Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Look-alikes: Tina Fey & Sarah Palin

During the last Presidential campaigns in the US, there were many photos of comedian Tina Fey photographed in funny situations to look alike Sarah Palin and during the last stages of Palin's Vice Presidential campaign, Fey became very popular.

Look-alikes are people resembling other persons, and the most noted look-alikes are people who have physical resemblance to celebrities, politicians or members of royal families. Some of the look-alikes actually earn money and even fame by appearing in photo shoots, videos, magazines, TV and other events.

There are conspiracy theories on celebrities and look-alikes like the theory that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and since then a Canadian policeman named William Shears Campbell has been replaced as McCartney. Recently, after the death of Michael Jackson, the internet was full of stories even saying that Jackson’s look-alike died and Jackson is living in hiding in Mexico.

James LaRoe who had an amazing resemblance to the then US President Richard Nixon, and he was re-christened as Richard M. Dixon, the actor-comedian who became popular in the 1970s. He gained celebrity status portraying President Nixon in the films ‘Richard’ (1972) and ‘The Faking of the President’ (1976).

There were many stories of Saddam Hussein look-alikes during the Persian Gulf War in which Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, the Second Gulf War in which Iraqi forces were expelled from Kuwait and also the 2003 Iraq War. The stories spread that Hussein used several look-alikes for political purposes. Though these are conspiratorial in nature, Saddam Hussein himself had denied to an American interrogator that he had employed doubles or look-alikes.

The former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin is reported to have used look-alikes to mislead his enemies as he had a lot of them and there were assassination attempts, especially the two attempts at Yalta alone.

The legendary actor Charlie Chaplin loved to play Adolf Hitler and he had successfully done that in his films. The 1940’s The Great Dictator was Charlie Chaplin's first talkie in which Chaplin plays two roles of Adenoid Hynkel (a satirized Adolf Hitler) and a Jewish barber. Then the barber replaces Hynkel, who has been arrested after having been mistaken for the barber. Also there is an often quoted story (during the 1930s) about Charlie Chaplin once having gone to a “Charlie Chaplin Look-alike Competition”. Ironically, the real Chaplin didn't even make it to the finals.

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