actors The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents

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List Rules Upvote the best actor portrayals of US Presidents, from films, miniseries, or television shows. No fictional presidents allowed.

There have been countless movies about presidents, including many about the men who have served as President of the United States, and many of the best actors in film (or TV) have portrayed them. This list compiles the best actors who played presidents, not including fake presidents, (though we wish Jed Bartlet from The West Wing had actually held office). Instead, this list ranks the depictions of real-life Presidents of the United States by these top Hollywood actors.

These A-list actors (unfortunately there are no actresses here, as America has yet to elect a female president) turned in good performances from both movies anf television. So whether it is a mini-series about the Kennedy family, a TV show about George W. Bush, or a movie about one of the Roosevelts, it will be ranked here.

Make sure to vote for your favorite onscreen portrayal of real U.S. presidents. Both Randy Quaid and Dennis Quaid make the list, as popular actors like Bill Murray and Daniel Day-Lewis. Plus, fathers and sons not only just become presidents like the Bushes - but they actually play presidents in movies and on TV. For instance, James Brolin's Ronald Reagan makes the cut while his son Josh Brolin's George W. Bush is also featured on this list.

Upvote your favorite American presidential portrayals below, then be sure to cast your votes for the fictional politicians you wish would run for office, and let the world know which Presidents of the United States of America you think are the greatest in US history.
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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3 people just voted on Daniel Day-Lewis - Abraham Lincoln


Daniel Day-Lewis played President Abraham Lincoln in the 2012 film Lincoln. He received an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, becoming the first male performer to win three Oscars in that category. He also won for There Will Be Blood in 2007 and My Left Foot in 1990.

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Paul Giamatti is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Paul Giamatti portrayed President John Adams in the 2008 HBO miniseries John Adams. The miniseries was broken down into seven parts and won 13 Emmy Awards, more than any other miniseries in history. One of those Emmys (and a Golden Globe) went to Giamatti.

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Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Gary Sinise played President Harry S. Truman in the 1995 HBO film Truman. The made-for-TV biopic saw Gary Sinise take home the Golden Globe for Best Actor as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a CableACE Award, all for his performance as President Truman.

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Jon Voight is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Jon Voight portrayed President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Pearl Harbor. The 2001 Michael Bay movie won many awards but Voight, whose politics are at complete odds with the man he portrayed, was hailed by critics for his performance as the wheelchair-bound president.

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Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Anthony Hopkins played President Richard M. Nixon in the aptly-titled film Nixon. The Oliver Stone biopic aired in 1995 and was nominated for four Academy Awards. One of those Oscar nominations went to Anthony Hopkins for his depiction of President Nixon.

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Aidan Quinn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Aidan Quinn appeared as President Ulysses S. Grant in the 2010 movie Jonah Hex. Quinn's President Grant was a memorable element of the film and NBC Bay Area even published an article called "Aidan Quinn Plays Best President Grant Ever."

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Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Robin Williams played President Teddy Roosevelt in the Night at the Museum franchise. Williams originated the role in Night at the Museum (2006) followed by Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which was one of the last films Williams ever acted in before his death.

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Greg Kinnear is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Portrayals of Real U.S. Presidents
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Greg Kinnear played President John F. Kennedy in the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys. Kinnear's JFK was nominated for an Emmy Award as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award.

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