(Originally published in the debut issue of Scottsdale Downtowner.)
Many celebrity look-alikes try to capitalize on their good fortune. They dress alike, walk alike and act just like their counterparts in hopes they will get noticed.
Others take it to a whole ‘nother level.
Meet Dennis Keogh, the man who would be Bond.
Not only has Keogh been told he looked like Sir Sean Connery his entire life, he has transformed his resemblance into something many can only dream — second career.
It’s perception, not deception,” Keogh said. “I never say I’m Sean Connery.”
While some people can tell Keogh is not the original Connery, the resemblance is uncanny, similar to a younger sibling that looks enough like the older to be mistaken for twins.
But for Keogh, the similarity is more than just looks. Keogh studied Connery, memorizing every minute detail of his life, all of his public speeches and just about every memorable line from Connery’s films. He practiced and listened so often he can mimic Connery’s unique Scottish accent as well as the actor’s lip movement and head gestures. Listen to him say “pittance” or recite Connery’s quote from The Rock: ”the one about the prom queen” and you’ll just begin to see the work Keogh has put into his character.
The fairer sex has taken to him quite kindly. Keogh recalls a time while sipping coffee that he directed an impromptu fashion show from afar.
“Three beautiful women were in a store at the mall while I sat and sipped my coffee,” Keogh said. “They looked over at me, smiled and I sort of directed them into trying on different outfits.”
The ladies, whom he met later, turned out to be part time models in town for a show. Keogh is flattered by the attention, but knows encounters like that are just part of the act. He’s seen what happens other impersonators use their look for more nefarious schemes and takes great pride into never using his look for anything out of character. He does, however, enjoy the game.
He’s even fooled those who actually know the Scotsman.
“He called me over for a picture,” Keogh said. “When I got home the next day, his assistant called and said he thought I was him [Connery]. It was a spectacular feeling.”
Make no mistake about it, this guy is good. Spend ten minutes with Keogh at a bar and you’ll see he even has Connery’s quiet arrogance down — whether it’s Keogh’s own or him channeling Connery is debatable ”to the point where the man simply commands every interaction he’s in. His gifts have brought him moderate fame, but Keogh’s looking for more.
“I love what I do, I love entertaining,” Keogh said. “There is so much tragedy, we all need entertainment.”
Keogh knows that it’s not just his reputation at stake every time he dons the white tux and Scottish accent, it’s Connery’s as well. He goes to great pains to keep his personas separate, even as far as never appearing in a few places unless he’s in character. Tainting the perception just wouldn’t be proper.
“I want people to really believe they met Sean Connery,” Keogh said.