So, what do Bette Davis, Mark McKinney, Kim Novak, Dick Van Dyke, and Jack Warden have in common? Like Eddie Murphy, who plays three characters in the newly released Norbit (pictured), each of these actors has played multiple roles in the same movie. Davis did it twice, playing sisters in both A Stolen Life and Dead Ringer. Like his fellow Kids in the Hall, McKinney played many roles in Brain Candy. Novak played dual roles in Vertigo, of course, but also in the campy Hollywood gothic The Legend of Lylah Clare. In Mary Poppins, Van Dyke played both the chimney sweep and the ancient bank president. And in the vastly underrated comedy Used Cars, Warden played brothers who were dueling car dealers.
We didn’t want this to be too easy, so we avoided some of the more obvious multi-players — Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove (three roles), Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets (eight roles!), Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers, Mike Myers in the Austin Powers movies, Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!, Kevin Kline in Dave, Murphy in the Nutty Professor movies and Coming to America, or anyone from Monty Python (in Holy Grail, Life of Brian, or The Meaning of Life).
As a result, there were few correct answers this week, though there were some entertaining wrong guesses. “Who are five people that never visited my kitchen?” guessed Adam Wentz. Most of them are high-scoring names in Scrabble, said Benjamin Hanau, who notes that Dick Van Dyke has two Ks, a V, and a Y. The usually unstumpable Patrick A. Yearout guessed that the theme this week was Jim Carrey’s forthcoming movie The Number 23 and noted that all five actors have appeared in projects with numbers in the title. (Not what we were looking for, but we like the way you think, Patrick.) Oh, and they’ve all done bad British accents, claims Jan Willemsen, who also knew the right answer — as did Scott Hoffman, Todd LaPlace, Harold Reynolds, and Cliff Rives. Congratulations to the five of you (assuming you’re not all actually played by one person). To the rest of you: thanks for playing, and come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…
addCredit(“Norbit: Bruce McBroom”)