Niagara Gazette

December 2, 2013

McFadyen reprising FDR role on Pearl Harbor Day

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Local actor Albert McFadyen will reprise his role as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a special performance at 3 p.m. Saturday at the History Center of Niagara.

The History Center is hosting a commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day. Saturday is the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in which more than 2,500 servicemen and civilians were killed and more than 1,200 were wounded. The United States declared war on Japan the next day and Roosevelt was president at the time.

McFadyen will recreate Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress, given Dec. 8, 1941, and share stories and anecdotes about Roosevelt’s life and presidency. He uses an antique wheelchair and cane in his portrayal of the 32nd president, who was paralyzed from the waist down because of polio.

Roosevelt’s familiar cigarette holder and his jaunty grin are used to great effect by McFadyen, who has mastered Roosevelt’s physical presence and mannerisms over many years of portraying him, according to History Center assistant director Ann Marie Linnabery.

McFadyen has portrayed FDR at numerous schools and theaters around the United States and supplied Roosevelt’s voice in the Ken Burns production “Our National Parks: Our Best Idea.”

As an actor he’s performed in various productions at local theaters including Lancaster Opera House, the Palace Theatre, the Riviera Theater and the Katherine Cornell Theater at the University of Buffalo.

Admission to the Pearl Harbor Day commemoration at the History Center, 215 Niagara St., is free. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as seating for the program fills up quickly.

For more information, call the History Center at 434-7433 or visit