Cultural depictions of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

A major American icon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has been portrayed, alluded to, and referred to in many media in the popular culture from the 1960s and continuing into the 21st century.


Television references

  • Jackie O's famous pillbox hat is featured on an episode of The Flintstones entitled Social Climbers, which originally aired on November 17, 1961. In it, Wilma and Betty are visiting one of Bedrock's houses of Haute Couture to look for a dress for the Ambassador's Reception and Betty comments on the new "Jackie Kennerock" look.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Chaperone", Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) interviewed for Onassis' former job as editor at Doubleday. In the episode, Elaine is depicted as wearing large sunglasses and a scarf over her hair in a style similar to that of Onassis.
  • On season nine of the show Married...With Children in the episode "Dud Bowl", Al Bundy Polk High School's rival, George S. Patton High, is renamed Jackie Onassis High. The school's mascot is the First Ladies, and the uniforms are pink and black. This is a reference to a famous Chanel suit Onassis wore on the day her first husband was assassinated.
  • Onassis appears as a character in an episode of the Japanese anime Lupin the 3rd.
  • In one episode of Family Guy (E. Peterbus Unum), Lois is dressed in the aforementioned pink Chanel suit while giving tours of Petoria there is also a reference to her "The Road to the Multiverse". She is portrayed as the wife of the "Mayor Mccheese" on a scene similar to Zapruder film.
  • In one episode of "King of the Hill" while on a 70's murder mystery train several icons from the 70's are on the train. As Jacqueline enters a character says oh look Jackie O. Jackie is wearing large sunglasses and a scarf.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is referenced in The Simpsons in several ways. Marge Simpson's mother is named Jacqueline Ingrid Bouvierα. The town's Mayor Quimby speaks with inflections similar to those of the former President and has a wife who resembles Onassis.
  • In one episode of The Drew Carey Show, Mimi Bobeck shows up to work wearing oversized glasses and a scarf over her hair due to an allergic reaction to her makeup. This prompts Drew to remark, "It's Jackie! Oh my God!"
  • In one episode of Queer as Folk, Emmett dresses up as Onassis for a party thrown by Michael and David. In an apparent reference to her husband's assassination, shrimp cocktail is spilled on his coat, causing it to resemble Onassis' blood-spattered suit after her husband's assassination.
  • The school attended by the characters of Popular is named Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School.
  • The The Venture Bros. character Dr. Girlfriend resembles Onassis, but talks in a deep male voice meant to be an exaggeration of Onassis' voice due to her excessive smoking. In the fourth episode of the third season, "Home Is Where the Hate Is," Dr. Girlfriend is given the following clues during a party game: "You're married to a powerful man;" "You're famous for your pink suit and pillbox hat." Dr. Girlfriend is confused and, upon discovering the name she was assigned, exclaims "Who the hell is Jacqueline Onassis?"
  • The season five premiere of Quantum Leap involves a storyline where Sam 'leaps' into Lee Harvey Oswald and fails to save President Kennedy from his assassination. Then, 'leaping' into Secret Service agent Clint Hill, Sam discovers out from Al that he wasn't there to save the President, he was there to save Onassis (implying that in an earlier timeline she died as well).
  • In the episode "Kennedy and Heidi" in part two of season six of The Sopranos, Tony makes reference to her when seeing Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti at Chris's funeral.
  • In the season two episode of Gossip Girl, "Seder Anything," Blair Waldorf mentioned that "if being a socialite is good enough for Jackie O, it's good enough for me."
  • In the season two episode of Vampire Diaries "The Last Dance," Caroline goes to the sixties decade dance as Jackie Kennedy and her boyfriend Matt went as JFK.
  • In Series 6, Episode 21 of Gilmore Girls,lorelai walks into her parents living room to find Emily lying on the couch and says "Oh I'm sorry Mrs. Onassis, I was looking for my mother""


In Kurt Vonnegut's Galápagos, he identifies one of the intended cruise passengers as Onassis. She turns out to be the celebrity who abandons the cruise before it leaves port.

Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby features a dream sequence in which Rosemary Woodhouse finds herself on a yacht with the First Family, and briefly speaks to Kennedy. This scene is depicted in the 1968 film version, but the identity of the Kennedys is not made clear.[1]

The following are books in which Onassis is referenced biographically.

  • A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, by C. David Heymann, A Lyle Stuart Book first published by Carol Communications, 1989.
  • Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir, by John H. Davis, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1996.
  • Farewell, Jackie: A Portrait of Her Final Days, Edward Klein, Viking Books, 2004.
  • All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie Kennedy, St. Martin's Press, 1997.
  • Just Jackie: Her Private Years, Ballatine Books, 1999.
  • The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years, Pocket Books, 1996.
  • Diana & Jackie, Maidens, Mothers, Myths, by Jay Mulvaney, St. Martin's Press, 2002.
  • The Death of a President, by William Manchester, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1967.
  • "What Would Jackie Do? An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living," by Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway, Gotham Books, 2006.
  • What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Tina Santi Flaherty, 2005
  • As We Remember Her: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the Words of Her Family and Friends, Perigee Trade, 1997
  • Jackie Oh!, Kitty Kelley, Lyle Stuart, 1978.
  • Jackie, the Clothes of Camelot, by Jay Mulvaney, St. Martin's Press, 2001.
  • Jackie by Naomi West & Catherine Wilson Editions de la Martiniere 2006
  • America's Queen The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. By Sarah Bradford. Illustrated. 500 pp. Viking, New York 2000.
  • Jackie After Jack, Christopher Andersen, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, Hamish Bowles, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Rachel Lambert Mellon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company, 2001.

Plays and theatrical works

  • Jackie O an opera by Michael Daugherty — Houston Opera Studio, Houston, TX.[2]
  • JACKS by Lys Anzia — Fremont Centre Theatre, South Pasadena, CA.[3]
  • Cirque Jacqueline by Andrea Reese — Triad Theater, NY, NY.[4]
  • Jackie, An American Life by Gip Hoppe — Wilber Theatre, Boston, MA.[5]
  • Jackie Undressed by Andree Stolte — Eagles Dare Theater, NY, NY.[6]
  • The Secret Letters of Jackie & Marilyn by Mark Hampton and Michael Sharp, O'Reilly Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA.[7]
  • Jackie" by Naomi West & Catherine Wilson Editions de la Martiniere
  • The First Lady by Herman van Veen and Lori Spee
  • Die Prinzessindramen: Der Tod und das Maedchen IV - Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek
  • Grey Gardens - Walter Kerr Theatre, New York City, NY. The character of Jacqueline Bouvier appears in Act I.


Andy Warhol's piece 16 Jackies uses four news images of Kennedy prior to, the day of, and shortly after her husband's assassination.

Gerhard Richter's 1964 painting "Frau mit Schirm" (Woman with Umbrella) is an emotional but respectful portrait of Kennedy, painted from a newspaper image.


Film references

  • In the 1968 movie "Eat Your Makeup" directed by John Waters, Divine plays Jackie Kennedy in a re-enactment of the JFK Assassination. Waters later said on the Graham Norton show, that the scenes were filmed on his parents home street to the neighbours disgust, as it was shortly after the real assassination had occurred.
  • In the 1975 comedy film Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tim Curry's character Dr. Frankenfurter is dressed in a style similar to Onassis' when the main characters first come up to his lab.
  • The 1978 film The Greek Tycoon is a fictionalized portrayal of the story of Onassis and her second husband, with the names changed. The Onassis character, under the name of Liz Cassidy, is portrayed by Jacqueline Bisset who also portrayed Onassis in America's Prince. Bisset's clothes were designed by Halston, who was also designing for Onassis at the time.
  • The 1992 film Love Field, set during (and after) the assassination of the President, a Dallas housewife's life centers around Kennedy's actions. Sooner, she finds herself ruined by the President's assassination in Dallas. The role of Kennedy is played by actress Rhoda Griffis, which is regarded as her breakout role.[citation needed]
  • In the 1996 film First Wives Club, the character Shelley buys and expensive Japanese ceramic plate after being told that "Jackie O had one just like it".
  • In the 1997 movie The House of Yes, actress Parker Posey played a main character who referred to herself as "Jackie O.", due to her obsession with the First Lady.
  • In the 2001 film Legally Blonde, the main character is left by her boyfriend with the following explanation: "If I'm going to be a Senator by the time I'm thirty, well, I need to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn."
  • The 2002 science fiction film Timequest explores what happens to Kennedy after the assassination is prevented, taking on an alternate timeline. Kennedy is one of the main leading roles in this film, and is played by Caprice Benedetti.
  • In the 2003 film Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, actress Reese Witherspoon chooses to wear a Jackie Kennedy Onassis inspired dress on her first day working in the U.S. Capital.
  • In the 2007 film Hairspray, reference is made to Kennedy's hairstyle where Edna Turnblad says that her hair is "naturally stiff".

Film and other media portrayals

Onassis has been portrayed by many actresses in film and other media including:

Notes and references

α The show's developers created this character and named her after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, whose maiden name was Bouvier. It is also noted that Marge Simpson has the maiden name "Bouvier", and all Bouvier women are voiced by Julie Kavner.


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