Kiefer Sutherland (Designated Survivor) has been cast in Showtime’s anthology series The First Lady as US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He will star opposite Gillian Anderson (The Crown), who will play First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the series.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, or FDR as he is commonly known by, served as the United States President from 1933 – 1945. He came into office during the Great Depression, the worst economic disaster the world had seen, and made it his mission to get America out of it. During his first months in office he moved fast on federal legislations called the New Deal designed to provide relief to farmers and the unemployed to get America out of the Depression. His policies helped America recover and during the course of his presidency used new communication technologies like radio to address the nation and give further solace, even becoming the first President to appear on television. He led America through World War II, though he began it with a stance of neutrality. FDR is generally regarded as one of the best and most successful Presidents in the US, though is not without criticism as he consolidated a lot of power compared to his predecessors along with his polices during WWII, such as turning away refugees and interning Japanese-Americans. He is the only President to serve more than two terms in office.
FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt were married in 1905 and remained together until his death in 1945. FDR contracted polio in 1921 and his legs became permanently paralyzed, leaving him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His health declined during WWII and he passed away a few months into his fourth term in 1945.
Described as “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House”, the first season of The First Lady will focus on three former First Ladies: Betty Ford, Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt. Along with Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt is Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) and Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) as Betty Ford and Michelle Obama respectively. The series will be directed by Susanne Bier (The Undoing).
Also starring the series is Aaron Eckhart (Line of Duty) as President Gerald Ford, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as President Barack Obama, Dakota Fanning (The Alienist) as Susan Elizabeth Ford, Rhys Wakefield (True Detective) as Dick Cheney, Judy Greer (Kidding) as Nancy Howe, Jayme Lawson (The Batman) as a young Michelle Obama and Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska) as a young Betty Ford.
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