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

Voting 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.

  • Greg Kinnear
    Photo: Reelz
    401 VOTES

    The Kennedys, The Reelz Miniseries

    On a list full of miniseries that took home Emmys, Golden Globes, and Baftas, The Kennedys has the dubious distinction of being one of the worst. For his part, Greg Kinnear did what he could with the role, but it was nowhere near enough to save the production.
  • Bruce Greenwood
    Photo: New Line Cinema
    366 VOTES

    Thirteen Days

    Bruce Greenwood did a pretty good job as JFK in Thirteen Days. Critics loved the film because it captured the deliberation and misinformation that surrounded the president and his advisors during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    366 votes
  • William Devane
    Photo: ABC
    290 VOTES

    The Missiles of October

    William Devane gave a solid performance in one of the first cinematic portrayals of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Missiles of October managed to win an Emmy for its technical direction.
    290 votes
  • Martin Sheen
    Photo: NBC
    293 VOTES

    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.

  • Cliff Robertson
    Photo: Warner Bros
    245 VOTES

    PT 109

    Cliff Robertson has the distinction of being the first person to play JFK. He does so in a movie that is more focused on Kennedy's military career than his presidency. Of all the actors on this list, Cliff Robertson was the only actor to be directly approved to play JFK by JFK himself.
    245 votes
  • James Marsden
    Photo: The Weinstein Company
    278 VOTES

    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.