Each year on the Fourth of July the United States celebrates its independence. Barbecues fire up and fireworks fire off. It's a time to look back on the country's history and reflect and how far we've come. Often, cable networks will run biographies and biopics about important American political figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
In honor of the nation's 236 year history, we decided to take a look at four actors who have given memorable performances as the President or Vice-President in their careers. Here now are our favorite on-screen Commanders In Chief.
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet - For seven seasons, the veteran Hollywood actor played the fictitious head of state in Aaron Sorkin's political drama, "The West Wing." The show aired on NBC and was immensely popular, due in large part to how believable Sheen was as the President. Off-screen Sheen is quite politically active, so it seemed to make sense that he'd play a politician so well. Sorkin would go on to write "The Social Network" and "Moneyball," among various other TV shows and movies, including the new HBO show "The Newsroom."
Kevin Kline as President Bill Mitchell - In "Dave," the Academy Award winning Kline plays two parts. One is a community organizer named Dave who bares a striking resemblance to the current President. The other is the President himself. When a medical emergency renders the President incapable to fulfill his duties, Dave is asked to step in and pretend to be the President. The film's screenplay was nominated for an Oscar that year.
Paul Giamatti as John Adams - The role that John Adams played in our nation's founding can't be understated. He was involved from the very beginning and was instrumental in forming the framework that our government still rests on today; and he even served as the nation's second President! Giamatti, who won an Oscar for "Sideways," was perfect in the title role of HBO's massively popular "John Adams" mini-series. The critics all agreed and he won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2009 for his performance.
Will Ferrell as President George W. Bush - Funnyman Will Ferrell has played quite a wide variety of characters in his career. On both "Saturday Night Live" and in a Broadway show that was taped and broadcast on HBO, Ferrell's impersonation of the country's last President was so good, it earned him the top prize a comedian can win, The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In "You're Welcome, America," Ferrell lampooned Bush with surgical precision, garnering massive laughs and huge critical acclaim, and even got him a Tony Award nomination as well.
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