Actors and historical characters
The former greaser won’t have to extend his acting range much to inhabit the character of a man nicknamed “Dapper Don” Gotti, not to mention the most powerful crime boss in America during the 1980s.
In 2009, Depp captivated audiences when he played a Depression-era gangster who rose to “Public Enemy No. 1” status for his dozens of bank heists.
Sixteenth-century England was the setting for this 2007 film, in which Cate Blanchett depicts the rise of a young queen. The film earned the actress international attention and lead to many major movie parts.
In this 1963 classic, Elizabeth Taylor was said to be completely immersed in the role of the alluring Queen of Egypt that many said she was born to play. Though, the $44 million dollar film nearly bankrupt the studio.
Phoenix portrays a troubled and legendary country singer in this biopic. Did he actually sing those famous tunes? Watch his famous prison performance.
In the City of Light with her husband in the 1950s, Streep’s boisterous character struggles to find something useful to do. After a go at hat-making and bridge, she stumbles upon a vocation that changes the eating strategies of millions of Americans.
The year is 1970, the mission is dangerous, and an unlucky number seems to be sending three men to their demise in outer space. It’s a story of survival, heroism, and faith and Hanks shines as the captain.
Jason Robards and Hal Holbrook played alongside Redford as a crusading reporter in this riveting drama set in the nation’s capital. This true story had all the makings of box office gold: crooks, cold trails and a mysterious whistle blower.
Strathairn played a crusading broadcast journalist in the 1950s whose series of TV news reports lead to the censure of a certain Wisconsin senator . The film was written by a Hollywood leading man.
As the monarch the Commonwealth realms, Mirren’s character refuses to honor the death of her son’s very popular ex-wife. The resulting turmoil causes friction with a politician played by Michael Sheen.
Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his moving portrayal of a singing legend who suffered an impairment since the age of 7. Listen to one of his most famous songs.
An American director famous for his westerns directed Fonda in this tale of a future president’s salad days in an Illinois city.
Douglas won a Golden Globe for this 1956 biopic of one of the world’s most talented–and impoverished–artists. It’s directed by the father of a famous female singer and actress
A famous American director both wrote and directed this 1957 film about one of aviation’s greatest heroes. Stewart’s character had a fitting nickname.
Francis Ford Coppola had a hand in crafting the story behind this 1970 classic, in which Scott portrayed a World War II Army officer. Much of it was set in the second-largest continent.
A legendary scandal brought down the embattled 37th President of the United States, portrayed by Hopkins in this 1995 film, which was nominated for four Oscars.
In an Oscar-nominated role directed by Spike Lee, Washington plays a troubled youth who becomes a controversial human rights leader, and later assumes the name El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz.
This 1992 movie also starred Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd and Kevin Kline, who played one of the most famous actors of his day. A blood relative of the tragicomic figure Downey portrayed was also included.
Andrew Lloyd Webber won an Oscar for best original song in this 1996 musical about the famous wife of an Argentinian president, played by Madonna
Penn won the top acting prize for his role as the first openly gay man elected top public office in this 2008 biopic.