An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behaviour or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone:
- Entertainment: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their personal lives, recent scandals and known behavior patterns. Especially popular objects of impersonation are Elvis (see Elvis impersonator), Michael Jackson (see Michael Jackson impersonator), Abraham Lincoln, and Lenin. Entertainers who impersonate multiple celebrities as part of their act, can be sorted into impressionists and celebrity impersonators.
- Crime: As part of a criminal act such as identity theft. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information, or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors.
- Decoys, used as a form of protection for political and military figures. This involves an impersonator who is employed (or forced) to perform during public appearances, to mislead observers.
- Sowing discord, causing people to fight, or dislike each other for social, business or political gain.
Celebrity impersonators are entertainers who look similar to celebrities and dress in such a way as to imitate them. Impersonators are known as look-alikes, impressionists, imitators tribute artists and wannabees. The interest may have originated with the need or desire to see a celebrity who has died. One of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon is the case of Elvis Presley. There are claimed to be more Elvis impersonators and tribute artists in the world than for any other celebrity.
Edward Moss has appeared in movies and sitcoms, impersonating Michael Jackson.
Images for kids
An impersonator of George Michael
Impersonator Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.