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In the real world, a woman has still not broken that “highest, hardest glass ceiling,” to quote Hillary Clinton, and become president of the United States. On TV shows and in films, the state of female U.S. presidents is a little better, but far from ideal.
While more men than women have occupied the fictional Oval Office, there are several notable exceptions, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep, Cherry Jones on 24: Redemption and Geena Davis on Commander-in-Chief. However, on-screen female presidents often ascend to the presidency via the vice presidency, not necessarily by being directly elected to lead the free world, even when that world is fictional.
For example, Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer, Davis’ Mackenzie Allen and Patricia Wettig’s Caroline Reynolds (Prison Break) all rose to the top job after their respective presidents died or resigned. The same goes for Claire Haas (Marcia Cross) on Quantico, who assumed the role after that show’s fictional POTUS stepped down.
Read on for more about memorable female presidents in film and on TV, including Scandal’s Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) and State of Affairs‘ Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard).
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