A star-studded GOP convention...in 1976

Cary Grant introduces Betty Ford at the 1976 GOP convention
Cary Grant introduces Betty Ford at the 1976 ... 02:57

Shortly before he secured the GOP nomination, Donald Trump suggested in an interview that he'd like to "put some showbiz in" the Republican convention in Cleveland, "otherwise people will fall asleep."

The draft list of convention speakers unveiled Thursday, however, is a bit less "who's who" and a bit more "who?"

On the list are Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, golfer Natalie Gulbis, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr.

Extended Interview: Donald Trump, June 19 11:17

That's about it, as far as celebrities go - the other speakers will be mostly political or religious figures with some connection to Republican politics or the conservative movement.

These days it's typically Democrats who draw more enthusiasm - and more campaign donations - from movie stars, musicians, and athletes, and their conventions tend to reflect as much. In 2012, Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington, Mary J. Blige, the Foo Fighters, and other big names spoke or performed at the DNC. The 2012 RNC, by contrast, featured a Kid Rock performance and Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair.

There was a time, though, when A-list celebrities were more ready to throw their support behind Republican politicians. At the 1976 RNC in Kansas City, Missouri, for example, first lady Betty Ford was introduced to the convention by Cary Grant, one of the great leading men of Hollywood's golden age.

Grant, by then somewhat past his prime, aimed to burnish the GOP ticket's appeal among female voters by stressing his support - and Betty Ford's support - for equal rights for women. But he couldn't resist a brief, joking nod to his reputation as a Casanova.

"I can assure you of her sincere love for all people, and her hope to further the cause of women's rights," Grant said of the first lady. "Women have always been one of my favorite causes, too," he added with a chuckle.

"It's quite understandable that women everywhere wish to be treated as intelligent equals, as indeed they should be," Grant continued. "Now what wife does not appreciate the value of a relaxed exchange of views between partners? At the end of their separate but long, tiring days' work in the quiet of the night, in the privacy of their own room - pillow talk, yes, undisturbed and in comfort. So I suggest to you that a further four years of such intimate exchanges of thoughts and views can certainly not harm and only be of help to women's aims for equality, whether in the business world or in the arts or in the contentment of the home and with the children. This lady, possibly more than any other, can help those aims, while at the same time giving support and encouragement to the president for the attainment of his."

"So it gives me the greatest pride and pleasure to introduce to you and to the nation, the president's first and our first lady, Betty Ford," Grant concluded as the first lady stepped onstage. The song "I Could Have Danced All Night" played as Mrs. Ford approached the microphone and thanked the crowd - a nod to her past as a professionally-trained dancer.

"Face the Nation" will kick off CBS News' coverage of the 2016 Republican Convention on Sunday with a broadcast live from the floor of the convention hall in Cleveland. Don't miss it! Check your local listings for airtimes.