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Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years

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Director  Daniel Petrie
Language  English
8/10 IMDb

Genre  Biography, Drama
Country  United States
Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years movie poster
Release date  March 13, 1977 (1977-03-13)
Based on  Eleanor and Franklin  by Joseph P. Lash
Writer  James Costigan, Joseph P. Lash (book)
Nominations  Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography - Series
Cast  Jane Alexander (Eleanor Roosevelt), Edward Herrmann (Franklin D. Roosevelt), Priscilla Pointer (Missy LeHand), Walter McGinn (Louis Howe), Rosemary Murphy (Sara Delano Roosevelt), Blair Brown (Anna Roosevelt)
Similar movies  Related Daniel Petrie movies

The conclusion of a two-part biopic, Eleanor Roosevelt (Jane Alexander) continues to recall the life of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Edward Herrmann), starting from his election to the White House all the way through the end of his life. Roosevelt faces many challenges during his time in the Oval Office including the Great Depression, World War II, and an illness that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. Based on the book "Eleanor and Franklin" by Joseph Lash.


Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977) is a made-for-television movie that was a sequel to the previous years Eleanor and Franklin. Originally airing on March 13, 1977, it was part of a two-part biopic directed by Daniel Petrie based on Joseph P. Lashs Pulitzer prize-winning biography chronicling the lives of the 32nd U.S. President and the First Lady. Joseph Lash was a secretary and confidant of Eleanor and wrote other books on the couple.

Eleanor and Franklin focused on their respective childhoods, school years, courtship and the lead up to his election. Seven members of the original cast returned for the sequel, including the two main characters portrayed by Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann. It also won 2 Emmys including outstanding special of the year. Daniel Petrie, who won an Emmy for the first movie, won again for best director. Both films were acclaimed and noted for historical accuracy.

The story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt during their 12-year stay at the White House.


  • Edward Herrmann – Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), 32nd President of the United States
  • Jane Alexander – Eleanor Roosevelt, 34th First Lady of the United States
  • Priscilla Pointer – Marguerite Missy LeHand. Long-time secretary to Franklin and considered part of the family.
  • Walter McGinn – Louis Howe, intimate friend to both Roosevelts and political advisor to Franklin
  • Rosemary Murphy – Sara Delano Roosevelt, Franklins mother
  • Blair Brown – Anna Roosevelt, Eleanor and Franklins eldest child
  • David Healy – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, uncle to Eleanor and 5th cousin to Franklin
  • Peggy McCay – Grace Tully, long-time friend/secretary to Eleanor and became Franklins top secretary after Missy died.
  • Donald Moffat – Harry Hopkins, one of Franklins closest advisers and architect of the New Deal. He was an important liaison between FDR, Winston Churchill, and Stalin meeting personally with the leaders and setting up negotiations during World War II.
  • Toni Darnay – Malvina Thompson, Eleanors personal secretary
  • Barbara Conrad (Barbara Smith Conrad) – Marian Anderson, an American contralto singer. The Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to perform before an integrated audience in their Constitution Hall, spurring First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the organization and to aid in arranging for Anderson to sing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Anderson went on to sing at the inaugurations of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
  • Morgan Farley – William Plog, managed the Roosevelts Hyde Park estate
  • Mark Harmon – Robert Dunlap, a soldier
  • Anna Lee – Laura Delano, FDRs cousin
  • Linda Kelsey – Lucy Mercer, mistress of FDR
  • Colin Hamilton – Ike Hoover, Chief Usher of the White House; served both Roosevelt presidents
  • Ray Baker – James Roosevelt, oldest son of the Roosevelts who served as a secretary in his fathers White House and went on to become a U.S. Marine serving in World War II. He later became a Congressman from California for 10 years.
  • Brian Patrick Clarke – John Aspinwall Roosevelt, youngest child of the Roosevelts
  • Don Howard – Elliot Roosevelt, son of the Roosevelts who served in World War II
  • Joseph Hacker – Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., son of the Roosevelts who also served in the war
  • Charles Lampkin – Irvin McDuffie, FDRs African-American valet during the White House years
  • Arthur Gould-Porter – Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Robert Karnes – United States Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, frequent opponent of FDR in the courts. He also swore him in first 3 of the 4 times he was inaugurated.
  • David Lewis – United States Supreme Court Justice Melville Weston Fuller, who swore in Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Gregory Koontz – Curtis Roosevelt, eldest grandson of the Roosevelts; Annas son from first marriage
  • Davy Muxlow – John Roosevelt Boettiger, Roosevelts grandson and Annas son from second marriage
  • DVD release

    The film was released on DVD by HBO Video on May 21, 2013, with Eleanor and Franklin (1976) on the second disc.


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