Michelle Pfeiffer to Play Betty Ford, Join Viola Davis in Showtime's First Lady

Michelle Pfeiffer

Golden Globe winner and three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer will play former first lady Betty Ford in Showtime‘s upcoming anthology series about, well, first ladies of the White House.

Additionally, Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Undoing) has been tapped to direct and executive produce the series, which is tentatively titled The First Lady.

Emmy and Tony winner Viola Davis was previously announced to play Michelle Obama in what has been described as “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.”  Davis is also among the executive producers.

Series creator and author Aaron Cooley will write several of the episodes and serve as another EP.

“In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies,” reads the official synopsis. “This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through an enlightening intimacy, with Season 1 focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt (not yet cast).”

Betty Ford was the first lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, when Gerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States. She was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. Betty Ford also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public.

Pfeiffer’s most recent TV credit was HBO’s The Wizard of Lies, where she played Ruth Madoff.

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