01:29 PM ET
8 years ago

Celebs open their wallets in White House race, mostly for Obama

(CNN) - Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman made headlines recently for his sizable $1 million contribution to a pro-Obama super PAC, but he's hardly the only celebrity who cut a check in support of a presidential hopeful.

Members of the entertainment industry have a long history of sending money to their preferred presidential candidates, usually but not exclusively to Democrats. Below is a non-comprehensive list of some of the celebrities past and present who made a donation in May or June to the major political committees involved in the 2012 race for the White House.

Actors & Actresses
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights): $3250 in June, $5000 to date
Sam Waterston (Law and Order): $2250 in June, $5000to date
Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) : $2500
Olivia Wilde (House MD, Cowboys & Aliens) : $2500
Johnny Galecki (Roseanne, Big Bang Theory): $2500
Maria Bello (Prime Suspect): $2500
Ronald Guttman (Mad Men): $2075 in June, $4825 to date
Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey): $2000
Susan Saint James (Kate & Allie, McMillan & Wife): $2000
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men): $1000 in June, $2000 to date
Taraji P. Henson (Benjamin Button): $1850
Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation): $1000
Aisha Tyler (The Talk co-host): $1000
Rob Minkoff (The Lion King): $2500
Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz: $2500
Peter Frampton: $2500 to Obama campaign
Toni Tennille of The Captain and Tennille: $1000 in June, $2000 to date
Yvonne Staples of The Staples Singers: $1000 in June, $2000 to date

Bette Midler: $50,000 in June, $60,000 to date
Martin Von Haselberg (actor, Midler's husband): $50,000
Billy Crystal: $40,000
Kirk Douglas: $40,000
Robert Downey, Jr.: $40,000
Eddie Murphy: $40,000
Tom Hanks: $35,800 (in May)
Rita Wilson: $35,800 (in May)
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights): $27,500
Anne Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises): $25,000
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Trading Places): $2000 in June, $14,000 to date
Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland): $2500
Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl): $1500 in June, $2500 to date
Bridget Fonda (Jackie Brown): $600 in June, $2000 to date
Tate Donovan (Damages, The O.C.): $125 in June, $1622 to date
Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live): $500
Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, GCB): $500
Topher Grace (That 70s Show): $500
Bernadette Peters (The Jerk): $250

PRIORITIES USA (pro-Obama super PAC):
Morgan Freeman (Dark Knight Rises, Million Dollar Baby): $1 million

John Rich (Country singer, Celebrity Apprentice winner): $2500

Film producer Jerry Bruckheimer and wife: $25,000
Scott Baio (Arrested Development, Happy Days) and wife: $12,500
Vince McMahon (Pro. wresting exec.) & Linda McMahon (CT Senate hopeful): $9910

RESTORE OUR FUTURE (pro-Romney super PAC):
Vince McMahon (Pro. wresting exec.) & Linda McMahon (CT Senate hopeful): $150,000K

- Follow Robert Yoon on Twitter: @robyoon

Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Romneys campaign brags of big name donations,but its the presidents small donors making a hit.Remember Romneys money is large but it comes from a few,Pres.Obamas campaign is from hundreds of thousands with small amounts,those as the ones that will make their voices heard this November not the few wealthy elitist,they're not that many.The99% ers will overwhelm the wealthy 1% ers,votes count and you'll see it this election for sure!!

    July 24, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Ozzie Machin

    Bill Maher $1 000 000.00 to Priorities USA.
    MoveForward OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    July 24, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. mk1

    Forward, yeah, just think if Sheldon Adelson contributed his hundred million in campaign gifts for jobs how many that would create. A lot more than Mr Freeman's one million. But hey, it is ok for Republican gazillionaires to contribute to the campaign of Romney, but nope, not wealthy liberal leaning types. As I said before, less than 200 wealthy unknown Republicans will donate over 80% of all donations to GOP causes and to the right, that is just fine.

    July 24, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. mk1

    jsmoulder, there is a problem here as I see it. You may avoid certain movies because most of those who will contribute to the President's campaign will openly do so. I on the other hand will not know which companies to avoid buying things from because those big GOP donors will not identify themselves. There is something really really wrong with our system when most of the money being given we have no idea where it is coming from. Talk about a corrupt system, we have it now.

    July 24, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. zapper

    It's amazing to see you armchair quarterbacks ripping on Obama. If you look at him objectively, and in comparison to the last century's worth of presidents, he's been fairly successful. Do you honestly think that McCain/Palin would have dealt with Bush's economic depression (caused primarily by their failure to regulate financial institutions) any better? I don't remember McCain having much of a viable economic plan at all, AND he wanted to extend our time in Iraq. Wake up.

    July 24, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Phil Thomas

    Looking at the people donating to each campaign Mitts got some celeb power there doesn't he ? some has been 80's actor, a disgraced steroid pushing wrestling king pin & some guy makes movies who stands to get a lot of bennies from Mitt's policies. That says it all folks, knock down Hollywood all you want to but but these guys have more incentive to vote for Mitt and his plans than you and I do. I love it Scott, Baio, Vince and Bruckheimer sounds like the start of a bad joke lol

    July 24, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Ken

    It's really interesting how transparent the Democrats are about their fundraising. Nothing to hide.

    The Republicans should really try the same tactic. Oh I forgot – we are dealing with Mitt who hasn't even been honest about his own funds (and where they are) let alone his Koch funds and those from the Great Casino Owner.

    July 24, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. WhackyWaco

    These people are part of the 1 percenters that we hardly ever hear about from the Liberal news media.

    July 24, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. CryBabies

    Actors perform in a setting of "makebelieve".....Seems as though most of them contribute to that same world of politics.

    July 24, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Puma Girl

    This goes to show you that Obama is essentially out of touch with the people. He is celebrity centric and he acts like one. Key word here is ACT. He has been on so many fund raisers in Hollywood, he might as well be one of them.
    You know what they say : Birds of a feather flock together. Lets cut out this Hollywood crap and face the reality of creating jobs for America.

    I wish he would be more Presidential and display a little less of the swagger that you see in celebrities.

    July 24, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. Larry L


    The "angry black men" and "angry black women" are out in force on the CNN blogs today.
    You see color issues when other people see injustice. Do you start many conversations with "I'm not trying to be racist but..."?

    July 24, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. jv

    Scott Baio is conservative????

    That is hilarious!

    July 24, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  13. Liz the First

    I always loved Morgan Freeman, now i have another reason. thanks to all the celebs putting their money where their brains and hearts are. there are a few repug celebs, but they're few and far between. too bad it's not the same in the general publc. no repug needs to hold office in this country. you can't expect people who hate government to be any good at it. when will some folks learn that?

    July 24, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Guest

    Guess it's okay for BOTH parties to try to buy the election with super PACs after all. Imagine that!

    I wonder if the frequent posters here will give up their attacks on the GOP for doing exactly what the Dems are doing. Any bets?

    July 24, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Who cares , it's his money .

    I don't think Morgan is lobbying for a new movie or a pipline or tax shelters .

    July 24, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. Essie

    I am glad to see the support for Pres. Obama! ...But, why is CNN putting these people business out like this?! They should be able to donate to who they want, without CNN spreading their business to the world....SHAMEFUL!

    July 24, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. Ins1te

    There may be more celebs donating to Obama but they're mostly small amounts. Compare that to the few millionaires & billionaires donating millions to Romney. Particularly Nevada casino mogul Adelson who McCain said has money coming from foreigners.

    July 25, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  18. CryBabies

    Time to grow up people! Actors perform in a make believe world, Why should their politics be any different?

    July 25, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. Mary

    I think the film industry is unwilling to associate themselves with Romney knowing he is empty suit. He talks forever about jobs, jobs when he invested in companies like Flextronics and Jabil which are the outsourcing manufacturing units in Mexico, Philippines etc.
    www. motherjones .com/ politics/ 2012/ 07/ mitt-romney-bain-outsourcing-flextronics-jabil-circuit

    July 25, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  20. Geoff

    It is so funny reading the posts of the followers of Romney. It is like watching the movie "The Mummy" where all the blind followers of Hemotept (sp?). They all recited "Hem-ooo-tept" over and over. The followers did not know why, they just followed. Question boldly every leader, that is what will keep us free. Yes, I and others questioned GHW Bush, and GW Bush as well. Because we are not blind followers. Now most businesses are looking at droping health care, because it will cost so much. Reason, it will be cheaper on the businesses to let the fed's take care of health care, but our taxes will still go up with those 21 new taxes.

    July 25, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  21. JerseyGirl

    @AI-NY, NY –
    then I guess you'll never see Bruce Willis, Arnold S, Kelsey Grammar, James Woods, Jon Voight, Chuck Norris, Kurt Russell, Paul Sorvino, Mel Gibson, Vary Sinese, Fred Thompson, Dennis Hopper, Vince Vaughn, Tom Berenger, Andy Garcia, etc since they are all conservatives. Cheapskates that let the multimillionaire/billionaires do their bidding


    I think you meant to type "Gary Sinese." Also, Dennis Hopper is dead.

    July 25, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  22. Contribute Something, Won't You

    Falling in step with Hollywood – that sounds like the safe route. Moral Values – check! In touch with out of work Americans – check! Making up less than 1% of the population, let's assume they know what is good for the country. Hey, they're good actors – they probably know better than I do.
    Morgan Freeman...I mean, have you heard his voice? Awesome. Any guy who can act in Batman and Robin Hood and host nature shows – guide me, oh great one.

    July 25, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  23. Miroslava

    I think Bill Maher rocks!
    Willard, leave that keyboard alone! How many times must I tell you: Go fetch those tax returns of yours!

    July 25, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  24. Donna

    Hollywood halfwits supporting a community organizer that's destroying our country, imagine that.

    July 25, 2012 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  25. scott

    OF course they contributed to Obama, actors always support other actors. There is a rumor going around that Obama is nominated for a Oscar for his role pretending to be President of the United States. =)

    July 25, 2012 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
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