Nelson Mandela's awe-inspiring life made him a hero to all, but particularly to artists.
to play the revered anti-apartheid leader- capturing the essence of the
gentle but powerful man - was a daunting task, but several actors have
tackled it through the years.
"I had a lot of reservations about it," Idris Elba told USA TODAY of his role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,
the newest movie to address the respected leader. Speaking before
Mandela's Thursday death, Elba said, "Whoever plays Mandela has to do
such a great job. He's a real man. It's a lot of responsibility - he's a
Here are some of the most notable movies that have taken a look at the man and his message:
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, opens Friday in select cities, wide on Dec. 25.
Who plays Mandela: Idris Elba
Story: The biopic, based on Mandela's autobiography, Mandela, covers half a century, including Mandela's teen years, his time as a Johannesburg
attorney, his involvement in politics, the 27 years he spent in a
remote prison and his election in 1994, when he became South Africa's
first black president.
Winnie Mandela, 2011
Who plays Mandela: Terrence Howard
Story: The focus is on Winnie Mandela, played by Jennifer Hudson.
Nelson said he fell in love "at first sight" with Winnie at a bus stop
in 1957. They had two children together and their marriage lasted until
1996, when they divorced.
Who plays Mandela: Morgan Freeman
The film is based on the true story of Mandela's involvement with South
Africa's rugby team, hoping sports would unite the country during the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match. Freeman and Matt Damon, who plays the team captain, were nominated for Oscars for their work in the movie.
Goodbye Bafana, 2007
Who plays Mandela: Dennis Haysbert
Another true story, this film is based on a white South African racist
James Gregory (played by Joseph Feinnes) who guarded Nelson Mandela for
20 years when he was in prison. The film looks at how Mandela came to
change Gregory's views and his life.
Mandela and de Klerk, 1997 TV movie
Who plays Mandela: Sidney Poitier
Story: Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, the last president of apartheid-era South Africa (played in this film by Michael Caine), jointly earned the Nobel Peace Prize
for their efforts in bringing about democracy in South Africa. This
story looks at De Klerk and how he came to announce in 1990 that
Mandela, having served 27 years in prison, would be released.
Who plays Mandela: Nelson Mandela
This Oscar-nominated documentary, made with Mandela's consent, is
considered the first official film biography of the leader and was
created from 200 hours of original footage.
Mandela, 1987 TV movie
Who plays Mandela: Danny Glover
Story: The film focuses on Mandela's early life of activism, covering the years from 1948 to 1987.