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Showtime's The First Lady taps Michelle Pfeiffer to play Betty Ford

  • Pfeiffer is joining Viola Davis, who will play Michelle Obama in the anthology series formerly known as First Ladies that explores the role of presidential wives. Ford, the wife of 38th President Gerald Ford, was first lady from 1974 to 1977. Additionally, Susanne Bier is joining The First Lady as director and executive producer. Bier is coming off of HBO's The Undoing, where she worked with Pfeiffer's husband David E. Kelley. As Variety notes, Ford "was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. She also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public." Ford was also responsible for the nonprofit Betty Ford Center, which she helped found in 1982 to help people with addiction issues. Ford died in 2011 at age 93. The First Lady is written and executive produced by Aaron Cooley. “Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus,” said Amy Israel, executive vice president of scripted programming at Showtime. “Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled – especially at this unique moment in time for our nation – about the powerful promise of The First Lady."

    TOPICS: Michelle Pfeiffer, Showtime, The First Lady, Betty Ford, Susanne Bier, In Development