Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald

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Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald
Written bySteve Bello
Directed byRobert Dornhelm
ComposerHarald Kloser
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
ProducerPaul Pompian
Production locations
  • United States
  • Russia
CinematographyYuri Neyman
EditorGerry Hambling
Running time88 minutes
Production companyElliot Friedgen & Company
DistributorWarner Bros. Television
Original networkNBC
Original release
  • November 15, 1993 (1993-11-15)

Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald is a 1993 American biographical drama television film directed by Robert Dornhelm and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Picardo, and Frank Whaley.[1][2] It tells the story of Marina Oswald (played by Bonham Carter), the widow of Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (played by Whaley).

The film marked the 30th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which occurred on November 22, 1963. Bonham Carter earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance. Whaley had previously played an imposter of Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's JFK (1991).[3]


The story focuses on Marina Oswald (Helena Bonham Carter), the wife of Lee Harvey Oswald. Barely able to speak English, she is thrust into questioning by David Lifton (Robert Picardo). It portrays deep sadness, and explores the story of a woman ending up alone in a foreign country, subjected to considerable shunning, even after her remarriage.

The story is based on the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President Kennedy. Via flashbacks, the story traces the woman's life from her days in the Soviet Union, the turmoil following the assassination, raising her family, and coming to grips with the fact that, she too, may have been a pawn in a grand conspiracy.



In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Howard Rosenberg wrote: "“Fatal Deception” appears to say nothing that hasn’t already been said ad infinitum during the nation’s nonstop dialogue concerning Kennedy and his assassination. All in all, it seems like just another bump on a very long log."[4] Drew Voros of Variety called it "a slow-mover for a topic that has been covered over and over again".[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
1994 51st Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Helena Bonham Carter Nominated [6]


  1. ^ Voros, Drew (November 14, 1993). "Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald". Variety. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (November 15, 1993). "TV REVIEW: Mrs. Oswald's 'Fatal' Conspiracy Theory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  3. ^ Stone, Oliver (December 20, 1991), JFK (Drama, History, Thriller), Warner Bros., Canal+, New Regency Productions, retrieved February 23, 2022
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (November 15, 1993). "TV REVIEW : Mrs. Oswald's 'Fatal' Conspiracy Theory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  5. ^ Voros, Drew (November 14, 1993). "Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  6. ^ "Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald". Golden Globes. Retrieved May 26, 2021.

External links[edit]