02 April 2014

Classic Movie Stars Look-Alikes

I secretly pride myself at having quite the visual eye and being good at faces - and while it's a 'gift' that never comes in handy when you spot somebody in the street that you recognize but desperately want to avoid (despite the fact that they've already spotted you too because the recognition practically stands written all over your face) - I always find it great fun to try and detect resemblances and similarities in movies and their stars. When it comes to people, the mere physical resemblance can sometimes be uncanny; at times going to the extreme point of similar mannerisms, certain looks and personal quirks (which makes it so fun to be an impersonator I believe). Or is it all just in my head, I wonder? Oh well, it varies, of course, what people find similar to what or whom and what others don't. I guess it has a lot to do with how we see and associate other people to ourselves and people we know. In the end, I believe visual memory/association to be highly personal and subjective, deeply connected to one's feelings - depending on the significance of the memories, of course.

Anyhow, enough with the 'spacing-out'. This is just some silly stuff and musings I concocted because I - as usual - couldn't help myself. Enjoy ;) 

(PS. I intend to keep updating this list as I come across more look-alikes. Meanwhile, be free to make more suggestions or take a look at some other funny look-alikes throughout time). 

Sylvia Sidney vs. Marion Cotillard

Sylvia Sidney (left) and Marion Cotillard

I once came across this picture on the Internet and I simply couldn't take my eyes of the resemblance between Sylvia and Marion! I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it before! Furthermore, Marion has that old star quality about her; a beauty that made her so well-suited for the 1920s' setting of "Midnight in Paris" (where the right picture above is taken from). 

Lew Ayres vs. Robert Walker

Lew Ayres

Robert Walker

I may be totally wrong on this, but there's just such a striking resemblance between these two guys: the large forehead and contemplating look; the small chin and neat hair that gave them an almost boyish vibe. Arguably, Lew was more handsome during his time, but I'll leave it to you to judge. Furthermore, there's a certain Alan Ladd-vibe about these two as well:

Laraine Day vs. Patricia Neal

Laraine Day

Patricia Neal

The resemblance is uncanny and I keep confusing them all the time! There's just something about their eyes and eyebrows when they both looked anxious or troubled... Just watch some of their respective films and see for yourselves; there are lots of similar moments!

Donna Reed vs. Teresa Wright

Donna Reed

Teresa Wright

I don't really know why I keep mistaking them for one another, because they are not really that alike if you look at other pictures of them. Maybe it's the hair? Or their smiles? Or their sweet girl-next-door-persona in, respectively, "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Shadow of a Doubt"? In reality, Teresa reminds me more of Eva Marie Saint or Joan Leslie, whereas Donna almost has a bit of Olivia de Havilland in her...
Olivia de Havilland

Eva Marie Saint
Joan Leslie

Marlene Dietrich vs. Tallulah Bankhead

Marlene Dietrich

Tallulah Bankhead

Of course, people had seen this coming, and I'm sure it has been pointed out before: the bedroom eyes, the nonchalant attitude, the androgynous look, the adjunct in the shape of a handsome man with puppy eyes etc.. One could include Greta Garbo and even Bette Davis in this category, too. Yet, where Marlene and Greta arguably succeeded in using their foreign origin to add to their exotic allure and mystery, and Bette had her undeniably versatile talent, Tallulah - a true 'Scarlett O'Hara' (a part for which she also auditioned for) or should I say the female version of 'Rhett Butler'? - was perhaps overshadowed in terms of being THE silver screen temptress and more known for her controversial lifestyle and attitude off screen (even to have said to have been in a relationship with both Marlene and Greta). However, this is, as I said, debatable. Even Bette admitted to having emulated Tallulah in "Dark Victory", which Tallulah had played on stage. And Tallulah did indeed have a significant influence on women's emancipation which for no reason should be downplayed.

Greta Garbo
Bette Davis

Paul Newman vs. Michelangelo's David

Paul Newman

Michelangelo's David

Okay, okay. This has gone a bit silly, I'll admit, but still there's no doubt about it! I'm utterly convinced that Paul really was a Greek god, originally carved from marble and then took human form, and sent to this planet to set the bar for male beauty PLUS make the silver screen all the more delightful to gaze upon ;D Or maybe he had lived in a previous life, let's say the Renaissance, and Michelangelo just happened to use him as a model for his work...

Vivien Leigh vs. Maureen O'Sullivan

Vivien Leigh

Maureen O'Sullivan

Surely, they could be sisters! With their shared mannerisms, girly voices, dimpled smiles, coquettish/impish nature and at times even feisty beings, not to mention staggering beauty, they could easily have competed for the role as 'Scarlett O'Hara' in "Gone With The Wind" (yet, we're glad Vivien got the role as she was practically born for it!). They even had the chance to play together in the movie "A Yank at Oxford" (1938) just before Vivien was picked for the role as Scarlett. However, it was said that "[...] Leigh felt judged by Maureen O'Sullivan, (whom she had befriended years earlier at school) because O'Sullivan was happily married and Leigh was in the midst of an affair with Laurence Olivier and awaiting word of a divorce from her first husband, Leigh Holman. Therefore, the relationship was 'strained'":

Vivien Leigh (left) and Maureen O'Sullivan

I mean, just look at the similarity!:


Clark Gable vs. Kent Taylor

Clark Gable

Kent Taylor

Apropos, "Gone With The Wind", another major, significant star from the film is (of course) Clark Gable, who seemed to also have a 'twin'..! Something I would have laughed at before this recent and surprising discovery - because to me Clark's looks have always been so very unique. However, I was watching "I Take This Woman" (1940) where the actor Kent Taylor appeared and he immediately struck me by his physical resemblance to Clark - albeit not as tall, nor  deep-voiced and not nearly as magnetic as Clark - and maybe it was simply the moustache that did it, but there were just something so familiar... Apparently, Kent Taylor and Clark Gable shared other than just looks as both their names should reportedly have been used as the inspiration for Superman's alter-ego Clark Kent.

(Btw, I love how serene and happy Clark looked around the making of GWTW - which I guess dear Carole must take most of the credit for - except, of course, if you believe this rumour).

One could also favor including George Brent here, mainly due to his bodily and virile resemblance to Clark, moustache and all (they actually worked together once on Broadway in 1927), yet I would argue Brent's (acting-)persona and voice as less similar to Clark's more demanding one. At times, Brent reminds me more of the mild voice and manners of a distinguished, yet cheerful Ronald Colman, but I guess that's just me. 

George Brent

Also, presently, George Clooney, has been opted as a perfect Clark Gable look-alike; charismatic, masculine and all. Then again, Clooney just as well reminds one of always charming and debonair Cary Grant (what's with all the similar initials, anyway?). You decide:

Clark Gable (left) and George Clooney (right)

Bette Davis vs. Joan Blondell

Joan Blondell (left) and Bette Davis

Joan and Bette only starred in one film together, "Three on a Match" (1932), but were reportedly good friends off-screen as well (though it's hard finding head or tail in the rumours circulating Bette's feuds and friends). Though Bette rather early changed her appearance from blond to brunette which made her stand apart from Joan's iconic blonde persona, they looked very similar during the early thirties. Although, I would argue that Joan had more of the cheeky, down-to-earth and 'rosy-cheeked Betty Grable-beauty' that made her the sex symbol she was in comparison to Bette's more aloof beauty.
Bette (left) and Joan

Joan (left) and Bette

To be continued ...


  1. I always thought lew Ayres resembled jack Lemmon.

  2. I think Olivia De Havilland & Donna Reed look like twin sisters. Donna was just 5 years younger, but they could pass for each other in films made the same years. It's a shame Donna Reed died so young & is wonderful that Olivia just celebrated her 100th birthday.