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'The Butler' Finds Its President Eisenhower in Robin Williams

July 19, 2012, 2:02 am GMT

The 'Patch Adams' actor will play the 34th President of the United States in Lee Daniels' star-studded biopic about a White House butler named Eugene Allen.

Robin Williams

Another acclaimed actor has been added to Lee Daniels' upcoming high-end drama, "The Butler". On Wednesday, July 18, it was announced that Oscar winner Robin Williams has been cast as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the true story movie.

Williams is scheduled to begin filming later this July in New Orleans. He will join other notable cast members, including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Alex Pettyfer, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Liam Neeson, Jane Fonda and Alan Rickman among others.

Based on Wil Haygood's Washington Post article, "A Butler Well Served by This Election", "The Butler" centers on the life of Eugene Allen, who started his career in the White House as a "pantry man" in 1952. At that time, black people weren't allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia.

Allen ended up serving eight presidents throughout his career and had a unique front row seat as political and racial history was made, from the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

In addition to serving as the director, Daniels co-writes the script alongside Danny Strong. Of why he's interested in making the biopic, the filmmaker once said, "I connected with it because it is ultimately a father son story with a civil rights backdrop. In my lifetime there were separate water fountains, pools and toilets for blacks. People forget that. This is such an exciting journey for me."

As for Williams, aside from "The Butler", he has just been added to the casting department of "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn". In the Alden Robinson-directed comedy, he will star opposite Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones. The veteran actor will kick off the production in Brooklyn, New York in September after wrapping "Butler".

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