Literary Look-Alikes: Who are the Doppelgangers?

 

Over at Facebook, folks are winding down Doppelganger Week, which called on Facebook users to change their profile picture to a celebrity they’ve been said to resemble.

As it turns out, I’ve been said to resemble a broad array of celebrities.  When I was in college, my father (around the same time he said my two sisters looked like Jessica Lange and Kim Basinger, respectively), maintained that I looked “just like” these knockouts:

 

Apparently age has treated me well, however.  More recently, I’ve been compared to these women:

 

Um, yeah… right.  Although I’m much happier to be compared to Kate Hudson or that actress who temporarily ruined Law & Order than either of the Rosies, I conclude from this mish mash of non-matching faces that I may not have a celebrity doppelganger.  But, lucky for me, other writers do.

You see, much like my father, I also have a tendency to swear that people look “just like” someone else.  I can’t run into Andrew Gross, for example, without reminding him he looks like that totally hot kid on Weeds.

 

  

 And poor Michael Koryta has surely lost count of the times I’ve pointed out his resemblance to David Duchovny.

 

 

Marcus Sakey‘s probably sick of hearing that he looks like Starsky.

 

 

The late JD Salinger bore a strong resemblance to George Gershwin.

 

JA Konrath sort of looks like Ben Roethlisberger.

 

And Barry Eisler might as well change his last name to Baldwin.

 

It turns out some writers have lookalikes I hadn’t thought of. Jason Pinter also played Doppelganger Week, posting a photo of Al Gore.  Now, Jason, can you say “Lockbox?”

 

Laura Lippman tells me she’s often compared to Susan Dey.  No surprise there, right? 

  

But I was beyond amused to hear that in profile, she’s a dead ringer for a fellow journalist who loved Underdog, Sweet Polly Purebred.

 

 

With some writers, the identification of a lookalike’s a little more challenging.  And, boy, do I like a challenge.

With someone like James Born, for example, it depends which photograph you select.  In some pictures he looks a lot like that writer who once said I looked like Rosie O’Donnell.

 

But in other pictures, Jim, I’ve got to say it, you look more like MacGyver.

 

 

In my constant quest to identify lookalikes, I have an irritating tendency to tell friends they look like X and Y had a baby.  Harlan Coben, for example, looks like the offspring of Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci.

+     =

 

And Victor Gischler could be the long-lost love child of Meat Loaf and Mario Batali.  (Wow, that sentence  actually made me hungry.)

 

+     =

 So here’s today’s challenge: Who are the other doppelgangers?  Do you have one, and this a good thing or bad?  And which other writers have lookalikes that I’ve missed?  Psychic gold stars for those who include links to photos!

61 thoughts on “Literary Look-Alikes: Who are the Doppelgangers?

  1. JD Rhoades

    Jason Pinter’s probably getting sick of hearing that he looks like Clancy Brown (the guy who played the villain in Highlander). I laughed hard at the Konrath/Roethlisberger comparison.

    I don’t think I look like anybody.

    Reply
  2. Jen Forbus

    I mentioned this one to you, but I think Tom Schreck looks like David Boreanaz. And JLB makes me thing of Tommy Lee Jones. I’d never seen that kid from Weeds, but yeah, he does look like Andy. The Harlan Coben one is hysterical!

    Reply
  3. Alexandra Sokoloff

    This is great, Alafair – I’m not going to get a second of work done today, now.

    I definitely see Stanley Tucci in Harlen Coben. Especially all that charm from Julie and Julia.

    Marcus/Starsky, well, who HASN’T had that fantasy?

    I’d pay to see a remake of MacGyver with Jim Born.

    I get Kyra Sedgwick more than anyone else. I was at a Sundance fest several years ago that she was at and I’d hear people whispering behind me in lines that I was her. She had a movie there that everyone had seen so it should have been perfectly clear that I WASN’T her, this time, but I have never been so stared at – unnerving. One person came up to me and said – You’re Kyra Sedgwick. I said – Thanks, but actually, I’m not. He said – Yes you are.

    At that point I started to wonder, myself.

    Reply
  4. TerriMolina

    I don’t have a famous doppleganger but I was once told I looked like Julia Roberts….must have been during a good hair/make-up day. ;-P
    I love the comparisons you made. The first time I met Jon Clinch (Finn) I thought he looked like Martin Mull…he didn’t appreciate that. lol

    Reply
  5. Stacy Allen

    Alafair,
    This was so wonderful. I laughed and laughed. Especially when I got down to your insights on Harlen’s lineage. Hilarious! And who knew your daddy had a lost son!

    Well done!

    Reply
  6. Paul Levine

    Please be advised that I represent Harlan Coben in his lawsuit against you for libel, slander, and cracking wise. Immediately cease, desist (and stop!) all such doppelganging forthwith, if not sooner.

    Paul Levine, Esq.

    (I have been told I look like Harrison Ford. Wait! I meant Henry Ford).

    Reply
  7. Alafair Burke

    As for the cease and desist notice, Paul, I really do hope I haven’t pissed anyone off. I get carried away, you know? Anyone named in the post has lifetime permission to crack wise in my general direction.

    Reply
  8. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    I’ve been lucky with the doppelgangers. I get Bono every week. Those who still remember The Graduate call me Dusty, or Dustin Hoffman. I was in a bar once and a guy insisted I was Sean Penn (I don’t really understand that one.) When I was in college there was a bit of Robin Williams in there. And occasionally there’s a Steve Perry comment. I’ll stick with Bono, if I have any say in the matter.

    Reply
  9. Robert Gregory Browne

    I always get John Ritter. I don’t see it, but what the hell do I know?

    When I was young and skinny and had long hair, I walked out of a backstage door right before a Tom Petty concert and a woman squealed and said, "There he is!"

    Then, when I walked into the light, she frowned. "Oh."

    My short brush with fame.

    Reply
  10. JT Ellison

    I participated in doppleganger week for about three hours. I don’t think I look like anyone, but Randy ran a picture through some facial recognition software and it came up with Kristy Swanson. I’ve taken it down though, she had on a revealing dress. You can only imagine…

    Reply
  11. Jinky

    As for celebrity doppelgangers, I get compared to Vivien Leigh, Delta Burke, and Katy Perry a lot. But a few years ago, I kept being approached by people who thought I was someone else, someone who worked at a hot dog shack. It was really weird, so weird I actually went to this place looking for the person who (allegedly) looked just like me. Turned out, she was the half-sister I never knew I had. Freaky for both of us.

    I can’t think of any literary doppelgangers, but I have to say, Dale from Top Chef always reminded me of Dale from Disney’s Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers. Check it out:

    Dale from Top Chef: http://z.about.com/d/gourmetfood/1/0/W/C/Dale.jpg

    Chipmunk Dale (on the right): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/38/ChipDaleLogo.jpg

    It’s uncanny.

    Reply
  12. Alafair Burke

    JT, I can see Kristy Swanson a little, especially if you were in wore a cheerleading outfit and carried a wooden stake at the ready. Jinky, Dale/Dale is hilarious but I’m fascinated by your hot dog stand/half-sister story.

    I think I once had a doppelganger, but not a celeb (or to my knowledge a half-sister). When I was in high school in Wichita, several people kept telling me, "I saw some girl who looked exactly like you." Apparently one of my friends was looking at this girl so hard that she said, "No, I’m not Alafair!" Her name was supposedly Apples. I never saw her, though, so always wondered what she looked like. Anyone know someone my age from Kansas named Apples?!

    Reply
  13. Ellen Meister

    Here’s my take on the whole doppelganger thing …

    I’m told from certain angles, I look like Terri Garr
    Or funny gal Brett Butler, if glanced at from afar
    And once I heard my features look a little bit the same
    As comic Andrea Martin from SCTV fame
    Lying’s not a pretty thing, but would it summon doom
    If, just once, somebody said I look like Heidi Klum?

    Reply
  14. BCB

    Oh, these are hilarious! Love it.

    Several years ago I was at a party and noticed a woman was staring at me, very intently. And then talking animatedly to her date. Then staring some more. She finally came up to me and said I looked exactly like Grace Kelly. Once I stopped laughing, she insisted and said she had once lived next door to her out in CA and saw her all the time and I looked just like her. It was weird. Then over Thanksgiving break my DD was home and saw a picture of Grace Kelly and said, "Hey mom, this lady looks like you." (Really, not even close. But nice to imagine.)

    Last night I went to turn on the local news and the Grammys were still on and I watched for a couple minutes and they introduced Jeff Bridges (I think that’s his name?) and he looked and sounded exactly like a younger Kris Kristopherson. Very odd.

    Reply
  15. Boyd Morrison

    The one I get most often is Clint Eastwood (presumably not the 80-year-old version). But lately, I’ve had several of people tell me my author photo looks like Michael J. Fox. I don’t mind either comparison, but I couldn’t imagine how much more different two guys good could look than they do.

    If you really want a doppleganger, check out Graham Brown. As one poster put it in this hilarious chain of comments, "Holy Younger Pierce Brosnan, Batman!"

    http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-read-it-for-articles-i-swear.html

    Reply
  16. berenmind

    BCB,

    I just went to your link on GK. YOU’RE RIGHT!! It’s Cornelia!! and her daughter’s name is Grace…….Hmmmmnnnn?

    Reply
  17. Pop Culture Nerd

    Hilarious, Alafair, especially Harlan Coben’s parentage and Barry Eisler’s real last name.

    A car salesman once insisted I was Lucy Liu, but I think she was the only famous Asian person he could think of and he thought all of us look alike. Even after I told him I wasn’t (and showed him ID for the paperwork), he decided Lucy Liu must be my stage name. He bought me lunch, gave me champagne, and asked me about making Charlie’s Angels while we negotiated the purchase of my car. I didn’t care. I got a fantastic deal on the car!

    Reply
  18. Marlyn

    Alafair, I have to say you bear a great resemblance to the photo of Meg Tilly that is posted near the top of your blog.
    I’m not an author, but Toni Kelner thinks I look like Kathy Najimy. I don’t think I look like anyone famous.

    Reply
  19. toni mcgee causey

    Great fun, Alafair. When I was blonde (there exists a tiny few photographic pieces of evidence which I will not share), and visiting L.A., I got the Mira Sorvino comparison. (Poor woman.)

    Now, I’m lucky if I get Taz.

    Reply
  20. kit

    I was fairly sure I didn’t look like anyone either. But I figured" What the hell"..and googled this link…..
    http://www.myheritage.com/celebrity-face-recognition…I put in my most recent picture (from my FB profile, taken in January.
    While there were no exact matches, what I did get, made me howl with laughter…seems, I’m a composite of a bunch of Asian artists, Brandon Lee, Tyra Banks, Heather Locklear…and …Charlie Sheen. HOLY COW! all that.

    Reply
  21. Alafair Burke

    Marlyn, That’s actually Jennifer Tilly, though she looks more like Meg there. (That was one of the few pics I found of her online where she didn’t have two very large features hanging out that I truly don’t share!)

    Toni, I can actually see the Mira Sorvino thing.

    Kit, That website is funny. Gave me some Asian "celebrity" I never heard of.

    Reply
  22. Keith Raffel

    Alafair, thanks for the belly laughs after a hard day in the word mines. About five years ago at the Frankfurt airport, some kids in their twenties were convinced I was Steven Spielberg. Finally, to convince them I wasn’t, I showed them my boarding pass — coach.

    Reply
  23. Keith Raffel

    Alafair, thanks for the belly laughs after a hard day in the word mines. About five years ago at the Frankfurt airport, some kids in their twenties were convinced I was Steven Spielberg. Finally, to convince them I wasn’t, I showed them my boarding pass — coach.

    Reply
  24. Keith Raffel

    Alafair, thanks for the belly laughs after a hard day in the word mines. About five years ago at the Frankfurt airport, some kids in their twenties were convinced I was Steven Spielberg. Finally, to convince them I wasn’t, I showed them my boarding pass — coach.

    Reply
  25. Cornelia Read

    BCB, have I told you lately that I love you?

    Usually if I get a (flattering) comparison it’s to Ingrid Bergman, which is very nice even thought it’s usually uttered by very old men in very dark bars. Even so, it’s a pretty great thing to hear, since most days I look in the mirror and go, "Cha. More like Ingmar."

    Reply
  26. BCB

    *snort* Yeah, Cornelia, I get people telling me that all the time. Turns out it’s almost always indigestion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And Ingmar? Oh please, you’re gorgeous. I can see a bit of the Ingrid similarity, but you’re definitely more Grace. You need to stop hanging out with very old men in very dark bars. They can’t see worth a damn.

    Reply
  27. ksharp

    One of the most common sweeteners or additives to a good cup of tea is honey,and can be added to give different taste to any tea,wow goldthey can be added by the use of a honey stick.

    Reply
  28. Hoca

    I pride to be citizen of the world, so I am also hoping that the Hinduโ€™s class system of โ€œRoyal(lords) and peasant (commoner)will changeโ€, so the education level will improve together with the knowledge, virtues and economy.
    China had forgotten the past history with Japan. The former Premiere Mr. Deng Xiao Ping , when asked by the Japanese premiere about twenty five years ago.โ€ about the return of the northern island back to China.โ€ Mr. Dan replied:โ€ Slow down, we wouldnโ€™t know how the politics of the world is going to be fifty years from now.โ€ Most recently, Mr. Hu said:โ€ We hope Japan will involve in greater part of the affair of the world. We are happy to see the peaceful path Japan takes since the thank you for sharing:)

    Reply
  29. mens watches

    http://www.manelefree.net replica swiss watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com replica watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com mens watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/breitling-navitimer breitling navitimer
    http://www.watches-mens.com/rolex-datejust rolex datejust
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/rolex-watches rolex watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/bell-ross-watches bell ross watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/ferrari-watches ferrari watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/bvlgari-watches bvlgari watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/rolex-datejust-watches Rolex DateJust
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/burberry-watches Burberry watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/breguet-watches Breguet watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/chopard-watches-c-24 chopard watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/hublot-watches hublot watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/u-boat-watches U boat watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/rolex-daytona rolex daytona
    http://www.watches-mens.com/iwc iwc watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/panerai-luminor panerai luminor
    http://www.watches-mens.com/burberry burberry watches

    Reply
  30. mens watches

    http://www.manelefree.net replica swiss watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com replica watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com mens watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/breitling-navitimer breitling navitimer
    http://www.watches-mens.com/rolex-datejust rolex datejust
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/rolex-watches rolex watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/bell-ross-watches bell ross watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/ferrari-watches ferrari watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/bvlgari-watches bvlgari watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/rolex-datejust-watches Rolex DateJust
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/burberry-watches Burberry watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/breguet-watches Breguet watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/chopard-watches-c-24 chopard watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/hublot-watches hublot watches
    http://www.worldwide-watches.com/u-boat-watches U boat watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/rolex-daytona rolex daytona
    http://www.watches-mens.com/iwc iwc watches
    http://www.watches-mens.com/panerai-luminor panerai luminor
    http://www.watches-mens.com/burberry burberry watches

    Reply
  31. Coach Sling Bags

    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/new-arrivals
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-handbag-hotsale
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/new-coach-handbags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-handbags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-shoulder-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-sling-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-backpacks
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-luggage-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-patchwork-purses

    Reply
  32. gold-cufflinks

    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/colour-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/gray-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/orange-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/pink-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/yellow-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/black-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/white-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/silver-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/blue-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/red-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/purple-cufflinks%5D
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/green-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/gold-cufflinks
    http://www.cufflinksmall.com/

    Reply
  33. Coach Spotlight Bags

    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-spotlight-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-hampton-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-garnet-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-top-handle-pouch
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-travel-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-wallets
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-shoes
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/ladies-coach-shoes
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/ladies-coach-boots
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/shoes-ladies-coach-sandals

    Reply
  34. Coach Tote Bags

    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-tote-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-baby-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-hobo-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-cambridge-hobo
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-claire-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-carly-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-leather-handbags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-ergo-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-maggie-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-sabrina-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-tribeca-bags

    Reply
  35. Coach Tote Bags

    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-tote-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-baby-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-hobo-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-cambridge-hobo
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-claire-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-carly-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-leather-handbags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-ergo-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-maggie-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-sabrina-bags
    http://www.coachswifeconfessional.com/coach-tribeca-bags

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *