News & Politics

Where Celebrities Have Been Arrested in Washington

Celebrities are always passing through Washington to support one cause or another—but how many are willing to take that extra step and face arrest?


George Clooney

In “Ocean’s Eleven,” he was a master thief, but his protest against Sudan’s humanitarian crisis was foiled by police last year. Or was it? It was later reported that it was delivered on the embassy lawn to ensure an arrest—and publicity.

James Cromwell

Maybe having portrayed LBJ and other pols made him want to make a difference when he was arrested for protesting animal cruelty in 2001. Then again, he was the farmer in “Babe,” so it probably had more to do with his pig costar.

Danny Glover

In a clear message that he was in fact not too old for this shit, the “Lethal Weapon” star was arrested in 2010 with SEIU members for protesting the union-bashing policies of Sodexo, the French food-service conglomerate.

Daryl Hannah

The ’80s star and environmental advocate was arrested twice in DC for protesting the Keystone XL oil pipeline, in 2011 and again this February, after which Sean Hannity of Fox News promised to pay her bail money for some reason.

Margot Kidder

The actress who played Lois Lane in the 1970s Superman films joined “Legends of the Fall” actress Tantoo Cardinal in a 2011 environmental protest against TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Q’Orianka Kilcher

The actress, who was Pocahontas in “The New World” and whose father is an indigenous Peruvian, tied herself to a White House fence and had paint poured over her in a 2010 protest against Peruvian president Alan Garcia.

Martin Sheen

He was a TV President known for civility, but offscreen it’s civil disobedience, with 60-plus arrests. One was at a Metro station in ’87, protesting WMATA’s installation of a fence that prevented the homeless from sheltering there.

Cornel West

The rapping Princeton prof attended the 2011 dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial—and rounded out his trip by being arrested at the Supreme Court as part of a demonstration against corporate money in politics.

Noah Wyle

This actor clearly missed his old days playing a doctor on television’s “ER” when he—along with 75 others, some in wheelchairs—was arrested last year at the Capitol for protesting Medicaid cuts.

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This article appears in the April 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.