knute.JPGI knew Ronald Reagan was an actor before he got into politics. And I knew he got his ‘Gipper’ nickname from some old football movie. But until last night I never really understood why the silly ‘win one for the gipper’ slogan carried so much weight and had such an impact on people.

That’s because last night I was watching old movies on the hotel TV and I ended up seeing a young Reagan portray George Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American.

It was your typical 1940-era film with simple characters and predictable dialogue and, to be honest, Ronny wasn’t even that good in it. Sure he was young and he portrayed a strong football hero, but his character wasn’t introduced until part-way into the story- and then he died soon after of some mysterious coughing disease.

The only thing that was really memorable was the end of the movie. That’s when Coach Knute Rockne (played by Pat O’Brien – the real star of the film), confined to a wheelchair, gives this memorable, motivational speech to his Notre Dame Football team at halftime:

The last thing George said to me, ‘Rock,’ he said, ‘sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.’

And I’ll tell you what: I was almost at the point of tears when I saw this scene. It was cheesy and over-acted. I knew exactly what was going to be said, and what was going to happen after the speech (the team went on the win the game). But it didn’t matter because I was still moved- and I was still cheering for Notre Dame to win the game. But, more than that, it made me remember Ronald Reagan’s character much more fondly now and, in some small way, made me like the actor a little more too. (yuck- I know)

So, this morning, I started wondering: WE have so many liberal-leaning actors on our side- why aren’t any of them getting into politics?

Here’s a list of the top 25 most liberal actors, as rated by

  • Streisand, Barbra
  • Douglas, Michael
  • Katzenberg, Jeffrey
  • Lear, Norman
  • Reiner, Rob
  • Pollack, Sydney
  • Thomas, Marlo
  • Fonda, Jane
  • Chase, Chevy
  • Newman, Paul
  • Baldwin, Alec
  • Garofalo, Janeane
  • Woodward, Joanne
  • Burrows, James
  • Hoffman, Dustin
  • Moore, Michael
  • Williams, Robin
  • Clooney, George
  • Penn, Sean
  • Sarandon, Susan
  • Springer, Jerry
  • Thomas, Heather
  • Asner, Ed
  • Norton, Edward
  • Devito, Danny
  • Robbins, Tim
  • Honorable Mentions include: James Brooks, Ted Danson, Bette Midler, Rosie O’Donnell, Martin Sheen, Christie Brinkley, Larry David, Richard Gere, Danny Glover, Jessica Lange, Oliver Stone, Bradley Whitford, Robert DeNiro, Richard Dreyfuss, Ethan Hawke, Warren Beatty, Candice Bergen, Woody Harrelson, Goldie Hawn, Robert Redford, Kevin Spacey

    Personally: I think Martin Sheen would make a great President, given his experience on the West Wing.

    Rosie O’Donnel, hmm… not so much.