5 December 2013 1:48 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Nelson Mandela, whose anti-apartheid leadership inspired millions around the world including songwriters, filmmakers and writers, died today at 95.

Mandela emerged after 27 years in prison (1963-1990) to become president of South Africa and is generally considered the father of his country. After his presidency, 1994-1999, he founded a global charitable organization. There have been many activists who have been mistreated and/or unjustly imprisoned, but Mandela’s story captured the imagination of the public — and artists — much more intensely than most.

Idris Elba plays him in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which was released in November. He has been portrayed in film and TV by a distinguished group of actors in such works as the 1997 “Mandela and de Klerk,” Sidney Poitier; 2007 “Goodbye Bafana,” Dennis Haysbert; 2009 “Invictus,” Morgan Freeman; 2010 “Mrs. Mandela,” David Harewood; 2011 “Winnie,” Terrence Howard.

He has also been given a dozen other depictions on TV and in film. And he »


- Tim Gray

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