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Characters So Iconic They Had to be Played Twice (Or More)

Some characters are so popular, they come around again and again, with various actors putting their own unique spin on the role. What's your favorite depiction of these classic characters?

Marilyn Monroe

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It's inimitable celebrities like Marilyn Monroe who are depicted most frequently. Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino both had their chance in Norma Jean & Marilyn, but Michelle Williams' performance in My Week with Marilyn might be the best.

Photo: IMDB

Princess Diana

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Some public figures are so unique that capturing them to an audience's satisfaction is almost impossible, but that hasn't stopped many actresses, including Catherine Oxenberg, Serena Scott Thomas, and Naomi Watts, from playing Princess Diana.

Photo: IMDB

Abraham Lincoln

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In 2012 President Lincoln was the subject of two very different films; Steven Spielberg's epic Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis, and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, which followed a long list of biopics, including 1939's Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Fonda.

Photo: iMDB

Richard Nixon

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Another American president frequently portrayed on the big screen is Richard Nixon. A wide range of actors have depicted the controversial leader, from Dan Hedaya in the satiric Dick, to Frank Langella in the thought-provoking Frost/Nixon.

Photo: iMDB

Cleopatra

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One leader who's sustained the public's interest for thousands of years is Cleopatra. Many charismatic actresses have tried to embody the seductive and power-hungry "Queen of the Nile", including Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, and Vivien Leigh.

Sherlock Holmes

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Occasionally, a fictional character will be popular enough to be played by multiple actors, such as Sherlock Holmes. Basil Rathbone might have been the definitive Holmes, but Robert Downey Jr. has provocatively reimagined the iconic sleuth.

Elvis

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Portraying Elvis has got to be challenging, but several actors and countless Vegas impersonators have given it their best shot. Irish heartthrob Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 2005's Elvis, and Dale Midkiff in 1988's Elvis and Me delivered impressive performances.

Henry VIII

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers went from playing "The King" to an actual king in the popular Showtime series The Tudors. Other actors who have memorably embodied the bloodthirsty monarch were: Charles Laughton, Eric Bana and Richard Burton.

Anne Boleyn

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Henry VIII's ambitious but ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn, has inspired dozens of actresses. Notable portrayals of the enigmatic queen include Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl and Genevieve Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days.

Steve Jobs

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Ashton Kutcher took on the role of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in the 2013 biopic Jobs. Two years later Michael Fassbender portrayed the digital pioneer in Steve Jobs, telling his story through backstage events at three iconic product launches.

Jane Eyre

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Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre has been adapted dozens of times, resulting in some interesting depictions of the classic heroine, from Bette Davis' to Zelah Clark's, but Joan Fontaine epitomized Jane opposite Orson Welles in the 1943 film.

Superman

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Christopher Reeve was so perfect in the role of Superman, it defined his career. Much earlier, George Reeves had success playing the role on 1950s TV. The current Superman, Henry Cavill, is also very popular.

James Bond

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Fans have strong feelings about their favorite James Bond. The original 007, Sean Connery, might have been the ultimate Bond, but the others, especially Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, all brought something special to the role.

Catwoman

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The list of actresses who have sharpened their claws to play Catwoman is as varied as it is long, featuring Michelle Pfeiffer, Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry. But 1960s feline, Julie Newmar is still synonymous with the role.

Coco Chanel

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Marie-France Pisier played Coco Chanel in the dramatic 1981 biopic Chanel Solitaire. A number of movies about the orphan-turned iconic fashion designer have popped up lately, including Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou, and 2008's Coco Chanel starring Shirley MacLaine.

Jesus

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No amount of training could prepare an actor to play the son of God. The most prominent depictions include Jim Caviezel's stunning performance in The Passion of the Christ and Willem Dafoe in controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ.

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