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Cousins Tsar Nicholas II (left) and King George V in German military uniforms, Berlin, before World War I
Cousins Tsar Nicholas II (left) and King George V in German military uniforms, Berlin, before World War I

A look-alike, double, or doppelgänger is a person who bears a strong physical resemblance to another person, excluding cases like twins and other instances of family resemblance.

Some look-alikes have been notable individuals in their own right, such as Britain's King George V and Russia's Tsar Nicholas II, who bore a striking resemblance to each other (they were first cousins). Other notable look-alikes have been notable solely for resembling well-known individuals, such as Clifton James, who acted as a double for British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery during World War II.

Some look-alikes who have resembled celebrities have worked as entertainers, impersonating them on stage and screen, or at venues like parties and corporate functions. Professional look-alikes have often been represented by talent agencies specializing in celebrity impersonators.[1]

Close physical resemblance between two or more individuals is also a common plot point in works of fiction.

Notable look-alikes

Fictional look-alikes




  • In the ABC television series The Double Life of Henry Phyfe (1966), Red Buttons is the title character, a look-alike of a recently deceased foreign agent. A US intelligence agency recruits him to impersonate the agent on multiple occasions, on their behalf, despite his lack of intelligence-gathering skills.
  • In the Inspector Morse two-part episode, "The Settling of the Sun" (1988), a Japanese summer student at Oxford University, Yukio Ley, and his double become victims of murders connected with revenge for Japanese World War II atrocities.
  • The Lookalike (a made-for-TV thriller, 1990): A mentally disturbed woman is further tormented after discovering a girl who closely resembles her recently deceased daughter.
  • The CBS television series of reality specials, I Get That a Lot (2009–13), poked fun at the concept of "celebrity lookalikes", featuring celebrities appearing in everyday situations, such as working as clerks at stores. When pegged as celebrities, they would simply state some variation of the titular phrase, "I get that a lot," pretending that they were ordinary individuals who had been mistaken for celebrities.
  • In The CW's series The Vampire Diaries, doppelgängers were an important arc in the story. The female lead character, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), is a doppelgänger of a thousand-year old immortal named Amara, a descendant named Tatia, and an antagonistic vampire named Katherine Pierce/Katerina Petrova. Their bloodline is called the Petrova Family. The male lead character, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), is also a doppelgänger of Amara's love, Silas, the first immortal. This led to the prophecy that Elena and Stefan, as doppelgängers of the first immortals, are soulmates and are fated to be with each other.
  • The Woman in White: 2018 five-part BBC television adaptation of the sensation novel of the same name by Wilkie Collins. This TV production was preceded by 1966, 1982, and 1997 TV productions.


Video games

  • In Final Fantasy VIII, SeeD mercenaries and Forest Owls resistance fighters devise a complicated plan to kidnap the president of Galbadia Vinzer Deling, which includes switching the presidential train wagon from its tracks and replacing it with a mockup. Deling foresees the plan and sends a shapeshifter monster to take his place, who attacks the game protagonists. The monster is ultimately killed, but the plan's failure forces the Forest Owls into hiding.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, former drill instructor and adviser to the game's protagonist Solid Snake McDonnell Benedict Miller, better known by his nickname Master Miller is murdered before the game main events and replaced by main antagonist Liquid Snake in disguise. Liquid, as Master Miller, tricks Solid Snake into unknowingly do his bidding. The plot is discovered by Colonel Roy Campbell and his staff, who track Miller's communications and find out they are coming from Shadow Moses Island after the real Master Miller's corpse is found dead in his house.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops the first mission consists in assassinating Fidel Castro. The player succeeds, but at the end, it is revealed that the Fidel Castro he killed was actually a body double.
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, it is revealed that the president of Zheng Fa (a fictional country) had its president killed 12 years prior. The president encountered by the protagonists in the first episode, as is not revealed until the 5th one, was ultimately a body double.

See also


  1. ^ Kent, Simon (2002-05-01). "Odd Jobs: Unusual Ways to Earn a Living" (Paperback). Kogan Page Ltd. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7494-3705-3. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  2. ^ The Times (London), Friday, 7 July 1893, p. 5.
  3. ^ "Fifty Years of Falling: Meeting the Most Prolific Stuntman of All Time". Vice magazine.
  4. ^ Lucy Rock (January 29, 2006). "From Nobody Much to Someone Special". The Observer. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Dolly Parton Explains How She Lost Dolly Parton Look-a-Like Contest (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  6. ^ "This American Life from WBEZ, 458: "Play the Part," originally aired 2012-02-17".
  7. ^ "Can you tell Bernard Drainville and Bertrand St-Arnaud apart?". CBC News. April 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Bolesław Prus, Pharaoh, translated from the Polish by Christopher Kasparek, 2nd, revised ed., Warsaw, Polestar Publications, ISBN 83-88177-01-X, and New York, Hippocrene Books, 2001.
  9. ^ Private Eye#Regular sections
  10. ^ Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema [1]
  11. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Keira Knightley". MSN Movies. Archived from the original on 15 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2006.
  12. ^ "". 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
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