Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom
George III of the United Kingdom has featured in many examples of popular culture.
George's insanity is the subject of the play The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett. The role was created by Nigel Hawthorne, who received the Laurence Olivier Award for his role. The play concerns George's second bout of insanity in late 1788 and early 1789, which those in the royal court, including his own son, use as a way to sidestep regal authority. Hawthorne reprised his role in the film version of the play. He also appears as a character in the Broadway musical Hamilton (as of 2015 being played by Jonathan Groff) and the play Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly (who played George in the play's premiere production in 2015).
King George III appears in the novels Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke and Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik. Both portray him during one of his periods of illness. In the former, Jonathan Strange attempts to cure him and in the latter he is encountered by William Laurence, the protagonist, while on an errand in Edinburgh Castle - Laurence initially fails to recognize the ailing monarch in his sleeping gown, confused and walking alone at night in the snow. He is also mentioned by Douglas Adams - both in the Dirk Gently series by Douglas Adams as being interested in time-travel and in Life, the Universe and Everything, when the character Arthur Dent refers to trees as "those things people think you're mad if you talk to? Like George the Third".
On film, George has been portrayed by:
- John Storm in the Australian silent film The Mutiny of the Bounty (1916)
- Jack Cosgrave in the silent film The Spirit of '76 (1917)
- Arthur Donaldson in the D. W. Griffith silent film America (1924)
- Raymond Lovell in The Young Mr Pitt (1942)
- Frederick Valk in Mrs. Fitzherbert (1947), based on the novel by Winifred Carter
- Robert Morley in Beau Brummell (1954), based on a play by Clyde Fitch
- Eric Pohlmann in John Paul Jones (1959)
- Roger Booth in Barry Lyndon (1975), based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
- Nigel Hawthorne in The Madness of King George (1994), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, based on the play The Madness of George III, in the premiere production of which George was also played by Hawthorne
- Robin Soans in the Spanish comedy Sabotage! (2000)
- Dave Reitze in the American video Kidz History: The Revolutionary War (2003)
On television, George has been portrayed by:
- Albert Lieven in the British drama Rake's Progress (1939)
- Eric Pohlmann in the drama The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1963), part of the Disneyland series, based on the novel by Russell Thorndike
- Jean Muselli in the French children's drama Le matelot de nulle part, based on the novel Israel Potter by Herman Melville
- Graham Chapman in the BBC comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus, in the episode "The Golden Age of Ballooning" (1974)
- John Tillinger in the American drama series The Adams Chronicles (1976)
- Nigel Davenport in the BBC drama series Prince Regent (1979)
- Rhys McConnochie in the ABC miniseries Captain James Cook (1987)
- Gertan Klauber as a complete madman with a German accent in the final episode of the BBC comedy series Blackadder the Third (1987)
- David Warner in the drama documentary The American Revolution (1994)
- Nicholas Rowe in the miniseries Longitude (2000)
- Mark Hadlow in the comedy/action series Jack of All Trades, in the episode "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Opera" (2000)
- Charles Shaughnessy (voice) in the animated series Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 (2002)
- Anthony Cochrane in the miniseries Benjamin Franklin (2002)
- Tom Hollander in the HBO miniseries John Adams (2008)
- Simon Farnaby in the British children's sketchshow Horrible Histories (2009 - 2015)
- Edward Petherbridge in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a TV adaptation of the novel of the same name (2015)
The popular 1970s U.S. children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock features a song entitled "No More Kings" which paints George III as a tyrant reluctant to allow the colonies out from under his boot.
George III's papers do not include a diary. The TV series The X-Files uses a fictional anecdote that George III's diary entry on July 4, 1776 read: "Nothing important happened today", as a plot device and as the title of the ninth season premiere. (In fact, George could anyway not have been notified of transatlantic events until weeks later).
George III is also a key character is several episodes of the anime Le Chevalier D'Eon.