Definitions

hadst look

Look-alike

[look-uh-lahyk]
A look-alike is a living person who closely resembles another living person. In popular Western culture, a look-alike is a person who bears a close physical resemblance to a celebrity, politician or member of royalty. Many look-alikes earn a living by making guest appearances at public events or performing on television or film, playing the person they resemble. A large variety of different celebrity lookalike images can be found throughout the web including professional agencies offering their services such as Lookalikes.net

Look-alikes have also figured prominently at least since the 19th century in literature, and in the 20th and 21st centuries in film.

Live

  • Mikheil Gelovani, a Georgian actor and Joseph Stalin look-alike, played the Soviet leader in propaganda films of the 1930s and 1940s. In 2008, 88-year-old Felix Dadaev, a former dancer and juggler, disclosed that he had been one of four look-alikes whom Stalin had employed as decoys to mislead enemies and potential assassins (there in fact were attempts on Stalin's life — two at Yalta alone).
  • Charlie Chaplin once during the '30s went to a Charlie Chaplin-look-alike competition and ended in third place.
  • In 1944, shortly before D-Day, M.E. Clifton James, who bore a close resemblance to Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, was sent to Gibraltar and North Africa, in order to deceive the Germans about the location of the upcoming invasion. This story was the subject of a book and film, I Was Monty's Double.
  • A notable conspiracy theory holds that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a Canadian policeman named William Shears Campbell.
  • In the 1970s, actor-comedian Richard M. Dixon (born James LaRoe), look-alike to then-President Richard M. Nixon, gained some celebrity, portraying the president in the films, Richard (1972) and The Faking of the President (1976). He also appeared in the unreleased short film Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story.
  • Jeannette Charles has, since the early 1970s, worked as a look-alike to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Saddam Hussein allegedly employed several look-alikes for political purposes during his Iraq reign, though this has been disputed by some analysts. According to a CBS 60 Minutes segment in late January 2008, Saddam Hussein denied to an American interrogator that he had employed doubles.
  • The BBC comedy programme Doubletake made extensive use of look-alikes playing their doubles in apparently embarrassing situations, seen through CCTV cameras and amateur video, using distance shots and shaky camera-work to disguise the true identity of those being filmed. Due to the nature of this programme and conditions of filming, many of the world's most authentic lookalikes boycotted the project leaving the producer to rely on the careful use of soft focus, lighting and carefully positioned camera angles to make the mainly amateur lookalikes resemble the characters they portrayed.
  • Since the year 2001, the UK's most successful lookalike has been Derek Williams ("Svenalike") as Sven-Goran Eriksson's lookalike/soundalike double who was selected by TheFA as a stand in for Eriksson at VIP receptions and for Official pre-match Hospitality and has achieved widespread acclaim and the most extensive TV, film and video exposure of any celebrity double in recent history.
  • Armando Ianucci's Friday Night Armistice (1996–98) featured "the bus of Dianas", a bus full of Princess Diana look-alikes which was dispatched to "care" at the sites of various minor tragedies.
  • Steve Sires, a look-alike of Microsoft's Bill Gates, came to attention when he attempted to trademark "Microsortof", and subsequently acted in Microsoft commercials. He became especially famous for his role in the 2002 film, Nothing So Strange, in which his character makes a speech, looks up and is assassinated.
  • UK Big Brother contestant Chantelle Houghton once worked briefly and unsuccessfully for a look-alike agency as a Paris Hilton look-alike, earning her the nickname "Paris Travelodge". After Houghton won series 4 of Celebrity Big Brother, the same agency had already signed up another more authentic and professional model as a Paris Hilton look-alike, who was briefly also offered as a fake "Chantelle".
  • UK Richard and Judy ran a competition for Little Britain Lookalikes in 2005 and after the live final broadcast on Friday January 28th 2005 on Channel Four Two winning contestants Gavin Pomfret and Stuart Morrison formed a Little Britain Tribute act called Littler Britain who due to their popularity on Myspace and Facebook have become the most popular lookalikes in the world.

Literature

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