History Lesson: Stars Who Played Historical Characters

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  • Don Cheadle
  • Zoe Saldana
  • Halle Berry
  • Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige
  • Madonna
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Benicio del Toro
  • Chadwick Boseman, Jackie Robinson
  • Salma Hayek
  • Will Smith
  • Denzel Washington
  • Morgan Freeman, Nelson Mandela

Madonna in Evita (1995)

At the peak of her sexual rebellion at the time, Madonna had to lobby hard for the role of Argentina's sweetheart Eva Péron. After completing production, she told director Alan Parker, "This is the role I was born to play...I am prouder of Evita than anything else I have done." Thankfully, critics agreed and Evita became a rare highlight in her otherwise-mocked film career.

(Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures)

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