14 Astounding Actors Who Flawlessly Portrayed Historical Personalities

Biographical films are, by definition, authentic trips into the past, populated by true historical figures who lived in this world as acutely as we do today. Several famous historical figures have had their stories adapted for the big screen, including musicians, actors, and actresses, as well as leaders, heroes, lecturers, and innovators. Additionally, these films typically provide viewers with more information about the celebrities, and they frequently cast other well-known actors in legendary roles.
Due to a combination of strong acting skills and contemporary make-up techniques, actors are increasingly providing nearly perfect portrayals of these great figures.
We chose a handful of actors who have done a near-perfect job over the years of portraying a certain historical or contemporary character on screen. These are the 14 most memorable tales among all those involving well-known characters or actors. To see more, let's scroll down.

#1 Daniel Day-Lewis - Abraham Lincoln

Source: Disney

English actor Sir Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis was frequently referred to as one of his generation's greatest actors and won several awards throughout his nearly four-decade-long career. Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the country, in the 2012 film "Lincoln" was so compelling that it won him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award.

#2 Salma Hayek - Frida Kahlo

Source: Miramax

Salma Hayek Pinault is a Mexican-American actress and producer. Hayek became the first Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002's historical movie "Frida," which she also produced. In the movie, Hayek played the artist Frida Kahlo who is well-known for her numerous self-portraits and works that draw inspiration from Mexican landscape and antiques.

#3 Meryl Streep - Margaret Thatcher

Source: Weinstein Co; AP

Meryl Streep is frequently referred to as "the best actress of her generation" and is particularly renowned for her flexibility in accents and versatility. In "The Iron Lady", Meryl Streep earned her third Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first woman who held the position of British prime minister and served as a leader throughout the majority of the 20th century.

#4 Hilary Swank - Amelia Earhart

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Actress and producer Hilary Ann Swank was born in America on July 30, 1974. She has received many honors. Hilary Swank played Amelia who was known as the first female pilot to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean in "Amelia," with Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor.

#5 Ana de Armas - Marilyn Monroe

Source: Netflix; Bettmann / Contributor

Spanish and Cuban actress Ana Celia de Armas Caso was born on April 30, 1988. Ana de Armas portrays the rise and fall of legendary actress Marilyn Monroe who was one of the most well-known sex icons and a symbol of the sexual revolution in the upcoming Netflix drama "Blonde." 

#6 Nicole Kidman - Lucille Ball

Source: Amazon Studios; Evening Standard/Getty Images

Nicole Mary Kidman is an American and Australian actress and producer who is well known for her performance in a variety of film and television productions across several genres. Nicole Kidman gave audiences an inside look at Lucille Ball's private life as she climbed to popularity in "I Love Lucy" in "Being the Ricardos" (2021). Lucille Désirée Ball was an American actress, comedian, and producer who received numerous honors.

#7 Denzel Washington - Malcolm X

Source: Warner Bros

Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, director, and producer who has been referred to be an actor. He "reconfigured the concept of classic movie fame" due to his performances in both film and the stage. Denzel Washington received nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his realistic portrayal of the title character in the 1992 biopic "Malcolm X." Malcolm X, an African-American Muslim priest, and human rights advocate who died on February 21, 1965, was a well-known figure in the civil rights movement.

#8 Austin Butler - Elvis Presley

Source: Warner Bros.; RB/Getty Images

American actor Austin Robert Butler was born on August 17, 1991. His most well-known performance was as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's musical biopic "Elvis" from 2022. American musician and actor Elvis is one of the most influential cultural leaders of the 20th century and is known as the "King of Rock and Roll."

#9 Robert Downey Jr. - Charlie Chaplin

Source: TriStar Pictures

Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, and producer. In the movie "Chaplin," Robert Downey Jr. received praise for his whimsical portrayal of Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. Chaplin is regarded as one of the most significant individuals in the cinema industry thanks to his on-screen character, the Tramp.

#10 Helen Mirren - Queen Elizabeth II

Source: Miramax Films; Dylan Martinez/Reuters

English actor Dame Helen Lydia Mirren is the only performer to have won the Triple Crown of Acting in both the US and the UK. Thanks to Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning performance as the monarch in "The Queen," viewers got to know Queen Elizabeth II a little bit better. Elizabeth II (born 21 April 1926) is the Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth states.

#11 Sean Penn - Harvey Milk

Source: Focus Features

American actor and filmmaker Sean Justin Penn was born on August 17, 1960. He has received two Academy Awards for his performances in the biopic "Milk" and the mystery drama "Mystic River". Sean Penn portrayed Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, in "Milk."

#12 Eddie Redmayne - Stephen Hawking

Source: Focus Features"The Theory Of Everything" Trailer

English actor Edward John David Redmayne is well known for his parts in blockbusters and biopics, for which he has won numerous awards. His representations of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" led him to multiple nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Stephen William Hawkingerved is well-known as the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge's research director at the time of his passing.

#13 Ben Kingsley - Mahatma Gandhi

Source: Columbia Pictures

English actor Sir Ben Kingsley has received a lot of honors. Kingsley is most recognized for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film "Gandhi," for which he later received the Academy Award for Best Actor. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist. He led the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule and later served as an inspiration for movements for freedom and civil rights around the world.

#14 Kristen Stewart - Princess Diana

Source: Neon; Reuters

 American actress Kristen Jaymes Stewart won numerous awards and became the highest-paid actress in the world in 2012. For her portrayal of Princess Diana who was Charles' first wife and the mother of Princes William and Harry in "Spencer," Kristen Stewart was nominated for an Oscar for best actress.
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