HomeEntertainment‘Maverick’: Bart Maverick Actor Jack Kelly Served as Mayor of a Major California City

‘Maverick’: Bart Maverick Actor Jack Kelly Served as Mayor of a Major California City

by Atlanta Northcutt
(Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives)

Jack Kelly, who played the famous Maverick himself, was the first politician to accept a new role as councilman and then mayor of Huntington Beach, CA. Kelly paved the way for other entertainers to run for political office.

Although the actor enjoyed his time in the entertainment industry, his favorite roles were as a father, councilman, and mayor.

The rough-voiced, joke-cracking TV star is best-known as being “Brother Bart” to James Garner’s “Brother Bret” on the famous western series Maverick, from Sept. 22, 1957, to July 8, 1962.

James Garner plays Bret Maverick, the main character, and Kelly stars as his brother, Bart, on the popular TV Western series. The focus of the roles rotates as the stylish anti-heroes gamble and hustle their way across the Wild West.

Following his time on the TV series, Kelly decided not to pursue a film career and took to the stage instead. His acting roles started slowing down in the 70s. Jack became more and more involved with real estate in Huntington Beach, before moving to the city himself. At the age of 44, his daughter Nicole was born, and the experience changed his viewpoint on life.

From Maverick to Mayor

Once he had his daughter, Kelly made the decision to focus on helping the community. He began to prepare to run for a position as a councilman in the city of Huntington Beach, California.

The death of President John F. Kennedy impacted the beliefs and desires that Kelly would use to navigate throughout his political career. He began to run for office in the mid-80s.

Kelly became the first actor to enter into politics, and he won for mayor with a fantastic campaign slogan “Let Maverick Solve Your Problems.”

The councilman was first elected to his position in 1980 and was reelected in 1984. He was elected once again in 1990. The actor-turned-councilman became a successful mayor. He served twice in the one-year role as the mayor of the Orange County city.

Jack Kelly died while still in the middle of his third four-year term as a city councilman. The former actor turned politician passed away on Nov. 7, 1992, from a stroke at the age of 65.