5.12.2005.VOIGHT GIVEN POPE'S BLESSING TO PORTRAY HIM 20 YEARS AGO



JON VOIGHT jumped at the chance to play POPE JOHN PAUL II in a new TV mini-series because he had the late Pontiff's blessing to play him on screen.

The actor plays a convincing John Paul in new US TV film POPE JOHN PAUL II and he admits the role has been 20 years in the making.

The DELIVERANCE star says, "There was an offer to me in the 80s to play John Paul II and it was approved by him. The piece never got made, it was something he had written, an autobiographical thing.

"So I felt, when I got this offer, it's coming from the man himself. He's got his hand on my shoulder."

Pope John Paul II died in April (05) aged 84.

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