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Interview: ‘Timeless’ Producers on Casting Historical Figures
Are you casting an actor as Lincoln and will we meet historical figures on Timeless?
Shawn Ryan: We have a rule here. We want to be as accurate as possible to the looks of these people but some people are more famous than others. My point on Lincoln is he’s on currency so everyone knows what he looks like. That was a high bar for us. We actually found somebody who works as a career as a Lincoln impersonator. Now it’s not the biggest role in the episode. Lucy actually spends a lot more time with Robert Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s son. Now, people don’t know what Robert Todd Lincoln looks like the way they know what Abraham looks like. So the bar to match that isn’t quite the same. But for us, if we want to make this feel grounded and realistic, if we’re going to put Abraham Lincoln on the screen, he’s got to really feel like Abraham Lincoln. He can’t be like an almost. So we found somebody that really does embody him quite well.
Life as an
Abraham Lincoln Impersonator
BY ROD O’CONNOR
Michael Krebs gives us the honest truth of making a living as the Great Emancipator.
“I can always feel when I’m being watched,” Krebs says while we make our way to Starbucks to fetch him a much-needed cup o’ joe. As the 16th president of the United States waits in line for a latte, a small crowd gathers for pictures and handshakes."
September 11, 2016
Bronze statue of Lincoln unveiled at cemetery
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, and Lincoln interpreter Michael Krebs, admire a statue of the 16th president. The statue, located at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, is the first statue of a U.S. president to be featured in a national cemetery. (Alicia Fabbre / Daily Southtown)
Stars who've portrayed
President Abraham Lincoln
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Since 1994, Michael Krebs has portrayed President Abraham Lincoln for various occasions and films including "Field of Lost Shoes," "The Transient" and "Conspiracy." Krebs also acted as Lincoln in "President Lincoln's Inauguration Re-enactment" in 2011 in Washington D.C. He has made numerous special appearances as the 16th president including at schools, for museum openings and history programs.
Lincoln answers questions in modern news conference at RR Days
GALESBURG REGISTER MAIL
In a room that bears his name President Abraham Lincoln addressed the 19th Century “press” in a 21st Century-style news conference Thursday evening at Knox College.
Lost Shoes' finds its target eventually
LOS ANGELES TIMES
But things kick in once Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Tom Skerritt), recently appointed by a beleaguered Abraham Lincoln (Michael Krebs), orders Union troops to advance into Virginia's pristine Shenandoah Valley — home of VMI — to face off against Confederate soldiers near the town of New Market.
|Saturday, November 16,
President 'Lincoln' educates, entertains at UWF
PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL
“He was the most enigmatic president,” Krebs said moments before entering the UWF Conference Hall. “And I think so many Americans today can still identify with him.”
Then he went into character, and the physical resemblance made it much easier. He’s 6-foot-4, just like Lincoln. And yes, that’s his own beard.
The “president” sauntered into the conference hall with a slow, powerful gait. He patted a little blond-haired boy on the head as he moved through the seated crowd. He stopped to say hello to another youngster, a beaming girl with mouth agape.
He shook a few hands, bending his tall frame to look eye-to-eye with admirers.
Visual History of Book Trailers by Brian Solis
“A trailer for book!?,” I wondered aloud. Not only did I watch it, I shared and re-shared it and also ordered the book. It was just so far out there that I wanted to find a way to bring this level of creativity and production value to the oft routine realm of business book publicity.
Jan. 10, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
President Abraham Lincoln, played by Michael Krebs, sits in the audience and talks to Howard Koster, of Lincolnshire, Illinois. The program was an informative look at the Lincoln’s during their years in Springfield and Washington, D.C. and his views and actions during the Civil War.
Jan. 11, 2013
President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, are played by Debra Ann Miller as they entertain senior adults Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois. The program was an informative look at the Lincoln’s during their years in Springfield and Washington, D.C. and his views and actions during the Civil War.
Photos: Gilbert R. Boucher II, Associated Press
Spielberg’s 'Lincoln' leaves some scratching their beards
WBEZ 91.5 story
Steven Spielberg’s new biopic Lincoln, which opens nationally today, is raising a few eyebrows.
The film explores the final months of the enigmatic 16th president’s life. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis gives voice to the bearded “Great Emancipator.”
Michael Krebs' review on WBEZ
Abe Lincoln impersonator is 'beyond the typical'
JOURNAL & COURIER
The pictures in history books don’t paint Lincoln in the most humorous light, in no small part due to his unenviable role in keeping a nation in turmoil from coming apart.
Along with actress Debra Ann Miller, who played Mary Todd Lincoln, Krebs enthralled students with Lincoln’s wit and humor.
|May 5, 2012
Abraham Lincoln is in Puebla: parade on May 5
Abraham Lincoln in the parade commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle of May 5. He arrived in the city of Puebla and will head the contingent that he named where there will be American descendants who were in the war.
February 19, 2012
History Center's Sold Out 'Visit With the Lincolns' Is First-Rate
Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, expertly played by Debra Miller and Michael Krebs, took audience members on an interactive journey back in time to the 1800s, at the end of the Civil War.
The audence spends an intimate 60 minutes with the presidential couple, enjoying an interactive story that is full of humor, inspiration and emotion.
| March 5, 2011
Lincoln inaugural banquet a rousing success
The 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural was a bigger success than the original.
Lincoln only gained 39 percent of the popular vote and 18 of 34 states when becoming president in 1861. Soon after the South broke away and the Civil War was on.
But the March 5 remembrance was filled with more than 300 Lincoln backers at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel for a re-enactment of that first inaugural banquet. The near-three hour affair was filled with good food, quality re-enactors, great music and a show-stopping performance by Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller as Abe and Mary Lincoln.
February 11, 2011
An Audience with the Lincolns
DINING WITH STRANGERS
The duo very kindly agreed to have dinner with me the evening before their Saturday night performance for the Lincoln Group, to be held in the opulent surroundings of the Officer’s Club at Fort McNair, a still-active U.S. Army base within Washington, DC.
January 20, 2011
An Evening with
DAVIS COUNTY FINE ARTS COUNCIL
Residents of southeast Iowa were provided a rare opportunity as two professional actors from the Chicago area, Michael Krebs and Debra Miller, arrived in Bloomfield to portray Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, in a performance of “Visiting the Lincolns” at the Iowa Theatre
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
West Virginia University
THE DAILY ATHENAEUM
Children learn about Lincoln’s life through WVU-sponsored actorsMore than 700 local elementary students saw history come alive at the West Virginia University's Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education's program on Abraham Lincoln.
|May 28, 2010
St. Theresa School plays to British audience
When seventh graders created a puppet show depicting Abraham Lincoln's assassination, they never imagined their audience would extend across an ocean. BBC filmmakers on Friday interviewed the students and several of their St. Theresa School classmates for a documentary on the 16th U.S. president.
April 3, 2010
Competitors take Abe theme
and run with it
The route sent runners past the Old State Capitol, the state capitol, Camp Lincoln and Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
This year’s half marathon featured 1,159 participants.
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
"Michael Krebs, as Abraham Lincoln, carefully put on his wire-rimmed glasses promptly at 9:30 a.m.
and began to read: 'Four score and seven years ago ...'"
September 27, 2009
ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR
More than 300 people gathered Sunday at the Abraham Lincoln Courthouse Square at South Church and Elm streets in honor of the Lincoln Bicentennial to witness the unveiling of “Iron Determination,” a 5-foot tall bronze sculpture of Lincoln.
Rick Kogan Hosts Newberry Freedom Fest in Bughouse Square
CHICAGO DAILY OBSERVER
Abraham Lincoln mopped the street with Judge Stephen Douglas. Two great actors, in 19th Century dress, reenacted the The Fifth Debate(Galesburg) of the Great Lincoln Douglas Debates.
History Behind Chicago's
Bughouse Square Debates
In the ’20s and ’30s, Chicago’s Washington Square Park was a hotbed of rhetoric.
July 5th, 2009
Rain didn’t prevent Abraham Lincoln from making a Fourth of July visit to downtown Springfield
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
July 5, 2009
Lincoln museum gets 2 millionth visitor
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln impersonators Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller were among those awaiting the two millionth visitor. Krebs presented Domantay with a backpack that included several gift items courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
March 30, 2009
Chicago O'Hare is celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth by exhibiting a replica of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Terminal 2. Lincoln impersonator Michael Krebs visits Chicago O'Hare to greet passengers, pose for photos and answer questions. Courtesy of the Chicago Airports System.
Feb. 13, 2009
"And perhaps the busiest man for the next several weeks will be Michael Krebs, aka Abraham Lincoln." This AP story ran in hundreds of papers and associated websites from Boston to Seattle.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Feb. 12, 2009
"As the nation celebrates the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, two veteran suburban Chicago impersonators will offer their interpretations of the president to the festivities".
Feb. 14, 2009
Celebrating from Lincoln to Lincoln. Nebraska style.
LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR
Feb. 12, 2009
"Lincoln's Birthday Celebrations: Obama's Springfield Trip Highlights National Festivities".
THE HUFFINGTON POST
| Oct 13, 2008
People pass through a trailer touring our nation... and the trailer is a “one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit” of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, the destination of that funeral train, which passed through hundreds of American towns, including Buffalo, N.Y., Pontiac and Chenoa in 1865, as the assassinated president’s body was taken from the nation’s capital to the Illinois capital he had left for the last time in February 1861.
ALPLM Mobile Exhibit
|Krebs gives 'presidential'
Susan Kaufman & Jane Carlson, Register Mail 2008
It is no surprise. Krebs, who has been portraying Lincoln since 1992, has an uncanny resemblance to our 16th president. To some in the audience, he even sounded like “Honest Abe.
Galesburg Register Mail”
"The program takes Krebs, as Lincoln, and occasionally actress Debra Ann Miller, as Mary Todd Lincoln, to venues where they tell stories about the Lincolns’ lives, the Civil War and issues of the time in which they lived. Then a question-and-answer session follows where they answer either as the Lincolns or themselves, depending on the question, he said."
Maura Vizza, The Reporter
The investigation of Mary Todd Lincoln's cloak
One of the most powerful artifacts in the Chicago History Museum's collections is a cloak allegedly worn by Mary Todd Lincoln on the evening her husband Abraham was assassinated iin April, 1865.
Wet with Blood
Beloit Daily News
February 21, 1998
Krebs brought a realism that carried his audience closer to an understanding of the...
Lincoln's Chicago address
An informative story of our beginnings
"His striking appearance makes Krebs a perfect Abe Lincoln. What Lincoln says in the play is from real life, culled from documents and speeches. Because virtually nothing survives of any thing Mary said in her lifetime, her dialogue is made up, her persona created from bits and pieces found in memoirs of family friends and Lincoln White House employees."
William Mullen, Chicago TribuneChicago Tribune Article
Glimpses of life for First Couples
Special to the Tribune
Nancy Maes, Chicago Tribune
Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library became a reality on Feb. 3, 1998
More than 20,000 documents are in the "Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress" presentation. "Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library" offers a Webcast of a 1998 event at the Library in which the digitization of Lincoln materials was announced. A highlight is a performance by Lincoln impersonator Michael Krebs. The Library's Web site is a great way to make your own discoveries about the parallel lives of Lincoln and Whitman.
Knox College is fortunate in having a number of authentic connections..
Knox College and Lincoln
"Beautifully produced--Visiting the Lincolns astutely balances good humor with the bleak imminence of a terrible crime. Krebs’ prairie accent and attacks of melancholy, Miller’s alternately genteel and hysterical Mary Todd, and the period-perfect script ensure that all disbelief remains suspended."
Laurence Bommer, Chicago Reader
"Outstanding --Very strong in portraying the personality of Lincoln."
Tom Schwartz, Illinois State Historical Library.
"This is definitely an experience the whole family can enjoy. Quite literally, it is a chance to have lemonade with the Lincolns. From the very beginning, the cast recognizes the audience and by doing so, the evening feels like and intimate conversation among reminiscing friends."
Nicki Stratton, Executive Director of Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
"You certainly felt you were there seated on chairs at the White House. And seeing Michael Krebs, who looks like Lincoln, stands like Lincoln, and talks like Lincoln probably talked--made it even more incredible. He was just Lincolnesque in every way."
Olga Carlile, Freeport Journal Star
"Michael Krebs’ personification of Lincoln was uncanny; for most of us who have studied Lincoln, there were moments when the two were one."
Vilma Kinney, Peoria Journal Star