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Dean emerges as favorite of Hollywood donors

Democratic contenders vie for Tinseltown's support

From Robert Yoon/CNN Political Unit
and Sean Loughlin/CNN Washington Bureau

Actor Michael Douglas, shown here with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, is among the stars who have donated to Howard Dean's campaign.
Actor Michael Douglas, shown here with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, is among the stars who have donated to Howard Dean's campaign.

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Interactive: The Democratic field 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- What do rock star Joan Jett, actor Michael Douglas and "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David have in common? They all gave to the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who is now seeking the 2004 Democratic nomination.

With about $2 million in his campaign war chest, Dean is not leading the fund-raising pack among his Democratic colleagues. (Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has about $8 million on hand for his campaign, and Sen. John Edwards reports about $5.7 million in his war chest.)

But Dean is ahead in the unofficial "Hollywood primary," winning donations from an impressive array of Tinseltown's stars and entertainment figures.

Among the others who donated to Dean's campaign: Director and producer Rob Reiner (perhaps best known as "Meathead" from TV's "All in the Family"), M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell, and singers David Crosby and Graham Nash.

Dean certainly wasn't the only candidate to attract Hollywood's attention. Kerry, for example, found financial support from horror film director Wes Craven and actor Alec Baldwin. Edwards won contributions from actresses Morgan Fairchild and Rita Wilson, among others.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, meanwhile picked up a campaign donation from "Will and Grace" star Debra Messing and Monty Hall, the original "Let's Make a Deal" game show host.

Some celebrities reached into their pockets for more than one candidate. Actor Peter Coyote donated to the campaigns of both Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Dean. And, in addition to his Dean contribution, David also donated to Edwards' campaign.

Some Hollywood couples demonstrated that there can be political diversity in a marriage. "West Wing" star Bradley Whitford opened his wallet for Rep. Dick Gephardt's campaign, while his wife, actress Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle" fame donated to Dean's campaign.

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