A Peek Inside the Private Lives of L.A.’s Celebrity Look-Alikes

A photographer spent a year documenting non-famous people with famous faces

Looking uncannily like Beyonce or Brad Pitt doesn’t sound like something many people would consider a problem. But for struggling actors, resembling someone famous can be distracting and cost them work. Rather than fight the genetic hand they’ve been dealt, some performers decide to embrace it—and make a few bucks in the process.

The celebrity look-alike and impersonator community (which does not include the Hollywood Boulevard variety) is small but tightly knit. The A-listers all seem to know each other.

Kevin Weiler of Talent Plan, an L.A. management company that handles the careers of celebrity impersonators, says the top echelon can make anywhere from $500 to $10,000 for a corporate event or private party.

Celebrity impersonators and look-alikes are an exceedingly friendly bunch who had no problem letting me into their personal lives. None of them take themselves too seriously and most have unrelated day jobs. I actually found myself oddly disappointed by their lack of competitiveness. For instance, the ’90s-period Madonna I photographed had only kind words for her “Lucky Star”-era counterpart.

But what happens when the whistle blows and you’re stuck in a work face that won’t come off? I spent the last year photographing them in their homes and in other places they frequent. Here’s a look at what celebrity look-alikes look like when no one’s looking.

Stuart Rigby, aka Tom Cruise

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Brick layer

Location: Los Angeles

Richard Halpern, aka Austin Powers

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Day job: Jazz singer

Location: Hollywood

Antonio, aka Prince

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Lead singer of Dirty Mind

Location: Los Angeles

Bob Getter, aka Larry David

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Bass player

Location: Woodland Hills

Kevin Jude, aka Joan Rivers

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Day job: Medical director

Location: Hollywood

Kent Kasper, aka Dr. Phil

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Former district attorney

Location: Van Nuys

Amber Coyle, aka Marilyn Monroe
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Day job: Actress/writer

Location: Larchmont

Holly Beavon, aka Madonna circa Lucky Star

J. Ward Photography

Day job: Actress

Location: Hollywood

Willie Dansler, aka Mike Tyson

J. Ward Photography

Day job: Retired military

Location: Rialto

Allie Moss, aka Taylor Swift

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Showgirl/dancer

Location: West Holllywood

Norman Deesing, aka Jack Nicholson

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Host, Apple Tree Inn

Location: Brentwood

Lissa Negrin, aka Cher

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Casino entertainment producer

Location: Hollywood Hills

Cherise Bangs, aka Wonder Woman

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J. Ward Photography

Day job: Yoga instructor

Location: Woodland Hills

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