The life of one of the most famous American women of the last half of the 20th century receives yet another retelling in this made-for-TV drama. Raised by a harsh, domineering mother (Frances Fisher) and a charming but unfaithful (and alcoholic) father (Fred Ward), Jacqueline Bouvier (Joanne Whalley) is born into privileged circumstances but learns early on that wealth and power do not guarantee happiness. Jackie falls in love with John F. Kennedy (Tim Matheson), the son of a family even richer and more influential than her own, and is by his side as he becomes President of the United States -- though she soon discovers that, like her father, his charm and position make him very attractive to other women, a temptation he does little to resist. After the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, Jackie becomes America's best-known widow, and is forced to struggle through her mourning in the glare of the public eye. Alone and with expensive tastes, Jackie eventually becomes the trophy wife of Aristotle Onassis (Philip Baker Hall), yet another wealthy and flamboyant man. Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was first aired in two parts on November 5 and 8, 2000, by the CBS television network.
by Mark Deming synopsis