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updated: 2/26/2013 5:26 AM

Burt's predictably grouchy about celebrity doppelganger

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  • Can you tell Daily Herald columnist Burt Constable and actor Tommy Lee Jones apart? Of course you can.

      Can you tell Daily Herald columnist Burt Constable and actor Tommy Lee Jones apart? Of course you can.

  • In this scene from "Lincoln," does actor Tommy Lee Jones look like columnist Burt Constable? What if Burt's thinning hair were replaced by a bad toupee?

      In this scene from "Lincoln," does actor Tommy Lee Jones look like columnist Burt Constable? What if Burt's thinning hair were replaced by a bad toupee?

  • Burt Constable's grumpy goatee look was from his role covering the 2005 White Sox playoff run. After the Sox won the World Series Championship, Burt shaved the facial hair and added some wrinkles.

      Burt Constable's grumpy goatee look was from his role covering the 2005 White Sox playoff run. After the Sox won the World Series Championship, Burt shaved the facial hair and added some wrinkles.
    Daily Herald file photo by BILL ZARS/bzars@dailyhe

  • This 2006 photo must have been taken when Tommy Lee Jones was overcome with joy. The actor has carved out a reputation as a grumpy old man.

      This 2006 photo must have been taken when Tommy Lee Jones was overcome with joy. The actor has carved out a reputation as a grumpy old man.
    Associated Press

  • The hand conveniently hides a chin or two, but it is difficult for Burt Constable to mask those Tommy Lee Jones-esque wrinkles.

       The hand conveniently hides a chin or two, but it is difficult for Burt Constable to mask those Tommy Lee Jones-esque wrinkles.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • A decade ago there might have been some resemblance between actor Mark Wahlberg and columnist Burt Constable. Now Burt just wants to avoid being mistaken for Ted, the foul-mouthed bear.

      A decade ago there might have been some resemblance between actor Mark Wahlberg and columnist Burt Constable. Now Burt just wants to avoid being mistaken for Ted, the foul-mouthed bear.
    Associated Press

  • Early in his columnist career, Burt Constable did not get mistaken for actor Tommy Lee Jones.

      Early in his columnist career, Burt Constable did not get mistaken for actor Tommy Lee Jones.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Obviously thrilled with just being nominated for an Oscar, actor Tommy Lee Jones arrives at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.

      Obviously thrilled with just being nominated for an Oscar, actor Tommy Lee Jones arrives at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Funny? Not to Tommy Lee Jones

  • Video: A grumpy scene from "Lincoln"

  • Video: A 'youngish' Tommy Lee Jones

 
 

"Has anybody ever told you that you look like …"

We've all heard this. Quite possibly while watching Oscar coverage. Someone looks you over and then decides to share the opinion that you resemble somebody famous.

This can be wonderful news.

"Has anybody ever told you that you look like George Clooney?" would be nice to hear, unless you happen to be 24 years old and female.

For women, just about any comparisons to celebrities walking the red carpet at the Oscars is a compliment. Even if that celebrity might not be the world's greatest beauty to you, no one takes offense at being compared to Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Amy Adams, Kerry Washington or Charlize Theron.

Tell a grandma she looks like 75-year-old Jane Fonda or a 70-year-old Barbra Streisand, and you'll probably be rewarded with your choice of any hard candy in the dish. A lot of a woman's appearance depends on the hair color and style, of course, which is why Streisand looks as if she is a digitally aged likeness of Jennifer Aniston.

With men, it's a lot trickier. Garner a comparison to Clooney, Ben Affleck, Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman or Denzel Washington, and you know you should say thanks. Other men probably should be gratified with being told they look like Daniel Day-Lewis, Christoph Waltz, Ang Lee or any of those Oscar winners whose talents generally trump their looks.

I fall into a different category.

When I was in my late 40s, a flattering friend or two suggested I looked a bit like Mark Wahlberg, who is 14 years younger than I am and once topped the list of VH1's "Hottest Hotties of the '90s." I don't think Wahlberg tops any hottie lists now that he's 41, but I would be thrilled to resemble him.

Instead, I get this:

"Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tommy Lee Jones?"

Sadly, yes. Tommy Lee Jones is the wrinkled, grouchy actor who is 66 years old and has more lines in his face than he did in the script for "Lincoln." Craggy is the word most people use to describe his looks. Polite people opt for weatherworn. One of the favorites to win the best supporting actor Oscar, Jones lost out to the decade-younger, nearly wrinkleless Christoph Waltz.

My wife, who has been compared to Cynthia Nixon from "Sex and the City" even though she is much better looking, assures me that I don't look at all like craggy, old, wrinkly Tommy Lee Jones. She's kind. I'll bet Tommy Lee Jones' wife (who is his third and younger than my wife) tells Tommy Lee Jones that he doesn't look at all like craggy, old, wrinkly Tommy Lee Jones.

When I grimace at the comparison, friends immediately backpedal by stammering about how I look like a "young" Tommy Lee Jones, the one before "Lincoln," "No Country for Old Men" and even all those "Men in Black" movies. Tommy Lee Jones was never young. Twenty years ago, Tommy Lee Jones won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a veteran deputy U.S. marshal relentlessly pursuing "The Fugitive" Harrison Ford. No one came out of that movie talking about what a fine-looking man Tommy Lee Jones was.

He looked even worse when he came onstage (after kissing wife No. 2) that year to collect his Oscar. You can see that clip at youtube.com/watch? v=YMvbhMSTFWU. I hope people don't think that is me.

Maybe, in another 20 years, I'll be thrilled by the suggestion that I look like 86-year-old Tommy Lee Jones. For now, I'll just have to live with the comparison and take some comfort in the realization that nobody who watched the Oscars tells me I look like Quentin Tarantino, William Shatner or Emmanuelle Riva.

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