Actors Who Made Entire Careers Out of Looking Like One Famous Person

This might be the only positive to being a dead ringer for Stalin
Actors Who Made Entire Careers Out of Looking Like One Famous Person

It’s an unfortunate fact of Hollywood that looks matter, so notwithstanding the pantheon of character actors, everyone tends to end up looking the same bland kind of hot. If you get arguably lucky enough to really look like someone else, and that someone else is really famous, however, you can carve out a niche for yourself that hordes of homogenous hotties would kill for.

Jeannette Charles

Jeannette Charles had what initially appeared to be the misfortune of entering show business right around the time of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. Not because Lizzy got so jealous of the previous Elizabeth’s association with theater that she outlawed it or anything — the two women looked so much alike that Charles couldn’t get any roles for fear that audiences would start looking up the royal family’s rules about appearing in soap operas. As the Queen got queenier, however, their resemblance became an advantage for Charles, and in the 1970s, she became the one to call if a movie needed an Elizabeth II. She was most prominent in the 1980s, when she appeared in the National Lampoon and Naked Gun franchises, but her last role was in 2002, in Austin Powers in Goldmember

No, that wasn’t really the Queen knighting Mike Myers, sadly.

Mikheil Gelovani

Mikheil Gelovani had a perfectly respectable career in the Soviet film and theater industry in the 1920s and 1930s until someone realized he was a dead ringer for Great Leader. For the next decade and a half, from 1938 to 1953, he played Joseph Stalin in Soviet propaganda films almost exclusively. In fact, he was soon so closely associated with Stalin that he was prohibited from playing any other roles, as no one wanted to see Wacky Sidekick Stalin or, possibly worse, Romantic Lead Stalin. 

Such restrictions were presumably lifted in 1956, when Premier Nikita Khrushchev banned all 15 films in which Gelovani appeared as Stalin, but Gelovani died at the end of the year, so he didn’t get much of a chance to take advantage.

Richard M. Dixon

There was exactly one point in history when it was good to both be a comedian and look like Richard Nixon, and that was 1972. In fact, it worked out so well for James LaRoe that he started going by the stage name Richard M. Dixon. (He said the “M” stood for “maybe.”

Over the course of his whole career, he only ever had one film or TV role that wasn’t Nixon, and that was in a “satire spoof about a National Enquirer-type tabloid, featuring a cast of celebrity look-alikes” who didn’t play the celebrities they looked like. Yeah, we don’t know, either. 

When the Tricky Dick shtick got old, he opened a comedy club that launched the careers of some of the most celebrated comedians of the 1980s, making him possibly the only celebrity lookalike whose contributions to society were greater than those of the person he played.

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