Seeing double (again)


For some bizarre reason I find playing with Hollywood twins kinda fun, so I’m at it again. I would like to note that no actors were hurt in the making of this article.

A little while ago my son showed me how to save & paste images together using a very basic programme & I love it – it’s really fun seeing who twins up with who & even more wickedly fun when I try them out on my son & he can’t tell one from the other (he’s a very good sport about it all).

So where to start?

How about with the man who would be prince (Hamlet) & then King (Henry V, Lear & Richard III).

Comments by Michael from Hidden Agendas & Aferrismoon on Twinsel Town reminded me of an article by Gavin from Atlantean Times suggesting that Sir Laurence Olivier sired the knight apparent, Heath Ledger. link

So I thought I’d have wee looksee at the man of that moment.

I was not familiar with Laurence Olivier, wouldn’t have known him from bar of soap, but his name had been branded into my brain from an early age, along with a kind of drip-fed understanding that he was (& wiki concurred) “generally regarded to be the greatest actor of the 20th century.”

Wiki also went a little further down a route that both these gentlemen traversed, one on film & one in real life (apparently), that of having male lovers. Once again I find myself surprised at the difference in the images portrayed by actors in both reel & real life. Wiki suggests Olivier had an affair with actor Danny Kaye (well I was surprised) & even an embrace with Marlon Brando. At the very least this was an interesting character twinning between two actors linked together by a formidable writer. Indeed I have been wondering if twinning doesn’t run a little (or a lot) deeper than I first thought.

While speculating on images of Laurence Olivier, my mind did it’s own little rabbit out of a hat trick & very (very) strangely produced a twinning of one who not only would, but did ‘be king’

…at cross purposes in the above pic we have ‘Larry’ & Prince Rainer – a reel prince twinned with a real prince who married a reel actress & created a reel real princess.

As my mind & I were having quite a bit of fun coming up with alter egos for Larry, we turned our attention seaward, made like Captain Nemo & headed on a Voyage to The Bottom of the Sea

… whereupon Baron Olivier twinned up very nicely with actor David Hedison.

On our return to the surface, Larry had one last trick up his sleeve. With dyed hair & (extra died friend), he transformed himself from a Danish Prince into an agent for his U.N.C.L E & became Illya Kuryakin.


With such an astounding twin-ensemble, perhaps wiki’s praise was justified. Interestingly, the man who would be (& often was) king had his ashes interred in Westminster Abbey “alongside some of the people he has portrayed in theatre and film, for example King Henry V.”

Anyway we’re just having some fun here, so lets see what other Twinsel Town family members popped out of the same hats.

Under interrogation, a friend claimed to have never noticed any look-alike actors. A short time later the conversation ended thus, “Although I always used to get Lee Marvin & James Coburn mixed up” – well, say no more!

… & she was not the only one;

I always have to think twice on Lee Marvin and James Coburn though I’m not really sure why. They don’t look that much alike.”

My friend Ben from HPANWO had a little link running on a forum & I nabbed the following comment.

Johnny Depp has always reminded me of Christopher Walken, although I could never really explain why. I’ve always wondered if Depp could be Walken’s son.I remember being amazed when I watched the film Sleepy Hollow (Depp plays the main character) and Christopher Walken turns up towards the end in an uncredited cameo.”

I do so enjoy the honesty that runs through many twinning comments. I don’t know why, but phrases like “I don’t know why but…” warm the cockles of my heart. I honour that phrase because I recognise that the speaker is risking the ever-present threat of ridicule by speaking of something they feel or sense but can’t prove.

I must admit I was quite impressed with our speakers awareness. Both characters also seem to twin in their preferred role placement in the twilight zones of Twinsel Town.

A comment on that article also led me to a twinning pic of Leonard Cohen & Dustin Hoffman which I now can’t find – although below is the image of Leonard Cohen that was used

Now I have to admit I went a bit wild on this one because I kept seeing other faces in his face.

Like Laurence Olivier, I wouldn’t have known Leonard Cohen if I fell over him, but I was familiar with the name. Below is a little number I’ve dubbed Loads of Leonards – these are the faces that came to my mind when I contemplated Len’s face


You may well wonder what Martin Landau is doing in there, I don’t know why but… somehow in my research he just seemed to follow on from Jeff Goldblum. I had previously been having a look at Landau because his twin popped up in an episode of Alias Smith & Jones

Very strangely indeed, Landau & twin have the same initials (ML). The latter also twins in name with my Loads of Leonards ensemble, being none other than Mark Lenard. Lenard played sire to the ‘Leonard’ who prospered in the tv series, Star Trek


Father & son –
Leonard Nimoy & Mark Lenard.

Keeping things in the Hollywood family tradition, I found that Mark Lenard “also guest starred in several episodes of the original Mission Impossible, including one with Leonard Nimoy.” While of course Mission Impossible was Martin Landau’s most famous earthbound day job. Hollywood has certainly kept a very tight (& small) ship.

In re-watching the 70’s tv series Alias Smith & Jones, I came across a number of other twinnings. One in particular is so blatant (to me) that I can’t believe no one (including me) spotted it earlier.

It’s funny but in digging a little deeper into twinning, I see there’s a lot more to it than simply a similarity of facial features – perhaps this is what leads to the phrase. “I don’t know why, but…” It seems that story lines keep overlapping, both in the reel & real worlds.

The series [AS&J] was inspired by the success of the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. There were a number of connecting themes: one of the heroes was named Kid Curry which was also the nickname of Harvey Logan, an associate of the real Butch Cassidy (unlike the TV version however, the real Kid Curry was a cold-blooded killer).
The series also featured a group of outlaws called the Devil’s Hole Gang which was based on the Hole in the Wall Gang from where Cassidy recruited most of his outlaws.”

So I think we could say that we have a fairly good twinning under way between the movie & the tv show. If you have read some of my more recent articles then you are familiar with Pete Duel & his questionable death in 1971. Pete Duel’s partner in the series was Kid Curry, played by actor Ben Murphy.

Now this is where the twinning lights started flashing reel bright, because if the following two don’t share the same DNA, then I’ll eat my hat.

and a Universal studio exec added, “Here’s a sort of Paul Newman look-a-like we’ve got under contract you can use

However, Ben really reached TV superstardom when he was signed up to play the Paul Newman role in the TV series “Alias Smith and Jones“, which was inspired by the hit movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

(I’m fairly sure that the writer of that sentence got it arse about face – Murphy plays the Sundance Kid character – however I think the author’s subconscious noted the twinning)

If you haven’t watched AS&J then a couple of pics may not do it for you – for me there is something soooo very f-a-m-i-l-i-a-r. Father & son? …or some other Hollywood DNA connection? I know not, but I sure as heck sense something. In keeping with the twinning theme, Ben Murphy went on to star in a tv show called Gemini Man (1976).

Incidentally, Murphy’s “record-breaking journey started with a forgettable one-line role in Dustin Hoffman’s 1967 film “The Graduate” – if you were paying attention earlier you will have seen that Hoffman is one of the gang of Leonards & of course The Graduate was that particular Leonard’s passport to fame.

There was yet another sensing that came to mind with Alias Smith & Jones. In the series there is a character called Harry Briscoe, a Bannerman detective who turns up every so often on the tail & trail of our good ‘bad guys.’ Briscoe makes me think of Maxwell Smart (from the tv series, Get Smart) & here’s where I get really weird, for these two boys make me think of someone else.

I don’t know why, but…

Interestingly, Mark Lenard died exactly 33 years to the day that Lee Harvey Smart ‘apparently’ assassinated JFK. Twinning up with this Masonic equation we have the tv series Get Smart, where the bad guys are known as (ordo ab?) KAOS

Meanwhile we find that “Creators Buck Henry and Mel Brooks wrote Get Smart as the comedic answer to the successful 1960s spy television dramas such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E” – isn’t Hollywood marvellous – it’s has programmes to counter it’s programmes – is that ‘Lest We Awake.’

Here are another set of twins I thought I’d mention – both portrayed as great leaders – Jean Luc Picard & Gandhi


…Oh this is too good –
I just typed these two names in google search & came up with this

USS Gandhi (NCC-26632)

In the Next Generation episode Second Chances, the Enterprise-D crew find a duplicate of Will Riker that was created a number of years previously. The duplicate [twin?], Tom Riker, leaves at the end of the episode for an assignment on the USS Ghandi.

The follicle free brothers are of course Patrick Stewart & Ben Kingsley.

Another recent personal twin-spotting came via James McAvoy – throughout the movie I kept thinking Peter Parker-Tobey Maguire, indeed there were some older snippets on the net chatting about the possibility of McAvoy becoming the new Spiderman.

Back yonder in Twinsel Town I nabbed a number of other people’s comments about the twinning of Tobey Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal, as I was not familiar with the latter. However once the twinning floodgates of awareness open it’s as if one actor leads on to another & then another, making the star spangled Twinsel family seem very small indeed.

Here is another intriguing Maguire twin found on the net

Actor, Tobey Maguire from the Spider-Man movie looks identical to Canadian country singer k.d. lang. Sure, one’s a guy and one’s a girl (yes, she’s a girl) but ya gotta admit it looks like there’s been a little X-Files cloning goin’ on

And if you’ve missed k.d. like I have, you’ll not want to miss her performing some of her new material live. Her voice is like buttah, and I just look at her and imagine it’s Tobey Maguire singing to me, so it’s a win/win all around.”

… and have a peek here

  “This is too funny. This nerdy actor from the forties, fifties and sixties looks like Tobey” link

A little more swinging through the branches of the internet jungle also led to the tale of one Gerald Fraller who decided to sell his soul on line – no comment (& no bid)

Apparently Tobey Maguire has latched onto him too, and wants to make a movie out of his life. Fraller is selling his soul to Hollywood, just like everyone else. Variety says Maguire’s production company has bought the rights and they’re planning to produce him as a feature film… The weird thing is thatMaguire actually looks a little like Fraller. Whether or not Tobey plays him probably depends on the script, but as long as it’s with his production company there’s a chance.”

Man, following these trails is is like jumping through one of the portals in Crash Bandicoot, you just never know what’s round the corner – well I didn’t, mind you I was pretty crap at it.

…”God almighty,” as Father Ted would have said, I’ve just found another Maguire twin! click on the link, go on – there’s loads of the bastards! All right, all right I mean there’s lots of eye candy (for both sexes), go on off you go & look out for Tobey’s other, other brother

So what’s it all about? Is it because movie producers like a certain look -well why & why so many? And can it really be that easy to find so many look-alikes who can act? I have to say I seriously get the wtf feeling.

I do not think we have any idea of how deep our programming has been.

Last night my son & I blobbed out in front of a dvd, but every so often I would pull my consciousness out of the tv & look around the lounge, bringing myself back to this world. It’s amazing how you get drawn into the tele, it’s just like falling asleep, one moment you are there & the next moment you are gone & you can’t tell when it happened. How did we come to live in a world where other peoples fantasies & lies became so very entangled with our own?

My viewing of the goggle box has diminshed ever more in the last few months, but it has left a gap – it was what I used to do for a couple of hours in the evening for all of my life. I get a bit lost with those hours now, it was as if I’d prebooked them in for the rest of my life & I have had trouble replacing them, in fact I’m on the computer here instead. I would like to be creating in other ways, especially with my hands but I seem to have gone numb in that direction.

I can’t help but think of tv as a viciously efficient tranquilliser. I was talking to my father yesterday & we discussed how many years ago & for many years, he was doped up on tranquillisers. When he finally realised how deeply he was into them he decided to break free but had one hell of a struggle to do it – this is kind of like the feeling I get with tv.

I wonder if twinning is part of the hypnotic effect that makes tv such an effective tranquilliser. What a mind fuck to be seeing the same people turning up all over the place.

Again I ask why does this twinning happen? Is it just to keep a few bloodlines in the limelight – why? Does the Seance that is Hollywood require a particular bloodtype of priest or priestess to enact the programming rituals? Is it that the double-vision effect knocks our wakening senses out of kilter? I really don’t know?

The world of dreams & fantasy is so strong now that it is the stars who give us our daily bread (of programming) & we in return forgive them all their trespasses as long as they keep us in the stupour, movies & magazines that we have become accustomed to. For theirs is the kindom, the power & the glory…

..or perhaps we could just switch off the tv for a bit.

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January 25, 2009. Uncategorized.

17 Comments

  1. Devin replied:

    What a splendid well-thought out article wise!!! Why didnt I think of Lee Marvin and James Coburn? I think you are really onto something here! I will definitely have to come back to this as I do so many others -fantastic stuff! These twinnings really make ones head spin-the Ledger death has bothered me a bit since it happened-gosh only knows what goes down in the backrooms of ‘Twinsel Town’ All the best!!

  2. wise woman replied:

    Howdy DevinThanks for stopping by. Whatever Hollywood is, it's something very different than what we're shown – too many anomalies IF you look & yes you are right, Heath Ledgers death should bother us.ATB to you

  3. VileVeil replied:

    I always mix up Johnny Depp with Keanu Reeves.Just typing this now also makes me think of Christopher Reeves. Is Keanu Superman’s son?Depending on the glasses I wear I have a few people tell me I look like Woody Allen. Jaws drop when I tell them my family name is Allen.

  4. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Bravo!Spectacular post Wise!! I loved the Loads of Lenards collage. Amazing twinning going on! I have to agree, that the bloodlines are the gods and goddesses of Hollywood elevated and brought into our homes on a daily basis.Funnily enough, I was watching Captain Jean-luc Picard the other day, in an episode from Season 3 called “Who Watches the Watchers” and he was considered a “god” called “The Picard” LOLLove the direction your going in with these, and the Paul Newman twinning was pretty freaky too!Well done!Cheers[word verify = HINGE]

  5. wise woman replied:

    Hi VileVeilThat's an interesting one – they're just a year apart in age too.There is twinning of the Reeve's name in Hollywood also via two Supermen – Christopher & George – hmmm I see George changed his name to 'Reeves' when contracted to Warner Brothers. …and the trail continues – George played a bit role in Gone With the Wind as a TWIN – "It was a minor role, but he and Fred Crane, both in brightly dyed red hair as "the Tarleton Twins," were in the film's opening scenes."Cheers for thatHi MichaelThe Leonards were most interesting – it was a strange thing to look at Leonards Cohen's face & see other faces, very strange indeed.Oh that's a great catch with the god, Picard – I must admit I can never look at him without remembering his mangled nose after Mel Gibson bites it in Conspiracy Theory – I do wonder what that scene was about!I like the word veri – hinges can be used for opening things so we can look inside.Good to see you again :)

  6. aferrismoon replied:

    The leonards may loook alike as they all share Jewish heritage, of course Paul Newman dispels the fact that any one ‘looks’ JewishBoth Nimoy and Landau were born in the same year , and in my youth, both propelled forth SciFi -StarTrek and Space 1999Ryan O’Neal and Warren Beatty I thought were the same person for a while.Like many ‘species’ I guess film stars slowly evolve into some kind of ‘type’ , and the types seem to be generational All the Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Greg Peck crowd looked similar to me.Why do they get to look like each other – they all sleep with each others partners, daughters etc etc?

  7. aferrismoon replied:

    If u want a good laugh read ‘ Best ever letter of complaint that was sent to Virgin airlines about their foodcheers

  8. VacuumVixen replied:

    Wise Woman,Thanks for this! You, my new friend, are an excellent twin spotter! :) I’m glad you found “inspiration?” in the Cohen/Hoffman thing. The twinning photos you’re looking for are on http://www.totallylookslike.com.As I was reading, your mention of Ben Murphy, lit the light bulb for me… I always felt the same as you. And then I started down another path, thinking about Newman and Redford, I couldn’t help but think of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Brad Pitt’s resemblance to Redford has been mentioned by many but “there’s just something about” Edward Norton that I always thought reminded me of Newman. Take a look at this http://handson.provocateuse.com/show/edward_norton and this http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/Paul-Newman-Photograph-C12142732.jpeg. Here’s the duo (Brad and Edward) together… http://assets.gearlive.com/filmcrunch/blogimages/bradpitt_edwardnorton.jpg that seemed very Redford/Newman-esque to me.Good work on this! Keep ’em coming!All the best! :)

  9. wise woman replied:

    Hi AferrismoonOh yes I forgot about Beatty & O'Neal.Indeed there is the look of the Jewish heritage which is certainly very prominent – amazing just how many actors come at least partly from that background. Yes Newman doesn't fit the bill at all – funnily enough I can't help thinking sometimes that he looked positively aryan.You would expect that inter-actor sleeping around would account for the similarities but according to their histories mostly they just happen along from nowhere – perhaps some genetic calling – like birds migrating south – those 'of a feather' act together?Will check out Virgin complaint – I do like a laugh! When I flew Sydney to Perth recently I flew them – man was that a long flight – no food (unless you paid) & no entertainment – 5 hours turned into about 15 aaghhCheers

  10. wise woman replied:

    Hi VixenThanks for your lead – that certainly reaped many rewards!I will check out the Norton-Newman angle this evening & see if anyone else jumps on the hook with them :)All the best to you

  11. Ben Emlyn-Jones replied:

    Another interesting article, WW. Thanks. It wouldn't surpirse me if they are using different people who look very similar deliberately to cause a certain brain reaction in the viewing public. The clone idea is supported by another source. A man who was an American soldier in Vietnam and was sent on a mission to kill a group of clones. I can't recall his name, let me look it up……Duncan O'Finioan. Here's his Project Camelot interview:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8892736673243372366&ei=Gpx_SbPVKJPSjgKwnOWUCw&q=duncan+o%27finioanInterestingly the BBC has recently broadcast a new comedy series called "Clone" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clone_(TV_series) ) It stars Jonathan Pryce who was in "Brazil" (See my article "The Hanged Hangman") It's very funny, but is all about a scientist on the run with the artifical human he's created.Despite all this, with all the wannabe actors and actresses applying all the time it wouldn't be ahrd to simply select people who naturally look a certain way, but the effect on the viewer will be the same.(BTW: Did you get Matthew Delooze's newsletter?)

  12. Know Nothing replied:

    Hi Wise, I often get into conspiracy overdrive on this topic. A few things I do know, bloodlines are very prevalent in hollywood. Also, if there are over 6 billion faces in the world they just can’t be that different from each other. How many people have lived and died prior to this I wonder? Our twins have come and gone before us I bet. My vision of the face of god has always been to morph all of these faces together. What do you think it would look like? Is there such a project in the works? There should be!

  13. wise woman replied:

    Hi BenThanks for the link & comments.There is a bit of 'clone' feel – as in 'an artificiality of stars' – a bit like with presidents – I'm pretty damn sure no one just walks in off the street & 'becomes' a star any more than they become a president.The other side to tv/movies is how much are they teling us what already exists??Yes I did get Matt's newsletter – great to see him in action again :)All the bestHi Mr KnowI can't help but wonder how small this world of Hollywood really is & why is it that way – why the pretence? Why this elaborate creation of 'stars'. How often to we come across our own twins in whatever our personal line of work is? Interesting idea on the face of God.All the best

  14. Brizdaz replied:

    As Aferrismoon said ;”The leonards may loook alike as they all share Jewish heritage.”That’s right,they’re all Ashkenazi Jews,so they have a similar look because of their race.I should know,because I’m one,too.If you throw my picture in I would probably blend in as well,but I must say some of the other pairings are uncanny.Cheers and I must say you have a very thought provoking blog.It’s addictive reading.

  15. wise woman replied:

    Hi BrizdazNice to meet you. Glad you’re having fun :) I don’t always check back through my past posts so hadn’t realized you’d been visiting.I see from your site that you joined up to leave comments – that’s how I started too – so good luck.All the best

  16. ViølatoR replied:

    Hey great article. Michael Skaggs sent it my way when I told him how I think everyone in Hollweird is related to eachother. Specifically, the names in the credits seem to repeat over and over, despite that many actors change their names, there's still probably a unusual amount of similar names in all capacities, "best boys" and "dolly grips" – whatever the fuck those are!

  17. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hi Violator & thanks (luckily Michael told me you'd dropped by or I might have accidentally ignored you!)I had not thought to look at the 'twinning' of names – that's mightily interesting. One thing I had been noticing tho' was the frequent occurence of the letters 'ell(e)' in many famous surnames.Am not sure how you would best get to grips with a dolly, altho' I reckon it would be more of a 'guy thing' :)Cheers & all the best

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