We all enjoy a good historical drama. Who doesn’t love to dive into the lives of some of our favorite historical figures, especially when it comes to the first ladies? In the 1960’s Jackie Kennedy was a symbol of poise and grace in the midst of a tumultuous time, even standing with her head up when her husband, the late President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as she sat next to him. When former President Bill Clinton was elected to the White House in the ’90s, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped forward and spoke out about issues she thought affected the American people.
In 2008, former First Lady Michelle Obama did the same. While other first ladies like Nancy Ragen and Melania Trump have used their platforms in different ways, all of these women have stories to tell. Hollywood has allowed us to get a closer glimpse at their lives. These 15 actresses were perfectly cast when it came to bringing the nation’s first ladies onto the big screen.
1. Patty Duke as Martha Washington
- First lady from 1789-1797
Martha Washington, also known as Lady Washington was the original First Lady of the United States, even though the term wasn’t coined until well after her death. Before meeting Geroge Washington, Lady Washington was widowed and left with four young children by the time she was 25. Though she and the president had no children together, she did bring a great deal of wealth into their marriage.
In the 1984 TV miniseries George Washington, actress Patty Duke played the quiet, capable woman who was content to stay at home at Mount Vernon and run things. Duke earned a Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Special Emmy nomination for her portrayal.
Next: A Revolutionary War era woman.