Have you ever noticed that, as years go by, the people we meet seem to resemble figures in our history books? Perhaps this occurs from coincidence, or maybe combinations of physical traits are bound to repeat themselves once in awhile. Whatever the reason, it’s almost creepy when an old painting or photograph looks like someone from today.
But physical similarities are even more coincidental when they involve modern celebrities. We often like to think that famous people are one-of-a-kind, but apparently, even stars can resemble people of the past.
These 25 celebrities are so scarily similar to pictures of historic figures, it will make you wonder who looked like you in the past!
1. Nicholas Cage may be famous for his intense roles–he played a man who steals the Constitution in order to access a treasure map on the back, after all. Now, he’s famous for another reason: he happens to look exactly like this Confederate soldier named Robert M. Smith. Maybe Cage is more of a “National Treasure” than anyone knew?
Jerod Harris / The Thanatos Archive : NicholasCageOnFire / YouTube
2. John Travolta bears a striking resemblance to the man in this 150-year-old photo. Their bone structures, face shape, and features—right down to the cleft chin!—are scarily similar. They even have matching sideburns! Coincidence? Maybe not!
eBay / Fox Photos : Unknown / imdb
3. Keanu Reeves may be 52 years old, but he looks exactly like this actor from 19th century France named Paul Monet. Some people theorize that they’re actually the same person because of their striking similarities.
Eric Charbonneau / Wikimedia Commons : Niko Tavernise / imdb
4. Serena Williams looks just like Betty Shabaz. Shabaz, a civil rights activist, was once married to Malcolm X. Williams might rock an edgier hairdo, but these two look so similar they could be twins!
Unknown / Wikimedia Commons : Ecellesports / excellesports.com
5. Paul Revere looks a whole lot like actor Jack Black. Since Revere lived during the Revolutionary War—a full 100 years before the first camera was invented—we must rely on painted portraits. Even still, the two could be brothers from another era.
Charles Sykes / Wikimedia Commons : The Holiday / imdb
6. The mother of Community actor Danny Pudi discovered this resemblance between her son and an unknown man in a Berlin Wall documentary from 1962. Is it a coincidence that Pudi is wearing a T-shirt with a tank on it?
Danny Pudi / Twitter : Community / imdb
7. Famed Renaissance artist Raphael created this painting sometime between 1518 and 1520, called Self Portrait with a Friend. The friend has never been identified, but he looks identical to Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Oscar Isaac, right down to the facial hair and pose.
Wikimedia Commons : CBS Films / Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Andrew Garfield may not be Russian at all, but he looks almost exactly like Leon Trotsky, who led the Soviet takeover during the 1917 October Revolution in St. Petersburg. They even have the same swooping hairstyle!
Frazer Harrison / Wikimedia Commons : Robin Marchant / imdb
9. Hermann Rorschach was a 19th century Swiss psychologist who invented the Rorschach test, in which patients view an ink blot and describe what they see. We wonder what actor Brad Pitt sees when he looks at this photo of his historic doppelgänger?
Carlos Alvarez / Wikimedia Commons : Stephane Cardinale / imdb
10. The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture holds a photo called Harlem Loiterers, taken by Sid Grossman in 1939. Strangely, the unidentified man in the photo looks exactly like hip-hop artist and producer Jay-Z.
Sid Grossman / New York Public Library : Joella Marano / Wikimedia Commons
11. Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show invited British actor Daniel Radcliffe as a guest in 2016; during his visit, Fallon pointed out how much the Harry Potter star looks like multiple ladies in old photos. This one may be the most uncanny!
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube : Warner Bros. Pictures / imdb
12. Almost 50 years before Halle Berry made history as the first black woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress, Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman to be nominated for the award. Coincidentally, both women rocked the same chic pixie haircut for their red carpet looks.
Anthony Harvey / Anthony Harvey Photos : Steve Granitz / imdb
13. Douglas MacArthur was the top-notch general who lead the Allied forces in World War II. But his amazing resemblance to Bruce Willis deserves five stars, just like MacArthur’s rank as general!
Chris Pizzello / Chris Pizzello : Frank Masi / imdb
14. Is it possible that comedian and TV show host Conan O’Brian has been making jokes since the American Civil War? Not likely, but he sure looks a whole lot like Marshall Harvey Twitchell, who was a carpetbagger, a Union soldier, and a Louisiana politician during that time.
Alberto E. Rodriguez / PBS : Conan / imdb
15. The subject of this painting from 1645, entitled Dwarf Sitting on the Floor by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez, looks ridiculously similar to Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, doesn’t he?
Matt Winkelmeyer / Museo del Prado, Madrid : Jean-Paul Aussenard / imdb
16. Another Diego Velázquez portrait—this time of Spain’s King Philip IV—bears an uncanny resemblance to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It’s all in the Roman nose, soft jaw, and curly hair. While we don’t think King Philip IV would ever don Zuckerberg’s signature gray hoodie if he were alive today, there’s no doubt that this portrait would be his profile picture.
David Ramos / Wikimedia Commons : ABC / abcgo.com
17. Nicolae Grigorescu was an influential artist, writer, and soldier from 19th century Romania. Little did he know that, one day, he’d be compared to English actor Orlando Bloom!
Star Max / Wikimedia Commons : James Devaney / imdb
18. Actress, rapper, and producer Queen Latifah just might be the spitting image of novelist Zora Neale Hurston, who’s most famous for her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. They also both have the same taste in hats, apparently!
Dimitrios Kambouris / The LIbrary of Congress : Van Redin / imdb
19. This portrait of philosopher Jacques Rousseau from 1753 looks very similar to Robert De Niro–especially with those wavy locks, strong jawlines, and warm eyes. “You talkin’ to me?”
Unknown / Wikimedia Commons : Mistress / imdb
20. Alec Baldwin may be killing it on the Saturday Night Live stage with his spot-on impression of Donald Trump, but there’s another president he could easily imitate as well: Millard Fillmore!
Annie I. Bang / Library of Congress : Abramorama / imdb
21. Speaking of former presidents: Andrew Johnson, who took office after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, seems to be reborn as American actor Tommy Lee Jones…
Star Max / Library of Congress : Men in Black / imdb
22. John Brown was an abolitionist and assisted in leading many slave revolts of the mid-19th century. It might be a stretch, but actor Charlie Sheen could pass for a (very) distant relative, we think.
Chris Pizzello / Library of Congress : Anger Management / imdb
23. This one is pretty weird, but hear us out: actress and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres looks a little bit like Civil Disobedience author Henry David Thoreau… if you ignore the beard.
Kevin Winter / Wikimedia Commons : Glenn Francis / Wikimedia Commons
24. Think Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame is channeling early-19th century Scottish painter David Wilkie here? With their wild red hair and stern brow, we wouldn’t be surprised if they shared a family tree.
Julian Finney / National Galleries Scotland : Paul Bird / Wikimedia Commons
25. We’re used to seeing photographs of Albert Einstein in his later years—when his hair was white and untamed—but this snapshot from his youth seriously reminds us of actor Shia LaBeouf.
World Science Festival / YouTube : Nicholas Genin / Wikimedia Commons
Do you think everyone has a historical lookalike? Maybe not, but these celebrities are certainly scarily similar to many people from years ago. It’s pretty creepy and amazing at the same time.
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