Comedic Legend Jeanette Charles Dies Aged 96

( Jeanette Charles, a comedian and actress, died on June 2 at the age of 96. She is best known for resembling Queen Elizabeth II and being a part of National Lampoon’s European Vacation and the Naked Gun. Charles’ daughter announced her death and said that her mom lived a wonderful life. She said that Charles respected and adored Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family.

The actress wrote a piece for the Guardian in 2022 talking about her Queen Elizabeth lookalike career that lasted 50 years. After being told many times that she looked like Princess Elizabeth, she thought about ways she could use it to her advantage. She was approached by an agent and began doing commercials. At times, she was criticized for being disrespectful of the monarchy, but she said she always declined anything that was in poor taste.

Charles said she made sure nobody referred to her as the Queen when she made appearances as a lookalike. She recalled the beginning of her career as the first time anybody made a living as a lookalike. She said it spawned a new industry that would grow over the decades. Coincidentally, Charles passed away at the age of 96, which is the same age Queen Elizabeth II was at the time of her death.

Charles talked about her interactions over the years that included Liberace, the band Queen, and Muhammad Ali. She said that Mike Meyers was a pleasure to work with on the Austin Powers sequel Goldfinger. She also said Leslie Nielsen and Pricilla Presley were very nice when she worked with them on The Naked Gun. She said O.J. Simpson was rude and that some actors didn’t consider the hard work it took to exemplify the mannerisms of the Queen.

Aside from her famed movie roles, she made a 1977 appearance on Saturday Night Live and Big Brother in 2009. After a long career, Charles retired in 2014.

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