Monday August 27, 2012 11:15 AM EDT
Robin Williams Plays President Eisenhower (No Joke)
by Stephen M. SilvermanHeroic World War II general and president of Columbia University – and one of the best-liked American presidents – Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn't particularly known for his sense of humor, but that may change now that he is being played by Robin Williams.
As seen in this photo, Williams, 61, is made up to play Eisenhower during his White House years. Ike was 62 when first sworn in, and 71 when he handed over the reins to the 43-year-old JFK in 1961.
And the role is for The Butler, an adaptation of a Washington Post article about the real-life Eugene Allen, a White House domestic-staff member who served under eight First Families. Forest Whitaker plays Allen and Oprah Winfrey will play his wife.
Playing First Lady Mamie Eisenhower will be Oscar-winner Melissa Leo, while James Marsden portrays John F. Kennedy and Minka Kelly is First Lady Jacqueline. Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda are Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Rounding out the all-star cast, reports Deadline Hollywood, are Alex Pettyfer, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrance Howard, Lenny Kravitz and John Cusack (as Richard Nixon), among others.
Nelsan Ellis – best known as Lafayette on True Blood – will play Martin Luther King, Jr., and Liev Schreiber is Lyndon B. Johnson.