History Lesson: Stars Who Played Historical Characters

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  • Denzel Washington
  • Morgan Freeman, Nelson Mandela
  • 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

Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The story of Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan hotelier who heroically helped his people escape genocide, may have been overlooked by history, but Cheadle's portrayal of the man secured his place among the heroes of the 20th century. Cheadle earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance and continued to advocate for Rwanda long after the film left the box office.

(Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate)

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