Honest, It’s Not Abe and Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and more (photos)

From Daniel Day-Lewis to Gregory Peck to Will Ferrell, The Daily Beast collects the stars who’ve played Abraham Lincoln.

Corbis; Splash News

Corbis; Splash News

Daniel Day-Lewis was photographed looking like Lincoln this week. From Henry Fonda to Gregory Peck to Will Ferrell, see other stars who portrayed the man on the penny.

Splash News

Daniel Day-Lewis

It’s almost as if a penny had come to life. This week, Michael Phillips tweeted Michael a photograph of Daniel Day-Lewis looking eerily like Abraham Lincoln during a lunch break in Richmond, Virginia. And with good reason—the Oscar-winning actor was in town filming Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biopic of the 16th president. SPOILER ALERT for the ending—there will be blood.

Stephen Vaughan / Twentieth Century Fox

Benjamin Walker

Day-Lewis isn’t the only actor being fitted for a stovepipe hat in 2012—Benjamin Walker will portray Honest Abe in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The title doesn’t lie. In the movie, young Lincoln learns from his father that a vampire killed grandpa (also named Abraham) and that vampire blood caused his mother’s death. Let’s just say he doesn’t take the news well. “There’s something in the American psyche, we want our presidents to be warriors,” Grahame-Smith told The New York Times about the project. “We’re giving that to Abraham Lincoln, sort of posthumously in this case.”

Everett Collection

Henry Fonda

One of Henry Fonda’s earliest movie performances, Young Mr. Lincoln, is notable because it marks the first time the Oscar-winning actor collaborated with director John Ford. (They later made The Grapes of Wrath and My Darling Clementine, among other movies.) Fonda reportedly said of playing Abe: "I felt as if I were portraying Christ himself on film."

Everett Collection

Sam Waterston

“If I have to be typecast,” Sam Waterston once said,  “I'd like it to be as Abraham Lincoln.” Casting directors agreed. Waterston has portrayed the 16th president several times: in the 1988 mini-series Lincoln (Mary Tyler Moore played Mary Todd Lincoln); in Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary The Civil War, where he gave Abe a voice; and in his 1994 Tony-nominated role in Abe Lincoln in Illinois.

Hal Holbrook

Like Sam Waterston, Hal Holbrook has logged a few Lincoln performances in his career. In 1976, he won an Emmy in the TV mini-series based on Carl Sandburg’s biography of the president.  And a decade later, Holbrook returned to the role for the acclaimed mini-series North and South.

Everett Collection

Raymond Massey

For a Canadian, actor Raymond Massey clearly enjoyed portraying America’s greatest president. In 1938, Massey originated the title role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Two years later, he was nominated for an Oscar in the movie adaptation. He returned to the role in 1956 in the TV production of The Day Lincoln Was Shot; and in 1962 on How the West Was Won, Massey sported a stovepipe hat for the last time. Indeed, another actor once joked that Massey wouldn’t be happy with his performance as Lincoln until someone assassinated him.

Everett Collection

Gregory Peck

He sported a chin-strap beard in the 1956 film adaptation of Moby Dick, and 26 years later Gregory Peck strapped it on again to play Abraham Lincoln in the TV mini-series The Blue and the Gray. That same year, Peck went onstage—at Ford’s Theatre, no less—to give a live audience a sample of his performance. (He also made sure to look up at the presidential box where Lincoln was assassinated.) It was a role that clearly fascinated Peck: "You can't get to the bottom of Lincoln,” he said. “He's unfathomable. It's not a bad thing to have one hero who never lets you down."

Funny or Die

Will Ferrell

Though he is best known for playing George W. Bush, Will Ferrell also briefly portrayed another Republican president for a Funny or Die sketch.  In the “Drunk History” episode, Ferrell and Don Cheadle re-enact an encounter between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass as comedian Jen Kirkman provides a slurred play-by-play: “Abraham Lincoln, I am Frederick Douglass. I am a former slave who—and he’s like, ‘Shhh. I get it. I know. I know who you are. It’s been explained to me. I’ve been following your career forever. Be quiet. I’m into it.’”

Everett Collection

Walter Huston

While it wasn’t one of the most historically accurate portrayals of Lincoln’s life—in the scene at Ford’s Theatre, the president recites some lines from the Gettysburg Address—Walter Huston’s performance in the 1930 movie Abraham Lincoln is memorable because the film was directed by D.W. Griffith with a screenplay by Steven Vincent Benet, author of the epic Civil War poem John Brown’s Body.

Hank Azaria

Among the countless voices he has provided on The Simpsons, Hank Azaria has portrayed Abraham Lincoln several times. Perhaps the most memorable episode was “The Color Yellow” in which the Simpson family discovers they are 1/64 black and that Lincoln helped a Simpsons ancestor escape via the Underground Railroad.  (Which is why he’s the namesake of Homer’s father, Abraham Simpson.) And in an earlier Simpsons episode, Azaria’s classic character Apu temporarily changes one of his children’s names to, yes, Lincoln.