Explore some of the most famous figures featured in biopics and the leading actors who portrayed them, including President Abraham Lincoln and his mimic in Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis; White House butler Eugene Allen and The Butler's leading man, Forest Whitaker; Etta James and Cadillac Records star Beyoncé Knowles; Ray Charles and his Academy Award-winning portrayer, Jamie Foxx; and Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige, who play Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz, respectively, in the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013).
Featured Famous Biopics
Browse some of Hollywood's most riveting biopics, including Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis; The Butler, based on the life of Eugene Allen and featuring Forest Whitaker; Cadillac Records, a portrayal of Etta James by Beyoncé Knowles; and Ray, starring Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles.
Who can forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Do you remember who played Billie Holiday? Or who Beyoncé performed as in the film Cadillac Records? More recent African-American biopics include the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013), starring Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz, and The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker and based on the life of Eugene Allen.
View our photos of African-American biopics to compare these famous figures to the actors and actresses who have portrayed them.
Get more on the high-profile cast of The Butler, the 2013 biopic based on the life of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, who served under eight U.S. presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Over his decades-long career, Allen, an African American, witnessed firsthand the nation's changing perspectives on race, as well as several major historical events. Directed by Lee Daniels, The Butler stars Forest Whitaker as the title character and Oprah Winfrey as his wife. The film's large supporting cast includes Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Matthew McConaughey, Liev Schreiber, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Robin Williams.
Cast of The Butler
Learn more about the cast of 2012's Lincoln, the renowned biopic of President Abraham Lincoln. Stars of the film include Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, S. Epatha Merkerson, James Spader and John Hawkes. Explore full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
Cast of Lincoln
Truth is often more fascinating than fiction. Since the beginning of movies, actors have been portraying figures from history and bringing them to life on screen. Mastering the well-known mannerisms and characteristics of real world figures can be more challenging than portraying a fictional character. Enormous amounts of research and drastic physical transformations are not uncommon for actors wanting to properly inhabit their role on film. Whether playing a scheming Queen, a country singer, a temperamental boxer, or a pioneering writer, those performers who can accurately play the part often find Oscar gold as their reward. Here are the Academy Award-winning actors, and the larger-than-life people they portrayed.
Without question, the president of the United States is one of the most respected and dignified positions held throughout the world. However, the men that have taken the oath to lead the nation forward have their own stories, struggles and lives beyond the speeches and suits that are on display to the public. These are the actors that have shown the men of the White House for who they really are.
Actors Who Played Presidents
Betty & Coretta (2013), a Lifetime original movie, explores the stories of Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X. When their husbands were assassinated, these two women inherited the mantle of the Civil Rights movement and were both forced to find a way, as single mothers, to raise and support their children. Through their struggles and triumphs, King and Shabazz forged a deep friendship and a stronger commitment to improving the lives of African Americans, ultimately becoming role models for millions of women nationwide. Explore this group to learn more about these pioneering women and the actresses who portray them in Betty & Coretta: Angela Bassett (Coretta Scott King), the recipient of several NAACP Image Awards, and nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige (Betty Shabazz).
Stars of Betty & Coretta
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Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
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Celebrate the historical icons of America's black community through this interactive journey.
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