Actors Who Look Like Historical Figures - Crazy Doppelgängers
How often has someone come up to you and said, “You look like that famous person! Ya know, the one from that show.” You’re left incredulous because you definitely don’t look like that celebrity. Maybe there’s a resemblance, but no, you just don’t really see it. And just like you, we bet that celebrities – even as famous as they are now – one day received similar comments. With 7 billion people on the planet, everybody has a doppelgänger, right? So we set out to find actors who look like historical figures to determine which celebrities have lookalikes from history.
Which famous faces resemble actors like Chuck Norris, Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage, pop star Christina Aguilera, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? These celebrities and actors who look like historical figures will blow your mind, and may get you wondering what famous historical figure you resemble. Be sure to SHARE these celebrity doppelgängers with your friends!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2016. It has been updated throughout.
Paul Giamatti and William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is by far the most famous playwright of all time. He was born in April 1564, over four centuries before Billions star Paul Giamatti, yet he is a dead ringer for the actor, from the receding hairline to the goatee. All that’s missing is the earring.
Mark Zuckerberg and Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV of Spain and Mark Zuckerberg bear an uncanny resemblance, along with reigning titles. The monarch, born in 1605, reigned over Spain from 1621 until his death in 1640. Zuckerberg, the “king” of social media giant Facebook, was born almost four centuries later, and his reign is still ongoing!
Jennifer Lawrence and Zubaida Tharwat
Zubaida Tharwat was born in 1940, five decades before Jennifer Lawrence, but their eyes and smile are so similar. In fact, Tharwat was an Egyptian film star who was known for having “the most beautiful eyes in classic Egyptian cinema.” Lawrence is also known for her eyes.
Jimmy Fallon and Turkish Revolutionist Mahir Çayan
Mahir Çayan was born in 1946, almost 30 years before Fallon, yet they are almost identical, including the mustache. Çayan was the leader of the People’s Liberation Party-Front in Turkey and a communist revolutionary in the Marxist-Leninist vein. In 1972, just two years shy of when Fallon was born, he was killed by soldiers. Reincarnation?!
Jon Stewart and Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher was born in 1813, during the time of slavery. He was an abolitionist and one of the best-known clergymen of his era. His doppelgänger, Jon Stewart – born almost two centuries later — is also a famous speaker, known for The Daily Show. He shares Beecher’s political activism, campaigning for 9/11 first responders’ health benefits.
Ben Schwartz and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein in 1879, was a Russian revolutionary who coined the phrase Trotskyism, a philosophy that opposes the theories of Stalinism. Parks and Recreation actor Ben Schwartz, who came into the world a century later, has nothing in common with his Russian historical twin, except for eerily similar facial features. Perhaps he was a Marxist in a previous life.
Keanu Reeves and Paul Mounet
Paul Mounet was a French actor born in 1847. His claim to fame was the lead in a 1909 silent black-and-white French version of Macbeth. Keanu Reeves is an American actor who tried his hand at Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing. Some people may have wished that role was silent. Look at how much they look alike!
Sean Penn and Young Abraham Lincoln
Before he was the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln — born on February 12, 1809 — practiced law in Springfield, Illinois. It’s insane how much Sean Penn, born 150 years later, looks like Honest Abe. Penn has played a lawyer, but never a president. He did, however, portray politician Harvey Milk in Milk.
Chuck Norris and Vincent Van Gogh
Iconic impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 in the Netherlands. We’re pretty sure that his doppelgänger, Chuck Norris — aka Carlos Ray Norris — born over eight decades later, never picked up a paintbrush. But the similarities between Van Gogh and the martial artist are uncanny, right down to the ginger beard.
Tommy Lee Jones and Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson, born in 1808, became the 17th United States President after assuming duties upon President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Over a century later, his doppelgänger , Tommy Lee Jones, was born. Jones has played military leaders, but never a president. His political claim to fame, perhaps, is the fact that he was roommates with Vice President Al Gore in college. He’d make a great Andrew Johnson onscreen.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rose Wilder Lane
Rose Wilder Lane, born in 1886, was an American journalist and one of the founders of the American libertarian movement, which supported freedom both personally and financially. Lane’s resemblance to Gyllenhaal is not only physical, as the actress is also known for her activism. Gyllenhaal even played a journalist in Crazy Heart. That’s just crazy!
Rupert Grint and Sir David Wilkie
Sir David Wilkie, born in 1785, was a British painter known for painting portraits of the royals. After returning from a trip to the Middle East he was buried at sea, off the coast of Gibraltar. Rupert Grint, a British actor known for the Harry Potter series, was born a little over two centuries later, and he looks eerily similar to Wilkie.
John Goodman and Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was born in 1881 in Portsmouth, Ohio. He was a famous baseball player/manager/general manager known for helping rid racism in Major League Baseball by signing the first black player, Jackie Robinson, to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Seventy years later, Goodman came into the world. You can’t deny the physical resemblance.
Zach Galifianakis and Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton was a famous French designer of leather goods and couture, born in August 1821. Galifianakis, not known for his fashion sense, is of Greek descent and was born in 1969, but you would swear they were related.
Peter Dinklage and Sebastián de Morra
Sebastián de Morra was a court dwarf and jester who performed at the court of Philip IV of Spain circa 1645. Dinklage, born in 1969, is a famous actor known for Game of Thrones. Not only are they historical twins, but his GoT character could probably rock De Morra’s centuries-old outfit.
Johnny Depp and Arthur Schopenhauer
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, born in 1788, bears a striking resemblance to a young Johnny Depp circa 1990, when he starred in Cry Baby. Oddly enough, they were both accused of physically abusing someone. Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, accused the actor of being “verbally and physically abusive.” And Caroline Louise Marquet claimed that Schopenhauer pushed her from his home so violently that it paralyzed her.
Robert De Niro and Johann Vogt
Johann Vogt, born in 1695 in Germany, was a theologian, bibliophile, and preacher at the Bremen Cathedral. Cut to legendary actor Robert De Niro, born almost two-and-a-half centuries later. As for portraying a man of religion, he was disguised as a monk in Hoodlums. Amazingly, these photos have not been doctored. They are most definitely historical twins, right down to the moles on their faces.
Orlando Bloom and Nicolae Grigorescu
Roman painter Nicolae Grigorescu was born in 1838, but when you look at him you think you’re seeing Orlando Bloom circa Pirates of the Caribbean, sans the spit spot. Bloom was born in 1977, well over a century later, yet they are eerily identical.
Jack Black and the Model for Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'
Jack Black has a musical background with his band, Tenacious D, but we’re pretty sure that he never posed for the opera The Barber of Seville, by Gioachino Rossini. This insane resemblance prompted a YouTube viewer to comment, “Is it just me, or does the dude in the picture look like Jack Black?” Yes, yes it does!
Christina Aguilera and Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers, born Virginia Katherine McMath in 1911, was a singer in the golden age of Hollywood, as well as Fred Astaire’s dancing partner. Christina Aguilera, born in 1980, was hugely popular in what some have called the golden age of pop music. Not only does she look like Rogers, but she also shares her singing and dancing talents. Could a biopic about Rogers be in Aguilera’s future?