If you've been following this blog for a while (or at least have read my archives), you may remember a post I did called "An Ode to my Father". In the post I said:
I find that my interest in classic films stems mostly from my constant need to understand my father. The decades from the 1920s to the 1960s intrigue me the most because these are the years my dad lived through but also the decades of his life that I know little about. Watching these films and getting a taste of what those decades were like, I feel like I can better connect with him.Something unique about my experience with classic films is that I see my father in many actors on screen. Perhaps it's familiarity but I think my dad's look is indistinctive. I've seen many men, mostly on TV and in film, share distinct characteristics with my father. One notable figure is Dan Rather, whom I always imagined as my television father when I was growing up. Rather's eyes, hair, the shape of his face and his build were all very similar to my dad's. And even though my mother and father were right next to me as we watched Dan Rather on the news every night, I always saw another version of him on screen.
This is a post I've been meaning to do for a long time: to round up all the classic film actors that remind me of my father and list the physical and non-physical attributes that create the similarities in my mind. I'm automatically endeared to these actors because of their resemblance to my dad. I like them even more if they happened to be talented actors with excellent films.
(image from Classic Film Scans)
Edward G. Robinson
It's mostly his hair style, the hunch of his back and his shorter height. His eyes, nose and mouth are almost exaggerated versions of my father's facial features. The suits Robinson wore fit him in a similar way that suits fit my dad: a little loose and a little long but still fitting to the frame.
It's the droopy jowls that do it. My father has a less exaggerated version of those same jowls. His thick dark hair and tan skin also remind me a bit of my dad.
My dad and Borgnine have similarly shaped heads, the same sort of hunch and similar builds. Their eyebrows today kind of match too. While their personalities are totally opposite from one another, Borgnine and my father share similar laughs.
I can't quite point this one out except for the fact that my father's casual wear was very similar to what Jack Lemmon wore in numerous movies. Everytime I see Lemmon on screen I get a dad vibe from him.
My dad was a tough kid. He got into a fist fight with another kid and the fight resulted in my dad losing all hearing in one ear. My dad would also spend the summers by the seaport knitting fishnets for local fishermen. I like to think that when my dad was a teenager that he looked a bit like John Garfield. Sweet face with a tough edge.
It doesn't hurt that Claude Rains played many fatherly type roles during his film career. His build, his eyes, his hair and more notably his chin remind me a lot of my father.
I think James Mason's features remind me more of the men on my dad's side of the family than they do my dad specifically. It's mostly Mason's angular European face, thick hair, square face and gentile demeanor that remind me of the M. men.
The similarity isn't physical at all. I like to think my dad was like George Sanders when he lived in Europe. A well-dressed rogue, excellent at conversation and a bit elusive. Plus Sanders had some bad luck with the ladies and my dad did as well before he met my mother of course.
(from Classic Film Scans)
It is uncanny how similar Glenn Ford's face was to my fathers. The eyes, the nose, the mouth, the shape of the face, even the ears and the hair. It all works. I look at Glenn Ford and something within me calls out "dad?!".
Do any classic film stars remind you of your father or mother? Other family member? Friend? Acquaintance? Guy you saw on the subway? I'd love to hear your responses.