Scholars rank Franklin D. Roosevelt as a great President, and Hollywood agrees. During his presidency and in the decades that followed, Roosevelt appeared in various film and television productions, emerging as an idealized leader who overcomes physical disability, inspires the public, and pursues wise policies. The origins of, reasons behind, and manifestations of this tenaciously consistent image are the subject of this article. The process began with FDR's own successful leadership and media (including film) savvy. It was sustained by the influence of Roosevelt's family and admirers in the entertainment industry. It seldom has been challenged, even as portraits of FDR widened across of a variety of film and television genres from the 1970s onward.
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