The life of the legendary showman, circus impresario, producer, anti-slavery politician, businessman, and author Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum was told in film, a Broadway play, and television movies and tv shows at least six times which included two very good and imaginative musical versions. Each version, and therefore the actors too, emphasized different aspects of Barnum’s life. Who portrayed Barnum the best?“Now Ladies and Gentlemen, for your entertainment, may I direct your attention to the center ring (page) to discuss the topic there?”
Note: two of the actors on this list, Beery and Lancaster, actually were circus performers (Beery was actually in P. T. Barnum and Bailey’s and Ringling Brother’s Three Ring Circus), and two others, Jackman and Crawford, had to learn and perform several circus stunts in order to perform their roles.