History Lesson: Stars Who Played Historical Characters

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

Chadwick Boseman in 42 (2013)

Director Brian Helgeland must have seen something very special in Boseman to trust the relative-newcomer to play Jackie Robinson in his biopic of the baseball great. His instinct was correct — Boseman earned critical acclaim and even the approval of Robinson's widow Rachel for his performance.

(Photo: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, D. Stevens)

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