Entertainment

All the Actors Who Have Played John F. Kennedy, Ranked  

Ranker Film
3k votes 549 voters 10.6k views 15 items

List Rules Actors who played President John F. Kennedy in films, on television, or in a play. Vote up the actors who handled the role the best.

JFK lived one heck of a life. From his childhood within a burgeoning political dynasty and his heroism in the military, to his torrid extramarital affairs and his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK's life easily lends itself to epic movie and TV adaptations.

And of course, after his assassination the media became even more fascinated with John F. Kennedy. In all, about a dozen actors got to take their turns playing the playboy president, and they all brought something different to the role. Who portrayed him the best? Rank all of their performances on this list of actors who played JFK.
back to page 1
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played John F. Kennedy, Ranked
Photo: NBC

Kennedy, The NBC Miniseries

Martin Sheen gave a bit of a mixed performance in this miniseries. Even though Sheen managed to nail Kennedy's signature accent, he just didn't look the part. Still, the miniseries was nominated for three Golden Globes and won a Bafta.

Not bad, all things considered. But he'll always be President Bartlett to most of us.

Age: 78

Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States of America

More Martin Sheen

#72 of 311 on The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #71 of 341 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting) #78 of 199 on Celebrities Who Should Run for President #13 of 117 on The Best Short Actors

Was he a good JFK?
see more on Martin Sheen
James Marsden is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played John F. Kennedy, Ranked
Photo: The Weinstein Company

The Butler

While many films focus on Kennedy's untimely assassination, James Marsden portrayed a different side of president. It's easy to forget that Kennedy was a young symbol of optimism during the tumultuous sixties. Marsden does a good job of portraying that side of JFK. It helps that they are both so good looking.

Age: 45

Birthplace: Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States of America

More James Marsden

#98 of 311 on The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #64 of 70 on The Best Actors from DC Movies #13 of 19 on Actors Who've Played Multiple Comic Characters #16 of 20 on People Who’ve Been Typecast, Ranked By How Often They Play That One Thing

Was he a good JFK?
see more on James Marsden
Rob Lowe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played John F. Kennedy, Ranked
Photo: NatGeo

Killing Kennedy

If nothing else, Killing Kennedy made critics feel sorry for Rob Lowe. A TV miniseries that was adapted on a budget from Bill O'Reilly's book, Killing Kennedy had a few handicaps out of the gate (namely, the source material).

Still, by all accounts, Lowe did his best to breathe life into a boring part. Good try, Rob.

Age: 54

Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America

More Rob Lowe

#98 of 126 on The Best Living American Actors #7 of 15 on The Greatest Hollywood Comebacks of All Time #4 of 114 on The Greatest '80s Teen Stars featuring The Best Rob Lowe Movies

Was he a good JFK?
see more on Rob Lowe
Brett Stimley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played John F. Kennedy, Ranked
Photo: via Wikimedia
8
Brett Stimley

Watchmen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, etc.

If you've seen any blockbuster set in the sixties, you've probably seen Brett Stimley. Stimley is a character actor known for impersonating Kennedy for bit parts in movies that otherwise aren't focused on the man.
Was he a good JFK?