The Cinemaholic

20 Best Biopic Movies of All Time

 of 20 Best Biopic Movies of All Time

Hollywood and other film industries have always been fascinated with the lives of famous people. That’s why we have so many biopics made right since the beginning of cinema. Not all of them are great, but we certainly have seen a fair share of really good biopic movies. From Gandhi to Zuckerberg, Hollywood has tried its hand on making biopics on people from all strata of life. Now, let’s look at the list of top biopic movies of all time. You can watch several of these best biopic movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

20. Nixon (1995)

NIXON, Anthony Hopkins, 1995

Hopkins had quite a run after he won the Academy Awards for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), but the boldest work of his career was as President Richard Nixon in this outstanding bio from Oliver Stone . As one of the most polarizing figures of the seventies, Nixon was a true statesman, but a flawed and paranoid man, doomed as a world leader. He captures the wounded soul of the disgraced President in every way. Looking nothing like him, he instead captures his essence and speech pattern and becomes Nixon before our very eyes.

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19. Bugsy (1991)

biography movies on celebrities

Warren Beatty was always an interesting actor, but with his work here as murderous gangster Benjamin Siegel, he proved he was a great one. With movie star good looks, Siegel landed in Hollywood and quickly took over all gangland related activities and when visiting the desert, he had a vision of what became Las Vegas. Obsessed with his Flamingo Hotel in the desert, he failed to see his girlfriend was stealing from the mob, which brought Siegel down. Beatty is terrifying in his rages, deluded in his belief he can kill Mussolini, yet gentle and kind with his family and friend Meyer Lansky.

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18. Chaplin (1992)

biography movies on celebrities

A brilliant actor ready for the performance of his lifetime, stuck with a weak script, a cowardly director not willing to show his subject warts and all, Robert Downey Jr. still gave one of the great performances of all time, beautifully capturing Chaplin and his artistry. Sadly neither the director nor script took advantage of Downey being so far into character; the actor was gone, Chaplin remained. With an edgy actor such as Downey, why explore the more controversial aspects of his life? They had an actor ready to cut loose and they failed him.

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17. Downfall (2005)

biography movies on celebrities

Is it possible to humanize Hitler, possibly the most hated and evil man to ever exist? Bruno Ganz did that very thing in the superb German film ‘Downfall’, which explores the last days Hitler was alive in his bunker, the Soviets not far from the heart of the city. Hands shaking, frail, obviously drugged heavily, he knows the end is near and what is coming; he knows what the reaction will be to his Death Camps. Often gentle and kind with those around him, other time he flies into a rage when his orders are not followed. In the end, the monster was all too human, just a man. An astounding, brave performance.

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16. Lincoln (2012)

biography movies on celebrities

The moment we laid eyes on him in the opening moments of the film, and he spoke in that surprising high reedy voice, audiences felt they were encountering Abraham Lincoln, possibly the greatest American who ever lived. Daniel Day-Lewis poured over books, found descriptions of his voice, his gait, the manner in which he spoke and the deep melancholy he carried with him and brought it with him to his performance. His co-stars claimed they never met Day-Lewis until the film’s premiere; they knew only President Lincoln. This profoundly fine performance won the actor his third Academy Awards for Best Actor.

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15. The Aviator (2004)

biography movies on celebrities

As the young Howard Hughes during his Hollywood years, before the madness set in, Leonardo DiCaprio is truly outstanding. Blessed with a brilliant, inquisitive mind, he is always looking to the skies, even in his first film, ‘Hells Angels’ (1930), which he re-shot after the advent of sound. Fascinated with aviation, he built planes, making them bigger and faster, crashing one of them in downtown LA, forever damaging himself. It is a bold, outstanding performance that beautifully explores a troubled mind. The genuine fear in his eyes when he has one of his spells is truly frightening because he is never really sure if he can snap out of it.

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14. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

biography movies on celebrities

In portraying the purely evil yet charismatic Idi Amin Dada, actor Forest Whitaker gave a performance for the ages, winning every single award available to him that year. As self appointed President, actually dictator of Uganda, he takes a young Scottish doctor under his wing and it is through that man’s eyes we see the monster appear. Whitaker is brilliant, seething with anger and contempt for those who defy him, believing himself to be a God. Terrifying.

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13. Patton (1970)

biography movies on celebrities

As one of the greatest warriors in the history of the United States military, General George S. Patton did as he pleased often defying his superiors’ orders. George C. Scott is magnificent as Patton, one of the screen’s greatest performances and refused the Oscar he won for Best Actor. That iconic image that opens the film — Scott dwarfed by a massive flag — once seen can never be forgotten.

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12. My Left Foot (1989)

biography movies on celebrities

On the rise as an actor when he made this lovely, gritty film about Irish artist/writer Cristy Brown, afflicted with cerebral palsy since birth, Day-Lewis won the Academy Award and several other awards in announcing himself as a major new acting force. His eyes ablaze with intellect and purpose; his body betraying him with constant shaking, twitching, everything out of control except his left foot. The actor brings us the fierce mind that was trapped in that wretched body. Despite his affliction, he was gifted, horny and a heavy drinker. Day-Lewis is a miracle in the film.

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11. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

biography movies on celebrities

As stock swindler Jordan Belfort, who became obscenely wealthy before the FBI brought him down, Leonardo DiCaprio gives a brilliant performance – the best of his career. The young actor brings a furious energy to the performance and brash confidence, moving through the film like a young rock star. Whether stoned on drugs , smashed out of his mind, or arguing with his gorgeous wife, the actor is a revelation and force of nature. He is electrifying from beginning to end, always in motion, scheming, descending slowly into his own hell.

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10. The Social Network


Made at a time when Facebook had reached meteoric height’s, ‘The Social Network’ works as a powerful commentary on modern times and feels utterly fresh, even after six years. It deserves a place on every such list because of the treatment by David Fincher . Led by powerful performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield , it is a deeply personal tale which works on so many levels, and is a study on the nature of friendship , ambition and power.

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Helmed by Bennett Miller (who also directed ‘Foxcatcher’), ‘Capote’ chronicles the life of Truman Capote during the period when he was writing his non-fiction novel, ‘In Cold Blood’. Superbly constructed, the film feels bleak and sublime at the same time, as it tries to convey the horrors of the killings. But the movie stands out chiefly because of the honest and riveting performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman , which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. It is sad that we’ve lost a truly great artist.

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8. Malcolm X


At a run time of 200 minutes, ‘Malcolm X’ is a long movie. But it never seems long, thanks to a phenomenal performance by Denzel Washington , and nuanced direction by Spike Lee . The film dramatizes chief events of the life of African American activist Malcolm X. The film received much skepticism and criticism even before it actually hit the screen, mainly because of the sensitive nature of the subject. But it received overwhelming critical acclaim upon release. Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his standout performance, but lost out to Al Pacino , which many think was unfair on the Academy’s part.

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7. The Pianist


Roman Polanski is a director known for his technical prowess, edgy direction and excellence in handling the noir genre of cinema. But in ‘The Pianist’ , the visionary director takes his skills and gives us a devastating biographical drama. ‘The Pianist’ is the moving life-story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish pianist and composer, portrayed by Adrien Brody , who loses his family during the Holocaust. Polanski paints a bleak, harrowing landscape – drawing from his own experiences of the war – and gives us a terrifying, yet human tale of hope and survival .

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Richard Attenborough’s enduring masterpiece ‘Gandhi’ is still fresh in the hearts of the millions of Indians who watched it at the time when it was released. Made on a very large-scale and featuring actors from both Hollywood and Bollywood, this biographical drama feels fiercely authentic. The direction is quite traditional, and is exactly what a biopic of this scale needed; after all, it was about an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. Sir Ben Kingsley’s commanding presence as Mahatma Gandhi is one of the pioneering examples of biopic performances.

5. The Elephant Man


David Lynch is a master of his craft, and is a tough director to watch. His body of work – original and largely cerebral – proves that beyond a shadow of doubt. But in ‘The Elephant Man’, the visionary director outdoes himself and shows us an intensely moving tale about a disfigured man trying to find his place in society. It is based on the life of Joseph Marrick, a man suffering from severe deformity. The film depicts his life in a Victorian freak show and his relation with Dr. Frederick Treves, who tends to him later, and provides him shelter. Technically brilliant, and at times quite bleak – considering the nature of the subject – the film is especially noted for the make-up done on John Hurt for him to look the part. It is historically quite significant because the Academy was criticized for failing to recognize the efforts gone in the make-up process, and only after this film was the category for Best Make-up introduced.

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4. Raging Bull


There are boxing movies and then there is ‘Raging Bull’ . This Martin Scorsese gem is the biographical account of the boxer Jake LaMotta, his rise to fame and his personal struggles. Scorcese pours his heart out in this picture, which is so perfectly crafted that it works both as a sports movie , and as a tragic drama. Robert De Niro gave an explosive and riveting performance as Jake LaMotta, rightfully taking home the Best Actor Oscar for this role. Shot entirely in Black and White , the movie came out in the same year as ‘The Elephant Man’, competing for the Best Picture award. Unfortunately, neither of the two won the award, which went to ‘Ordinary People’.

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3. Goodfellas


Hailed by many as the second best gangster movie ever, (first being ‘The Godfather’ ) ‘Goodfellas’ is a riveting crime drama based on a non fictional book Wiseguy, chronicling the rise and fall Henry Hill, a crime family associate. Plumbing the obscene depths of crime, ‘Goodfellas’ is an enduring tale about loyalty, betrayal and the corrupting nature of power. Martin Scorsese delivers perfection in this ageless film, which boasts of marvelous performances by Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and the swashbuckling Joe Pesci (who took home the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for his performance.)

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2. Schindler’s List

Schindler's List,

I won’t say much about ‘Schindler’s List’ here. Widely regarded as one of the best pictures in the history of cinema, ‘Schindler’s List’ is Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, and is truly a work of art. With the Second World war as the backdrop, with the Nazi terror achieving terrible heights, ‘Schindler’s List’ is a moving tale about one man’s change of heart, and how he becomes a messiah. But, oh, it still doesn’t occupy the top spot on this list. Wonder why? Well, scroll down to find out which film holds that honor.

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1. Lawrence of Arabia


A film so grand and epic in scope that it commands multiple viewings. Really, get a Blu-ray and watch it on a big screen TV. Made in 1962, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is David Lean’s magnum opus. It is a riveting saga about the life of British archaeologist T.E Lawrence and the role he played during the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Everything about this movie is beautiful in a terrific, haunting way, crafted by a film-maker at the peak of his powers. The melodious score by Maurice Jarre, the authentic, breathtaking cinematography by F.A Young (the desert never looked so mesmerizing ), and a powerful performance by the-then newcomer Peter O’ Toole , make this movie one of the greatest films of all time . Its influence can still be felt in modern biopics.

Read More: Best Screenwriters of All Time


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Stream these films starring Rami Malek, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, and more A-list celebs.

Image of Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody and Natalie Portman in Jackie.

If you’re in search of a good source of inspiration, then watching celebrity biopics might just be the boost of creativity you’re looking for. While these films may vary in genre — from bubbly musicals to gritty dramas — they all have the same goal: to tell the real-life stories of icons throughout history and immortalize them forever on the silver screen.

These celebrity biopics also contain standout performances from some of Hollywood’s most popular actors such as Rami Malek as Queen’s smooth crooning Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Natalie Portman as the resilient Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Jackie . These actors’ spellbinding characterizations will leave you not only with a greater sense of knowledge and appreciation for the person they’re portraying, but also the actor bringing them to life. There’s a reason why seven of the actors on this list have won Oscars for their performances in these films, after all.

Below are 13 celebrity biopics that are the perfect blend of enlightening, insightful, and entertaining. From Reginald Dwight’s transformation into superstar Elton John in Rocketman to the creation of Facebook (and its subsequent lawsuits) in The Social Network , there’s truly something for everyone in this list no matter what mood you might find yourself in. Be sure to bookmark this list too, as we’ll continue to update it as more exciting biopics are released.

Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2004 with this film — and for good reason. Ray tells the moving story of musician Ray Charles (Foxx), who loses his vision at a young age. His incredible talent at playing the piano and ability to mesh genres together sets him on a career that spans decades and includes chart-topping hits like “ Hit The Road Jack ” and “ Georgia On My Mind ,” but drug addiction and infidelity cause him to nearly lose it all.

I, Tonya (2017)

biography movies on celebrities

I, Tonya sees Margot Robbie step into the skates of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding . The film chronicles the historic moments in Harding’s life, ranging from her childhood spent with controlling mother LaVona Golden (Allison Janney) to the infamous, career-ending controversy she was entangled in after the attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver). Bold and unapologetic, I, Tonya is a whirlwind full of performances that you’ll find yourself re-watching over and over again.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Well, it’s a mix of the two! Bohemian Rhapsody details the humble origins of the now-iconic rock band Queen all the way to the group’s unforgettable performance at Live Aid in 1985. The musical is not only filled to the brim with incredible hits that will make you want to sing along , but it also explores the backstory of the group’s out of this world frontman Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek , and his relationships with his fellow band members, partners, drugs and alcohol with authenticity and immense care.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

biography movies on celebrities

Based on the novel Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything details the life of famous English physicist and writer Stephen Hawking from his Cambridge University days all the way to the film’s release in 2014. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne delivers a masterful performance as Hawking, highlighting his brilliant mind as well as poignantly chronicling his struggle with motor neurone disease. Though the film may be about larger than life concepts like black holes, The Theory of Everything is a film that finds beauty in the little things in life too.

Jackie (2016)

biography movies on celebrities

Jackie allows audiences a seat at the table in a fictitious, poignant interview with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. The film stars Natalie Portman , whose powerful and incredibly emotional performance highlights Kennedy’s struggle to continue to inspire the country and keep her family afloat while also navigating her own intense grief. Raw, real, and visceral, Jackie is a film you don’t want to miss.

Get On Up (2014)

Get on up and get ready to dance with this biopic about the Godfather of Soul James Brown . Played by the late Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up tells Brown’s story from his childhood years growing up in Augusta, Georgia, to the lead singer of The Famous Flames to a superstar in his own right. And, because no film about a musician can be complete without some fantastic performances , the film is filled with the hits that shaped Brown’s career like “Soul Power,” “Night Train,” and “Please, Please, Please.”

The King’s Speech (2010)

biography movies on celebrities

Before he is set to ascend the throne, King George VI (played by Oscar winner Colin Firth ) must first confront the stammer that appears whenever he speaks. In an effort to help combat it, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), recommends that he begin speech therapy with Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Their quest to find techniques that help King George navigate his stammer spawns an enriching, life-long friendship between the two men.

Selena (1997)

Jennifer Lopez stars as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in the 1997 biopic about the influential Latin singer. The film tells the story of Quintanilla’s life from as child with a passion for singing on stage with her family to an unforgettable star selling out stadiums. Lopez captures Quintanilla’s bubbly, charming nature well throughout the film, but it’s the film’s heartbreaking ending that will stick with you long after your first watch.

The Social Network (2010)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by David Fincher, The Social Network depicts the creation of Facebook from its humble origins of Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) Harvard dorm room to the website that is still visited by millions of people to this day. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the film is told through the lens of two separate depositions after Zuckerberg is sued by his former friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), as well as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer). For a film about a website, its story is one filled with wit, betrayal, and heart.

Malcolm X (1992)

Denzel Washington delivers an enthralling performance as influential human and civil rights activist Malcolm X in his eponymous 1992 film. Based upon The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, the film highlights key moments within Malcolm X’s life including his loss of his parents at a young age, his introduction to the Nation of Islam while incarcerated, his speeches about racial justice during the civil rights movement, and his death in 1965. Directed by Spike Lee, this film is a must-watch that needs to be added onto everyone’s list.

Rocketman (2019)

biography movies on celebrities

Let Taron Egerton take you back to when rock was young as heralded singer-songwriter Elton John in the musical Rocketman . The film highlights John’s transformation from Reginald Dwight into the legendary Elton John and his enduring friendship with lyricist and collaborator Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Egerton perfectly embodies John’s larger-than-life personality and weaves a selection of John’s most popular songs, like “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song,” into the tapestry of his life with grace and skill. Egerton also sang and performed every song in the film , and if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.

The Queen (2006)

Queen Elizabeth II ( Helen Mirren ) grapples with how to best helm the country and its people after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 in the 2006 film The Queen . The situation is only exacerbated by the grieving public’s perceived lack of response from the royal family after Diana’s passing. As the newly-appointed prime minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) tries to help the royal family, he too is met with backlash. As the conversation surrounding the royals is whipped into a public uproar, the Queen must carefully decide her next steps in an ever-changing world.

Judas & the Black Messiah (2021)

biography movies on celebrities

Judas & the Black Messiah is a tale of two men: Chairman Fred Hampton ( Daniel Kaluuya ) of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and William “Bill” O’Neal ( Lakeith Stanfield ). After stealing a car, O’Neal is told by FBI handler Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) that his charges will be dropped if he will infiltrate the Black Panther Party and provide the FBI with information on its innermost workings. As O’Neal’s role within the party continues to grow, he finds himself stuck in the middle of a life or death situation that has violent, tragic ends. Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor at the 2021 Oscars for this role.

This article was originally published on May 28, 2021

biography movies on celebrities

10 Best Biographical Movies of All Time, According to IMDb

From 'Malcolm X' to 'Braveheart', these figures have certainly left us with quite an impression.

It's in our nature to show interest in prominent figures who have shaped the world we live in today. Whether those people are world leaders, musical prodigies, boxers, or activists, they have influenced and shaped our world in some way, shape, or form.

RELATED: 10 Best Biopic Movies of the 21st Century (So Far)

Over the years, filmmakers have taken a particular interest in retelling the stories of widely-known public figures to those who might not have known about their incredible impact and the stories that lie behind these legends or simply as a tribute to honor them.

‘Amadeus’ (1984) — 8.4/10

Released in 1984, Amadeus is a biographical film loosely based on the life of the Austrian musical prodigy , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . The film focuses on the personal struggles Mozart ( Tom Hulce ) faced in alcoholism, and his marriage, while simultaneously dealing with an envious rival, Antonio Salieri ( F. Murray Abraham ), who wants to destroy him at all costs.

Though there were many dramatized and fictionalized aspects of the film, the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri is loosely based on rumors dating back to the 1770s . Throughout the years, however, many published works suggest that historians have not been able to find any evidence of any signs of rivalry. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, of which it won eight, including the highly regarded Best Picture. It also won an additional 32 awards from other associations.

‘Gandhi’ (1982) — 8.1/10

Gandhi is a biographical film based on the events that occurred in the life of the adored Indian leader, Mohandas Gandhi (more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi). After spending most of his life experiencing India under British rule, Gandhi ( Ben Kingsley ) tries to stand up for his country. Owing to his extensive accomplishments for India and the world, it's no wonder the film has a longer than average running time of 191 minutes (3 hours and 11 minutes).

His non-violent approach through civil disobedience and efforts against the British eventually led to India’s long-awaited independence and earned him an international reputation as one of the most beloved world leaders today. The film was nominated for numerous awards and won many, including eight wins from the Academy Awards.

‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962) — 8.3/10

Lawrence of Arabia tells the story of a British Lieutenant T. E. Lawrence ( Peter O’Toole ), who, with extensive knowledge of Bedouin tribes (nomadic Arab tribes), is sent to Arabia to serve as the link between the Arabs and the British in their battle against the Turks. Against the order of his superior officer, Lawrence, along with Sherif Ali ( Omar Sharif ), commences on a long desert journey with the plan of attacking a Turkish port.

With a running time of nearly four hours (3 hours 42 minutes to be exact), most of the general audience would likely not want to commit to watching the film, but the film's commercial success has that proven wrong. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert noted that despite the lengthy running time, Lawrence of Arabia “is not dense with plot details. It is a spare movie in clean, uncluttered lines, and there is never a moment when we doubt the logistical details of the various campaigns.” The film won many accolades, including seven Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, and more.

RELATED: Elvis: 6 Best Music Biopics To Watch After Baz Luhrmann’s New Film

‘Schindler’s List’ (1993) — 9.0/10

Steven Spielberg ’s epic historical drama Schindler’s List is set in the Polish city of Kraków during World War II. The film is based on the heroic acts of a German industrialist, Oskar Schindler ( Liam Neeson ), and his vigorous attempts to save more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. When he sees how many refugees are ruthlessly killed by the heartless SS Amon Göth ( Ralph Fiennes ) in Kraków, Schindler begins to employ the Polish-Jewish refugees to work in his factories.

In 2018, The Los Angeles Times published an article titled “Why ‘Schindler’s List’ remains brilliant and troubling 25 years after its release”, noting that despite its brilliance, some were concerned about “whether it’s morally defensible to dramatize unspeakable horror and trauma via the language of mass entertainment.” Many stories, however, are asked to be told in a dramatized way movies are a more approachable and exciting medium for the general population to learn about history.

‘Malcolm X’ (1992) — 7.7/10

Spike Lee ’s self-titled biographical film, Malcolm X , is a tribute to the African-American activist Malcolm X (or Malcolm Little). The film explores X’s ( Denzel Washington ) whole life , from growing up in a poor household in rural Michigan to being arrested for performing robberies alongside his friend Shorty (Spike Lee) and a woman named Peg ( Debi Mazar ). While imprisoned, he meets another convict Baines ( Albert Hall ), who becomes a mentor to him and eventually converts him to Islam and consequentially as a member of the religious and political organization, the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm becomes highly invested in the group and idolizes its lifestyle teachings, such as resenting White people for mistreating his race. After being paroled from prison, Malcolm begins preaching and, years later, becomes the spokesperson of the Nation of Islam. However, after speaking out controversial statements and finding out that the group leader Elijah Muhammad ( Al Freeman Jr. ) is somewhat a hypocrite and has numerous children out of wedlock, he announces his loss of faith in Islam. Malcolm becomes the founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which is an organization that focuses on tolerance instead of racial separation.

‘Raging Bull’ (1980) — 8.2/10

The Hollywood biographical classic Raging Bull follows the story of an Italian-American middleweight boxer, Jake LaMotta ( Robert De Niro ). LaMotta's struggles were reflected in his career as a middleweight boxer. At age nineteen in 1941, he fell in love with a fifteen-year-old girl named Vickie ( Cathy Moriarty ), whom he married four years later in 1945.

LaMotta was always worried that Vickie was sleeping with other men, and this anxiety sent him into a downward spiral because that was the start of his uncontrollable rage. Ultimately, his life crumbles, leaving him with nothing but despair. Raging Bull has often been described as one of director Martin Scorsese ’s best directorial works , and the same goes for Robert DeNiro — one of his best performances as an actor.

RELATED: 10 Best Lookalike Actors In Biopics

‘The King’s Speech’ (2010) — 8.0/10

The King’s Speech is a historical drama film about Prince Albert and his journey to becoming King George VI ( Colin Firth ), who wanted to improve his speech impediment, a stammer. His wife, Queen Elizabeth I ( Helena Bonham Carter ), resorts to an Australian speech and language therapist, Lionel Logue ( Geoffrey Rush ), who she believed was the best person to help her husband.

Throughout the process, many doubted whether anyone would take his throne seriously, but with persistence and trust from the future King and Logue, they defied all odds. The future King finally gave his first radio wartime broadcast speech flawlessly. A first-class script, followed by the strong performances by Firth and Rush, led The King’s Speech to win 70 out of a staggering 185 nominations, including four Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs, and a Golden Globe Award.

‘GoodFellas’ (1990) — 8.7/10

GoodFellas follows the story of a mob associate named Henry Hill ( Ray Liotta ), who, having grown up in an environment amongst the mobs, becomes one himself. He begins working for a member of the Mafia, Paul Cicero ( Paul Sorvino ), along with his associates, Jimmy “the Gent” Conway ( Robert DeNiro ) and Tommy DeVito ( Joe Pesci ). Hill’s upbringing and those around him perhaps blur his moral values, and despite being a man who enjoys his money and the luxuries that come with it, he chooses to ignore the affliction he has caused others.

His morality worsens after struggling with drug addiction, and his carelessness causes him to lose everything he ever knew and had; money, luxury, self-respect, identity, and family. Master filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas has stood the test of time and earned the reputation of being one of the best gangster films ever made.

‘Braveheart’ (1995) — 8.4/10

The 1995 biographical film, Braveheart , is based on the history behind the late 13th-century Scottish warrior Sir William Wallace ( Mel Gibson ), who led his fellow Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against England’s King Edward I ( Patrick McGoohan ). Wallace’s motivation started from a young age when King Edward I conquered Scotland and treated the Scottish disrespectfully. The English King later also executed Wallace's newly-married wife, Murron MacClannough ( Catherine McCormack ), after threatening to expose his soldiers who raped her.

Wallace’s long-pursued battle for Scottish independence led him to become the historic legend he is today. Braveheart went on to win many prestigious awards, including four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

RELATED: 10 Best Award-Winning Historical Movies of All Time (in Chronological Order)

‘Patton’ (1970) — 7.9/10

Patton focuses on the life of the controversial American General, George S. Patton ( George C. Scott ). The film explores his accomplishments, starting from his first glory in the Battle of El Guettar in Tunisia and subsequently gaining the respect of the army officials and generals. It was his outspokenness and the controversial statements he made, however, which determined the consequential end to his career. He was removed from command for criticizing the US post-war military strategy and further comparing American politics to Nazism.

The epic historical drama became a cinema classic and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in the United States and the Academy Film Archive. Patton was nominated for ten Academy Awards, of which it won an impressive seven, and many more awards from other respected accolade associations.

KEEP READING: 7 Critically-Acclaimed Movies That People Might Not Realize Are Autobiographical

10 of the best celebrity biopics of all time

Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody have put celebrity biopics at the forefront again

Walk The Line - 2005

We've had no shortage of biopics of late, be it Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, or Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming film about the life of Elvis. Here, we look back at 10 of the best celebrity biopics - the films that help us to see their famous subjects anew - from troubled country stars to iconic artists.

Amadeus, 1984

Room, Table,

Considered one of the best films of all time, Amadeus follows the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian composer Antonio Salieri. Featuring a dramatic Mozart soundtrack, the film won eight Oscars, four BAFTAs, four Golden Globes and a Directors Guild of America award. Ambition, jealousy and tragedy serve as the pillars of this epic tale that appeals to adults and children alike.

Frida, 2002

face, pink, hair, red, head, purple, magenta, lip, beauty, eyebrow,

The Theory of Everything, 2014

The Theory Of Everything - 2014

For most of us, our image of Stephen Hawking is punctuated by not only his intellect, but his wheelchair and computer-generated voice. The Theory of Everything reminds us that Hawking wasn't born with motor neurone disease - he was once a young Cambridge student spinning around with his new girlfriend and later wife, Jane. The story stages his physical deterioration, while also showcasing Hawking's humour, his brilliant mind and the loving, respectful relationship between he and his wife.

The Social Network, 2010

Child, Youth, Fun, Electronics, Technology, Electronic device, Room, Photography, Play, Animation,

Mark Zuckerberg might not have come off well in The Social Network, which stages the birth and development of Facebook, but it's still a compelling story that captures the spirit of our age. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's non-fiction The Accidental Billionaires, we see Zuckerberg go from tech geek to media mogul and Facebook transform from a misogynistic website designed to rate girls on campus to a global network connecting millions around the world. An accurate portrait of a tech-fuelled world, The Social Network is as much about the power of the internet and its capacity to bring together, as much as it is the narcissism that it breeds.

Ed Wood, 1994

Photograph, Facial expression, Black-and-white, Monochrome photography, Smile, Monochrome, Fun, Event, Photography, Gesture,

Only Tim Burton, a perennial albeit very successful outsider, would choose to create a film about the world's worst film director, Ed Wood. With Johnny Depp as the titular role, this black and white film offers a sensitive, understanding celebration of a third rate, energetic and eccentric filmmaker who refused to be defied by Hollywood. Despite ridicule from his peers, Wood's films were still made, including cult classics such as Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen Or Glenda . Ed Wood steers clear from the true darkness about its subject (Woods died a resentful alcoholic), but is still considered one of Burton's finest works.

Malcolm X, 1992

Speech, Public speaking, Event, Orator, Spokesperson, Adaptation, Businessperson, Lecture, Job,

Directed by Spike Lee, Denzel Washington stars as civil rights activist Malcolm X. Based on the 1965 autobiography co-written by Malcolm X and future Roots creator Alex Haley, the film is divided into three parts - his younger years, his incarceration and his development as a world-renowned public activist which led to his assassination in 1965. Lee is unafraid to show more controversial moments - for example, Malcolm’s comments about JFK’s murder being a case of “chickens coming home to roost”. A compelling and ever relevant biopic.

Eyewear, Suit, Glasses, Public speaking, Vision care, Speech,

Jamie Foxx offers a candid insight into the life of Ray Charles, making us privy to the complexities that shaped him both as a man and musician. Foxx masters his subject's physicality in an energetic performance that captures his exuberance, charisma, ruthlessness and addictions - to both women and drugs. The film starts with a life-changing moment for Charles, who at nine years old, watches his brother drown, too emotionally overwhelmed to intervene, leaving him with a guilt that he grapples with for years afterwards. Soon after, he starts to go blind and, after his mother urges him not to feel sorry for himself, he rises up to become one of history's most prolific jazz musicians.

Walk The Line, 2005

Event, Performance, Fun, Formal wear, Photography, Duet, Fawn, Romance,

Walk The Line 's insightful, candid portrayal of Johnny Cash is based on two autobiographies authored by the country singer-songwriter: 1975's Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words and 1997's Cash : The Autobiography. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon excel as Cash and June Carter with ample time given to their enduring chemistry, as well as the demons that blighted the former's career. Ultimately, this is a tale of music, redemption and a love that conquered all.

Jackie, 2016

'Jackie' Film - 2016

Little screen time is offered to the First Wives of US Presidents, but Jackie proves why these women should be more of a cinematic focus. We've seen countless pictures of Jackie Kennedy and are familiar with video footage of her, but Natalie Portman's portrayal helps us to see her anew. She is physically the closest person to JFK when he was shot, his blood covering her clothes and his death leaving her emotionally shattered. We see her wrestle with grief, while being forced to move herself and her children out of the White House - all the while maintaining a polished facade to the public.

La Vie En Rose, 2007

Performance, Beauty, Singer, Singing, Talent show, Photography, Performing arts, Music, Music artist, Performance art,

Marion Cotillard offers an exceptional performance as France's legendary Edith Piaf. Although the lengthy biopic avoids one of the singer's most interesting periods, when she lived in occupied France during the second world war, it does trace her dramatic story from her impoverished childhood to a showbiz career mired by insecurity, drug abuse and lost love. Cotillard's electrifying turn secured her an Oscar for Best Actress, and it's not hard to see why.

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Screen Rant

10 best biopics about hollywood celebrities & the film industry.


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I Really Hope This Story About Kurt Russell's Tombstone Cameo Plan For Kevin Costner Is True

What happened to the blue wizards after lord of the rings, anne hathaway’s new rom-com success is great news for disney's upcoming sequel to her 23-year-old movie.

There are so many subgenres of biopics, and movie buffs have certainly seen their fair share of those about actors and directors. In fact, some of the best films to recommend to cinephiles might just be those that offer deep dives into the movie industry itself. With one real-life story to follow, there's so much to learn and love about Hollywood.

RELATED:  10 Best Biopics Of The Past Decade, According To IMDb

From  Mank   to  The Aviator ,  it's time to snuggle in and revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood, the political landscape in the 1950s, and so much more, where real movie lovers can get a dramatic and entertaining experience that's still a nod to a truthful and real event and story.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) - Available On Prime Video

Sunset Boulevard  is a classic and must-see for anyone who calls themselves a movie buff. This iconic 1950s flick is a mix of fiction and reality, and it tells a dramatized story set in the real world with legends like Alan Ladd and Cecil B. De Mille.

The story follows a screenwriter and his complicated relationship with a film star as her stardom begins to fade. Directed by Billy Wilder, this movie is the perfect blend of drama and biopic, rooting itself in the real events of 1950s Hollywood.

Chaplin (1992) - Available On Prime Video

Robert Downey Jr. brings the story of Charlie Chaplin to the big screen, where this legendary film director and actor recalls his rise from poverty to fame.  Chaplin  dives deep into his personal life, but also the movie industry.

It's impossible to not celebrate Charlie Chaplin as a pioneer in entertainment , and this movie is a great watch for his true story surrounding his successes and innovative decisions in an ever-changing industry.

Ed Wood (1994) - Available On Apple TV

This comedy drama stars tells the true story of Ed Wood (played by Johnny Depp), who struggles to make it big as a movie director. However, he's not willing to give up on his dreams, despite what perhaps lacking the talent to achieve them.

RELATED:  Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 10 Best Musical Biopics To Stream Now

With a cast comprised of name actors like Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, and Bill Murray, this biography is a unique and quirky take on what it takes to have success in Hollywood. Amidst laughs and drama,  Ed Wood   is an entertaining watch.

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) - Available On HBO Max

Halle Berry brings the story of Dorothy Dandridge to the big screen, from her early days as a dancer to becoming the first Black actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. With a story from the 1950s, this film tackles racism and success in a riveting drama.

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge  shows the difficulties of this actress making her rise in the political landscape of the 1950s movie industry. It's a must-see, and Halle Berry knocks the role out of the park .

The Aviator (2004) - Available On HBO Max

The Aviator   is a riveting, gut-wrenching, and infatuating tale of Howard Hughes, famous director and wealthy aviator and businessman. In the 1920s, this story shows his obsession with making "the best movie of all time" - and his descent into mental illness and madness.

RELATED:  10 Golden Age Directors & Their Best Movie (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a thrilling performance as Howard Hughes, and the film shows the economic and political drama that ties into Hollywood, fame, and riches. This movie should be a priority for all self-proclaimed film buffs.

My Week With Marilyn (2011) - Available On Apple TV

My Week with Marilyn   dives into the lives of one of the most iconic actresses of all time, Marilyn Monroe . This movie follows the tale of Colin Clark too, who documents the relationship between Monroe and Sir Laurence Oliver, the producer of  The Prince and The Showgirl.

With Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, and Kenneth Branagh, this movie unravels the tensions and pressures of working on a film set and the costs of fame and success, all while centering itself on one of the most well-known names in Hollywood.

Trumbo (2015) - Available On Prime Video

Bryan Cranston brilliantly brings Dalton Trumbo's iconic story to life in this biography drama. Taking place in 1947,  Trumbo   tells the tale of this screenwriter's famous career. However, it also dives into the politics of the time period and how artists were being blacklisted for their views.

This flick is a perfect portrayal of the political landscape of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and it also blends crimes and thrills with artistic passion, all while featuring great performances by the cast.

The Disaster Artist (2017) - Available On Netflix

This might be the strangest movie on the list, but it is a comedic and thrilling dive into the life of aspiring director and actor, Tommy Wiseau.  The Disaster Artist   shares the struggle-filled story of Wiseau's creation of his "masterpiece,"  The Room.

RELATED:  10 Films To Watch If You Like The Disaster Artist

Directed by James Franco, the star also appears as Tommy, and he is joined by his brother Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, and more. It's a bit cringy and outrageous, but it is a surprisingly interesting take on what it means to make a movie and make it big in Hollywood.

Seberg (2019) - Available On Prime Video

In a similar fashion to political dramas,  Seberg  tells Jean Seberg's story - an actress and activist in the 1960s. She was targeted by the FBI because of her fame being clouded by her romantic involvement with Black Panther Party member, Hakim Jamal.

This biography drama shows the tensions of fame and spotlight and how the politics of these celebrities is vetted and controlled. The fresh flick deals with race, politics, and success all in the context of Hollywood and acting. Starring Kristen Stewart, it's an infatuating watch .

Mank (2020) - Available On Netflix

Mank  was the perfect feature to celebrate the story and artistic genius of  Citizen Kane .  This biopic tells the story of the screenwriter behind it all, Herman J. Mankiewicz . Additionally, in 1930s Hollywood, one sees the social reputations, politics, and alcohol that must be navigated.

As Mank tries to finish his screenplay, tales are told of his rise to fame and the relationships he builds and burns along the way. With Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, and more, this is a perfect watch for movie lovers.

NEXT:  Mank 10 Best Screenwriters Who Deserve Their Own Biopics

The 17 Best Celebrity Documentaries Will Give You An Inside Look Into Stars' Lives

Your movie night plans are all sorted now.

christine giordano

These days, whether you subscribe to Netflix , Hulu , Amazon Prime, or HBO Max—or still have your ex boo’s password saved (just me?)—there are tons of celebrity documentaries for you to get your voyeuristic fix. (No shade, you’re not the only fan hungry for an intimate look at your fave star's usually-hidden pains and pleasures.) These docs aren't just about rappers and pop stars, though there are plenty of those (lookin' at you, Biggie and T-Swift). They also feature the life stories of comedian Tig Notaro, ballerina Misty Copeland, and mother-daughter acting duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, too.

So, grab a tub of popcorn and your tissues because these docs will have you crying tears of sadness, joy, and nostalgia by pulling at your heartstrings and revealing the unknown. Read on for the 17 best celebrity documentaries you can watch right now with the click of a button.

One Direction: This Is Us (2013)

this is us

Long before Harry graced the cover of Vogue , Zayn, Liam, and Louis had kids, and Niall went solo, these men were in a boyband that made middle schoolers scream: One Direction. While released at the height of the British band's fandom in 2013, when watched today, this documentary gives fans a chance to reminisce about 1D's heyday before their split. And hey, "Midnight Memories" is still a bop.


Singer Amy Winehouse was known for her throaty, sultry sound, so it should come as no surprise that this masterpiece is as moody as it is moving. The British documentary fuses old interviews with clips of the singer, features fan reactions to her death, and details her life and relationship with music, sex, self-harm, and drugs—showcasing both her talent and her struggles. (Fair warning: Self-harm and substance abuse make big appearances in this doc.)

A Ballerina’s Tale (2015)

You don’t have to be a former dancer nor current ballerina to enjoy this documentary on the greatest ballerina of all time: Misty Copeland. Through A Ballerina’s Tale , an IFC Film, Copeland proves that what people think ballerinas have to be (white, petite, rich, young) is racist, classist hogwash. Both inspirational and aspirational, this doc is for anyone looking for an ~against all odds~ heroine story.

watch now on amazon prime

Calling all former class-clowns, laugh-lovers, and Tig Notaro fans, this Netflix documentary is for you. Named after the dry-as-bread comedian, Tig follows the brilliant comedian as she recovers from a quadruple whammy: A bacterial infection, cancer diagnosis, family death, and breakup. Equal parts morbid and moving, Tig offers the dry flair you’ve learned to expect from Tig herself along with close-ups of the comic in her personal life.

watch now on netflix

Bright Lights (2016)

Did you know that Singin' In The Rain icon Debbie Reynolds and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher were related? Yep! The mother-daughter duo lived next door to each other until late in their lives, teasing, bickering, and helping each other until they both passed unexpectedly, just days apart. Bright Lights offers a sneak peak into the life of and bond between these showbiz babes.

Watch now on HBO Max

Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017)

Lady Gaga is more than just a powerhouse singer decked in a meat-dress—she’s a human with wants, anxiety, imposter syndrome, fibromyalgia, and talent. In this up-close-and-personal Netflix documentary, the A Star Is Born actress and real-life pop star gets raw about the way society’s view on femininity, sexuality, success, access, and ability have caused her pain. It also explores how she’s redefined for herself what it means to be successful, in order to emerge from that pain more-self assured.

watch now on Netflix

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (2018)

Through a combination of backstage chit-chat, honest AF dialogue from Beyoncé herself, and rehearsal footage, Homecoming chronicles what went into Beyoncé's iconic 2018 Coachella performance— the first time a Black woman headlined the music festival.

A Grammy-nominated music film, Homecoming pays homage to and celebrates all the Black creatives and women that came before Queen Bey. Packed with performance, pride, and power, this Netflix documentary affirms what you already knew intuitively: For Beyoncé, stage is home.

Watch now on netflix

Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly (2019)

Ready for a documentary that’ll give you chills on chills on chills? Look no further than this intimate look at Travis Scott’s life, which weaves fan testimonials with home video footage and concert clips to depict Scott’s life. ( KUWTK fans, fear not: There are plenty of moments between Scott, Kylie Jenner, and baby Stormi shown in this Netflix documentary.)

Chasing Happiness (2019)

While you won’t finish this film with a definitive answer around why the brotherly trio split, you will leave feeling nostalgic for the Disney Channel Jonas-mania days.

Featuring home video clips from as early as Nick’s birth, as well as interview footage asking the pop stars if they’ll ever split (they say no, LOL), plus concert and television clips, Chasing Happiness captures the rise, then fall, then reunion of the Jonas Brothers. Now available on Amazon Prime, this documentary is a must-watch for anyone that ever plastered a Jonas Brothers Tiger Beat poster on their bedroom wall.

Watch now on amazon prime

This Is Paris (2020)

Paris Hilton is known as the OG influencer, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to having her image warped, then guzzled by gossip columnists and bored housemoms alike—in fact, just the opposite.

In This Is Paris , the hotel heiress takes back the mic to give viewers a real, unfiltered look at her not-so-happy life, including her time at a program in Utah where she was abused. What starts as a story about just another rich blonde girl, evolves into something much more nuanced. Ultimately, the film challenges the societal expectations put on stars like Paris.

Watch now on YouTube

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (2020)

In Wonder features monologues from the "Señorita" artist and behind-the-scene clips featuring him and girlfriend Camila Cabello . It's also packed with concert shots and earthy panoramas shot while Shawn is on his world tour. He wonders what it means to be a star, what his future in music holds, and how it influences his relationships.

watch no on netflix

Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You (2020)

If scrolling through this list has you wondering whether a happy celebrity documentary is an oxymoron, your next watch should be Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You . Sure, there’s an emotional backstage moment or three, but the bulk of this high-pony pop star's Netflix documentary is made up of upbeat behind-the-scenes moments and concert footage from her 2019 Sweetener world tour. Even those who aren’t die-hard fans will be saying, "Excuse me, I love you too" by the end.

Miss Americana (2020)

As if a documentary by this name could be about anyone other than the world’s (minus Kanye West’s) favorite girl next door: Taylor Swift . In this Netflix documentary, the singer-songwriter takes off the "good girl muzzle" and gets real about the role politics play in her music. T-Swift wants to convince her fans that she’s not just an artist; she’s an activist, too.

Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil (2021)

Whether you’ve been a Demi fan since their Barney and Friends days, or were late to the game only stanning them with the release of their Tell Me You Love Me 2017 album, you’ll be transfixed by this four-part documentary series.

The documentary follows Demi from 2018-2020, shedding insight on their eating disorder , drug use , mental health diagnoses and misdiagnoses, sexuality , and the traumas that led up to their near-fatal overdose in July of 2018. But ultimately, the series ends on a hopeful note with the finale, titled "rebirthing," suggesting the pop star has finally found their footing.

Biggie: I Got A Story to Tell (2021)

The rapper of many names—Biggie Smalls, Notorious B.I.G, and sometimes simply, Biggie—has been memorialized documentary-style. By interweaving a combination of concert footage, behind-the-scenes family videos, and interviews, this Netflix documentary explores how the talented star rose from the streets to the stage. Consider this a must-watch for anyone asking themselves whether raw talent alone is enough? Spoiler: Yes it is.

Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry (2021)

The World’s A Little Blurry offers an intimate look at singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. Footage spans the artist's life from before she could walk to getting her license to the release of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Thanks to this documentary, viewers get a deeply intimate look at how lonely it is to be a girl growing up in a cut-throat industry and the importance of community and family.

Watch now on Apple TV+

Framing Britney Spears (2021)

ICYMI: Britney was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward in 2008 after what's been deemed her infamous meltdown (you know, when she shaved her head?), shocking paparazzi and the public in the process. Soon after, Britney was put in a conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears, which she is currently fighting in court.

Framing Britney Spears , produced by FX and Hulu and investigated by The New York Times , explores the misogyny, cruelty, and ableism that led to the 39-year-old star being bound by this legal conservatorship, which many now believe should never have been implemented in the first place.

Watch now on hulu

Headshot of Gabrielle Kassel

Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a sex and wellness journalist who writes at the intersection of queerness, sexual health, and pleasure. In addition to being in Cosmopolitan , her work can also be found in publications such as Shape, Well + Good, Women’s Health , Health, Self, Men’s Health , Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found reviewing one of the nearly 1,000 pleasure products she's tested, reading smut, or recording episodes of the podcast she cohosts called Bad In Bed . Follow her on Instagram @GabrielleKassel .

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The top 25 most compelling Hollywood autobiographies – ranked!

Inspiring, indiscreet and occasionally gasp-worthy – to mark the publication of Woody Allen’s Apropos of Nothing, we arrange the best Tinseltown memoirs in order of excellence

25. A Story Lately Told (2013) and Watch Me (2014) by Anjelica Huston

The two volumes of Anjelica Huston’s autobiography are a shrewd account of her life with wry comments on the alpha-males in it, including her father John Huston and longtime boyfriend Jack Nicholson.

24. Little Girl Lost (1990) by Drew Barrymore

She published this at 15 years old and like so many movie autobiographies, the title is a pre-emptive ironic twist on whatever the author is most famous for – in Drew Barrymore’s case, a child-acting star turn in Steven Spielberg’s classic ET, and then falling prey to substance abuse. As she says: “I had my first drink at age nine, began smoking marijuana at 10, and at 12 took up cocaine.”

23. The Lonely Life: An Autobiography (1962) and This ’n That (1987) by Bette Davis

Bette Davis published this autobiography in the 60s, at the end of her great period, and updated it in the 1980s – after her daughter BD Hyman published a Mommie Dearest-type memoir of her – detailing her life and times, with true leading-lady hauteur rising above the general awfulness and the fallout from four fraught marriages.

22. My Story (1959) by Mary Astor

This bestseller from the golden-age legend Mary Astor recounted one of Hollywood’s most scandalised lives. In 1936, she was divorced, after an affair with the dramatist George S Kaufman, and the press coverage became obsessed with her diary, which supposedly chronicled her sexual adventures. Much argued about in court, the diary was impounded in a bank vault and finally burnt.

21. What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line (2002) by Art Linson

Art Linson (the producer of Fight Club) gives an amusing account of the unendingly humiliating business of a life spent trying to get movies made – there is a wince-inducing anecdote of trying to persuade Alec Baldwin to go back into his trailer and shave off the inappropriate straggly beard he had grown just before filming. Linson describes the process of sucking up to powerful people as “bog snorkelling” and “grabbing the knee pads”.

20. Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake (1970)

Veronica Lake, 1950.

The fatale screen-goddess’s autobiography was written towards the end of her life, hitting back at her reputation for being difficult and recounting her professional partnerships with Joel McCrea and Alan Ladd – and with her legendary, lustrous hair, which she had to cut during the second world war to deter female factory workers from copying it.

19. What Falls Away (1997) by Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow’s autobiography was widely praised for her eloquent memoirs, recounting her troubled family life and her relationships with Frank Sinatra, André Previn and most dramatically of all, Woody Allen. The book was published five years after she first made public allegations that he had sexually molested seven-year-old Dylan, which he has consistently denied, which were investigated by the authorities and for which no charges were brought.

18. Memoirs of a Professional Cad (1960) by George Sanders

The suave and mellifluous actor’s memoir sported jovially with his onscreen reputation, recounting his remarkable early life in Russia, his character-acting adventures in Hollywood and his marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor. Written before his slide into ill-health and depression, it maintains a dapper jauntiness.

17. Brave (2018) by Rose McGowan

It was the courage and uncompromising commitment of Rose McGowan that formed the arrowhead of the #MeToo movement and the campaign to bring Harvey Weinstein to book. Part of what this memoir does is tell us what lies beneath a lot of Hollywood’s racy anecdotes and gossip: a world of abuse and bad faith.

16. You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again (1990) by Julia Phillips

The producer Julia Phillips became the first woman to get a best picture Oscar with The Sting in 1973 and she was a driving force behind Taxi Driver in 1976 – but it was this tell-all book about the cocaine-fuelled, vanity-charged horror of Hollywood that made her a legend. (Cocaine use bankrupted Phillips.) David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss came off as ego-addled narcissists and the book so infuriated the industry that she really was banned from Morton’s, the A-listers’ restaurant.

15. What’s It All About (1993), The Elephant to Hollywood (2010) and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off (2018) by Michael Caine

Michael Caine’s three books of autobiography and his meandering thoughts on the acting craft give us his life from his beginnings as Maurice Micklewhite from a working-class family to his success in Swinging London and his breakthrough roles in Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job. He recounts a legendary meeting with John Wayne in the lobby of a Hollywood hotel who advised him: “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say much”. Perhaps Caine’s legendary delivery really is the Brit version of Wayne.

14. Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star (2005)

Tab Hunter.

In the 50s, Tab Hunter was an impossibly gorgeous slice of B-movie beefcake, a sexy actor and singer for whom Jack Warner created Warner Bros Records. Hunter tells us how, despite being intensively marketed to swooning women, he in fact preferred men, in an era in which homophobic paranoia went hand-in-hand with red-baiting – and had affairs with Anthony Perkins and the figure-skater Ronnie Robertson.

13. Me: Stories of My Life (1991) by Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn’s garrulous, wayward memoir is a fluent and engaging but scattershot performance (in which you can clearly imagine the famous quavering Bryn Mawr voice) perhaps designed to keep at bay those who would take too close an interest in her private life. She handles tactfully her relationships with Howard Hughes and her legendary co-star Spencer Tracy, and gives nothing to those readers who believed that she was gay.

12. Yes I Can (1965) by Sammy Davis Jr

A massive bestseller in its day, with an aspirational title that is sometimes mockingly extended with “… if Frank Sinatra says it’s OK” in honour of the line from This Is Spinal Tap about his perceived subservient position to Ol’ Blue Eyes in the Las Vegas Rat Pack. Despite the conservatism of his later years, when he endorsed the presidency of Richard Nixon, his battle against racism is stirring. There is an extraordinary, Ballardian description of how he lost his eye in a car accident – it fell prey to the bullet-shaped horn button on the steering wheel of his 1954 Cadillac. Davis gallantly helped the other driver out of her car with the eye still dangling out of its socket.

11. My Autobiography (1964) by Charles Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin in a scene from the film City Lights.

Chaplin brought a richly Dickensian flair to this autobiography: with the same mix of sadness, sentimentality, humour and warmth that formed the bedrock of the Hollywood storytelling style he pioneered. He gave it to us in three acts: the grinding poverty in London; the staggering success in Hollywood; and then the chilly anti-communist cold shoulder and final retreat to that well-known leftwing enclave, Switzerland. Chaplin name-checks grand acquaintances such as the Prince of Wales, but he isn’t big on acknowledging other silent-movie greats and is reticent about his love life.

10. Adventures of a Suburban Boy (2003) and Conclusions (2020) by John Boorman

Boorman, one of many movie directors who turn out to be beautiful writers as well, vividly and disarmingly describes his childhood in south London and then in Ireland with the kind of engagement that he would show in his great personal film Hope and Glory . He gets his start making documentaries at the BBC, and then there are his experiences in Hollywood dealing with the fragile egos of Burt Reynolds, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando, who pointedly told Boorman what Michael Winner had said to him: “You are a great actor, I am not a great director, please do whatever you like.”

9. American Prince: A Memoir (2008) and The Making of Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie (2009) by Tony Curtis

The impossibly handsome Tony Curtis matured from being a B-movie swashbuckler into a brilliant dramatic and comic actor. After a depiction of his tough upbringing in the Bronx, New York, he gives a seductive view of the Hollywood playground, and his meetings with Laurence Olivier, Frank Sinatra and Billy Wilder. His subsequent book detailed the making of Some Like It Hot and his complex relationship with Monroe, with whom he had had a relationship that flowered again during filming (he was married to Janet Leigh, she to Arthur Miller). This resulted in a pregnancy that miscarried.

8. Lulu in Hollywood (1982) by Louise Brooks

Lousie Brooks in The Canary Murder Case, 1929.

Towards the end of her life, Louise Brooks revealed herself to be a great writer about the film business and this memoir, published when she was 78, cemented her reputation. Like so many stories of early Hollywood, it is the story of an inventor and a pioneer, someone who helped create a whole language now taken for granted. After her dull Kansas childhood, Brooks came to New York in the 1920s as a dancer and made the acquaintance of Walter Wanger, Herman Mankiewicz and Charlie Chaplin , but found greatness in Europe with the Austrian director GW Pabst. Her glossy bob hairstyle became a daring sexual brand identity, but this strong, vital woman found herself frozen out of Hollywood by its tetchy menfolk.

7. The Ragman’s Son: An Autobiography (1988) by Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas ’s story of his rise to greatness in the Hollywood golden age with movies including Champion, Spartacus, Paths of Glory and Ace in the Hole is a compelling read, for the blistering energy (reproduced in his prose) with which he strove to get away from his former poverty, and his rage at himself for not having confronted the antisemites earlier in his life. Despite his 65-year marriage, Douglas was serially unfaithful, and the book is naive about sexual politics, but there are some ripe stories about his relationships with Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford. While lovemaking on her rug, Crawford disconcertingly murmured to him: “You’re so clean. It’s wonderful that you shaved your armpits when you made Champion.”

6. By Myself (1978) by Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall describes her career on Broadway and in Hollywood, her marriages to Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, and her affair with Frank Sinatra (who features as anecdote fodder in so many of the books about this period). She was a Jewish girl dreaming of being like Bette Davis, and made her mark first as a fashion model who caught the attention of Howard Hawks who cast her in To Have And Have Not, where she began an affair with Bogart, her married co-star, who was 25 years older – although their subsequent marriage was very happy. This was the love of Bacall’s life.

5. Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy (1965) by Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge, 1951.

Co-written with the seasoned Hollywood ghostwriter Earl Conrad , this book was completed just before the death of the singing and acting star Dandridge, the first African-American to receive a best actress Oscar nomination (for Carmen Jones in 1954). She was a pioneering activist who had to contend with sexism and racism, and her career – after the sensational Carmen Jones – was hampered by her lover and director Otto Preminger, who told her to accept only leading roles. This was well-meaning but ill-judged advice. She was a campaigner with the NAACP and introduced Martin Luther King Jr at one event.

4. A Life in Movies (1986) and Million Dollar Movie (1992) by Michael Powell

These two parts of Michael Powell’s autobiography – he was the legendary director who worked with Emeric Pressburger – are an essential account of cinephilia and movie creativity. His is a compelling story of his early career in silent movies, working with Rex Ingram and then Alfred Hitchcock, his later collaboration with Pressburger and then the passionate admiration of Martin Scorsese, which effectively relaunched his reputation in the 1970s. Powell writes simply but rather movingly about falling in love with Thelma Schoonmaker , Scorsese’s brilliant editor, and their subsequent marriage.

3. The Kid Stays in the Picture (1994) by Robert Evans

Made into a movie in 2002, this memoir from the legendary actor-turned-Paramount producer is a great Hollywood insider tell-all, with a title quoting Darryl Zanuck’s remark when some of Evans’s erstwhile acting colleagues demanded he be fired from the 1957 film The Sun Also Rises. He was married many times, including to the Love Story star Ali MacGraw, and as a producer, he was the driving force behind Love Story, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Godfather – but also the notorious flop, The Cotton Club . To make it, he associated with a shady financial backer called Roy Radin, whose drug connections and contract-killing murder resulted in a trial in which Evans scandalised the business by refusing to testify. He was himself convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1980, but always claimed he was only a user.

2. Mommie Dearest (1978) by Christina Crawford

Joan Crawford with her adopted daughter Christina.

For many, this memoir is the primal scene of Hollywood family dysfunction, with a title that has become ironic shorthand for bad parenting. Christina Crawford was the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford. Her book alleged that Joan was a controlling, boozing tyrant who would beat Christina and who was more interested in her (flagging) career and many affairs with men and women than in being a mother. And then in later life, when Christina had an acting career, she insisted on temporarily taking over Christina’s role in a TV soap called The Secret Storm, as Christina was in hospital for a cyst removal: at the time, Christina was 24 and Joan was 60. Perhaps this extraordinary fact alone would be enough to damn Joan Crawford, but many of her friends and her first husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr denounced the stories as untrue.

1. The Moon’s a Balloon (1971) by David Niven

David Niven, 1958.

This is the unchallenged champ of the Hollywood memoirs: glamorous, louche, exciting, amusing, name-dropping, ridiculous, outrageously sexual but seasoned with real tenderness and piquancy as Niven describes his unhappy childhood, the heartbreaking loss of his first wife, and also his military service in the second world war, which involved an encounter with Winston Churchill, who congratulated him on quitting the movies to volunteer, but added: “Young man, you did a fine thing to give up your film career to fight for your country. Mark you, had you not done so it would have been despicable.” Unlike most movie memoirs, there is no tough upbringing in the slums: Niven’s childhood was comfortable (though unhappy); he was the public schoolboy who went from Stowe to Sandhurst and, unlike so many Brit actors who had learned to fabricate a posh voice in rep, Niven’s was the real thing, and his authentic light charm entranced Samuel Goldwyn at the high point of Hollywood’s golden age. His book is packed with anecdotes about Hollywood pals, including the notorious Errol Flynn, but the most extraordinary anecdote is about losing his virginity at 14 to a Piccadilly sex worker. Before they went to bed, she told him to “wash” in a kidney-shaped metal bowl by the bed. “Not yer hands!” she then rasped. Since the book’s publication, its mythology has been debunked, Niven was subsequently found to have concealed the extent of his compulsive infidelities and created the fiction of a happy second marriage, and even exaggerated a little his commitment to serving in the British Army during the war. But this book is addictive and unmissable.

  • Film industry
  • Autobiography and memoir
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Kirk Douglas
  • Tony Curtis

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Title art for the music biopic Elvis.

19 Best Biopics Streaming Now on Hulu

February 24, 2023

Do you ever wonder how your favorite musician or actor rose to fame? Or, maybe you’re curious to know what really went on behind closed doors during big historical moments and headline-making scandals. You might even be wondering where to watch the Elvis movie ahead of the upcoming Oscars ® (hint — you can watch it right here on Hulu). 

We’ve gathered some of the best biopic movies and shows to stream, including the Oscar-nominated biopic film, Elvis . 

What is a Biopic?

“Biopic” is a nickname for the genre “biographical picture,” a type of film or TV series that brings a dramatized version of a real person’s life story to the screen. Filmmakers typically choose to make biopics about notable figures throughout history — namely celebrities, athletes, politicians, musicians, etc. 

Best Biopics on Hulu

Elvis (2022) — elvis presley.

Title art for the musical biopic film Elvis starring Austin Butler.

Whether you know him for his devilish good looks, his signature dance moves, or his iconic melodies that have proven to transcend time — we all know who the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is … or do we? Sideburns, bejeweled body suits, pelvis swings, and all of it — this Academy Award ® -nominated biographical film about the one and only Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) tells the little-known story of his equally beautiful and tragic life.  

If you like Elvis , be sure to check out more of our favorite movies about musicians .

Watch: Elvis *

*Elvis is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription

Wu-Tang: An American Saga — The Wu-Tang Clan

Title art for Wu-Tang: An American Saga

When you think of East Coast hip-hop in the 1990s, the work of the Wu-Tang Clan is sure to be at the top of the list. You might know their hit songs like “Rushing Elephants,” “Gravel Pit,” and “A Better Tomorrow,” but do you know their origin story?

Wu-Tang: An American Saga is a Hulu Original series inspired by the true tale of the Wu-Tang Clan and how they came to be in 1992 during the height of the cocaine epidemic in New York City. Follow along in this three-season series as RZA (Ashton Sanders) brings his vision of hip-hop and unity to fruition.

Watch: Wu-Tang: An American Saga

Pam & Tommy — Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee

Title art for the Hulu Original biopic mini-series Pam & Tommy.

The year was 1996. Playmate and actress, Pamela Anderson (Lily James), and Motley Crue drummer, Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan), made headlines for their whirlwind marriage and the internet — a confusing concept at the time and still unavailable to most people. That is until everyone wanted easy access to Pam and Tommy’s infamous stolen home video.

A real-life love story, dramedy, and crime caper rolled into one, Pam & Tommy is an eight-part Hulu original limited series that explores the intersection of privacy, technology, and celebrity. 

Watch: Pam & Tommy  

Candy — Candy Montgomery 

Title art for Emmy® nominated Hulu Original Candy

Responsible housewife, loving mother, loyal friend, devout churchgoer, and … ax murderer? The pressure to maintain a perfect image can lead some people to do unthinkable things (like have an affair with their best friend’s husband and get caught in the violent aftermath). 

Based on the true story of Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel), Candy revisits the shocking 1980s Texas true crime tale that made national headlines. 

Check out the Insider’s Guide to Candy for details on this shocking case.

Watch: Candy

Stardust (2020) — David Bowie

Title art for David Bowie biopic Stardust

Today, David Bowie is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century — but that wasn’t always the case. When his interviews and appearances didn’t quite appeal to the masses early on in his career, Bowie decided that it was time to introduce a different side of him to the world — someone who wasn’t locked into the guise of a rock ‘n’ roll persona. 

Enter: Ziggy Stardust — a gender-fluid rock icon that disrupted the 1970s music scene and started the glam-rock revolution. Stardust tells the real-life story inspired by David Bowie (Johnny Flynn) on his first American tour. 

Watch: Stardust

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) — Billie Holiday

Title art for the Billie Holiday biopic The United States vs Billie Holiday

Singer Billie Holiday has fans of all colors, giving her the platform to sing about lynching and the inhumanity experienced by people of color in 1931 in the song “Strange Fruit.” The U.S. government grew concerned about the messaging as Holiday’s song gained momentum, making her the target of a sting operation intended to silence her. 

Starring Oscar-nominated actress, Andra Day, the Hulu Original film The United States vs. Billie Holiday captures a tumultuous time in the civil rights movement and one woman’s unfaltering determination to fight back. 

Learn more about Billie Holiday’s story and check out more Black history movies on Hulu. 

Watch: The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) — Freddie Mercury

Title art for the musical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Farrokh Bulsara was under pressure : from his immigrant parents to make something of himself, from society to hide his sexuality, and from his own expectations to create rock ‘n’ roll music the way only “Freddie Mercury” could. 

Bohemian Rhapsody is a music industry biopic film inspired by the life of Farrokh, though you probably know him as Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. Starring Rami Malek, this biographical movie tells the story of the boy who grew up in Zanzibar, moved to London, and became one of the most iconic and influential names in music and pop culture around the world — even three decades after his tragic death. 

Watch: Bohemian Rhapsody *

*A Live TV plan is required to watch Bohemian Rhapsody on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

Lincoln (2012) — Abraham Lincoln

When you think of Abraham Lincoln, his tall top hat and long beard probably come to mind first. But there’s much more to this Civil War leader than meets the eye. Set in 1865, Lincoln narrows in on the last four months of the president’s life — ending the war and abolishing slavery before his assassination at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. 

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the 16th president of the United States in this biographical drama directed by Stephen Spielberg. 

Watch: Lincoln *

*Live TV plan required to watch Lincoln on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

I, Tonya (2017) — Tonya Harding

Title art for the movie I, Tonya featuring Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) had difficulty being accepted into the figure skating world despite being incredibly gifted. Having grown up on the “wrong side of the rink,” Tonya never quite fit in with the wealthier high-brow skaters, so she dedicated her life to the craft to prove her worth.  

Despite her hard work, talent, and success in the sport, Tonya Harding’s name is now synonymous with “the incident” that made world headlines leading up to the 1994 Winter Olympics.

I, Tonya tells the true story of Tonya Harding — from discovering her love for figure skating to the career-altering scandal that ended it all. 

Watch: I, Tonya

King Richard (2021) — Richard Williams (Father of Venus and Serena Williams)

Title art for the sports biopic King Richard

You know sibling tennis stars Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton), but do you know how they became the champions they are today? 

It all started on the tennis courts in Compton, California, in the early 1990s with their father Richard Williams (Will Smith) at the reins. Defying the odds and bleak expectations, Richard found unwavering determination in the raw talent he saw in his daughters. 

With Venus and Serena serving as executive producers of the film, viewers can expect King Richard to tell the true-to-life Williams family story both on and off the court.

Watch: King Richard *

*King Richard is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.

Walk the Line (2005) — Johnny Cash

From his turbulent upbringing in Arkansas to rising to the ranks along other icons like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash was getting everything anyone could ever dream of.  Could fame, fortune, and love be enough to keep his darkness from destroying it all?

Joaquin Phoenix walks the line in this biography film with Reese Witherspoon as Cash’s companion, June Carter. Discover the story behind one of music’s most influential names and how Cash came to write the rugged tunes he’s known for. 

Watch: Walk the Line *

*Walk the Line is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.

Whitney (2015) — Whitney Houston

Title art for the Whitney Houston biopic film, Whitney.

Even after death, Whitney Houston’s voice, career, and story remain larger than life. 

From her earliest musical experiences in a church choir to her launch into superstardom and to navigating her turbulent relationship with singer Bobby Brown, Whitney is a biographical film that chronicles the entire life of this iconic singer and actress.

Grab your tissues and take in Whitney’s beautifully broken story as portrayed by actress, Yaya DaCosta. 

Watch: Whitney  

Flight (2012) — William “Whip” Whitaker

Title art for the biopic film, Flight starring Denzel Washington.

Commercial airline pilot, William “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington), became an overnight hero when the passenger flight he was navigating experienced sudden mechanical failure. Whip’s experience combined with quick action allowed for a “safe” crash-landing maneuver, saving almost everyone on board. 

However, blood tests revealed high levels of alcohol and cocaine in Whitaker’s system during the hours following the incident. Flight recounts the criminal investigation against Whitaker, as well as his journey to get his addictions under control.

Watch: Flight

Women of the Movement — Mamie Till Mobley

Title art for the biopic series, Women of the Movement.

Just as we never forgot the horrific racially-motivated murder of Emmett Till in the 1950s, neither did his mother, Mamie Till Mobley (Adrienne Warren). Despite living through a nightmarish tragedy that would leave the best of us emotionally debilitated — Mamie dedicate her entire life to opening the world’s eyes to the unfathomable pain endured by people of color. 

More than just a biographical anthology series, Women of the Movement tells a crucial story we mustn’t forget. 

Watch: Women of the Movement

The Dropout — Elizabeth Holmes

Title art for Emmy® nominated Hulu original The Dropout

Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) came up with a revolutionary concept — what if blood tests could be run with just a single drop of blood from a finger prick? Instead of finishing her degree at Stanford, Holmes dropped out and her company Theranos was born.

There’s just one major problem — Holmes was never able to create a working prototype. That didn’t stop her from barreling forward though, as she continued to raise millions of dollars to build an empire that would make her the world’s first self-made female billionaire. But an empire built on a foundation of deceit can only stay standing for so long. 

The Dropout is a real-life cautionary account about how far one lie can go and what happens when the world catches on.

Watch: The Dropout

Ali (2001) — Muhammad Ali

Title art for the Muhammad Ali biopic Ali

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

On the heels of his Olympic gold medal win in 1960, Muhammad Ali (Will Smith) exuded a level of confidence that had never been seen before by a Black athlete. He believed he was the greatest boxer of all time, and that belief became reality, bringing him a heavyweight championship win in 1964.  

Ali follows the famous boxer as he sacrifices everything for what he believes in.   

Watch: Ali *

*Ali requires STARZ® on Hulu add-on subscription. STARZ and related channels and service marks are the property of STARZ Entertainment, LLC. All other titles and related trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Tesla (2020) — Nikola Tesla

Title art for the biopic film, Tesla.

Before the word “Tesla” was attached to high-tech cars, there was Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) — an inventor with a revolutionary mind in the late 1800s who is credited with creating a sparkless motor with an alternating current (AC). 

Tesla tells the tale of Nikola’s uphill battle to create and sell his AC technology, while his boss, Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), worked against him. 

Watch: Tesla

Shirley (2020) — Shirley Jackson

Title art for Shirley

Based on the life and work of horror fiction writer, Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss), Shirley follows newlyweds who have been offered free room and board from Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his wife, Shirley.

While only partially biographical, Shirley explores Jackson’s life and the effects her husband’s infidelity had on her work and psyche.

Watch: Shirley

My Friend Dahmer (2017) — Jeffrey Dahmer

Title art for My Friend Dahmer

How did Jeffrey Dahmer become the notorious monster he’ll forever be known as? My Friend Dahmer is a biopic film that takes a deep look into how one of the most violent minds in history developed.

With actor, Ross Lynch, portraying the infamous serial killer, we get to see a different perspective on the troubled home and school life that may have played a part in the twisted psyche he developed during the years approaching adulthood. 

Watch: My Friend Dahmer

Interested in more shows and movies based on true stories? Check out our best documentaries and the most popular true crime streaming now.

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  • Biography Movies
  • Drama Movies
  • Music Movies

The 21 Best Movies About Musicians, Bands, and Singers

biography movies on celebrities

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Hollywood films love to inspire awe and encourage viewers to pursue their dreams—because, after all, anything is possible! Who knows which viewer might become the next Elvis or Madonna?

And Hollywood loves to do that by featuring successful musicians, bands, and singers as the protagonists of their movies. Sometimes they're based on real people. Sometimes they're made up.

From obsessed artists to inspirational biopics, here are our picks for the best movies about musicians, bands, and famous singers. (That doesn't mean these are all musicals, by the way!)

21. Rocketman (2019)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Dexter Fletcher

Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 1m)

7.3 on IMDb — 89% on RT

We saw a flurry of musical film releases in 2018 and 2019, with a big trend in biopics. After the success of Bohemian Rhapsody , Hollywood took to telling another whimsical celebrity's story: Elton John.

Dexter Fetcher directs this glitzy, sequin-studded drama that stars Taron Egerton as the androgynous British pop star.

Rocketman opens with Elton's childhood and very quickly breaks out into flashy musical numbers. It follows Elton's rise into the glamorous world of fame, where the singer-songwriter's homosexuality is thrown into the limelight... all the while he battles alcoholism.

20. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Bryan Singer

Starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 14m)

7.9 on IMDb — 60% on RT

Bryan Singer's Bohemian Rhapsody isn't without its flaws. That said, the huge box office hit is sure to get viewers nostalgically singing along—and what else could you ask for from a musical movie?

Rami Malek gives a sparkling performance as the late Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the iconic rock band Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody is an explosive celebration of Mercury's talent, who tragically died due to AIDS complications at just 45.

Malek's incredible performance is at the heart of this movie, taking us through Mercury's journey from a baggage handler still living with his parents to egotistical pop sensation.

Coming to terms with his sexuality and fatal illness, Mercury's experience of fame isn't always a positive one.

19. Get On Up (2014)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Tate Taylor

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 19m)

6.9 on IMDb — 80% on RT

The "Godfather of Soul" James Brown was originally a gospel singer in Georgia, who grew up in poverty with an abusive father. Fascinated by shout music and jazz, he joined Bobby Byrd's gospel group and slowly climbed the ranks.

He was known as the "hardest working man in show business"—despite his abuse of drugs and his brushes with the law—and worked towards Africanizing rhythm and blues.

Tate Taylor uses a nonlinear structure to tell Brown's life story, balancing funky numbers with tense drama. Chadwick Boseman stars as the "Soul Brother No. 1" alongside Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, and Viola Davis.

18. Respect (2021)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Liesl Tommy

Starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 25m)

6.6 on IMDb — 68% on RT

In Respect , Jennifer Hudson is the powerful soul singer Aretha Franklin, known for her incredible vocals. Liesl Tommy's feature directorial debut touches base on all the major moments of this icons life—from the death of her mother to her first #1 single "Respect."

Hudson's on-screen presence and the souring musical score make Respect a classy and polished powerhouse movie.

Like many stars on this list, Aretha Franklin grappled with the pressures of her career by turning to drugs and alcohol, giving us a peek into the reality of being famous.

17. The Runaways (2010)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Floria Sigismondi

Starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon

Biography, Drama, Music (1h 46m)

6.5 on IMDb — 69% on RT

Who doesn't love a good all-girl rock band? The hardcore, leather-wearing 70s band The Runaways made a whole bunch of hits, with the lead singer Cherie Currie (played by Dakota Fanning) having been inspired by David Bowie as a teenager.

Floria Sigismondi's punky drama mainly focuses on the formation of the band with an emphasis on Cherie, who suffered with addiction and mental health issues.

The girls originally met at a club in California, all dreaming of life as a rock star. Then: the dream came true.

The Runaways is based on Cherie's own accounts in Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway , balancing out its electric energy with that of desperation. Kristen Stewart and Michael Shannon also star.

biography movies on celebrities

16. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by F. Gary Gray

Starring O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell

Biography, Drama, History (2h 27m)

7.8 on IMDb — 88% on RT

Straight Outta Compton may not look like your usual Oscar-nominated movie by its poster, but it was one of the top movies of 2015.

A musical crime drama directed by F. Gary Gray, the film shows your typical rise-and-fall journey with a unique and memorable zeal.

O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr. and Aldis Hodge star as the members of gangsta rap band N.W.A, alongside Paul Giamatti as their controversial manager.

The Californian hip-hop group practically triggered a culture war, which Gray hones in on as an allegory for police brutality and gang violence.

biography movies on celebrities

15. The Doors (1991)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Oliver Stone

Starring Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 20m)

7.2 on IMDb — 56% on RT

We're not sure what planet Jim Morrison was on, but it wasn't Earth. The lead singer of The Doors was always elusive, spending most of his time on acid, flirting with death, and improvising nonsensical poetry.

It's a surprise he ever managed to produce six world-famous albums while hallucinating all day! In The Doors , Val Kilmer perfectly encapsulates Jim Morrison's edgy, rebellious, and unpredictable reputation as the ultimate bad boy.

Oliver Stone directs us through the formation of The Doors and the impact of Jim Morrison's hectic lifestyle with psychedelic flair—one that perfectly manages Morrison's personality.

biography movies on celebrities

14. Crazy Heart (2009)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Scott Cooper

Starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell

Drama, Music, Romance (1h 52m)

7.2 on IMDb — 90% on RT

A faded country star who boozes in country pubs while singing sad country songs. It's a familiar character archetype that never fails to tug at our heartstrings and put us in a meditative state about our own lives, past, habits, and heartbreaks.

In Crazy Heart , Scott Cooper directs Jeff Bridges as the gruff-talking, beer-drinking cowboy singer Bad Blake who makes his living in dive bars across the American Southwest.

Bad Blake doesn't see the point in getting his life back together—until he meets the young, divorced journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

Crazy Heart is an intimate and earnest portrait of a man who's lost in the desert but brought back by love. Bridges's performance is so good, you'll forget you've heard this story many times before!

biography movies on celebrities

13. Yesterday (2019)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Danny Boyle

Starring Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino

Comedy, Fantasy, Music (1h 56m)

6.8 on IMDb — 63% on RT

There are few movies with a plot as bold and original as Yesterday . Auteur director Danny Boyle poses the question: What if there was no such thing as The Beatles?

The British rock band had one of the biggest impacts on the music industry, with Beatlemania sending shock waves throughout the UK and US during the 1960s. But what would happen if one day you woke up and, suddenly, they never existed?

Well, that's exactly what happens to wannabe musician Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel. As the only person who remembers the legendary band, Jack decides to use their songs as a way of claiming their forgotten fame for himself.

Yesterday is a funny, heart-warming tale that showcases the spirit and influence of The Beatles on the world.

biography movies on celebrities

12. Wild Rose (2018)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Tom Harper

Starring Jessie Buckley, Matt Costello, Jane Patterson

Drama, Music (1h 41m)

7.1 on IMDb — 92% on RT

Wild Rose follows Rose-Lynn Harlan, a Scottish single mum who's fresh out of prison. Fed up with her demoralizing cleaning job, she decides to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer.

Jessie Buckley shines and inspires as the lead of Tom Harper's musical drama. Wild Rose is more grounded than some of our other showy Hollywood picks on this list, adopting a (much needed) female focus in a male-dominated industry.

11. Judy (2019)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Rupert Goold

Starring Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock

Biography, Drama, Music (1h 58m)

6.8 on IMDb — 82% on RT

It's public knowledge that Judy Garland—Hollywood's number one starlet of the Golden Age—had a less-than-easy life. A myriad conspiracy theories and YouTube documentaries have explored the dark underside to the production of The Wizard of Oz .

However, the extent of Judy Garland's trauma comes as a tragic surprise in Rupert Goold's biopic Judy . Renée Zellweger gives an unrecognizably stellar performance as the troubled singer, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Taking place near the end of her life at the young age of 47, Garland reminisces on her career through a series of heart-breaking flashbacks. Despite her immense talent, Garland struggles to keep performances going due to sheer exhaustion and alcoholism.

10. Love & Mercy (2014)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Bill Pohlad

Starring John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks

7.4 on IMDb — 90% on RT

John Cusack and Paul Dano both star as Brian Wilson, lead singer of the surfer-pop band The Beach Boys.

When young Wilson (Dano) begins to suffer early stages of schizophrenia, he's forced to put his passion project "Smile" on hold. Director Bill Pohlad jumps between timelines, where 20 years later Wilson (Cusack) is controlled by his therapist and legal guardian.

The main plot of Love & Mercy is centered around Wilson's battle with mental illness—worsened by his repeated use of LSD during the 1960s—and the manipulation he suffered as a result.

That said, Pohlad doesn't forget to pay tribute to the visionary artist who paved the way for new experimental sounds.

9. 8 Mile (2002)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Curtis Hanson

Starring Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger

Drama, Music (1h 50m)

7.2 on IMDb — 75% on RT

The best movies about musicians and bands often center on genres like rock, country, jazz, and blues. But how about some rap?

8 Mile is a semi-autobiographical exploration of world-famous rapper Eminem, who plays a fictionalized version of himself called B-Rabbit.

Although 8 Mile was controversial for its insinuation of reverse racism, it's still a hailed indie drama with a big cult following. It's a film that's grimy, violent, and covered in sweat, just like B-Rabbit himself as he belts out his lines to the now-famous "Lose Yourself" track.

Director Curtis Hanson shows us the two sides of 8 Mile Road, which is predominantly segregated by race—and is a road that B-Rabbit must dare to cross if he's to pursue his rapping career.

8. Walk the Line (2005)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by James Mangold

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 16m)

7.8 on IMDb — 82% on RT

Another in a long list of music-related biopics (because who doesn't love a true story?), Walk the Line tells the surprisingly sad story of American country singer Johnny Cash.

The movie begins with the devastating death of Cash's brother during their childhood on a cotton farm, and his father furious that Satan "took the wrong son." From there, Cash enlists in the US Air Force, writing acoustic blues songs and eventually making a name for himself.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a beautiful performance as the damaged and erratic singer, who became hooked on amphetamines and alcohol. Reese Witherspoon is equally wonderful as the bubbly June Carter, Cash's second wife.

James Mangold's drama is a searing portrait of the legendary 20th century musician, grappling with themes of faith and self-destruction.

7. Elvis (2022)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Starring Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 39m)

7.3 on IMDb — 77% on RT

Austin Butler might not have nabbed the Oscar for Best Actor when Elvis dropped in 2022, but he did take home a BAFTA for his stunning portrayal of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.

A figure as glamorous as Elvis needs a movie that's equally glamorous to match, so director Baz Luhrmann was the perfect choice to lead this project. It's a fast-paced, in-your-face melodrama that's swamped in diamonds but one that never loses its Memphis roots.

Tom Hanks stars alongside Austin Butler as the rock legend's manipulative manager. Baz Luhrmann takes us on a whirlwind ride from Presley's poor childhood to his glittering, amphetamine-fueled career.

biography movies on celebrities

6. Control (2007)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Anton Corbijn

Starring Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 2m)

7.6 on IMDb — 88% on RT

Black-and-white indie flick Control follows the rise and fall of Ian Curtis—singer of New Wave band Joy Division—who tragically committed suicide at just 23. A pioneering icon of post-punk rock, Joy Division remains one of the most influential English rock bands to date.

Sam Riley gives a brooding performance as the enigmatic singer suffering with both depression and epilepsy.

Control doesn't harbor the sort of flamboyant screen spectacle that Hollywood biopics use. Instead, it offers a quietly desperate glimpse into the troubled mind of a musical legend.

5. A Star Is Born (2018)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Bradley Cooper

Starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott

Drama, Music, Romance (2h 16m)

7.6 on IMDb — 90% on RT

It's important to understand the context of A Star Is Born , which is the third edition in a cycle of remakes.

The original A Star Is Born from 1937 features Judy Garland. Then, Barbra Streisand stepped in for the 1976 version. This time around, it's Lady Gaga who comes in with incredible chemistry with co-star Bradley Cooper, who also directs the film.

Each installment reflects not only the music industry at the time, but greater society as a whole. It's become a sort of endearing Hollywood tradition to tell this story every 40 years or so.

The story follows wannabe artist Ally, who falls for alt-country star Jackson Maine and subsequently rockets to fame. However, Jackson's inner demons puts a strain on their relationship and her career.

4. Amadeus (1984)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Miloš Forman

Starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge

Biography, Drama, Music (2h 40m)

8.4 on IMDb — 89% on RT

Miloš Forman is the director behind this beautiful period biopic, where grand costumes sweep through the opera house to hear Mozart play. Amadeus begins in the winter of 1823, when Italian composer Antonio Salieri is committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Envious of the great Mozart—who he considers an immature buffoon—Salieri renounces God and vows to destroy his competition.

Okay... this story might not be completely true, but it does have its roots in history. Nominated for 50 awards (of which it won 40, including 8 Oscars), we simply had to include it!

biography movies on celebrities

3. School of Rock (2003)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack

Comedy, Music (1h 49m)

7.2 on IMDb — 92% on RT

A family film that's just as much for adults as it is kids, School of Rock is now a cultural icon.

Jack Black gives an unforgettable performance as Dewey Finn, a failing rock artist who steals his best friend's identity. Kicked out of his band and unable to make rent, Dewey pretends to be a substitute teacher.

However, his plans to sit back and skive off soon turns into a unique opportunity to cash in: Dewey decides to secretly turn the class into one big rock band and enter them into Battle of the Bands. Of course, this is easier said than done.

School of Rock is a hilariously entertaining classic with a rocking soundtrack. You can tell how much fun the cast had making this movie!

biography movies on celebrities

2. Frank (2014)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Comedy, Drama, Music (1h 35m)

6.9 on IMDb — 92% on RT

Frank ranks so highly on our list because, well, there's really no other film like it. Lenny Abrahamson's indie musical tells the bizarre tale of an obscure pop group, whose lead singer wears a papier-mâché head.

Aspiring songwriter Jon joins the group and spends a month in an isolated cabin in Ireland, preparing an album. Though things start off well, tensions soon begin to buckle.

Frank is a black-comedy like no other. It's eccentric, it's fun, and it's surprisingly heartfelt—prepare to shed some tears. Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal star, alongside (a mostly hidden yet still electrifying) Michael Fassbender.

biography movies on celebrities

1. Whiplash (2014)

biography movies on celebrities

Directed by Damien Chazelle

Starring Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist

Drama, Music, Thriller (1h 46m)

8.5 on IMDb — 94% on RT

Academy Award-winning psychological drama Whiplash started life as a short film in 2013 that examined the dark side of musical obsession. Damien Chazelle then turned it into a full-length movie featuring knockout performances from Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons.

Young drummer Andrew enrolls in a New York music school, where he's tutored (or should we say, abused) into greatness by ruthless jazz conductor Terence Fletcher.

In Whiplash , the stage isn't a means of artistic self-expression—it's a battlefield for perfection, where student and teacher lock horns in a spectacular head-to-head finale.

biography movies on celebrities

Top 100 Biography Movies

Michelle Pfeiffer, Ivan Sergei, Wade Dominguez, Paula Garcés, Marisela Gonzales, Bruklin Harris, Renoly Santiago, and Marcello Thedford in Dangerous Minds (1995)

1. Dangerous Minds

Denzel Washington in The Hurricane (1999)

2. The Hurricane

Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000)

3. Remember the Titans

Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

4. Hacksaw Ridge

Inherit the Wind (1960)

5. Inherit the Wind

Diane Lane, James Cromwell, John Malkovich, Fred Thompson, Scott Glenn, Kevin Connolly, Margo Martindale, Vin Morreale Jr., Penny Chenery, Jeffrey Wayne Smith, and Brennan James Callan in Secretariat (2010)

6. Secretariat

Phar Lap (1983)

7. Phar Lap

Dangal (2016)

9. A Royal Affair

Samuel L. Jackson and Clyde Goins in Coach Carter (2005)

10. Coach Carter

The Idol (2015)

11. The Idol

Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

12. Coal Miner's Daughter

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Forest Whitaker, and Bolo Yeung in Bloodsport (1988)

13. Bloodsport

AnnaSophia Robb in Soul Surfer (2011)

14. Soul Surfer

Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron in The Blind Side (2009)

15. The Blind Side

Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in Papillon (1973)

16. Papillon

Hansie: A True Story (2008)

17. Hansie: A True Story

François Cluzet and Omar Sy in The Intouchables (2011)

18. The Intouchables

Patricia Arquette, Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Landau, Lisa Marie, and George 'The Animal' Steele in Ed Wood (1994)

19. Ed Wood

Chloë Grace Moretz in Brain on Fire (2016)

20. Brain on Fire

The Legend Is Born: Ip Man (2010)

21. The Legend Is Born: Ip Man

Chadwick Boseman in 42 (2013)

24. Bonnie and Clyde

Luke Perry in 8 Seconds (1994)

25. 8 Seconds

An American Crime (2007)

26. An American Crime

Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katharine Ross in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

27. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Radu Spinghel, Ilia Jessica Castro, Zac Efron, Martha Nichols, Christina Glur, Shannon Holtzapffel, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Jonathan Redavid, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Luciano Acuna Jr., Daniel Everidge, Skylar Dunn, Timothy Hughes, Cameron Seely, Sam Humphrey, Yusaku Komori, and Danial Son in The Greatest Showman (2017)

28. The Greatest Showman

Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, John Gavin, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, and Peter Ustinov in Spartacus (1960)

29. Spartacus

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in Tracks (2013)

33. A Beautiful Mind

The Wind Rises (2013)

34. The Wind Rises

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

35. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Amanda Seyfried in Lovelace (2013)

36. Lovelace

50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)

37. Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton in Eddie the Eagle (2015)

38. Eddie the Eagle

Schindler's List (1993)

39. Schindler's List

Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth in Rush (2013)

41. Heavenly Creatures

Enid (2009)

43. The Zookeeper's Wife

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

44. In the Heart of the Sea

Geoffrey Rush in Shine (1996)

46. Ip Man: The Final Fight

Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon in Devil's Knot (2013)

47. Devil's Knot

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

48. The Wolf of Wall Street

Renée Zellweger in Miss Potter (2006)

49. Miss Potter

Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

50. Gorillas in the Mist

Masey McLain in I'm Not Ashamed (2016)

51. I'm Not Ashamed

Al Pacino and John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

52. Dog Day Afternoon

Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, Randolph Scott, and Nancy Kelly in Jesse James (1939)

53. Jesse James

The Birth of a Nation (2016)

54. The Birth of a Nation

Donald Sutherland, Daniel Auteuil, Tchéky Karyo, Marie Bunel, Guillaume Canet, Fred Epaud, Marina Hands, Arnaud Henriet, Jacques Higelin, Noah Huntley, James Flynn, Antoine Cholet, Benoît Petitjean, Joël Dupuch, Lou de Laâge, Sonia Ammar, Edmond Jonquères d'Oriola, Sébastien Cazorla, and Marco Luraschi in Jappeloup (2013)

55. Jappeloup

Full Out (2015)

56. Full Out

My Dinner with Andre (1981)

57. My Dinner with Andre

Reese Witherspoon in Wild (2014)

59. Miracles from Heaven

Rudy (1993)

61. Catch Me If You Can

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in Loving (2016)

63. My Darling Clementine

Brad Renfro, Rachel Miner, Nick Stahl, Bijou Phillips, and Kelli Garner in Bully (2001)

65. A Dangerous Method

Jet Li in Fearless (2006)

66. Fearless

Josh Hartnett in 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (2017)

67. 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain

My Left Foot (1989)

68. My Left Foot

Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland (2006)

69. The Last King of Scotland

Colin Farrell and Q'orianka Kilcher in The New World (2005)

70. The New World

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (2013)

71. Fruitvale Station

Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Miles Teller in Only the Brave (2017)

72. Only the Brave

Charlie Hunnam in The Lost City of Z (2016)

73. The Lost City of Z

Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (2007)

74. Into the Wild

Uma Thurman and Fred Ward in Henry & June (1990)

75. Henry & June

The Pianist (2002)

76. The Pianist

Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in All the President's Men (1976)

77. All the President's Men

James Franco in 127 Hours (2010)

78. 127 Hours

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

79. Dallas Buyers Club

Everest (2015)

80. Everest

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

81. The Motorcycle Diaries

Daniel Henshall and Lucas Pittaway in The Snowtown Murders (2011)

82. The Snowtown Murders

The Devils (1971)

83. The Devils

Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda in In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

84. In the Realm of the Senses

Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Angela Cartwright, Duane Chase, Nicholas Hammond, Kym Karath, Heather Menzies-Urich, and Debbie Turner in The Sound of Music (1965)

85. The Sound of Music

Amadeus (1984)

86. Amadeus

Patton (1970)

88. Public Enemies

Tilda Swinton in Orlando (1992)

89. Orlando

Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jeremy Irvine in The Railway Man (2013)

90. The Railway Man

The Grandmaster (2013)

91. The Grandmaster

Downfall (2004)

92. Downfall

Romulus, My Father (2007)

93. Romulus, My Father

Robert De Niro in Raging Bull (1980)

94. Raging Bull

Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

95. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Natasha Henstridge, Paul Sorvino, William Forsythe, Joe Mantegna, and Tom Sizemore in The Bronx Bull (2016)

96. The Bronx Bull

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The 9 Best Celebrity Lifetime Movies of All Time

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Britney Spears ‘  unauthorized and rather raw-looking Lifetime movie drops tomorrow. At 8 p.m. Eastern time. Not that we’re counting down the hours or anything. But if we were, we’d note that it airs in T minus 29 hours; we’re stockpiling on fancy popcorn and sparkling beverages; and, if you’re a Britney fan, you should too. Because it’s going to be  wild .

MORE:  9 Moments We Hope Are in Britney’s Lifetime Movie

We’ve already waxed poetic about the nine moments we hope are in  Britney Ever After , but it got us thinking: What are the other incredible, terrible, over-the-top, larger-than-life movies that Lifetime has done about celebrities over the years? And as we began compiling a greatest-hits list, we realized—wow, there are a  lot. 

Ahead, find our picks for the nine best-ever celebrity lifetime movies , and feel free to add them to your watch list—once you’ve already seen Natasha Bassett star in  Britney Ever After,  of course.

MORE: The 60 Most Naked Celebrity Instagram Photos of All Time

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The Iron Claw Portrays Four Von Erich Brothers. There Were More

Now streaming on Max, the movie about the tragic pro-wrestling dynasty leaves out some significant figures in the Von Erich family.

stanley simons, zac efron, jeremy allen white, sean durkin, and harris dickinson stand in front of a movie still from the iron claw and pose for a photo, all the men wear business attire

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Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers about events related to movie The Iron Claw .

But one film offered a peek into a story of tragedy and triumph that is virtually unknown outside of the confines of the world of “carnies” and “kayfabe” known as professional wrestling.

The Iron Claw , starring Zac Efron , Jeremy Allen White , and Harris Dickinson, dramatizes the already traumatizing saga of the Von Erich family , one of the most celebrated wrestling dynasties in the history. Centering the eldest living son, Kevin (played by Efron), the movie shows how the domineering father, Fritz Von Erich (played by Holt McCallany), cajoled his four adult sons—Kevin, Kerry, David, and Mike—into joining the “family business” of professional wrestling and how the pressures of that world, and the patriarch who pushed them there, led to the tragic deaths of all but Kevin.

But as harrowing and heartbreaking as the events of The Iron Claw are, the movie actually leaves out some parts of the Von Erich saga. Most notably, while the script makes mention of an older son who died before the events of the movie, it leaves out an entire other Von Erich son, the youngest, whose own tragic story played out alongside that of his older brothers.

In an early, poignant scene in The Iron Claw , Kevin tells his future wife, Pam Adkisson (played by Lily James ), about his older brother, Jack Adkisson Jr. Named for his father—Jack Adkisson Sr. took on the name Fritz Von Erich as part of his wrestling persona, a villainous Nazi—Jack Jr. died at only 6 years old, when an electric shock caused him to fall unconscious into a puddle and drown. This early death is attributed by Kevin to a “curse” on the Von Erich family name, one that he sees as the subsequent reason for his three brothers’ deaths.

In real life, the idea of a “Von Erich curse” has circulated around the pro wrestling scene for decades. It was even referenced in the title of ESPN’s 30 for 30 short Wrestling the Curse . By the time of that 2015 documentary, Kevin said he now knew there was no curse. “To tell the truth,” Kevin told The Dallas Morning News , “I may have believed it was when it was going on, but I never said it out loud.”

Watch The Iron Claw on Max now

While the movie acknowledges the tragic death of Jack Adkisson Jr, it actively omits another Von Erich brother: Chris. The youngest in the family, Chris also wrestled like his brothers and met a tragic and untimely end just as many of them did.

Chris Barton Adkisson was born on September 30, 1969. Unlike the next youngest sibling, Mike, who had no real desire to wrestle full-time, Chris desperately wanted to work in the ring. However, from a young age, Chris was afflicted with several ailments, including asthma and brittle bones . Chris did manage a brief in-ring career alongside brothers Kerry and Kevin in World Class Championship Wrestling, most notably facing off against Percival “Percy” Pringle III (later to become The Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer in WWF/WWE) and Steve Austin (later to become the celebrated Stone Cold Steve Austin in WWF/WWE).

By age 21, Chris had grown frustrated at the stagnation of his career. He was also deeply affected by the suicide of his brother Mike in the spring of 1987. On September 12, 1991, just 18 days shy of his 22 nd birthday, Chris Von Erich took his own life, despite having assured Kevin earlier that day that he wouldn’t.

Chris’ story was excluded from the movie’s screenplay in an effort to economize time. During a Q&A after a screening of the film in November 2023, director Sean Durkin said that the surviving Von Erich family were understanding of the decision to exclude Chris, both for thematic and pacing purposes.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviors, call or text 988 to get help from the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline .

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Michael Natale is the news editor for Best Products , covering a wide range of topics like gifting, lifestyle, pop culture, and more. He has covered pop culture and commerce professionally for over a decade. His past journalistic writing can be found on sites such as Yahoo! and Comic Book Resources , his podcast appearances can be found wherever you get your podcasts, and his fiction can’t be found anywhere, because it’s not particularly good. 

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Roger Corman, Hollywood mentor and ‘King of the Bs,’ dies at 98

Roger Corman, the Oscar-winning “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors early breaks, has died. He was 98. Corman died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, California, his daughter Catherine Corman said Saturday in a statement.

FILE - Roger Corman addresses the audience during the awards ceremony of the 76th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Corman, the Oscar-winning “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood's most famous actors and directors an early break, died Thursday, May 9, 2024. He was 98. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File)

FILE - Roger Corman addresses the audience during the awards ceremony of the 76th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Corman, the Oscar-winning “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors an early break, died Thursday, May 9, 2024. He was 98. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File)

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FILE - Producer Roger Corman poses in his Los Angeles office, May 8, 2013. Corman, the Oscar-winning “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors an early break, died Thursday, May 9, 2024. He was 98. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

FILE - Roger Corman arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Irishman,” Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Corman, the Oscar-winning “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors an early break, died Thursday, May 9, 2024. He was 98. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roger Corman, the “King of the Bs” who helped turn out such low-budget classics as “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and gave many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and directors early breaks, has died. He was 98.

Corman died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, California, according to a statement released Saturday by his wife and daughters.

“He was generous, open-hearted and kind to all those who knew him,” the statement said. “When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I was a filmmaker, just that.’”

Starting in 1955, Corman helped create hundreds of B-movies as a producer and director, among them “Black Scorpion,” “Bucket of Blood” and “Bloody Mama.” A remarkable judge of talent, he hired such aspiring filmmakers as Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese. In 2009, Corman received an honorary Academy Award.

“There are many constraints connected with working on a low budget, but at the same time there are certain opportunities,” Corman said in a 2007 documentary about Val Lewton, the 1940s director of “Cat People” and other underground classics.

“You can gamble a little bit more. You can experiment. You have to find a more creative way to solve a problem or to present a concept,” he said.

The roots of Hollywood’s golden age in the 1970s can be found in Corman’s films.

Jack Nicholson made his film debut as the title character in a 1958 Corman quickie, “The Cry Baby Killer,” and stayed with the company for biker, horror and action films, writing and producing some of them. Other actors whose careers began in Corman movies included Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn.

Peter Fonda’s appearance in “The Wild Angels” was a precursor to his own landmark biker movie, “Easy Rider,” co-starring Nicholson and fellow Corman alumnus Dennis Hopper. “Boxcar Bertha,” starring Barbara Hershey and David Carradine, was an early film by Scorsese.

Corman’s B-movie directors were given minuscule budgets and often told to finish their films in as little as five days. When Howard, who would go on to win a best director Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind,” pleaded for an extra half day to reshoot a scene in 1977 for “Grand Theft Auto,” Corman told him, “Ron, you can come back if you want, but nobody else will be there.”

“Roger Corman was my very first boss, my lifetime mentor and my hero. Roger was one of the greatest visionaries in the history of cinema,” Gale Anne Hurd, whose notable producing credits include the “Terminator” film franchise, “The Abyss” and “The Walking Dead” television series, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Initially only drive-ins and specialty theaters would book Corman films, but as teenagers began turning out, national chains gave in. Corman’s pictures were open for their time about sex and drugs, such as his 1967 release “The Trip,” an explicit story about LSD written by Nicholson and starring Fonda and Hopper.

Meanwhile, he discovered a lucrative sideline releasing prestige foreign films in the United States, among them Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers,” Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord” and Volker Schlondorff’s “The Tin Drum.” The latter two won Oscars for best foreign language film.

Corman got his start as a messenger boy for Twentieth Century-Fox, eventually graduating to story analyst. After quitting the business briefly to study English literature for a term at Oxford University, he returned to Hollywood and launched his career as a movie producer and director.

Despite his penny-pinching ways, Corman retained good relations with his directors, boasting that he never fired one because “I wouldn’t want to inflict that humiliation.”

Some of his former underlings repaid his kindness years later. Coppola cast him in “The Godfather, Part II,” Jonathan Demme included him in “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia” and Howard gave him a part in “Apollo 13.”

Most of Corman’s movies were quickly forgotten by all but die-hard fans. A rare exception was 1960’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” which starred a bloodthirsty plant that feasted on humans and featured Nicholson in a small but memorable role as a pain-loving dental patient. It inspired a long-lasting stage musical and a 1986 musical adaptation starring Steve Martin, Bill Murray and John Candy.

In 1963, Corman initiated a series of films based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The most notable was “The Raven,” which teamed Nicholson with veteran horror stars Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone. Directed by Corman on a rare three-week schedule, the horror spoof won good reviews, a rarity for his films. Another Poe adaptation, “House of Usher,” was deemed worthy of preservation by the Library of Congress.

“It was my privilege to know him. He was a great friend. He shaped my childhood with science fiction movies and Edgar Allen Poe epics,” John Carpenter, director of “Halloween,” “The Thing” and other classic horror and action films, said on X. “I’ll miss you, Roger.”

Near the end of his life, Karloff starred in another Corman-backed effort, the 1968 thriller “Targets,” which marked Peter Bogdanovich’s directorial debut.

Corman’s success prompted offers from major studios, and he directed “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” and “Von Richthofen and Brown” on normal budgets. Both were disappointments, however, and he blamed their failure on front-office interference.

Roger William Corman was born in Detroit and raised in Beverly Hills, but “not in the affluent section,” he once said. He attended Stanford University, earning a degree in engineering, and arrived in Hollywood after three years in the Navy.

After his stint at Oxford, he worked as a television stagehand and literary agent before finding his life’s work.

In 1964 he married Julie Halloran, a UCLA graduate who also became a producer.

He is survived by his wife, Julie, and children Catherine, Roger, Brian and Mary.

This obituary was written by the late Associated Press reporter Bob Thomas, who died in 2014 .

The story was first published on May 11, 2024. It was updated on May 13, 2024, to correct the middle name of producer Gale Anne Hurd.

biography movies on celebrities

George Clooney will make his Broadway debut in 'Good Night, and Good Luck' in spring 2025

biography movies on celebrities

George Clooney is bringing one of his most celebrated films to the Main Stem.

The Oscar-winning actor will make his Broadway debut in "Good Night, and Good Luck" in spring 2025. The new play, co-written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, is adapted from their 2005 political drama of the same name, about the real-life conflict between CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy amid the 1950s Red Scare.

The critically acclaimed movie was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best director (Clooney). It co-starred David Strathairn, Jeff Daniels, Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella and Robert Downey Jr. (who, coincidentally, is also set to make his Broadway bow in new play "McNeal" this fall).

"I am honored, after all these years, to be coming back to the stage," Clooney said in a statement. "And especially, to Broadway, the art form and the venue that every actor aspires to."

David Cromer ("The Band's Visit"), the show's director, added: "Edward R. Murrow operated from a kind of moral clarity that feels vanishingly rare in today’s media landscape. There was an immediacy in those early live television broadcasts that today can only be effectively captured on stage, in front of a live audience."

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Ranked: 10 best new Broadway plays and musicals you need to see this summer

Clooney joins a Broadway season that is already shaping up to be stacked with Hollywood stars: Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal will topline a production of William Shakespeare's "Othello" next spring, while Rachel Zegler and Kit Connor will lead a new take on "Romeo + Juliet" this fall. Mia Farrow and Patti LuPone will also co-star in "The Roommate" later this summer, and "Succession" actress Sarah Snook is predicted to bring her one-woman "The Picture of Dorian Gray" to New York next year, after an Olivier Award-winning run in London.

Although film and TV actors have long tried their hands at Broadway, the sheer number of celebrities doing theater has been staggering: This season alone, Jessica Lange ("Mother Play"), Sarah Paulson ("Appropriate"), Daniel Radcliffe ("Merrily We Roll Along"), Rachel McAdams ("Mary Jane"), Steve Carell ("Uncle Vanya"), and Jeremy Strong ("An Enemy of the People") have all headlined Tony-nominated plays and musicals.

A theater for "Good Night, and Good Luck" ‒ along with information about how and when to buy tickets ‒ have not yet been announced.

biography movies on celebrities

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The Best Celebrity Biographies

Ranker Books

List of celebrity biographies, ranked best to worst by fans. Books written about famous people in Hollywood are included in this list. So what makes a celebrity biography a must-read? The more revealing it is about the subject, the better. Juicy details about the lives of the rich and famous makes celebrity biographies some of the best-selling books of all time. This list of best celebrity biographies has the most scandalous details and intimate truths about film and television icons, legendary singers and musicians, controversial politicians, and even members of the British royal family.

The greatest celebrity biographies range from inspirational to tragic and elegant to trashy, but the one thing that connect these top-selling books is that they are all very entertaining to read. Each page-turning chapter of these comprehensive celeb bios, which are mostly unauthorized, take readers behind the closed doors of the lives of superstars past and present. Some biographies about the stars are funny, irreverent, and candid while others chronicle the dark side of fame and fortune. These are just some of the reasons why millions of readers can't wait to get their hands on a biographical book about a famous person once it comes out.

Joan Crawford: the Essential Biography

Joan Crawford: the Essential Biography

As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography

Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography

A Twist of Lemmon

A Twist of Lemmon

The Diana Chronicles

The Diana Chronicles

Walt Disney: An American Original

Walt Disney: An American Original

No One Here Gets Out Alive

No One Here Gets Out Alive

Grace: the Secret Lives of a Princess

Grace: the Secret Lives of a Princess

Just Jackie

Just Jackie

Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader

Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader

Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography of Martha Stewart

Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography of Martha Stewart

ABBA Gold: the Complete Story

ABBA Gold: the Complete Story

Get Happy

Last train to Memphis

John Wayne

Vivien: the Life of Vivien Leigh

Steve Jobs

King of Comedy: the Life and Art of Jerry Lewis

Lovesick Blues: the Life of Hank Williams

Lovesick Blues: the Life of Hank Williams

Stormy Weather: the Life of Lena Horne

Stormy Weather: the Life of Lena Horne

Dark Lover: the Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino

Dark Lover: the Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino

Fela: the Life and Times of An African Musical Icon

Fela: the Life and Times of An African Musical Icon

Freddie Mercury: The Biography

Freddie Mercury: The Biography

Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

Zappa: a Biography

Zappa: a Biography

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum

Steve McQueen: Living On the Edge

Steve McQueen: Living On the Edge

Heavier Than Heaven

Heavier Than Heaven

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography

Stars: They're just like us! These are lists of fascinating facts about famous people - who, despite all the glitz and glamour, are well-rounded, full-formed human beings. Mostly.

People Born the Exact Same Day


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