9 Actors Who Played U.S. Presidents
This week will see the nationwide release of "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's historical drama about our 16th president. Reviews have been largely positive, but Daniel Day-Lewis, the actor who portrays Lincoln in the film, is unanimously receiving praise for his performance.
Many other actors, too, have played the part of a United States president, a role that can lead to mixed (and sometimes controversial) results. As it turns out, the president has some mighty big shoes to fill, even when it comes to his depiction on film.
Here's a look at just some of the actors who have played an actual commander-in-chief on television or in film.
Frank Langella - Richard Nixon
Langella, who is known for both his Broadway and film career, was awarded a Tony Award (Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play) for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in the stage version of "Frost/Nixon," and was also nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 2008 film adaptation.
Paul Giamatti - John Adams
Giamatti played President John Adams, the unusual and eccentric second president of the United States, in the 2008 HBO miniseries "John Adams." The program went on to become one of the most successful miniseries in television history, winning four Golden Globes and thirteen Emmy Awards.
Robin Williams - Theodore Roosevelt
Williams plays the ever-knowledgeable wax figure of President Theodore Roosevelt in the 2006 film "Night at the Museum" and its 2009 sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." Williams’ character comes to life at night in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History to help night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) bring order to the museum.
Anthony Hopkins - Richard Nixon
Oliver Stone's 1995 film "Nixon" starred Anthony Hopkins as the titular president. For his performance, Hopkins was nominated for an Oscar at the 68th Academy Awards.
Josh Brolin - George W. Bush
Brolin, known for his breakout role in the '80s cult classic "The Goonies," took on the role of President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's 2008 biographical film “W.”
James Brolin - Ronald Reagan
James Brolin, Josh's father, portrayed President Ronald Reagan in a televised miniseries called "The Reagans" back in 2003. Originally set to air on CBS, the miniseries was pulled from the schedule after it came under criticism from conservative groups, and eventially ran on Showtime instead.
The 2012 film "Hyde Park on Hudson" stars Bill Murray as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Set shortly before World War II, the movie centers mostly on the president's love affair with Margaret Suckley, his distant cousin.
Greg Kinnear - John F. Kennedy
Greg Kinnear played the part of President John F. Kennedy in 2011's "The Kennedys." Though quite controversial, the television miniseries earned four Emmys and several more nominations, including a nomination for Kinnear as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.