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PICTURES: What do They Want? Why Celebrities Invade Washington PICTURES: What do They Want? Why Celebrities Invade Washington

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PICTURES: What do They Want? Why Celebrities Invade Washington

From Brando to the Baldwins to Beyonce: Stars who fight for a cause.

photo of Theresa Poulson
April 7, 2011

Joining the long list of celebrities who try to use their fame to bring attention to an issue, actress Connie Britton of NBC's "Friday Night Lights" was a scheduled speaker on Thursday at a Capitol Hill rally to protest a measure that would eliminate a $317 million federal family planning program.

Actor Kevin Spacey was on the Hill April 5 advocating for government funding for the arts. Spacey is shown here at a London march for free speech in Belarus on March 28.

Spacey was joined on the Hill by actor Alec Baldwin. Both spoke at the Congressional Arts Kick-Off on Arts Advocacy Day. The eldest Baldwin brother isn't the only member of his clan to take up a cause....

In 2008, Stephen Baldwin teamed up with conservative radio host Kevin McCullough to launch a radio show. Both helped organize a youth lounge for young conservatives during the 2009 Conservative Political Action Committee conference. Watch a National Journal interview with the pair below.

Stephen Baldwin on Young Conservatives At CPAC

And yet another Baldwin brother, actor William, spoke at a fundraiser held by anti-poverty and business development group Enterprise Works Worldwide on December 8, 1999, in Washington.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in March, was a long-time advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and treatment. She is shown here in 1986 before a House subcommittee as chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research to argue for additional AIDS research funding.

Actress Lauren Potter from Fox's Glee was on the Hill March 16 to announce the launch of an anti-bullying campaign. Potter has been working with abilitypath.org to raise awareness of the consequences of bullying that targets the disabled. Watch her in the ad below and click to the next page to see more.

Actor George Clooney is no stranger to Washington -- he's long strived to bring attention to the troubled Darfur region, and has traveled to Sudan. In the photo below, he is accompanied by human rights activist John Prendergast and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., after meeting with Lugar on October 12, 2010. Earlier that day Clooney met with President Obama at the White House.

Television host and comedian Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report tdescended on the Federal Election Commission on Thursday for a hearing in which the commissioners ruled that Colbert could use funds from his parent company Viacom to create advertisements for his independent expenditure-only political action committee.

Actor Kevin Costner, who has helped fund and develop technology for oil cleanup, including oil-separating machines and boats specialized for oil collection, testified in September before the House Homeland Security Committee on the government's response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony met with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on September 16, 2009, to discuss education in the Latino community and college affordability legislation.

Actor Pierce Brosnan spoke at a reception in Washington promoting whale conservation on May 19, 2009. The reception was hosted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, of which Brosnan is an honorary board member.

Activist documentarian Michael Moore doesn't just stick to movie premieres and award shows -- he takes his message to power, too. Moore is shown here at a March 2009 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Troubled Asset Relief Program oversight. Capitalism: A Love Story, his film on the financial crisis, debuted later that year.

Before the BP spill put the spotlight on the issue, actor Ted Danson testified in February 2009 at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on offshore oil drilling.

Model Christy Turlington Burns and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell visited Washington in May 2008 to discuss global maternal issues. Halliwell is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

Actress Angelina Jolie, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, is shown here in 2007 at the launch of Global Action for Children, a nonpartisan advocacy organization focused on increasing government funding for programs that support orphans and other vulnerable children.

Actor Marlon Brando speaks to the writer James Baldwin at a civil rights rally on August 28, 1963, in Washington. Brando was an advocate for African-American and Native-American rights.

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