People Who Get Typecast as Histotical Characters

In looking up portrayers of presidents for an earlier thread, I was struck with how often an actor would end up playing the same historical character in apparently unrelated roles. In some cases, I knew of some of these, but not of others.
William Daniels was John Adams in the Broadway play 1776 and the film, and in the TV movie of John Jakes’ The Rebels (I thought he played Sam Adams, but ythe IMDB credits him as John, too). He also played him in The Adams Chronicles and the 1994 TV movie The American Revolution.

Howard da Silva was Ben Franklin in stage and film versions of 1776, and in a series of commercials for General Electric, and I’m pretty sure somewhere else as well.

Jopseph Crehan was Ulysses S. Grant in five movies from 1939 to 1949 which don’t seem to be related.
French actor Adrien Cayla-Legrand was Charles deGaulee in four unrelated films (including Day of the Jackal). I can kind of understand this – deGaulle’s appearance is distinctive. But still…

And finally, he’s a fictional character, but Mycroft Holmes was portrayed by Charles Gray (“The Narrator” of Rocky Horror", and Blofeld in “Diamonds are Forever”) in the film The Seven Per Cent Solution and at least four episodes of the Granada/PBS “Sherlock Holmes” series. He seems to have taken over and finished up some episodes when Jeremy Brett was ailing, and I coulda sworn he did more.

Billy Frick appeard in five movies, but he played Adolf Hitler three times.

Michael Sheard played Hitler in three movies and one TV show, most notably in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Frank McGlynn, Sr. played Abraham Lincoln at least a dozen times.

Herbert Lom (best known as Peter Seller’s boss in the Pink Panther movies) played Napoleon three times.

Ed Flanders played Harry S Truman in four apparently unrelated films.

I was going to post about Frank McGlynn, but Reality Chuck beat me to it. McGlynn played Lincoln in what look like legit hostorical movies, and at least two Lone Ranger flicks. There are two actors who played Lincoln multiple times, but they were pre-1920, probably in very short films at the same studios, so it’s not impressivwe or “typecasting”.

Pretty obvious, but both John Carradine and Christopher Lee played Dracula for multiple film companies. Carradine started at Universal and Lee at Hammer, but they eventually portrayed the Count at several other elsewheres, including on stage.

(Bela Lugosi only pleyed Dracula twice on film, both times for Universal, although he played him uncountably many times on stage. According to Dracula historian David Skal, “Producers would offer him little else” – truly sad typecasting of a versatile actor. He played Dracula-like roles (but without the nasme) in several other films, including Mark of the Vampire.)

Timothy Bottoms as George W Bush.

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain seems pretty obvious to me.

Sidney Blackmer played Theodore Roosevelt in seven unrelated films from 1937-1948:

Annie Xmas – Hal Holbrook came to my mind, too (which is why I mentioned him in the “Celebrity Death” thread in conjunction with Twain), but AFAIK, he’s only done it in his one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight”, which has played innumerable times onstage, and on TV at least twice. But I can’t find a record of him doing Twain in anything else.

Not really typecasting, because it’sd only two appearances, but I’m amazed that **John Gielgud played Benjamin Disraeli twice – in films 35 years apart!

Similarly, Peter O’Toole played Henry II of England in the film versions of Becket and The Lion in Winter.

I woulda thought Jerry Lacey, who did Bogart in “Play it Again Sam” on stage and screen would have the Bogart entry sewn up, but a guy named Tony Lorea played Bogart twice and characters named “Bogey” two more times.

Robert Sacchi plays Bogart or Bogart wannabees in five movies:

FDR twice.
TR, Hitler, MacArthur, Truman, Woodrow Wilson and Clarence Darrow once each.

excuse please.

wayne Maunder didn’t play George Armstrong Custer a lot, but he did play him in a TV series and a Movie 23 years apart:

Ian Holm has played Napoleon Bonaparte three times, in a TV movie, and in “Time Bandits” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He has also played both Himmler and Goebbels.

In the “creepy” category, Steve Railsback has played both Charles Manson and Ed Gein.

reality Chuck writes:

With 30 years between the first and the last portrayal! That’s better than Giwelgud’s record!

Someone named William Humphrey is listed as Napoleon seven times, but some are early close-together appearances (1909!) and some of the later ones don’t seem to be Bonaparte (I can’t see the French Emperor in “Manhattan Parade”, somehow), so I don’t think he counts:

When people hear about Sherlock Holmes, often, then envision Basil Rathbone.
:mad: What do you mean I can’t include him? If CalMeacham can include Dracula, then-
Never mind.

Henry VIII

Played famously by Charles Laughton in 1933, but did him again 20 years later!

I recall Keith Mitchell from 1970’s Six Wives of Henry VIII,. but I didn’t realize that he played him in The Prince and the Pauper 26 years later!
And of course there’s Glenda Jackson, who did Elizabeth I in TV’s Elizabth R and the movie Mary Queen of Scots:

Well, ya could, if he appeared in the part in more than one series. But as far as I know, Rathbone was only Holmes in thast one series. It struck me as odd that Nicholas Meyer and John Hawkesworth, for instance, both saw in Charles Gray the likeness of Mycroft Holmes in two unrelated venues. I suspect Hawkesworth used him in part because of the earlier movie, but, to tell ther truth, he’s not my image of Mycroft.

Here’s another example: Brian Aherne (I never heard of him, either, but he’s in the IMDB) played King Arthur twice, in apparently unrelated films from 1954 and 1963:

What makes someone latch onto an actor as the “image” of a character? Especially one that no one’s seen?

Certainly Holmes is a historical figure. Ask the Baker Street Irregulars. :wink:

Reminds me of a funny throwaway line in a scene from Blazing Saddles:

2 actors sitting in the studio cafeteria, both talking in Borscht-Belt vaudeville accents-

man dressed as soldier: So how’s things goin’ Sid?
man dressed as Hitler: 'Dey lose me after the bunker scene.