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Jane Fonda to Play Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'

UPDATED: The Oscar winner will take on the role of the first lady in a film about a longtime White House butler.

Jane Fonda Nancy Reagan Split - H 2012
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Jane Fonda, iconic conservative?

The two-time Oscar winner has signed on to play Nancy Reagan in The Butler, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The film, directed by Lee Daniels, is a biopic of Eugene Allen, a butler who served in the White House from 1952 to 1986.

Another Oscar winner, Forest Whitaker, is reportedly close to a deal to play Allen in the film.

That Fonda would play the wife of the most famous conservative president raises eyebrows due to her well-documented anti-war and civil rights  activism in the 1960s and '70s. She protested and worked closely with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and traveled to North Vietnam, drawing the ire of some in the military and becoming an icon for liberal Hollywood activism. She has continued to be outspoken, recently saying that the Republicans running for president "scare her."

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hThe film is based on a Washington Post article about Allen written by Wil Haygood. Daniels recently completed work on The Paperboy, starring Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack, which is due out this year.

Fonda most recently starred in 2011's Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, and before that, in 2007's Georgia Rule with Lindsay Lohan. She'll also appear in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming HBO show, The Newsroom, playing the CEO of the cable company that owns the news channel where the show is set.

For the record: A previous version of this post misidentified Fonda's co-star of Georgia Rule as Miley Cyrus.