Art imitating life. Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Sarah PaulsonMore stars have made their mark in TV and movies as real-life characters.
Many were honored for their portrayals of controversial and beloved historical figures.
The American Horror StoryAn Emmy was awarded to actress for portraying a famous prosecutor Marcia ClarkSeptember 2016. Paulson was awarded Best Actress in a Limited Series of Television Movie for her performance on The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
The actress dedicated the win to the “whip-smart, giant-hearted” attorney. Clark spoke later exclusively. Us WeeklyIt was incredible to see Paulson bring home the trophy.
“To have someone as phenomenal as Sarah play me and then win?” she said. “It feels pretty great.”
Three years later Rami MalekHe won his first Academy Award for his role as Freddie Mercury, the late musician, in Queen’s biopic. Bohemian Rhapsody.
“Thank you, Queen. Thank you … for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy. I am forever in your debt,” he said during his 2019 Oscars speech after winning Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Margot RobbieA history of playing real-life characters, including figure skaters. Tonya Harding in 2017’s I, Tonya and Queen Elizabeth I in 2018’s Mary Queen of Scots. Robbie played the role of Sharon Tate in the following year. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
American IdolAlum Jennifer HudsonTransformed into Aretha Franklin, a music legend RespectThe movie will hit theaters in August 2021. Hudson was chosen by Franklin to replace her in the film, just months before her death in August 2018.
“I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time,” the DreamgirlsThe actress said Sunday TodayDecember 2019, the big role. “All I want to do is pay tribute to her and meet her requests, you know? Like, ‘Aretha said do this?’ — ‘Yes, ma’am.’”
Scroll to revisit some of the most iconic onscreen portrayals of real people over the years — including Tom HanksFred Rogers and Jamie FoxxRay Charles