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The Kennedys at the Movies: from Martin Sheen to Matt Damon

by Anne Thompson
April 26, 2010 12:06 PM
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

We can't seem to get enough of the Kennedys.

Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Ed Harris are prepping to perform in a tribute as the three Kennedy brothers Edward, Robert and John, Greg Kinnear is going to play JFK for cable's The Kennedys, and Matt Damon has expressed interest in playing RFK, pending the script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) based on the biography Robert Kennedy: His Life by Evan Thomas. Director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) has been wanting to make this biopic since 2002. Bostonian Damon is nervous about playing RFK, he told Today's Matt Lauer: "Where I come from, he's a pretty important person and it's a lot of responsibility."

Damon is well aware of the many Bobbys past to be judged against. The Kennedy brothers have been portrayed repeatedly in the last decades on TV and cable and in movies, from Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp in 2000's Thirteen Days (83% on the Tomatometer) to Cliff Robertson as young hero JFK in 1963's PT 109, which airs April 29 at 8:00 PM on Turner Classic Movies. Martin Sheen has actually played both men; Bobby in TV movie The Missiles of October and John in TV miniseries Kennedy.

Check out this Kennedy line-up:

Thirteen Days (2000) - Steven Culp
Bobby (2006) - Dave Fraunces (don’t see his face)
The Rat Pack (1998, TV Movie) - Zeljiko Ivanek
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981, TV Movie) - James F. Kelly
The Missiles of October (1974, TV movie) - Martin Sheen
Kennedy (1983, TV miniseries) - John Shea
The Kennedys of Massachusetts (1990, TV miniseries) - Will Garner (child), Casey Affleck (teenager), Randle Mell (adult)
PT 109 (1963) - Cliff Robertson
Thirteen Days (2000) - Bruce Greenwood
Watchmen (2009) - Stimely
The Rat Pack (1998, TV Movie) - William Peterson
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981, TV Movie) - James Franciscus
The Missiles of October (1974, TV movie) - William Devane
Kennedy (1983, TV miniseries) - Martin Sheen
The Kennedys of Massachusetts (1990, TV miniseries) - Steven Weber

[Sophia Savage contributed to this report.]


  • Rob Dyke | February 12, 2012 10:02 PMReply

    You missed Victor Slezak as JFK and Vince Grant as RFK in TIMEQUEST

  • Bruce | January 10, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    How about Daniel Hugh Kelly and Robert Knepper in Jackie, Ethel and Joan: The Women of Camelot? Especially good performance by Kelly.

  • Brian | April 27, 2010 3:03 AMReply

    You left out Michael Parks who made a great Bobby in Larry Cohen's THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER (1977).

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