9 Actresses Who Played Jackie Kennedy, In Honor Of Natalie Portman's Exciting New Role
Natalie Portman is already Hollywood royalty, but she'll soon get a chance to play the Queen of Camelot when she stars as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the upcoming biopic, Jackie. The film, which covers the four days of Jackie Kennedy's life following the assassination of her husband and former President of the United States, will be the first theatrical release to focus solely on Jackie O's story — and who better than the Academy Award winner with the stunning bone structure to try and pull off an Oscar-worthy performance that would make the arts-loving First Lady proud?
Of course, Portman will have some competition, since it's not the first time Jackie Kennedy's been played by a stunning starlet. Over the past three decades, there's been more than a few actresses — ranging from Katie Holmes to one-time Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith — who have donned that pillbox hat hoping to convey the icon's strength, charm and style to the (mostly small) screen.
While you fantasize about what Portman will look like wearing Kennedy's iconic pink Chanel suit, I've come up with a list of nine actresses who've already played the role, ranking their performances by just how close they came to becoming Jackie.
Jacqueline Bisset in America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Story (2003)
Bisset shares a name with Kennedy... and that's really where there similarities stop. In this TV movie about JFK Jr., Bisset sounds more English than anything else, and besides having brown hair, she doesn't quite resemble the First Lady.
Roma Downey in A Woman Named Jackie (1991)
This melodramatic made-for-TV series was about the former First Lady before and after the death of her husband. Though I feel like Downey looks a little more like Elizabeth Taylor than she does Jackie O, this movie actually won an Emmy.
Jaclyn Smith in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)
Once again, here's another made-for-TV movie about Jackie Kennedy — but, this one was a slightly different take on Jackie O's relationship with Kennedy.
Minka Kelly in Lee Daniel's The Butler (2013)
Kelly wasn't quite right for her role as Jackie Kennedy in this film, which looked at a White House butler who served eight presidents, but her cry-face was spot-on.
Katie Holmes in The Kennedys (2011)
In this eight-part television series that tells the story of the Kennedy family, at least Holmes certainly looked the part.
Joanne Whalley In Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (2000)
This two-part miniseries focuses on the "untold" story of Jacqueline Onassis, which means it's pretty heavy on the gossip. Whalley is a bit over-the-top with her accent, but the campy style falls in line with the rest of the project, so it works.
Jill Hennessy In Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot (2001)
In this miniseries focused on the women of the Kennedy family, Hennessy does a good job with the accent and her mannerisms. She also manages to get at the pressure that came with being John F. Kennedy's wife with tears and plastic smiles.
Jeanne Tripplehorn In Grey Gardens (2009)
Tripplehorn only has a brief cameo in this HBO film starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, which was based on the documentary of the same name about Kennedy's reclusive aunt and cousin, Edith and Edie Beale — but she makes the most of it. From her accent to her uncomfortability in front of the camera, it's as if it's a scene taken from the original documentary.
Ginnifer Goodwin In Killing Kennedy (2013)
The Once Upon a Time actress has no problem slipping into fairytale roles, so she had no problem filling Jackie's fashionable shoes for this TV docudrama based on the Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's book of the same name. But, most striking was her ability to channel Kennedy's softspoken nature from her speaking voice to the way she carried herself. It seems all her studying really paid off.
Portraying Jackie Kennedy is a difficult task for any actress to take on, but Portman is clearly going to be in good company when she takes on the role in 2016.
Images: Getty; Anne Marie Fox/Butler Films; ReelzChannel; Snow White AF/Vine