judith chapman as nancy reagan in king richard young and restless
Credit: Image: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Young and Restless actress hits the big screen in King Richard with actor Will Smith.

Talk about a way to ace a new movie role. Judith Chapman, best known to audiences as both Diana Colville on Days of our Lives and Gloria Bardwell on The Young and the Restless, with a brief crossover to The Bold and the Beautiful, has been cast as former First Lady Nancy Reagan in a new Will Smith-starring film King Richard, Soaps.com has learned. The film surrounds Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, Soaps.com has learned.

Chapman posted the announcement of her casting on Facebook, writing, “Pleased to leak the latest… I will be playing ‘Just Say No’ NANCY REAGAN in Will Smith’s new film..’KING RICHARD’ about Venus & Serena’s Dad and their rise to Tennis Fame! Last year TALLULAH…HAH! The Life of an Actor!”

More: 33 actors gather for new Y&R cast photo

For those who may not remember, Nancy Reagan was married to the President Ronald Reagan from 1952 to his death in 2004; she died in 2016. Chapman included a photo with her Facebook post, showing the two young players meeting the former President in 1990 at a tennis camp in Florida, along with a shot of Will Smith as the title tennis coach/dad alongside an image of the real deal. The “Just Say No” comment in her caption refers to Nancy’s drug awareness campaign, which was one of her big initiatives while at the White House.

King Richard, which is also set to include Live Schreiber and Dylan McDermott, is meant to be the story of a very interesting father, whose life is well-worth documenting. Despite not having a tennis background, Williams managed to raise two of the most legendary players of all time, giving them lessons on public courts in Compton, Los Angeles. Venus went on to win seven Grand Slam titles; Serena, 23. The release date is set for November 25, 2020, which will put it smack in the middle of Academy Award season.

More: General Hospital suspends production amid Coronavirus pandemic

Chapman’s a long-term soap actress; in the past she had brief appearances on As the World Turns, One Life to Live; plus longer stints on Ryan’s Hope (Charlotte Greer Ryan), General Hospital (Ginny Blake) in addition to her more recent roles as Days’ Diana (2019), as well as Anjelica Deveraux (on and off from 1989 to 2018) and Y&R’s Gloria (2005 – 2018). Her resume is also full of feature and TV roles, including parts on Murder, She Wrote and Silk Stalkings. Chapman also played former Hollywood legend Tallulah Bankhead in a stage production of Looped in 2019.