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Actors who've played the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Actor Nelsan Ellis wasn't in the 2013 film "Lee Daniels: The Butler" long, but he was in the film long enough for us to recognize him playing the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Actor Nelsan Ellis played the role of Dr. King in the 2013 film "Lee Daniels: The Butler."
Actor Nelsan Ellis played the role of Dr. King in the 2013 film "Lee Daniels: The Butler."(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Elllis' role in the film was to briefly speak about service jobs and respond to Louis Gaines' (played by David Oyelowo) indignant comments about his father being a butler while he chose to be a Freedom Fighter.

Ellis joins a long list of other African-American actors who've played the role of Dr. King in films.

Dr. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929 and assassinated on Apr. 4, 1968. MLK Day was confirmed as the 10th official federal holiday after a House vote of 338 to 90, a Senate vote 78 to 22, and signed by former president Ronald Reagan on Nov. 1983.

Check out the gallery above for a few other actors who've represented the role of the civil rights leader.

(Source: Access Atlanta)

Recommended Reading:

The Eight Current Members of Congress Who Voted Against Martin Luther King Jr. Day

From the Archives: President Reagan Designates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a Federal Holiday

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