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

Halle Berry in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)

Berry not only bears a striking physical resemblance to Dorothy Dandridge, whom she portrayed in this 1999 television movie, the stars' personal lives show several parallels as well. Like Dandridge, Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Dandridge was the first Black woman to be nominated for an Oscar; Berry was the first to win one. And Berry was born almost exactly one year after Dandridge died. For her role as the 1950s beauty, Berry was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe.

(Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

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