As a huge fan of both Daniel Day-Lewis and American history, I’m looking forward to the release, even though some of the previews seem a bit over acted. There’s something about Day-Lewis’ voice patterns that makes me laugh each time I see a clip, and I hope for the sake of the audience that doesn’t happen when I’m in the theater. I’ll truly be disappointed if one of the greatest actors of our time misses the mark and plays it hokey.
Here’s a list of other actors (some award-winning and some very obscure) who’ve also played Honest Abe. Only time will who played it best.
1. Character actor Robert V. Barron played the 16th president in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, which has to be one of Lincoln’s funniest performances.
2. In “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”, it’s actor Benjamin Walker who gives a voice to the president. Like Barron, Walker isn’t a well-known name; he has several short films in his arsenal, but Lincoln is his first meaty role.
3. In another action hero role, Bill Oberst, Jr., who has played several presidents, plays Lincoln in 2012’s “Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies”, a movie that I must have missed.
4. I also missed Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules” fame playing Lincoln in 2012’s “FDR: American Badass!” Can’t wait to see that one, which I have to assume, is going straight to pay-per-view and DVD.
5. In another weird performance, actor Brendan Fraser plays Lincoln in the movie “Bedazzled”. The Canadian actor is relatively known for big screen roles in the “Mummy” movies, “GI Joe” and “George of Jungle”.
6. Veteran actor Hal Holbrook played Lincoln in the television miniseries “North and South” and “North and South, Book 2.”
7. Likewise, Gregory Peck played Lincoln in the television miniseries, “The Blue and the Grey”, my favorite Lincoln performance to date.
8. Henry Fonda played the tallest president in 1939’s fictionalized biography “Young Mr. Lincoln”, the one of the earliest appearance of the president on film.
9. Yet, it was silent movie actor Joseph Henabery, who claims the very first appearance of Lincoln in 1915’s “Birth of a Nation”.
10. And finally actor Raymond Massey played Lincoln twice, in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” and in “How the West Was Won”.