Actors Who Have Portrayed Martin Luther King Jr.
The legendary civil rights leader was assassinated on April 4, 1968, but these talented men continue to bring his inspiring words to life on stage and screen
In 2014, Oyelowo brought King to the screen in Ava DuVernay's Selma and his performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Mackie portrayed Kin in the 2016 HBO drama All The Way, which followed Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency as he worked to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
Mackie said of playing the famed activist, "I grew up in a house where my dad made sure that Dr. King was a part of our daily existence. And he always described him as a leader of men. And that's the Dr. King I wanted to portray. And he was a great and shrewd politician. And I don't think we've ever seen that aspect of him on film."
James Earl Jones
The actor played both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frederick Douglas in the 1982 miniseries Freedom to Speak.
Courtney B. Vance
In 2000, the Lovecraft Country star (who's married to Angela Bassett) played King in the TV miniseries Parting the Water.
Yoba appeared as King in the 2013 film Betty & Coretta. The movie follows Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige) after the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson made his Broadway debut as King in the 2011 production of The Mountaintop alongside Angela Bassett.
In 2001's Ali, Burton starred as King alongside Will Smith, who played the titular character and professional boxer Muhammed Ali.
Ellis took on the role of King in Lee Daniel's The Butler in 2013. Funnily enough, he acted alongside David Oyelowo, who would portray King the following year.
Winfield stepped into the civil right activist's shoes for 1978 3-part miniseries, King. His performance lead to an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actor. He acted alongside Cecily Tyson, who played King's wife Coretta Scott King
Raymond St. Jacques
The actor portrayed King in 1977's The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover.
The actor portrayed King in Prince Jack, a 1985 film about John F. Kennedy's presidency.
Bernard played King in The Meeting, a 1987 play by Jeff Stetson, which portrayed an imaginary meeting between King and Malcolm X. In 1989, the play was televised on PBS's American Playhouse.
Disney's 1999 TV movie Selma, Lord, Selma featured Powell as the legendary activist and orator.
Wright played King in the 2001 TV movie Boycott, which told the story of the 1955-1956 Montgomery bus boycotts. The film won a Peabody Award in 2001.
Dexter Scott King
In 2002, King's own son, Dexter Scott King, stepped into his father's shoes for The Rosa Parks story.
He portrayed him again in in the 1999 educational film Our Friend, Martin, voicing his father at 34 years old. The film was nominated for an Emmy award in 1999 for outstanding animated program.