While everybody has their favorites when it comes to actors—whether it is for their looks, personality, or their talent and legacy—nobody dares to forget about the classics, the ones who started it all.

The world recently said good-bye to one such personality who had been in the film industry as an actor, producer, and director for 67 years. Kirk Douglas passed away earlier this month, going down in history as one of the greatest actors of all time.

However, while Kirk Douglas starred in a number of films, including Ace in the Hole (1951) and The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), many of his roles were in historical films, making him the face of history in more ways than one.

Lust for Life (1956) publicity photos of Kirk Douglas show just how perfectly he resembled Vincent van Gogh

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

One of his best works—Lust For Life (1956)—has him playing the 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. While nobody would argue that his skill and talents as an actor are the highlights of the 2-hour film, people can’t stop noticing just how identical his looks are compared to the painter.

Bored Panda invites you to take a look at the publicity shots and stills from the movie to understand why some people tend to refer to Kirk Douglas as van Gogh’s doppelganger.

Here is the real van Gogh for reference (left: by himself, right: by John Peter Russell)

Image credits: Vincent van Gogh / John Peter Russell

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

Lust for Life is a visual biographical story about Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh that shows his genius as well as his torment as an artist. The movie is based on a novel written by Irving Store, which was adapted to the big screen.

The story goes that van Gogh was rejected as a minister, but after some negotiation, he is assigned to a poor mining community. Gradually, he becomes invested in it and starts doing social activism as well as painting the people’s daily life, which the church elders are not fond of.

Many are stunned by the uncanny resemblance, claiming that Douglas is practically van Gogh’s doppelganger

Image credits: Capital Pictures

Image credits: Capital Pictures

He eventually meets another artist, Paul Gauguin, and life eventually starts to get better for him. However, it’s not long until he gets into a heated argument with Gauguin, after which van Gogh returns home and cuts his own ear off. Violent hallucinations and seizures follow, leading him to seek mental help.

When he finally leaves the mental care hospital, he returns to a life of painting, but his expectations of himself and his art railroad him into the same destructive path of despair, and he consequently shoots himself and dies several days later.

Image credits: Capital Pictures

Lust for Life is a biography of van Gogh’s personal and artistic life based on a novel of the same name

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

Lust for Life was received very well by the general public, thus becoming an iconic film of the last century and one of Kirk Douglas’ best works. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and also stars Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown, and Everett Sloane.

Image credits: Capital Pictures

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

Kirk Douglas was an award-winning actor, director, and producer of 67 years. As an actor, he is best known for his work in Spartacus, Paths of Glory, The Vikings, In Harm’s Way, Lonely Are the Brave, The Bad and the Beautiful, Out of the Past, and the aforementioned Lust for Life. He was also credited in 2 works as a director and 32 as a producer. He died on February 5th, 2020 at the age of 103.

On top of the looks, Douglas also took painting lessons and did method acting off-set to best portray van Gogh

Image credits: Capital Pictures

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

Image credits: Mary Evans Picture Library

Know of any other actors who have portrayed real-life figures and were identical in their appearance? Let us know in the comments below!

Here are some stills from the 1956 movie

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM

Image credits: MGM