What is it about Abraham Lincoln that has captured our attention so much? Abolishing slavery, his role in the Civil War and his assassination mystify many, but I imagine his signature look helps keep the hero in our culture.
While there are a number of books that speculate on his private life and sexuality, we live in the entertainment age where movies are king. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, a 2012 action movie, is now available on Netflix and Daniel Day-Lewis recently won an Oscar for portraying Lincoln in another film. I started thinking about other TV shows and films that brought Lincoln to life. No offense to Mr. Day-Lewis, but to me there is only one man to play the part, the late Robert Barron.
Robert Barron acted his way through the US in regional theaters, according to IMDB. He never really broke into Hollywood beyond roles in “the cheesiest of no-budget fly-by-night productions,” which he thoroughly enjoyed. Of course, Robert was in one major production that premiered 5 days after Lincoln’s birthday in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Abraham Lincoln struggled to bring a nation of people together with his thought provoking words and speeches. Robert Barron brought laughter & joy to the children of the nation. Aside from acting, he was writing English scripts for Japanese cartoons. The scripts & voice acting in the cartoons led to him being an executive producer at Saban Productions. You may recognize that name because they’ve produced just about every Saturday morning cartoon & show since the late 1980’s.
Unfortunately like Lincoln, Barron’s life was cut short and he passed at the age of 67. Which brings me back to my question above, what is it about Lincoln that has enthralled us all these years? Perhaps it was his determined desire to keep the Union together, to keep the people united and free. Like Robert Barron’s line from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, “These two great gentlemen are dedicated to a proposition, which was true in my time, just as it’s true today. Be excellent to each other…and…
Party on, Dudes!”